[Rant] I've Had It With Alaska Airlines

Old Aug 8, 2021, 7:35 pm
  #1  
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[Rant] I've Had It With Alaska Airlines

I have 6 reservations with AS, most of which are in F. One after one they have either been canceled or been subject to significant time changes. Never all at the same time- just one by one over a number of weeks. I had a reservation SMF-SEA-YYC and return. They canceled the outbound booked for the end of July as they dropped the SEA-YYC route, but they still showed the return as operating in mid-August. I had to purchase a new outbound flight on Westjet at a considerably higher fare as AS would not reroute us on another carrier. Then a few weeks later they canceled the YYC-SEA-SMF flight and I had to purchase another Westjet flight at a much higher price. I wrote to AS Customer Relations asking not for $$, but for at least some bonus AS miles. Here's the reply I got "Schedule changes are a common occurrence in the airline industry, as airlines change their schedules every few months to accommodate ever-changing seasonal fluctuations and demand. Regretfully, as with similar markets that have had schedule reductions, changes, or have been discontinued, the Seattle to Calgary, Canada market was for better aircraft utilization and in order to increase profitability." and a denial of any bonus miles. They even state it's all about profitability. Then a week later another reservation had a major time change. Last week another significant change. And today yet another where they have reduced their SMF-PDX-SMF service to one flight a day and at poor times. I had rental cars reserved for all of these reservations. Rental car companies will not allow any changes to pickup and return times- a whole new reservation is required, mostly at higher rates. In one case, no cars are available. I'm fed up with AS. The new CEO sucks. If I want to gamble I'll go to a casino rather than play these game with AS. They can stick their "profitability" and their CEO's $5+ million salary where the sun never shines.
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Old Aug 8, 2021, 7:48 pm
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Goodbye, cruel airline.
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Old Aug 8, 2021, 8:01 pm
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If you think any other airline is going to operate differently, you're in for a some disappointment.

Also, I'm not sure why you're surprised that a for-profit company is doing things to increase their profitability. That's especially true when you consider that the airline industry has been decimated by the ongoing pandemic.
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Old Aug 8, 2021, 8:35 pm
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It is always best in airline world to not let FF programs cloud one's mind to the point that irrational decisions are made. Chose the airline that works for you for your travels. That may be the same one if your flight patterns fit where the priorities of that airline happen to be. Say if you had to regularly go to ATL, then DL is highly unlikely to just up and leave ATL. Same with AS and SEA. If you are regularly traveling from a West Coast destination to SEA, AS is an obvious choice. From a secondary airport in CA (SMF) which is not at all a priority for AS--remember they cut 40% of all their California service including at their "hubs" and focus cities--to a secondary city in Canada--also not a priority for AS, I would not expect them to be the the best option. You will find over time that loyalties evolve as a carrier's network and product changes. There is no point in inconveniencing yourself and being constantly frustrated just to stay "loyal". If Canada is a regular destination then probably WestJet or Air Canada are going to be the best options as if they are not flying from/within Canada they probably went out of business. Every US airline could skip Canada entirely and be just fine.
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Old Aug 8, 2021, 8:52 pm
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Most reservations I made on aa and ua over the last year suffered severe changes - neither one offered anything beyond cancellation or rebooking on own metal.

As for rental cars - ime same day arrival preserves your original reservation so no need to rebook even if you are off by a few hrs..
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Old Aug 8, 2021, 10:06 pm
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AA is operating DFW-YYC 2X daily. Have you tried asking AS to reroute you on SMF-DFW-YYC on AA metal?
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Old Aug 8, 2021, 10:10 pm
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Originally Posted by 985X
AA is operating DFW-YYC 2X daily. Have you tried asking AS to reroute you on SMF-DFW-YYC on AA metal?
Great idea...that has mileage run written all over it
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Old Aug 8, 2021, 10:14 pm
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Here is my most basic criteria for choosing an airline:

1. Do they have at least one flight from my home airport?
2. Is the frequent flyer program mileage rather than revenue based?

