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Why Does Anyone Fly Alaska? (Including Rants)

Why Does Anyone Fly Alaska? (Including Rants)

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Old Aug 7, 18, 10:36 pm
  #61  
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Originally Posted by Calculon View Post
For me, the reason to stay with them is the same as it's always been: They provide the most frequent service between the cities I travel to most, and have done so for decades. Therefore most of my airfare dollars will staying with Alaska. Many around the PNW will be in a similar situation.
If only they hadn't expanded into a lot of unprofitable routes in California to mess everything up...lol California is key to the new AS. The PNW just keeps them afloat. Now the choice is either to lose their shirts, pull out of most of the VX network they inherited, come up with a completely different and more competitive product, or nickel and dime people to try to claw back some of the cash they are flushing down the toilet in California. At least management is firmly in denial and still claims they are not losing business. Ok, keep up the good work Brad. 🙄
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Old Aug 9, 18, 10:36 am
  #62  
 
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I moved over to VX, and thus AS MP on a status match from United, since the merger made VX/AS a great option on SFO-JFK

UA had systematically eviscerated their program, following every bad move that Delta could dream up.
Then when they fled JFK like the French from battle, I was done with them. Newark sucks.

I'm a little surprised that of all the discussion here, there's very little mention of MP, which I find to be a huge plus.
Double miles for gold, based on miles, none of that EQD noise, top tier at 75K


So - My list of likes:

24 hour flight change. My work schedule varies enough that I use this one a lot.
Cancellable (re-deposit) tickets. Not so frequent, but nice when I really need it.
RDM accrual rates. I'll be a 75'er soon, and 125% is really attractive.
Unlimited upgrades with a fair chance
Non-stops to my regular (JFK Terminal 7, which is soooo much better than any other at JFK).
Attainable top tier status levels. US3's insistence on EQDs is a killer. I fly coach on my dime, and I'm just an idiot if I even get close to $12000 a year.


My dislikes:
Not much yet. Trivial stuff, like cutting out food in Main Cabin Select (VX)
Maybe what appears to be a slow march toward US3's policies... cut a corner here, there, slowly boil the frog.... Avoid the temptation, mgmt, and I'll be yours or a long time to come.
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Old Aug 9, 18, 12:26 pm
  #63  
 
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One more reason I forgot: bicycles fly as regular bags. That's a relatively new policy (about a year old) which means $25 for no status or free if you're MVP or have the credit card. I just dropped a self-tagged bike at check in and it took about 5 seconds. No forms, and not the $175 extra that UA would want. Even WN is up to $75 each way for bikes.

Plus I got an upgrade at T-23 as an MVP.
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Old Aug 9, 18, 12:44 pm
  #64  
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Originally Posted by bobbysfca View Post
I moved over to VX, and thus AS MP on a status match from United, since the merger made VX/AS a great option on SFO-JFK
... So - My list of likes:

24 hour flight change. My work schedule varies enough that I use this one a lot.
Cancellable (re-deposit) tickets. Not so frequent, but nice when I really need it.
RDM accrual rates. I'll be a 75'er soon, and 125% is really attractive.
Unlimited upgrades with a fair chance
Non-stops to my regular (JFK Terminal 7, which is soooo much better than any other at JFK) ...
a unicorn? if I'm not mistaken, there have been very few positive comments regarding JFK T7 ...
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Old Aug 9, 18, 2:08 pm
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Originally Posted by jrl767 View Post
a unicorn? if I'm not mistaken, there have been very few positive comments regarding JFK T7 ...
With the opening of the AS lounge and the recent opening of PreCheck there, JFK T7 is almost pleasant. However, getting to JFK from the city is still a pain in the rear.
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Old Aug 9, 18, 7:43 pm
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Flew SEA-ANC return this past June, and I was pleasantly surprised with the improvements in Alaska F compared to the last many years. New meals were nice, the extra legroom was much appreciated, and the flight attendants were the best (as they usually are). I normally fly AA or DL F as their prices are more competitive, but to ANC not much choice (except for DL), and in this case AS was actually cheaper! Do I go out of my way to fly AS? No. I fly in paid F as I am retired and look for the best pricing. DL is usually my first choice, then AA or AS.
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Old Aug 10, 18, 12:37 am
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Originally Posted by AkWxMan View Post
Flew SEA-ANC return this past June, and I was pleasantly surprised with the improvements in Alaska F compared to the last many years. New meals were nice, the extra legroom was much appreciated, and the flight attendants were the best (as they usually are). I normally fly AA or DL F as their prices are more competitive, but to ANC not much choice (except for DL), and in this case AS was actually cheaper! Do I go out of my way to fly AS? No. I fly in paid F as I am retired and look for the best pricing. DL is usually my first choice, then AA or AS.
If you are paying for F consider the benefits of Mileage Plan EQM/RDM. Purchased F comes with a 75% COS Bonus A SEA-ANC return is 2888 miles and with a 75% bonus earns 5054 EQM & RDM. That is enough for a free one-way flight SEA-SFO.

