PAE-SJC Flight 2742 today and 2+ hour tarmac wait

Old Jul 10, 19, 8:52 pm
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PAE-SJC Flight 2742 today and 2+ hour tarmac wait

Not sure what to describe and ask Customer Care for, if anything. Was our first time flying out of Paine and oof! Maybe just bad luck and suck it up, but I thought it went against Alaska's own policy for passengers stuck on the plane.

We boarded normally, around 1:30ish for 2pm flight. After a bit, it's announced there is a broken tow bar (not on the plane, so maybe not an AS issue?) and we're gonna have to wait for maintenance. The pilot adds this is known issue at PAE b/c of something the tow bar scrapes against (whatever.) So we wait, and wait. Then at some point maintenance does its thing but now there's some paperwork to be filed and that will take a bit longer. Then there are passengers who are going to miss connections to AUS and TUS so there are some announcements about them, and then finally they decide to deplane those passengers to catch a flight via LAX. At one point they say if we are still waiting on the tarmac at 3:30pm we'll figure out how to get you guys back into the airport so you can stretch, charge electronics, etc. But that doesn't happen as they think they are leaving shortly. But then another announcement is made saying it is taking longer than predicted to reset baggage after offloading those folks who deplaned. Finally we leave about 4:10pm!

So, that's a little over 2.5 hours for most people on the plane, before departure. At one point they do come through with water, but very little, and in fact the attendant says they may just have one bottle left for the flight. Looking at Alaska's policy for tarmac-trapped passengers, it states they will "provide access to food and water within two hours." I'm not sure what it means to "provide access" but they didn't offer any food. I don't know why.

I already have an email from Alaska saying "Your flight wasn't up to par. We're sorry." but no offer of an e-cert of any kind. Last year going into LTO we were less delayed than this flight (also for some type of mechanical, not weather) and got $75 e-certs. Should I ask for some type of compensation? Why would they sent a "yeah sorry" email without an offer in it if they're open to such a thing? The delay itself wasn't really the drag (it was under 3 hours) as much as being stuck on the tarmac the entire time.

Last edited by bayareafamily; Jul 10, 19 at 10:22 pm Reason: add details
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Old Jul 10, 19, 10:10 pm
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It sounds like a series of small delays that ended up compounding into a longer delay than anticipated. With that being said, based on the circumstances you described (sitting on the plane for 2.5 hours without being able to get off) you should be compensated. It is definitely worth writing into customer care and telling them essentially what you told us. Maybe include the original "flight not up to par" email so they can see that something was indeed wrong.
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Old Jul 11, 19, 8:28 am
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Originally Posted by bayareafamily View Post
there is a broken tow bar (not on the plane, so maybe not an AS issue?)
Even if it's another entity, it's AS's responsibility to manage them. So it's still an AS issue.
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Old Jul 17, 19, 2:04 pm
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Wanted to circle back and let folks know I did write to Customer Care, and did get a response today. They included two $50 discount certs which seems low given they acknowledged they did not follow their own policy re: passengers stuck on the plane on the tarmac, but whatever, at least it was noted and better than nothing. The rep also wrote that on a flight such as this (PAE-SJC) supplies will be limited so while they intend to offer food/water within 2 hours, in reality there's not much on board (on our flight they came around once w/ about a 1/2 cup of water, no food, and when someone asked for more water declined as they only had 1 bottle left for the actual flight service.) Our tickets out of Everett weren't very expensive so I guess $50 off a new flight isn't bad.
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Old Jul 17, 19, 2:40 pm
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You might be able to file a file complaint through the DOT given your suggestion they violated their contract of carriage.
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Old Jul 18, 19, 5:12 pm
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Originally Posted by channa View Post
Even if it's another entity, it's AS's responsibility to manage them. So it's still an AS issue.
AS don't fly to PAE, did you mean QX ?

That's pretty much the state of things; with enough outsourcing, you really don't know who to blame.
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Old Jul 18, 19, 6:39 pm
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Originally Posted by CZBB View Post
AS don't fly to PAE, did you mean QX ?
QX didn't sell him the ticket.
Originally Posted by bayareafamily View Post
Wanted to circle back and let folks know I did write to Customer Care, and did get a response today. They included two $50 discount certs which seems low given they acknowledged they did not follow their own policy re: passengers stuck on the plane on the tarmac, but whatever, at least it was noted and better than nothing.
AS's compensation seems to be all over the map. I got $75 for a PDX-BOS flight that arrived early and sat waiting for a gate, leading to about an hour waiting on the ground and deplaning thirty minutes after scheduled arrival--much less of an inconvenience than what you went through.
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Old Jul 18, 19, 8:18 pm
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Originally Posted by CZBB View Post
AS don't fly to PAE, did you mean QX
I suppose possibly technically, it was listed as an E75, but it's Alaska where I bought the ticket, an AS flight number on Flightaware, Alaska who sent me the emails, and when you check in at PAE you indicate you are flying either Alaska or United.

Regardless I decided to just drop it but it did seem like low compensation for 4.5 hours on the plane. No chargers so lots of people bummed their electronics were dead after waiting 2.5 hours on the tarmac!
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Last edited by dayone; Jul 18, 19 at 11:30 pm Reason: Fix quote.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 9:13 am
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Originally Posted by bayareafamily View Post
I suppose possibly technically, it was listed as an E75, but it's Alaska where I bought the ticket, an AS flight number on Flightaware, Alaska who sent me the emails, and when you check in at PAE you indicate you are flying either Alaska or United.
My point is that in today's world, it's increasing easy for companies to pawn off responsibility saying "not our fault"

However, your claim that 'It's Alaska' is quite incorrect. On Flightaware, you'll not find a reference to Alaska anywhere. Flight QXE2742 (ICAO) / QX2742 (IATA)


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Old Jul 19, 19, 9:32 am
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Once again: Alaska is the ticketing and marketing carrier--OP didn't buy that flight with the QX flight number. Their logo is the big one on the side of the plane. They also share a parent company with the airline with the small logo on the side of the plane. QX and OO are their contractors who are expected to meet the same basic standards of on-time performance and passenger experience, because the branding is still primarily Alaska's. AS isn't going to just laugh in OP's face and tell him to contact Horizon, because they don't interface with customers at all besides at the gate and on the plane, so what's the point of being so pedantic?
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Old Jul 19, 19, 5:04 pm
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This is a dead issue because we got our $50 certs and moved on, but honestly I see plenty of references of that scheduled flight as Alaska on FlightAware. (Again, not that I think that matters.) https://flightaware.com/live/flight/ASA2742
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Old Jul 19, 19, 5:14 pm
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Old Jul 19, 19, 5:53 pm
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OP says issue has been resolved. Time to close.
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