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Seat Reservation
Posted by on
Last August 26, 2009, I made reservations and purchased three tickets through Priceline for my grandson, daughter, and me for a trip to Washington DC in March of 2010. This is a special event, for my grandson was selected to represent his school at a national leadership conference. My daughter and I were going to enjoy DC together while my grandson spent the week at the conference, and then have a day together before we returned to Seattle. At the time of the reservation I thought I had made seat reservations, row 16 D, E and F. When I checked our reservation on January 21, 2010, the seats had been changed to Row 28, D, E, and F. Today, February 1, 2010, The seats had been changed to a seat for my daughter in 28E; no seats were listed for my grandson or for me. I checked the seating chart; no seats together were available. I called Alaska and was told that because I had used Priceline I was not guaranteed the seating I had initially selected. A seat for my grandson then was assigned then next to his mother, but I was seated separately.
I object to this treatment for three reasons:
1. I booked through Priceline because Priceline and Alaska have made a public advertisement stating the advantages of their booking connection.
2. At no time was I advised that the seats were not available because I used Priceline to book the fares. If treatment is different through Priceline then the public needs to be so advised.
3. The seats were booked together; we should be seated together.
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MDSasquatch on 02/01/2010:
maybe you should have called Alaska Airlines instead of going through a 3rd party for your reservations. I think the airline's priorities are going to be with the customers who pay a wee bit more, but make direct reservations.

When you buy scraps, you usually have to make some concessions.

For what it's worth -- when you are in DC, avoid all of the food vendors and have your lunches in the basement of the Ronald Reagan Building. It just off Constitution on the back side of the Natural History Museum (google it before you go). Their food court is very good and the prices are reasonable.
dan gordon on 02/01/2010:
I know of no known joint advertising between Priceline and Alaska in fact the opposite is true. Alaska advertises a low price guarantee when booking on Alaskas site. You could have immediately gone to Alaskas website put in your frequent flyer # and checked your seat assignments. Its more likely that they changed equipt since you booked vs them punishing you for booking on Priceline.
Ben There on 02/01/2010:
No airline will guarantee seat assignments regardless of how you book. If they need to move you for any reason they will.
jktshff1 on 02/01/2010:
The only "advantage" of booking with a third party is to attempt to get the cheapest price. I just can't understand why someone would not book with the business that they are dealing with ie hotel, airlines etc, direct. The 3rd party has to make money somehow, be it at the bookers expense or the airlines, hotel etc..expense....Guess who is going to win?
Gromit on 07/08/2010:
By buying through Priceline, you didn't buy it from Alaska. Therefor you are not Alaska's customer, just their passenger. Any problems have to be solved by Priceline (or Travelocity, Orbitz, etc), and there's the problem with buying your tickets through a third party.
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Alaska Airlines Pillages On Fees-No Flexibility
Posted by on
My boyfriend and I are going on our first cruise this September, and are on a pretty tight budget, we booked the tickets after getting some literature from the travel agency. We were excited as we had heard good things about them. Yesterday I got my confirmation from the cruise line and was disappointed to find that we had booked the flight one week off!! I immediately looked up prices and was happy to see only a 40$ difference, so I then called, I talked to a nice lady who told me about the 100$ per person change fee and after asking if there was anything she could do, she transferred me to Steve from Phoenix her supervisor. He was very cold and unfriendly; he continued to quote policy and refused after me practically begging for a break to do anything. So we are writing a letter in hopes of finding someone with a heart. If we don’t get resolution we plan on abandoning our flight and booking with Virgin as we have had great experiences with them and the total for the flight through them is 270$ and to change my ticket with Alaska would cost 230$!!