For me, the frequent schedule changes have usually resulted in a far better schedule than what I had originally booked.
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Old Aug 8, 2021, 10:18 pm
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Originally Posted by sfozrhfco
It is always best in airline world to not let FF programs cloud one's mind to the point that irrational decisions are made. Chose the airline that works for you for your travels. That may be the same one if your flight patterns fit where the priorities of that airline happen to be. Say if you had to regularly go to ATL, then DL is highly unlikely to just up and leave ATL. Same with AS and SEA. If you are regularly traveling from a West Coast destination to SEA, AS is an obvious choice. From a secondary airport in CA (SMF) which is not at all a priority for AS--remember they cut 40% of all their California service including at their "hubs" and focus cities--to a secondary city in Canada--also not a priority for AS, I would not expect them to be the the best option. You will find over time that loyalties evolve as a carrier's network and product changes. There is no point in inconveniencing yourself and being constantly frustrated just to stay "loyal". If Canada is a regular destination then probably WestJet or Air Canada are going to be the best options as if they are not flying from/within Canada they probably went out of business. Every US airline could skip Canada entirely and be just fine.
Sadly, that's probably true about Canada...its honestly surprising that AS didn't drop all Canadian cities completely given extreme difficulty in crossing the boarder for both US and Canadian citizens.
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Old Aug 8, 2021, 10:27 pm
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Originally Posted by sfozrhfco
It is always best in airline world to not let FF programs cloud one's mind to the point that irrational decisions are made. Chose the airline that works for you for your travels. That may be the same one if your flight patterns fit where the priorities of that airline happen to be. Say if you had to regularly go to ATL, then DL is highly unlikely to just up and leave ATL. Same with AS and SEA. If you are regularly traveling from a West Coast destination to SEA, AS is an obvious choice. From a secondary airport in CA (SMF) which is not at all a priority for AS--remember they cut 40% of all their California service including at their "hubs" and focus cities--to a secondary city in Canada--also not a priority for AS, I would not expect them to be the the best option. You will find over time that loyalties evolve as a carrier's network and product changes. There is no point in inconveniencing yourself and being constantly frustrated just to stay "loyal". If Canada is a regular destination then probably WestJet or Air Canada are going to be the best options as if they are not flying from/within Canada they probably went out of business. Every US airline could skip Canada entirely and be just fine.
You really can't miss an opportunity to talk about your sore feelings over Alaska's cuts in California. That's basically what it comes down to. FWIW, Air Canada and WestJet have both had similar commitments to U.S. markets during Covid so probably not great examples of an airline to fly from SMF - especially as neither fly from SMF. The schedule changes are unfortunate for the OP - and the response from AS leaves little to be desired. AS has flown between SMF and YYC, via SEA, for well over 20 years, offering multiple connecting flights each day. Covid has affected every airlines schedules in the U.S. - especially to Canada, where U.S. citizens weren't even allowed to go without extreme difficulty.
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Old Aug 9, 2021, 12:03 am
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Originally Posted by AS Flyer
You really can't miss an opportunity to talk about your sore feelings over Alaska's cuts in California. That's basically what it comes down to. FWIW, Air Canada and WestJet have both had similar commitments to U.S. markets during Covid so probably not great examples of an airline to fly from SMF - especially as neither fly from SMF.
AC flys to SMF, granted it's 1 flight per day to YVR.
FWIW, if you're SMF based being AS loyal sounds painful as like 1/2 the flights are on a q400 unless Boise is now a 737. I had a WN cancel force me onto an AS Q400 SMF-PDX and never again.
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Old Aug 9, 2021, 12:39 am
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Originally Posted by nmpls
AC flys to SMF, granted it's 1 flight per day to YVR.
FWIW, if you're SMF based being AS loyal sounds painful as like 1/2 the flights are on a q400 unless Boise is now a 737. I had a WN cancel force me onto an AS Q400 SMF-PDX and never again.
2 flights a day from SMF to PDX are on a Q400 until August, when the Q disappears from the SMF schedules. Every other flight is a jet - including BOI and SAN. Additionally, SMF-YVR on AC has been dropped post Covid. It's currently on the "placeholder" schedule but not until late this fall/early winter. Not operating presently.

Last edited by AS Flyer; Aug 9, 2021 at 2:43 am
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Old Aug 9, 2021, 6:50 am
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Originally Posted by 985X
AA is operating DFW-YYC 2X daily. Have you tried asking AS to reroute you on SMF-DFW-YYC on AA metal?
Yes I did and they refused.
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Old Aug 9, 2021, 7:58 am
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I just woke up to email about my most recent Delta schedule change out of SEA. This one is for a flight in October. I don’t think I’ve had a trip yet without a schedule change.

Good luck finding an airline that doesn’t change schedules on you.
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Old Aug 9, 2021, 8:31 am
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Originally Posted by JIMCHI
Yes I did and they refused.
I'm thinking what will happen if you pretend you never aware of the schedule change (AS and AA never send me email about schedule change, btw), and at T-24, call AS and tell them you are unable to checkin since the flight no longer operates, since it's within 24hr of original departure, can they reroute you on AA as involuntary change by that time?
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