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Disgruntled AS Employees: "It's a race to the bottom."

Disgruntled AS Employees: "It's a race to the bottom."

Old Jan 6, 18, 3:36 pm
  #1  
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Disgruntled AS Employees: "It's a race to the bottom."

I've already secured my DL status match from 75K to Platinum and will be flying them exclusively for the next few months. I've noticed that DL pilots apologize profusely if they're even slightly late, and the idea of disgruntled AS pilots deliberately dragging their heels makes my blood boil. Also, the FA's are never stingy with the Biscoffs. Who else is jumping ship in the near-term?

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/as-alaska-air-cuts-costs-employee-discontent-grows-and-passenger-loyalty-is-at-risk/

Last edited by hgdf; Jan 6, 18 at 4:04 pm
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Old Jan 6, 18, 4:05 pm
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Talking

Sounds like my Boss is moonlighting at Alaska
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Old Jan 6, 18, 4:25 pm
  #3  
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Its the US Airways nut mix all over again.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 4:55 pm
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I'm more concerned to learn Delta ramped up from 3 routes to 59 routes from SEA in five years. What happens if they keep expanding and get up to 100 routes in another year or two? Is it possible that Delta could become the new dominant carrier for Seattle? If they continue to increase market share at this rate, long-term it could mean less Alaska aircraft and less Alaska employees working out of SEA.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 5:27 pm
  #5  
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I wonder if the 'young FA' is familiar with the bottom, with experience on Spirit, Frontier, or Northwest circa 2005 after it removed the blankets, pillows, magazines, Spinzels, and what little domestic IFE had been offered. Maybe not, but criticizing service standards and management direction in public doesn't serve the company.

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Old Jan 6, 18, 5:42 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by hgdf View Post
I've already secured my DL status match from 75K to Platinum and will be flying them exclusively for the next few months. I've noticed that DL pilots apologize profusely if they're even slightly late, and the idea of disgruntled AS pilots deliberately dragging their heels makes my blood boil. Also, the FA's are never stingy with the Biscoffs. Who else is jumping ship in the near-term?

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/as-alaska-air-cuts-costs-employee-discontent-grows-and-passenger-loyalty-is-at-risk/
Granted DL gold via AS gold. Enough booked for next three months to lock that in for the year.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 6:04 pm
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I'd already been planning on matching over to DL Silver in the summer because it'll be easier for me to maintain status with them. I'd been a little disappointed because I knew I'd be dealing with worse customer service and more potential for operational hiccups... but apparently the employee morale problems are narrowing the gap in both departments.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 6:21 pm
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Originally Posted by jinglish View Post
I'd already been planning on matching over to DL Silver in the summer because it'll be easier for me to maintain status with them. I'd been a little disappointed because I knew I'd be dealing with worse customer service and more potential for operational hiccups... but apparently the employee morale problems are narrowing the gap in both departments.
I would be curious to hear your experiences with DL, because the whole reason AS lost me after last year was just the opposite: DLs customer service was light years better even just as a Silver last year. Had 3 nightmarish experiences as an MVP with AS towards the end of the year, that pretty much sealed the deal. And I was planning on taking more business to AS now that I’m in and out of Dallas so much. Not anymore.

Saw a lot of people ripping the “Has then Train Left the Station” thread on here and with articles like these I’m not sure why we’re criticizing that question. For me: It really has been a race to the bottom from where they were 3-4 years ago
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Old Jan 6, 18, 6:58 pm
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SEA is my base. I had a terrible experience with an AS supervisor at SEA last year. They broke our bag between SJD and LAX last year; though I escalated at LAX, they directed us to escalate at SEA. The supervisor at SEA accused me and my wife of breaking it and displayed condescending behavior. She flat out lied to us that AS did not fix bags and that it was on us to get it done and she would just give us some miles or something like that. I had to escalate to her supervisor and one step further who apologized and confirmed that they did, indeed, direct-repair bags with their service provider.

Delta? I stupidly misread my flight itinerary one time at SEA and I ran to my gate to a closed door. One thousand % my fault. But I guess the boarding door was still open. The red coat agent asked me by name, then reopened the door, and removed the non-rev in my seat to let me fly. The FAs were clearly unhappy with the delay but did they give me an unforgettable customer experience that day. A couple of months later, the United-Dao incident happened which made me even more grateful for her/Delta's commitment to their customers.

Yep, Delta has failed me on a few occasions in the past. But every time, they've taken care of me. They will continue to get my business; AS gave me 75k match for my DL Plat but the grass looks pretty yellow from my seat on Delta's side.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 7:47 pm
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Originally Posted by jk88usa View Post
I would be curious to hear your experiences with DL, because the whole reason AS lost me after last year was just the opposite: DLs customer service was light years better even just as a Silver last year. Had 3 nightmarish experiences as an MVP with AS towards the end of the year, that pretty much sealed the deal. And I was planning on taking more business to AS now that I’m in and out of Dallas so much. Not anymore.

