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Alaska Airlines Cuts Inflight Services as Staff Shortage Continues

Alaska Airlines will offer fewer drink services and cut pre-flight orders as airline struggles with employment numbers.
Flyers aboard Alaska Airlines this month will get fewer drink services, while only a limited number will be able to pre-order meals for their trips.


Industry Blog Paddle Your Own Kanoo reports the move is in response to the lack of employees available for work due to COVID-19 infections.


Service Cuts Recommended by Flight Attendants Union

According to the blog, the service cuts were recommended by the carrier’s flight attendants union, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA). The group requested the changes to limit person-to-person contact and reduce the chances of catching or transmitting the novel Coronavirus.


The temporary service cuts will affect food and beverages aboard flights. Effective immediately, flights will only get one round of beverage services, regardless of the length of the flight. On medium-length flights, no fresh meals will available to passengers, requiring travelers to bring their own food. For cross-country and Hawaii flights, only 42 flyers per flight will be able to pre-order food.


The union justifies the move as a safety measure for everyone involved. By limiting the number of services available, flyers have less reasons to lower their face coverings on a flight. In turn, based on the mounting research on the effectiveness of face coverings, fewer particles are spread from person to person – resulting in a lower overall risk of viral transmission.


This move follows several other airlines, which have all taken additional safety measures to reduce potential exposure to the virus causing COVID-19. American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are continuing their policies to not serve alcohol in the main cabin due to passenger concerns, while both Air New Zealand and Finnair have amended their policies to reduce contact.


Reductions Come After Alaska Cuts Flights

The new service reductions follow a 10% cut in scheduled flights for the Seattle-based carrier due to a sick workforce. The airline is also asking flyers to reconsider necessary travel in January 2022 and take advantage of their no-fee cancellation policy, if necessary.

caldreamz February 2, 2022

Big fan of the airline pre- and during Covid but have to agree with others that its just a bus with wings. Made the new 100k level which seems to just give you an extra ticket on American (???). What's the point? Thankfully my flights are short (<3 hour) but I don't feel valued and may consider other options in the future. 

Pi7473000 January 21, 2022

Alaska service is really falling. That is bad to see these kind of cuts. It seems United and Delta are the best choices post pandemic for inflight service and amenities. 

Iam Jetlagged January 13, 2022

The service is still great.  If I want another drink, I just go to the galley at the back.  They are strict with the mask wearing policy and I appreciate that.  I value the airline, and for the most part it's not a 'them and us', everyone is in the same boat.  So please just wear your mask properly, like we agreed to in the fine print when we bought the ticket.  Be kind and endure.  Alaska rocks!

earlgrey1492 January 12, 2022

These days taking a plane is like taking a bus. What you get is a seat and a bit of space for a carryon bag (if that). Anything else is either: not available, or only for purchase, or on a limited basis. So don't expect anything else other than a seat. Be self-sufficient.

I'm not crazy to travel in either as I don't want to hang around people with a mask under their chin nursing a drink through the entire journey, and I don't want to take my mask off in a crowded indoor environment. But I love staying home anyway and don't have FOMO, so it doesn't bother me.

bongodriver January 12, 2022

"Effective immediately, flights will only get one round of beverage services, regardless of the length of the flight."