I refuse to give them anymore money until they respond with a more customer service style attitude! Apparently Steve does not subscribe to this thought pattern....if anyone else has had luck in this situation let me know!
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yoke on 06/05/2009:
How is Virgin going to save you money? You will still be out the money for Alaska and you would save $30 by changing your flight.
Anonymous on 06/05/2009:
Change fees are industry standard. Steve's "style" is what you have to expect in this industry.
You may want to think very carefully about picking Virgin. No reciprocity with other fly on them alone, they cancel you are waiting and potentially miss your cruise.
Crown Jules on 06/05/2009:
You need to understand that Steve and others in his position probably hear dozens of sob stories every single day from people who think that if they are persistent enough an exception will be made just for them. If they give in for one person, though, where do they draw the line? You made the mistake in booking the wrong dates for your flight, you really need to suck it up and treat this as a learning experience.
saj80 on 06/06/2009:
Who booked your cruise? You stated that it was reserved after receiving information from a travel agent; if so, why not let the travel agent handle all of the details?
Ben There on 06/07/2009:
Not breaking company policy does not equal the same thing as rude. Most airlines charge $150 instead of $40.
dryheat9 on 06/05/2011:
I had a similar experience when transferring a credit on Alaskan Airways to someone else. The charge was $100. Don't tell me that this relates to their cost - any excuse to catch the customer becomes a profit opportunity.
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Noise & Air Pollution
Posted by on
EAST WENATCHEE, WASHINGTON -- Horizon Airlines flies several flights per day right over our East Wenatchee, Washington Fancher Heights neighborhood. It would be easy for them to avoid our area as they fly into Pangborn Airport in East Wenatchee - but no - they insist of flying directly over us with their:

1. high level of noise pollution
2. high level of air pollution
3. ice falling from the planes in winter
4. a possible crash in homes rather than open space
5. parts falling from the planes on homes
6. insistence on being a poor neighbor to the East Wenatchee area

Please select some other airline - Alaska is NOT a good/fair/safe neighbor - thanks.
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Anonymous on 04/26/2009:
I have no experience or expertise in the travel industry but I'm almost certain that the route airplanes take are determined by FAA personnel, aka air traffic controllers. Your complaint against the airline is ridiculous. That's just an inconvenience of living near an airport.
Anonymous on 04/26/2009:
Were they flying over your neighbourhood before you moved in? Live near an airport and airplanes are going to fly over your house. One of the questions to ask when you buy a house.
BokiBean on 04/26/2009:
We're not supposed to use this airline because they are flying over your house?
Anonymous on 04/26/2009:
Hmmmmmmm, imagine that, Pangborn Airport has been in operation since 1941!!!! Who would have thought that this would be a slight inconvenience to the community that it serves?
Ben There on 04/26/2009:
Why did you build or buy a house by the airport? I hope you realize that all commercial airplanes make noises...
jonluxury on 04/26/2009:
Thanks for the feedback. We are NOT near the airport in our small & narrow Fancher Heights location - we are 5 miles away - so yes we are saying it is unprofessional/unsfafe that Horizon insists on flying low over us when they have open space alternate routes all around us.

We are at a higher elevation than Pangborn so the Seattle to East Wenatchee 6 flights a day are the major impact. Seems to be the landings that fly right over Fancher Blvd.

This was an issue in Albuquerque when I lived in the foothills there - the flights liked to take off over us for the updrafts - but the city put a stop to it after we contacted the mayor. There are plenty of alternate routes - so yes Horizon can do the right thing & consider people/homes first.

Too bad if Horizon cuts more business in this downturn - they had to cut a flight already from our locale.
jonluxury on 04/26/2009:
Is that how some of you roll - just let the corporate world roll over you - airlines, banks, bailouts, whatever - just take it?
Anonymous on 04/26/2009:
Horizon is flying the Q, about the quietest a/c around. If the loads improve you'll see the CR7, a lot louder, as this is a non EAS flight you may see more carriers jump in.
Doubt any mayor has a say... I mean Bloomberg can't stop flts going over some pretty high rent districts in NY. This is a Fed issue.
5 miles is final, gear is down by then. I'm speaking as a licensed pilot.
Birds and gliders care about updrafts, not 121 a/c so not sure what you are talking about.
The FAA determines flt paths, not the carrier. Your only hope is a noise abatement exception but it sounds like this is an approach path with ILS installed in '06 so that isn't going to happen.

