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Alaska intentionally flying FC at half capacity?

Alaska intentionally flying FC at half capacity?

Old Apr 4, 20, 10:28 am
  #1  
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Alaska intentionally flying FC at half capacity?

Just curious what the observation is for anyone flying right now.

I’m currently on route PDX-PHX. 16 seat FC. Only half the forward cabin is full, despite 3 more on the waitlist for upgrades. I was 1 of the 4 (with 9 seats open) and cleared about 2 hours from departure. I figured the other 3 would clear too. Both expertflyer seat map and alaska seat map are aligned, showing 8 empty seats.

I thought maybe they are attempting social distancing but it just seems odd considering they have no problem cramming coach passengers together despite planes only being 1/3 (or less) full.

Any other reasons those 3 wouldn’t clear?
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Old Apr 4, 20, 10:31 am
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Yes: https://blog.alaskaair.com/coronavir...al-distancing/
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Old Apr 4, 20, 1:14 pm
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they have no problem cramming coach passengers together
is this really what you have observed?
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Old Apr 4, 20, 2:32 pm
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Originally Posted by AKLifetimeFlyer View Post
is this really what you have observed?
I'm curious about this as well....AA has taken some heat lately for cramming the "basic economy" passengers in the back of the plane while the front half remains virtually empty....I thought AS was pretty clear in the blog post referenced above that social distancing would be maintained in BOTH cabins. As a side note, I booked some Q400 flights in May and noticed that my favorite seat (1A) is blocked on all the Q400 flights I looked at so I assume they are blocking 1A and 1B to keep passengers from being so close to the FA that sits in the seat by the front door.
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Old Apr 4, 20, 3:30 pm
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My son flew yesterday LAX to PDX, he was upgraded and said FC is 1/2 and similar spacing ( well a LOT distancing in back of the bus ). I guess if I was one of those not clearing, totally fine with me. Sorry my life isn't worth what FC is offering these days, seriously are people worried about this?

I still find it odd that As wouldn't care more about it's employees and set the standard for safety and care for their employees and have them wear masks and gloves, strange is the US culture on this.
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Old Apr 4, 20, 3:40 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by AKLifetimeFlyer View Post
is this really what you have observed?
Yes, absolutely. Here’s one that isn’t the worst I’ve been on. It’s barely under 50% capacity, yet notice how passengers are crammed in the back, with multiple empty rows.

If their goal is to “distance” people, they aren’t doing a good job for the folks in economy. Particularly the people on saver fares. With 80 passengers, there isn’t a good reason to cram 24 of them into the back. Every row could conceivably have an empty middle seat and some people would still get an entire row to themselves.

Maybe they have to be moved manually. I flew a saver fare last week and the the seat “processor” placed me in a middle seat, right between two occupied seats and there were only 30ish people on the flight.

Edit to say that they are willing to move people who ask and without hesitation. I gather that most flyers aren’t the kind that look at seat maps to figure out the situation though.


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Last edited by clarrkkent; Apr 4, 20 at 3:51 pm
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Old Apr 4, 20, 4:37 pm
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Originally Posted by PDXPremier View Post
I'm curious about this as well....AA has taken some heat lately for cramming the "basic economy" passengers in the back of the plane while the front half remains virtually empty....I thought AS was pretty clear in the blog post referenced above that social distancing would be maintained in BOTH cabins. As a side note, I booked some Q400 flights in May and noticed that my favorite seat (1A) is blocked on all the Q400 flights I looked at so I assume they are blocking 1A and 1B to keep passengers from being so close to the FA that sits in the seat by the front door.
Another example, this is par for what I’ve experienced on recent flights over the last 3 weeks. Flight has 50ish pax with 23 of those crammed in the last few rows.

Perhaps Alaska expects the onus to be on the passengers to request a change or move in the air. Although the latter is frequently denied due to “weight and balance” and again, your average passenger isn’t studying a seat map. Perhaps AS will “come under fire” too if AA experienced the same.


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Old Apr 4, 20, 5:31 pm
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Have you not seen seat maps where every seat behind Premium is designated as a Saver Seat, including the exit rows? I have.

James
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Old Apr 4, 20, 10:39 pm
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Originally Posted by Flying for Fun View Post
Have you not seen seat maps where every seat behind Premium is designated as a Saver Seat, including the exit rows? I have.

James
I just started noticing this in the last few weeks. Makes sense if the loads are <10%.
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Old Apr 4, 20, 11:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Flying for Fun View Post
Have you not seen seat maps where every seat behind Premium is designated as a Saver Seat, including the exit rows? I have.

James
Yes- thought it was a fluke at first- close in flight. Was crazy. Even exit row.
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Old Apr 4, 20, 11:58 pm
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Originally Posted by clarrkkent View Post
Just curious what the observation is for anyone flying right now.