Saw a lot of people ripping the “Has then Train Left the Station” thread on here and with articles like these I’m not sure why we’re criticizing that question. For me: It really has been a race to the bottom from where they were 3-4 years ago

I've been an MVP for just over two years now, and AS has treated me very well, especially reservation agents--I've even gotten a couple of unexpected upgrades after calling in to fix itineraries with schedule changes. So far I've only flown three trips with DL, and other than one less-than-great interaction with a PDX check-in agent (which happened to be my first-ever interaction with a DL employee), the service I've received has been perfectly fine but not exceptional. I brought up operational issues because AS has had the best mainline on-time performance for several years running (although having an SFO hub is definitely going to tank that stat), while DL does the best of the big three but occasionally has meltdowns because something's wrong at ATL and the rest of their network is tied in so strongly with that airport.

My experiences may be considered even more anecdotal than normal because I'm an MVP who only flew roughly 11k miles on AS last year, with most of my EQMs coming from international travel on partners (hence the move to DL).
Originally Posted by tom911 View Post
I'm more concerned to learn Delta ramped up from 3 routes to 59 routes from SEA in five years. What happens if they keep expanding and get up to 100 routes in another year or two? Is it possible that Delta could become the new dominant carrier for Seattle? If they continue to increase market share at this rate, long-term it could mean less Alaska aircraft and less Alaska employees working out of SEA.
DL would probably love to, but SEA just doesn't have the space right now. They're upgauging existing service where they can, but the terminal expansions are going to have to finish before they try to add too many more destinations.
​​​​​

Last edited by jinglish; Jan 6, 18 at 7:56 pm
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Old Jan 6, 18, 8:11 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by flyupfrnt View Post
Sounds like my Boss is moonlighting at Alaska
Sounds like another Jeff Smisek clone is running AS.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 8:48 pm
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Originally Posted by tom911 View Post
I'm more concerned to learn Delta ramped up from 3 routes to 59 routes from SEA in five years. What happens if they keep expanding and get up to 100 routes in another year or two? Is it possible that Delta could become the new dominant carrier for Seattle? If they continue to increase market share at this rate, long-term it could mean less Alaska aircraft and less Alaska employees working out of SEA.
not possible, DL is gate constrained in Seattle. They simply cannot grow enough to overtake AS. And I'm willing to bet DL operation in Seattle is no where close to as profitable as AS is. However, it will make AS less profitable in Seattle.

Originally Posted by hgdf View Post
I've already secured my DL status match from 75K to Platinum and will be flying them exclusively for the next few months. I've noticed that DL pilots apologize profusely if they're even slightly late, and the idea of disgruntled AS pilots deliberately dragging their heels makes my blood boil. Also, the FA's are never stingy with the Biscoffs. Who else is jumping ship in the near-term?

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/as-alaska-air-cuts-costs-employee-discontent-grows-and-passenger-loyalty-is-at-risk/
AS faces some real challenges this next year:
1) DL invading it's home turf and really cutting into AS bottom line
2) Horizon mess and challenges with that + VX integration issues
3) HA finally getting the right aircraft A321NEO for some of the thinner routes to Hawaii, which will now be able to give real competition and hurt AS yield to secondary Hawaiian islands
4) WN entering Hawaii and laser focusing on AS in California market.
5) UA adding pressure on VX at SFO
6) Mint just killing old VX transcon network

All of which are problems, but for some reason AS just refuses to admit it has a real problem in transcon market against mint pressure. If they tell investors that RASM will drop 4% this year vs last year and cost will go up 5%, that's a huge problem. If you noticed recently, the other airlines are mostly reporting improved revenue conditions. UA might be the only other one reporting RASM drops. And the big issue in AS route network are obviously the old VX networks, which simply crumbled after mint entered their most profitable markets.

Notice how this 4% RASM drop has happened before 3) and 4) have really even taken place. Those are expected next year. 4) will probably have the largest impact, but I think 3) will hurt more than people think. The rest of them are also expected to be bigger problems next year. DL is only gaining strength in Seattle. UA is steadily adding capacity at SFO and those new VX routes out of SFO are not profitable at all. Mint is going to hit AS core trancon markets of BOS/JFK-SEA after already putting pressure on EWR/BOS-SAN. Long term, I don't see AS sticking around on BOS-SAN and JFK-LAS.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 8:51 pm
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Originally Posted by tom911 View Post
I'm more concerned to learn Delta ramped up from 3 routes to 59 routes from SEA in five years. What happens if they keep expanding and get up to 100 routes in another year or two? Is it possible that Delta could become the new dominant carrier for Seattle? If they continue to increase market share at this rate, long-term it could mean less Alaska aircraft and less Alaska employees working out of SEA.
Honestly, if DL becomes the dominant carrier at SEA, it will likely be because they end up offering a more competitive product, either on price, service, network, or all three. Why would that be a bad thing?
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Old Jan 6, 18, 9:23 pm
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Things that would make this MVPG a disgruntled passenger: Pilots deliberately slowing things down out of spite.

Things that would not: Fewer Biscoffs.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 9:55 pm
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I dunno, maybe it's being an east coast and midwest flier, but Delta is kind of a garbage airline. Short-medium class meal service is just as bad if it exists at all. The minute they determine Seattle isn't worth it they'll treat the Skyclub with the same disregard they do at CVG, SLC, or even JFK. And don't get me started on how frustrating flying with Skymiles (72 hour change rule, ridiculous pricing, etc.) is.

That said, I dunno if I really agree with Alaska's long term strategy of offering a little more (a meal in first class!) in the most cheap ... way possible (tortellini a la costco!) in a market that's increasingly moving more towards the low end (spirit, southwest) and high end (mint, paid first class) of air travel.
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