Anonymous on 04/26/2009:
It would be impossible for planes to ONLY fly over open space. This complaint is ridiculous and I suggest you get a hobby.
Ben There on 04/26/2009:
The airline does not pick the route and altitude. This is all given to them by the air traffic controllers. Even if they hit a bad patch of weather they have to get the OK to change altitudes.
madconsumer on 04/26/2009:
BokiBean on 04/26/2009:
Nice post, VF. 4/2/09 Horizon announced they would be cutting existing flights from your airport.

"Instead of offering four flights in and out of Pangborn to Seattle, the airline will offer three starting May 17."

That should significantly decrease the impact.

Anonymous on 04/27/2009:
I have a couple quick snipets about living close to an airport....
First one was the airport manager in one of the city's I worked at was constantly taking complaints about the noise. He would have the complaintant come into his office and look at a picture taken of the airport when it was brand new and have the person please show him their home. It was hard to do when there was nothing around the airport but open space.

Same city, I took a phone call one time from a person who apparently owned a home close to the airport. He told me, a ticket agent, that the airplanes are landing too low. Didn't really know how to respond to that one.
BokiBean on 04/27/2009:
hahaha@landing too low!!!!!
jonluxury on 04/27/2009:
Thanks for the feedback except for the deadbeats. Horizon could easily fly in from the North 1/2 mile & it would make all the difference - they then are over wheat fields & government open space. Chelan county here is 88% government land - so plenty of non home areas to navigate over.
jktshff1 on 04/27/2009:
VF, correct me if I am wrong, but didn't FedEx have a hand in the development of "quiet" engines? It was because of the odd hours they are taking off and landing.
Anonymous on 04/27/2009:
jktshff1, you are sort of correct in that "hush kits" were built to address this need. Interestingly in this business when an a/c gets to be a tired worn out POS they just call it a "classic" ie. USAir doesn't still have older 737's (300,400)they have 737 classics.
Cargo carriers use a ton of old glue horse a/c, 727 etc and they use hush kits on them - getting around noise abatement.
Ben There on 04/27/2009:
I think if the population of the city wants commercial service to move from one airport to the next, they should be prepared to pay for the move with tax payers money.
Slimjim on 04/27/2009:
I'm sorry, but who is going to make the decision not to fly this airline because someone on the net, who moved to a home by an airport, is complaining of air traffic noise.
jktshff1 on 04/27/2009:
thanks vf
Starlord on 04/27/2009:
Flying into Sky Harbor, in Phoenix is a real experience at night, the lights of the city are impressive. The entire final approach is over homes, usinesses, schools and more. I don't remember hearing about any crashes on approach to Sky Harbor or pieces of planes falling on anyone. I was a deputy sheriff in Pinal County, between Phoenix and Tucson, and had to listen for almost an hour one evening as a snowbird who had his RV in a park near a truckstop complaining about the noise from the semis. I told him the truckstop was there long before the RV park, and he would leaving in a week or so, to bear with it.
PepperElf on 04/27/2009:
VF - awesome replies!

Though I suspect the OP still thinks it's easy for the carrier to ignore FCC regulated flight paths...

Though... This is nothing, back when I was very young it was legal for jets to break the sound barrier over houses.

(still I <3 jet noise!)
jonluxury on 04/27/2009:
We are aided by a US representative & the 3 landing flights coming over have been swinging around us 3/8 of a mile N or S - which makes all the difference. "FCC regulated flight paths" don't exist in tiny metro areas.

Interesting that 75% of low IQ comments above are in support unwittingly of noise, pollution & lack of safety even if the situation could be corrected. The Pangborn area is rural with 50,000 population only in the greater area - all of Douglas County where Pangborn is - is 37,000 - so open space abounds. Maybe the noise & air pollution load of commenters here has shrunk their brains and other body parts into contentious oblivion? :>)

PepperElf on 04/27/2009:
Even more interesting that you've decided people who disagree with you have low IQs.

Yet, you conveniently ignore the statements that the local airlines cannot change FCC established flight plans.

But eh... I must have a low IQ for knowing this *grin*
BokiBean on 04/27/2009:
Well, you got to take it with a grain of salt...he also stated that there were six flights in a day...
Ben There on 04/27/2009:
One might question the IQ of someone who purchased a home near an airport that was built in the 1940's to then wonder why planes are loud...
jonluxury on 04/28/2009:
A fest of low IQ malcontents - love the quiet in our luxury homes!