I’m currently on route PDX-PHX. 16 seat FC. Only half the forward cabin is full, despite 3 more on the waitlist for upgrades. I was 1 of the 4 (with 9 seats open) and cleared about 2 hours from departure. I figured the other 3 would clear too. Both expertflyer seat map and alaska seat map are aligned, showing 8 empty seats.

I thought maybe they are attempting social distancing but it just seems odd considering they have no problem cramming coach passengers together despite planes only being 1/3 (or less) full.

Any other reasons those 3 wouldn’t clear?
How was the service?

I shared in the other thread below what was possibly the worst service I have ever experience in a first class cabin in my entire life on a flight earlier this week.

The FA basically acted as if I was not present on the plane, while she kept feeding the non-revs in the cabin:

The Alaska Airlines Bored Room

Originally Posted by LeonS View Post
Yesterday I flew a took domestic flight in First Class on Alaska that was one of the worst service experiences I've ever had in a first class cabin (or even in MC).

(Before I get grilled for flying: yes, I did have to fly and I do not feel the need to justify why here)

Most of the plane was empty. The First Class cabin had 5 Alaska employees traveling in uniform as passengers on rows 1, 2 and 4. There were also 2 regular paying passengers including myself sitting on row 3. A female flight attendant (I'll call her "A") served the First Cabin. Another female flight attendant with no visible name badge helped at times. They both skipped the 2 paying passengers multiple times while very actively catering the 5 Alaska employees traveling as passengers.

The Alaska employees received two rounds of drink offerings (including pre-takeoff water bottle that I was not offered) and two rounds of snacks before A or the other member of the crew even came to me for the first time, mid-flight, to ask if I wanted "something else" to drink. Even on that round, A served first all the Alaska employees -even those behind me on row 4- before she served the two paying passengers on row 3. It all felt so weird, like if I was flying for free and didn't deserve anything while the Alaska employees traveling in uniform were getting multiple rounds.

I understand that these are difficult, stressful times for Alaska employees, and can also understand how Alaska employees might want to give some extra treats to fellow colleagues to reinforce the sense of camaraderie in these odd times. But skipping multiple times the only 2 paying passengers in the First Class cabin while treating the Alaska employees traveling as passengers to several rounds of drinks and snacks in such an overt way felt really unnecessary. It was really weird to see them serve rows 1, 2, skip 3, and serve row 4 (as well as one more Alaska employee on the first row of Premium). The service of this flight did not feel First Class or MVP Gold in the slightest; instead I felt like an underserving passenger even though I was on a paying ticket.

I am fond of Alaska Airline and feel for their employees in these times of uncertainty. But the service on this last Alaska can only be described as ugly. Giving the 2 paying passengers the same service that A and her unbadged colleage gave the Alaska employees in the First Class cabin would have taken them just handful of minutes of their times, if that. I honestly struggle to understand why she created that situation. A also spent some of the flight sitting on 1D, which reinforced the feeling that for her there were no paying passengers on her flight.


Cherry on the top: the 2 Alaska employees sitting on seats 2C and 2F (while 2D was empty) were yelling at each other over the aisle to actively hold a conversation for the first hour of the flight, at which point one of them saw the light and finally moved to 2D for the remaining 30 mins of the flight. It made for a very loud flight in what was otherwise a very empty cabin.

Very weird flight, matching the very weird times I suppose. But also a very unnecessary awful experience in the First Class cabin to travel with a crew that pretends that there are no paying passengers onboard.
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Old Apr 5, 20, 1:55 am
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Originally Posted by clarrkkent View Post
Another example, this is par for what I’ve experienced on recent flights over the last 3 weeks. Flight has 50ish pax with 23 of those crammed in the last few rows.
And are the flights actually departing that full? My last flight (3/29) wasn't showing nearly as empty a couple days out as it was when it was time for people to show up and get on the plane. About 20 people for the whole flight, and the only ones sitting together boarded together.

I've also been seeing the last full row in Y blocked out even on flights that are basically empty (my BUR flights before they were cancelled), so the very back of the seating chart might be a little misleading.
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Old Apr 5, 20, 5:55 am
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It really causes me quite a bit of pause on how many people are still out traveling.
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Last edited by SEA777GUY; Apr 5, 20 at 6:07 am
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Old Apr 5, 20, 5:41 pm
  #14  
 
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737s are nose-heavy, so that could be why AS also isn't filling every seat in F.
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Old Apr 5, 20, 9:36 pm
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Originally Posted by UAPremierExec View Post
737s are nose-heavy, so that could be why AS also isn't filling every seat in F.
My last 4 flights in the last 3 weeks have all had only 1/2 filled FC cabin. Staggered seats with no one next , in front or behind. Only 2 persons per entire row, thus only 6 or 8 tots. In the FC cabin.
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