James
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Old Aug 11, 18, 7:59 am
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Originally Posted by Flying for Fun View Post
If you are paying for F consider the benefits of Mileage Plan EQM/RDM. Purchased F comes with a 75% COS Bonus A SEA-ANC return is 2888 miles and with a 75% bonus earns 5054 EQM & RDM. That is enough for a free one-way flight SEA-SFO.

James
I was an MVP Gold for many, many years when I lived in Alaska. After too many years of poor service from AS it will take a lot for me to go back. The changes I see are positive! I just can't see buying a ticket on AS when others are $200-300 (or more) less in cost, their schedules better fit my needs and the service on AS just isn't quite back to its old self, yet. I do credit the miles to my AS account, since I can't put them in AA or DL anymore.
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Old Aug 11, 18, 10:01 am
  #69  
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As a 75K and 1MM, I have seen the ups and downs of AS for almost 40 years. Over those years they have gone bankrupt and got close to shutting down, then crawled back to where they had (for some time) a market value in excess of AA. AS used to be the scrappy little airline that could. Now they are in the weeds with the VX merger and DL openly, and aggressively trying to hurt them any way they can. Overall, I have been and will continue to be loyal to AS. Not to brag, but they truly do treat their MM's and 75K's very well. Combine the status' and it has been a bit embarrassing a few times.

My complaints are:

Continuing steps to follow the big 3 down in a race to the bottom. These have been talked about upthread
Ongoing problems with the VX acquisition with poor integration of the fleet and IT issues
Their practice (which is new) of over promising and under delivering of in flight services, especially in F
Lack of full integration of MP with their partner airlines with greater limitations on award options than in the even recent past

but then I just like to kvetch about my favorite airline.

And, Eastbay1K, sorry about that UA flight you had to take. Please do not do that again
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Old Aug 11, 18, 11:26 am
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Originally Posted by BOB W View Post
As a 75K and 1MM, I have seen the ups and downs of AS for almost 40 years. Over those years they have gone bankrupt and got close to shutting down, then crawled back to where they had (for some time) a market value in excess of AA. AS used to be the scrappy little airline that could. Now they are in the weeds with the VX merger and DL openly, and aggressively trying to hurt them any way they can. Overall, I have been and will continue to be loyal to AS. Not to brag, but they truly do treat their MM's and 75K's very well. Combine the status' and it has been a bit embarrassing a few times.
...

but then I just like to kvetch about my favorite airline.

And, Eastbay1K, sorry about that UA flight you had to take. Please do not do that again
You are far more experienced than I am. I've only been flying AS for 32 years, and nearly not with your frequency. On the other hand, when a crew says "we know you have a choice of airline ..." we actually do where I live. What some don't realize is that some of Alaska's most loyal customers are also its harshest critics at times. We want the company to do well, we understand the economics of the business (at least to some degree) and are realistic in this regard. We know that when AS drops the ball, it usually makes right.