6 flights - 3 landings were the issue as before - must review for the grammar challenged. :>) Have fun & stay healthful.
Anonymous on 04/28/2009:
I just took 2 different IQ tests. I'm no genius, I'll admit. 112 and 125. I'd say I'm about average or if I'm really to believe that 125, then I'm almost knockin' on the door of MENSA.
BokiBean on 04/28/2009:
Lest we forget: " the Seattle to East Wenatchee 6 flights a day...". That's six landings, jonlusxury. It had nothing to do with grammar, it was the way you wrote it. And since we're picking nits, it never WAS 6, it was four, and it has now been reduced to 3. Thanks for playing, Don Pardue.
Anonymous on 04/28/2009:
It's always best not to confront a single-minded zealot with facts or logic. The post is the epitome of "Not in my back yard" thinking. The OP is 'too important' and/or 'too smart' to have aircraft fly over his house. "Let the aircraft fly over farmers and poor people." More wine, yer majesty?
BokiBean on 04/28/2009:
Exactly, Doc!!!!!!
old fart on 04/28/2009:
Not "more wine"... It's "more whine"....
BokiBean on 04/28/2009:
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Flying with Service Dogs
Posted by on
PHOENIX TO SEATTLE -- On June 2nd we were dropped off at the airport by my Mom, and we got there around 3:00 in the afternoon, flight time was 6:47p.m.

We had two service dogs with us...all their gear as well as our two suitcases.

I walked in the door at Alaska Airlines and there was no one in line, so we got there right away, checked in with the dogs and got everything headed to security. When I called to confirm, they said to allow an extra 45 minutes for check-in with the dogs.

After we checked in and got boarding passes, we were asked to have a seat for a few minutes and the person handling the wheelchair for my hubby would be right down...they showed up with TWO wheelchairs so I got to ride too!

We were whisked off to security and flowed smoothly through that, the dogs took it all in stride, as they usually do.

When our flight was boarding we were the first ones on the plane, and one flight attendant wanted the dogs on the floor, however it's hard to put a five pound dog on the floor of a revving plane when its something totally new to them, they were fine in their totes and we just held them a bit closer.

At the end of our flight, we were met by two more wheelchairs and taken to luggage and they then took us out to my son's vehicle. So far...KUDOS Alaska Air....see you the 30th!!!
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chris513 on 06/09/2008:
crystal, I have heard many great things about this airline, and your story is just one more notch in there belt. I will definitely be passing this story along, as one of my best friends is blind and has a service animal...and she also travels quite often from phoenix to the northwest. Thank you so much for the positive feedback.
CrystalSword on 06/10/2008:
Chris, my husband and I are both hard of hearing, our dogs help us hear sounds that are otherwise lost to us. I do feel now that may be I shouldn't have gotten the totes, but after a short time they didn't seem to mind them, our dogs are usually up front and very personal with us....we have a very close relationship with them.

I am hoping to get through everything on this end going home as smoothly as we did coming up here. We lost Bearbear's ID card the night we got here but hope to have it replaced today.
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Helpful, Efficient Customer Service During A Medical Emergency
Posted by on
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- I recently went into preterm labor during a trip to Seattle, and once my condition stabilized my husband and I needed to cut our trip short and fly home ASAP, flying out of Seattle instead of Portland as we had originally planned. When my husband called Alaskan Air customer service, he was put through to a person almost immediately, which in itself is unheard of at an airline these days. They were extremely helpful about changing our flight, and due to the medical emergency they cut our change fee in half, to $100 total for both of us. (This is in contrast to Hertz rent-a-car, which wanted to charge us $380 to return our car in Seattle, and who wouldn't budge.)

