Hate to disappoint ... But I like flying Alaska Airline...their employees work hard to make the travel experiences as good as possible... Are patient when we travelers are grumpy when there is bad weather and missed connnections. The planes are clean and well maintained .. And their pilots are the best in the business... And with all things..a person can look and find fault... Or dismiss the small inconveniences ...and look at all the good ... For my part I prefer a postive attitude when traveling. And prefer to travel with positive folks... My suggestion to you is either choose a different airline ....or take a train .. Boat... Or ferry
I hear a lot of good things, and some complaints, but what are some of the things you hate about Alaska Airlines (big or small)? Here are some of my complaints:
- Cramped First Class feel compared to other airlines (VX is a good example)
- No built-in entertainment systems, even on long flights within the USA (like SEA-MCO)
What are some of the other things people just plain don't like?
You can't really compare ANY domestic airline's first class to VX First Class, as they are truly unique in their domestic offerings. I'd say VX is a poor example, as they have a very limited network, few planes, very few first class seats, and don't offer complimentary upgrades to First. And more importantly, they're essentially being subsidized by Branson until they can figure out how to stand on their own. You could make comparisons to:
B6: JetBlue has roomier seats in coach by 2" and built in entertainment
DL/AA/UA: larger networks, slightly better First class seats, greater legroom sections when your upgrade doesn't clear
As a Seattle resident, AS serves many of my needs well. My upgrades clear often enough that I don't care much about the lack of an 'extra legroom' economy section. I bring my own entertainment so I don't care about the lack of onboard AVOD. The mid-con meals even improved in recent history, so I can't speak too badly of the food. The things I don't like about AS:
- their insistence on starting boarding 45+ minutes prior (and then sitting around instead of leaving early). Add lack of boarding zones and lax enforcement of boarding groups and boarding always seems to be more hassle than it should be.
- limited frequencies/options to farther destinations. It's one thing to miss a SEA-SFO/SNA/LAX flight and catch the next one an hour or two later. It's another if you miss your flight to BOS or EWR. AS is really limited in rebooking/re-routing options.
- how slow/antiquated they are to adopt new technology. AS was real proud when they had online tickets and kiosks, but ever since, they've lagged far behind in tech advancement. We still don't have automated rebooking (like DL) or one-way awards (like virtually everyone else).
- AS is notoriously bad/late at hitting even their own stated deadlines for new functionality, even for an airline. When AS says next quarter, they mean next year, whether they admit/realize it or not. I dread to think when they'll actually have a BR in the N terminal.
- real pricing flexibility. The other legacies are very aggressive with prices and pricing options. DL actually discounts F seats to reasonable prices occasionally. AA just introduced moderate upcharges to waive a change fee. AS just fixes their Flex/First fares at slightly below competitors and never changes.
That said, I love flying AS. The people are almost all universally friendly and happy to be doing their jobs, which makes a big difference. As long as the Change Fee waiver remains in place, I'll continue to seek MVPG status and fly them as my primary airline.
I think it's reasonable to consider the pros and cons, so I'll participate.
First of all, ethanwa, comparing any US carrier's F cabin to VX is...silly. Sure, some of the majors who run international configs on certain long haul routes might come close...but really, no one is competing with VX. If you love VX first, you're going to have to fly only VX...and they're not going to upgrade you for free, so you're going to have to pay for it.
What I don't like:
-casual/bordering on unprofessional service I get from AS agents and FA's, particularly in F. On DL, I simply get more professional service, I get a table cloth, when I ask what red wine is on selection they answer instead of saying, Ummm...I don't know...it's red.
-lack of integrity with the boarding order. Priority boarding is a benefit many of us value...so, when people are boarding when they don't belong, it's ok to ask them to step to the side until their group is called.
-the way AS treats ANC as a monopoly hub...never offering competitive fares from here. In fact, in general, AS's non-competitive pricing strategy everywhere but PNW - California; though it does seem to be working ok from a $$ standpoint.
-lack of 1 way award redemptions on partners, and lack of ability to combine partners on award redemptions.