As far as that UA flight, it was the last LAX/SFO of the day on any airline, and was the only realistic connection from my international arrival. I lived. And I think there was a PDB Furthermore, I've never had that "I'm never flying UA again" tantrum. However, there are some airlines I never will fly again, I promise. They include:

Mark Air
Western
Muse Air
PSA
AirCal
Northwest
Aloha
America West (although it is operating AA, via 2 acquisitions)
British Midland
Laker Airways
World Airways

There may be a few others that I have flown that I'll never fly again. Note that Alaska Airlines is not on the list. Note that of the US Big 3, two of them aren't' really themselves. One is Continental with UA lipstick and one is America West with AA lipstick via US. For better or worse, and mostly for better, Alaska, to date, has survived my entire flying life and has treated me well most of the time. It has also provided me with some of life's greatest experiences, from my first trip to Alaska in the 80s, where a friendly gate agent @ SFO gave me a window seat in F as a gesture, on a crystal clear day the entire way SFO to ANC, being wined and dined for 4+ hours while having a jaw droppingly magnificent view the whole flight, to my first "whim" trip to Chile on LanChile F, to last month's trip in BA F to Israel. This in not to mention the little things that have happened, like when I redeemed upgrade certs for a meal flight, and there was no meal - AS sent me a check to go enjoy myself a nice meal, or the airport friends you make, like the small crew at the SFO Boardroom for years.

While I had hoped the VX acquisition would provide that AS would serve more of my needs from SFO/OAK than it looks like it will, I'm very very far from having my "never flying AS again" tantrum.
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Old Aug 11, 18, 11:37 am
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
We know that when AS drops the ball, it usually makes right.

I've never had that "I'm never flying UA again" tantrum.

While I had hoped the VX acquisition would provide that AS would serve more of my needs from SFO/OAK than it looks like it will, I'm very very far from having my "never flying AS again" tantrum.
You are absolutely correct in that AS does a good job of making things right when something goes sideways. Much more so than the others when I have flown them.

To be totally honest, I never had a "never flying UA" tantrum. They simply made it very clear, decades ago that they did not want, or need my business. I simply oblige them on that. Nothing I see or hear from or about them makes me want to give them another try.

The VX acquisition is, and will be, a work in progress for some time to come. AS took on the largest project in their history by doing this and the repercussions will last well into the future.
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Old Aug 11, 18, 12:13 pm
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Originally Posted by BOB W View Post
You are absolutely correct in that AS does a good job of making things right when something goes sideways. Much more so than the others when I have flown them.

To be totally honest, I never had a "never flying UA" tantrum. They simply made it very clear, decades ago that they did not want, or need my business. I simply oblige them on that. Nothing I see or hear from or about them makes me want to give them another try.


The VX acquisition is, and will be, a work in progress for some time to come. AS took on the largest project in their history by doing this and the repercussions will last well into the future.
Well, IMHO, they can't do worse than UA, the poster child for how NOT to merge airlines

Five years on and sUA and sCO FAs still have separate contracts and as I understand it cannot fly each other's planes.

Disclaimer: without the merger, I would not be anywhere close to being MM on either airline.
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Old Aug 12, 18, 10:09 am
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I avoid Alaska out of SFO! I was a loyal VX flyer, but Alaska service is awful and bland. I am not impressed. I stick to Delta and some United mostly now and just connect when flying out of the Bay. Really sad that Alaska was allowed to take over VX and cheapen the brand for customers.
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Old Aug 12, 18, 12:10 pm
  #74  
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They're really good about serving parts of the western US and Alaska that no other airline does. Also they serve my airport of RDU with nonstops to SEA and SFO which is nice.

Sure they're not a first tier carrier but they get me from A to B and that's often enough.
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Old Aug 12, 18, 4:50 pm
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Originally Posted by EmailKid View Post
Well, IMHO, they can't do worse than UA, the poster child for how NOT to merge airlines

Five years on and sUA and sCO FAs still have separate contracts and as I understand it cannot fly each other's planes.

Disclaimer: without the merger, I would not be anywhere close to being MM on either airline.
United's flight attendants have had a single contract since 2016. Skift/Bloomberg
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