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[Rant] SEA Is a Christmas Holiday Nightmare

[Rant] SEA Is a Christmas Holiday Nightmare

Old Dec 21, 19, 1:59 pm
  #1  
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[Rant] SEA Is a Christmas Holiday Nightmare

Last night after two long connecting flights on BA we arrived to find Alaska service desk International connections after International customs empty. It was 4:40 pm and there was not a soul there. We needed to connect to a PDX-SEA shuttle. BA wasn't able to check our bags in TLV to PDX only to SEA so I was counting on someone at the international arrival AS desk to retag our luggage. NOPE. If I had access to a printer I could have printed the tags ourself. If there had been self tag stuff at the Connection desk I could have done it .

So we had to take all our bags, our kids and our tired selves on a journey including a train ride, elevators and huge TSA line with no option for Precheck. Nightmare. The AS lines were terrible. There were people everywhere. It was very unprofessional in atmosphere.

I am so grateful BA is flying into PDX. What a nicer airport. Calm, clean and comfortable. Helpful agents. Well organized lines. Nothing like the hell hole of SEA. I think SEA may be worse than LAX. That is saying something. I can not believe what happened to us. Computers for the agents weren't working. Luggage conveyer belt issues apparently cause our luggage to not make it on to our plane even with an hour and half delay.

Maybe we will see our baggage from SEA today or tomorrow? Complete and utter failure on every step except thank heavens the plane arrived safely.
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Old Dec 21, 19, 2:21 pm
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I'm a Seattle local traveler, so I've never paid attention to the transfer desk. I am 99% sure that the Alaska (Horizon) does not staff the desk for Canadian arrivals. They may for Mexico. But you bring up a great point that AS has tons of partners and even non-partners that have a lot of connecting traffic to AS. They probably could staff that desk and it would be a great service (at low cost). If you haven't already done so, I would send a note to Alaska. As you know the dump that is SEA (I agree the airport is a disaster) is building a new Customs facility. It will include a convenient 1 mile walk (1.6km) and I don't know if it will include a separate TSA checkpoint that drops you back into the terminal or if you get deposited in the main baggage claim and then you will have to go through a regular checkpoint (like you did last night). Checkpoint 4 is the TSA precheck checkpoint. Checkpoint 1 does Pre as well, but is usually only open til the noon push. Hope you bags show up soon but welcome home.
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Old Dec 21, 19, 2:34 pm
  #3  
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Angry

Originally Posted by COS flyer View Post
I'm a Seattle local traveler, so I've never paid attention to the transfer desk. I am 99% sure that the Alaska (Horizon) does not staff the desk for Canadian arrivals. They may for Mexico. But you bring up a great point that AS has tons of partners and even non-partners that have a lot of connecting traffic to AS. They probably could staff that desk and it would be a great service (at low cost). If you haven't already done so, I would send a note to Alaska. .
This was a partner BA flight arrival from LHR. I would only expect one person who could retag bags. I understand they may not want to full service like rebook. There are two AS marked and lit desks at the international arrival after customs. Lights are on but nobody is home. We have not heard a word from AS baggage and it has been 12 hours. Welcome to your renewed MVPG ijkh.
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Old Dec 21, 19, 2:40 pm
  #4  
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No argument here. After quite some time with very little to no SEA transit, I went through there 3 times this year. Fortunately, no international arrivals.

1) Just walking through the terminal and gate areas is an overcrowded joke. As (especially on one trip) I had long layovers, I did a bit of lounge hopping.
2) The AX lounge is overcrowded. The AS D lounge wasn't exactly pleasant. The Club (out @ A) which had never been very busy on prior visits was zoo-like at times. Still better than AS D.
3) The only 2 (technically 3) respites were the DL lounges and AS N. When AS has a fully-operational N terminal, I hope it doesn't also turn into a zoológico..
4) But let's return to 1. Just getting through the terminal, down the concourses, through the gate areas, with a single rollerbag was nothing short of a challenging obstacle course.

Ah, progress. Yay. In the future if I'm O/D to the SEA area, if JSX has a somewhat competitive fare, I'm on it.
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Old Dec 21, 19, 4:37 pm
  #5  
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Just found out the problem in SEA. Rain. Yup surprise they had a baggage area issue due to rain. I am not sure I can get any more angry. We had a separate reservation for our daughter. So I got the privilege of paying $60 for lost bags for her. I can't get anyone on the phone to help nor refund the cost. What is wrong at AS?
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Old Dec 21, 19, 4:50 pm
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SEA was a complete dumpster fire yesterday. The luggage belt system for the whole airport broke, on top of the torrential downpour. When I checked in for my FAI-SEA-PDX flight yesterday evening the lady who helped me said she had just finished processing 60 lost luggage claims and that the afternoon FAI-SEA flight was instructed to go out with no bags on board.