-terrible customer service in the event of delays/IRROPS. The flip side is that these are quite rare with AS. Because of that, it seems AS lacks the common courtesy of keeping passengers informed and giving them options when it does happen.
Programs: AS MVP, Aeroplan, M&M, BA Exec Club, HHonors Gold, SPG,
Not a whole lot of complaints from me. They are on time more than any other airline in my experience. Reasonably priced F seats (yeah, I know, not great F but still better than Y), friendly and have always treated me well whenever something has come up.
If I had to grouse, it would be the removal of F from the companion certs and F never goes on sale (I know, I said it was reasonable but a discount every now and then would be nice).
Other than that, I am a happy camper in the whole scheme of domestic travel.
Programs: AA EXP, DL PM, AS MVP no more, SPG Plat, HH Diamond, GP Plat, Avis PC, National Exec
First I'll say I love their SDC policy, their My Wallet system, and their reasonable change fees for normal people and comped fees for MVPG. However, I agree with the earlier poster that they haven't innovated or made significant positive enhancements in a long while.
Many of these have been posted above, but here is my list:
No pillows and blankets even on 5+ hr flights and redeyes (for safety they say)
Militant early boarding. Nothing like being scolded for being "late" to the gate 25 minutes before departure.
Overly aggressive gate checking - now often before even pre-boarding even starts leading to boarding chaos and priority breakdown.
Companion F fare downgrade (and to a lesser extent the earlier 100% companion price increase)
Mediocre F service - see almost every DL flight and most AA flights
Poor beverage selection in F - see DL
F food quantity limits, lack of substitutions, and inconsistent F ordering - see AA and DL
Cramped F seats with poor padding
Inconsistent PDBs that if presented at all are often water (for on time departures)
Lack of extra E+ style seats beyond 6 and exits
No comped coach food for 75Ks/Golds like AA EXP
Devalued guest upgrades - they are weak now
Removal of 1k mile booking bonus - earned me 30K a year
Weak MVP status - its better to have partner status on AA or DL then earn MVP status.
Weak awards - no one ways, no multi-partner awards, no meaningful online booking (e.g. intl)
No standard AVOD in seat combined with stale/limited choices on Digiplayers and obsessive collection of AVOD players 45 minutes before landing.
The most loudspeaker announcements of any airline I fly from boarding to deplaning combined with the loudest overhead speaker volume. It starts with the premature shut off your electronics right after the way way too early boarding, then we're bombarded through entire flight about the digiplayers, the food choices, the beverage cart being dangerous and admonishing us to wait to use the bathroom till the cart is done. Then its "we will be preparing the cabin for our landing in 45 minutes - fast forward to the end", then "please give me that player". Then we finish with the triumph of the BoA AS Visa plug. See AA - they don't say too much and don't sell Lincolns like DL.
Weak intl travel benefits like lounge access
Last edited by BallardFlyer; Jan 15, 13 at 12:56 am..
Sorry if my original post confused some people here. I live in Seattle and I like Alaksa Airlines. I just wanted to hear some things on the opposite end of the spectrum. I wasn't trying to diss on employees or MVP members or anything..... All airlines have their issues and I'm just curious about AS, that's all.
One thing I want to add... It really bugs me that EVERY flight right before landing the FA goes on the loudspeaker and talks for 10 minutes about the Alaska Airlines credit card and then walks through the aisles handing out credit applications. I mean do we need to hear a 10 minute speech on every flight? It just annoys the crap outta me. If there were some special one-time promotion maybe I would understand but it's more heavily pushed than that.
I've had times where babies were crying, people needed some help, and they just kept talking. It's a pain point for me at least.
Programs: AS MVP, AS Club 49, Miles & More, Dollar Express, Marriott Rewards, Hilton Honors
Originally Posted by ethanwa
One thing I want to add... It really bugs me that EVERY flight they go on the loudspeaker and talk for 10 minutes about the Alaska Airlines credit card and then walk through the aisles handing out apps. I mean do we need to hear a 10 minute speech on every flight? It just annoys the crap outta me. If there were some special one-time promotion maybe I would understand but it's more heavily pushed than that.
Believe it or not, every AS flight most likely has someone on board who is flying AS for the first time.