We were very impressed with how they handled the situation, and wouldn't hesitate to fly this airline again.
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tander on 05/26/2008:
It's always nice when a company goes out of their way and does something special or helpful for you, it's so unheard of these days.
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Rude gate Agents in Helena, MT.
Posted by on
HELEBA, MONTANTA -- I try to avoid Alaska, sometimes at considerable cost, just to avoid the unsupervised and rude gate agents in Helena, MT.
Tonight I had the opportunity to just observe a Horizon gate agent while I waited for my Delta flight. It was amazing. One passenger after another, treated rudely and rushed. I have experienced many rude and unhelpful Horizon agents in Helena, and this one was no different. Just a little extra "care less" attitude.
Alaska, ARE YOU LISTENING?...This can be fixed you know.
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Anonymous on 01/02/2010:
It is an airport. I am sure it is rushed trying to get people on their flights. Why don't you get a job there then come back and let's see how you feel then.
Buddy01 on 01/02/2010:
I just read a very similar but better worded complaint on another site. If that was you, I would recommend following their advice. It was good.
madconsumer on 01/02/2010:
this is second hand information. perhaps the airline customers had zero issues with the agents!
Anonymous on 01/02/2010:
"Treated rudely and rushed" is your conclusion from what you observed. Perhaps you may share with us what exactly you did observe so we can form our own views if your conclusion is justified. How far away were you? What did you see? What did you hear?
Anonymous on 01/02/2010:
Alley, I am not saying agents should be rude. However, from experience we all know that when a customer is told NO, they always come here complaining that someone was rude to them.

Therefore, I give no credence to the complaint as there are no details. I have been in many a airport and they are all the same: people busy getting on flights and agents busy getting them there.
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Alaska Airlines is the Best
Posted by on
I book flights across the US on a regular basis, and when I do, I try to book with Alaska Airlines. Their web booking is perfect, with no problems. When you talk with customer service you are talking with a nice polite person who will always do whatever they can to help.
The flight attendants are wonderful, real people who do a great job.
For 2009, I have made Gold Status with Alaska Airlines and I will continue booking flights with this company.
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Anonymous on 05/19/2009:
I've always heard the Alaska Air is a great airline. Guess I should have taken that job they offered me last year.
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Posted by on
HAWAII -- We had a horrible time dealing with the Delta Airline employees in Honolulu recently. Alaska Airlines counter is run by Delta and they don’t provide the service we expected...
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FoggyOne on 04/07/2009:
Now I know Alaska Airlines is run by Delta staff in Hawaii. PLEASE - more details.
Anonymous on 04/07/2009:
FO, they also didn't provide the service that was expected.
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Expensive For Rural Alaska
Posted by on
NOME, ALASKA -- I would like to know how the web specials are decided and who decides them. It's not uncommon to see web specials from Bethel to Anchorage and a lot less likely to see web specials from Nome to Anchorage. What's with that?

The regular fares from Anchorage to anywhere in Alaska are exorbitant and prohibitive. If it cost just a little less that many of us would be flying a lot more and would be much happier when we do fly.
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Ben There on 02/12/2009:
Google "Supply and Demand". Routes that have lots of competition and lots of people wanting to fly them are cheaper than routes with few passengers and no competition. There is a reason that Alaska Airlines is the only airline that serves the majority of Alaska. If there were more passengers to be had and more money to be made, you would also have intra-state flights on Delta, American, Continental, etc...
Anonymous on 02/12/2009:

Careful how loud you complain as Alaska gets most of the governments EAS (Essential Air Service) grant money. In many AK communities we (taxpayers) are shelling out $>100 in subsidy per passenger per ticket.
Gromit on 11/10/2009:
This is a complaint coming from someone who gets an annual $1500 oil revenue check for being a resident of Alaska? In the state where Alaska Airlines charges NO baggage fees?
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Hope the trend continues
Posted by on
My last two flights on Alaska Airlines went very well. I had to check a bag on my last flight to Newark. On both the outbound and return (SeaTac), my luggage arrived quickly on the carousel.

On my last flight to Las Vegas, both the outbound and return flights departed on time. The flight crews did a great job getting people on board and ready.

I hope this trend continues.

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CrystalSword on 05/19/2008:
We'll be flying the friendly skies in a couple weeks, hope it is as good then. We leave on American and come back Alaskan
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