Luckily my bag made it. Baggage claim at PDX was a total zoo from it all, too.
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Old Dec 21, 19, 4:52 pm
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Originally Posted by COS flyer View Post
I'm a Seattle local traveler, so I've never paid attention to the transfer desk. I am 99% sure that the Alaska (Horizon) does not staff the desk for Canadian arrivals. They may for Mexico. But you bring up a great point that AS has tons of partners and even non-partners that have a lot of connecting traffic to AS. They probably could staff that desk and it would be a great service (at low cost). If you haven't already done so, I would send a note to Alaska. As you know the dump that is SEA (I agree the airport is a disaster) is building a new Customs facility. It will include a convenient 1 mile walk (1.6km) and I don't know if it will include a separate TSA checkpoint that drops you back into the terminal or if you get deposited in the main baggage claim and then you will have to go through a regular checkpoint (like you did last night). Checkpoint 4 is the TSA precheck checkpoint. Checkpoint 1 does Pre as well, but is usually only open til the noon push. Hope you bags show up soon but welcome home.
I flew YYJ-SEA-PDX last month and had no problem rechecking luggage in SEA after customs. AS had representatives at the transfer desk.
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Old Dec 21, 19, 4:58 pm
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My DL -> AF flight this summer via SEA resulted in two lost bags at SEA that never made it to us in France. Three weeks later they showed back up at PDX. Its not just AS that has baggage issues in SEA.
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Old Dec 21, 19, 4:59 pm
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Originally Posted by Chugach View Post
SEA was a complete dumpster fire yesterday. The luggage belt system for the whole airport broke, on top of the torrential downpour. When I checked in for my FAI-SEA-PDX flight yesterday evening the lady who helped me said she had just finished processing 60 lost luggage claims and that the afternoon FAI-SEA flight was instructed to go out with no bags on board.

Luckily my bag made it. Baggage claim at PDX was a total zoo from it all, too.
Agreed and there was a shortage of ramp personnel last night as well as the baggage belt issue. Check their twitter account - just tons of problems at SEA when I tried to reach them. The phone wait was 3 hours for a 75k last night. So definitely an unusual night for AS.
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Old Dec 21, 19, 5:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Finkface View Post
Agreed and there was a shortage of ramp personnel last night as well as the baggage belt issue. Check their twitter account - just tons of problems at SEA when I tried to reach them. The phone wait was 3 hours for a 75k last night. So definitely an unusual night for AS.

Isn't SEA Alaska Air's home port? Since when is rain a surprise in Seattle? Is AS going quickly down the drain? If so I will be sorry. I have NEVER had an experience like this in over 30 years of flying AS. Shocked me especially after 22 hours of flying.
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Old Dec 21, 19, 5:16 pm
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Originally Posted by ijkh View Post
Isn't SEA Alaska Air's home port? Since when is rain a surprise in Seattle? Is AS going quickly down the drain? If so I will be sorry. I have NEVER had an experience like this in over 30 years of flying AS. Shocked me especially after 22 hours of flying.
it was one of the wettest days on record. I don’t know if the rain and a break down in the baggage system are connected, but the lack of a baggage system would certainly cause major problems since there is no other way to move bags.
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Old Dec 21, 19, 5:23 pm
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Originally Posted by fly18725 View Post
it was one of the wettest days on record. I don’t know if the rain and a break down in the baggage system are connected, but the lack of a baggage system would certainly cause major problems since there is no other way to move bags.
And a ramp personnel shortage. A trifecta of major problems on one if the wettest days on record.
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Old Dec 21, 19, 5:37 pm
  #13  
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The weather is no excuse for not staffing the connections desk. AS knows exactly how many connecting passengers there are inbound to SEA at any given time, how many have checked bags, how many of those need only drop their bags and how many will need to recheck.

Selling connections is a two-way street. There are AS passengers connecting to BA and it matters to AS that BA has staffed connections and customer assistance at LHR.

OP: You can mention this to AS if you wish. However, I would also complain to BA regarding its "inability" to check the bags to PDX (even though this would still have required a bag drop post-Customs at SEA) and the fact that BA is selling connections to AS when AS is not properly staffing the arrival.

Nothing will happen as the result of your complaint other than a bunch of meaningless apologies. But, if enough people complain, there may be some action due to BA prodding.
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Old Dec 21, 19, 7:24 pm
  #14  
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News update: trip insurance policy pays $200 for baggage delay >12 hrs.
MVPG desk reimburses cost of daughter's luggage fee.
Status of luggage: unknown. Even MVPG line reps can't get through to the baggage folks.
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Old Dec 21, 19, 7:33 pm
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Originally Posted by ijkh View Post
News update: trip insurance policy pays $200 for baggage delay >12 hrs.
I should look into what my cards offer (I had a bag arrive some 36 hrs late earlier this year), but it was coming home and I really don't care much about the checked bag getting delivered home since it's generally just dirty laundry and some other stuff I don't really need urgently.
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