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Is Horizon from BUR Always Such Completely Unmitigated Chaos?

Is Horizon from BUR Always Such Completely Unmitigated Chaos?

Old Aug 7, 18, 11:45 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: LAX/BUR/SJC/SFO/MMH: Thousand Oaks, Sunnyvale and Mammoth Lakes
Programs: SWA A-List Preferred, TSA Pre
Posts: 78
Is Horizon from BUR Always Such Completely Unmitigated Chaos?

I fly BUR<->SJC several times a month which was only served by Southwest up until a year or two ago. I never had any issues on these flights. I used Alaska/Horizon for the first time and was astonished at how bad the experience was, and am curious if this is the norm, or if I just got the cabin/ground crew from hell.

These flights are served by regional jets (E175) and are quite nice in appearance and surprisingly comfortable. Cramped old tiny terminal (BUR Terminal B) and lack of dedicated PreCheck line aside, my main beef was on the one hour delay in departure due to passenger luggage issues.

Several people were carrying 3-4 large suitcases, including those hardy metal backed ones, on a 45 minute flight. Since this is a legacy carrier, I thought these would be frequent fliers that moved over from Southwest. Nobody filled anyone in on the fact that this plane has very small overhead bins. The gate agent said nothing, and the flight attendants said nothing as all of these big bags rolled on by.

After boarding, the FAs took one suitcase at a time and gate checked them. Considering half the plane brought bags that would not fit, this took close to 45 minutes. **We took off an hour late.**

The service itself was awful. Drink service began in the last 20 minutes of the flight and this one FA was so obnoxious as she panicked realizing she wasn't doing one of her duties. "We're descending! We're descending!" A few of us asked for coffee and tea (I could smell the coffee) and she refused saying she didn't have enough time to walk to the front of the cabin to get it... then the other one that was helping push the cart just handed me a cup of coffee. She said "You have 60 seconds to drink this because we are landing."

Even worse... she kept making a scene about how dark the back of the cabin was, and asked the gentleman across from me to look out at the wings and see if the captain "turned the lights on." We just looked at each other as she said in her raspy voice "The captain forgot to turn the wing lights on! We like to live on the edge here at Alaska! Too much of the onboard wine, eh?" The lights were on the entire time. In my hundreds of flights, I've never heard cabin crew hint that the flight crew had done something incorrectly, or acted improper. I am not scared of flying, but this would have absolutely been frightening to someone that was.

After we landed, I counted about 35 passengers standing in the bridge waiting for their luggage, and the onward departure was 90 minutes delayed. My only reason for caring about a delay is that I live by the light rail, and it had ended service for the night and I would have made it if someone, anyone, would have stopped passengers from bringing their entire closets on board.

Are these delays and terrible service common? If so, I'll just stick to overpriced Southwest and seat roulette and $15 Early Bird.
DataJunkie is offline  
Old Aug 7, 18, 12:44 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: SJC
Programs: Bonvoy Tit Forever, AmEx Plat, National EE, WN CP, CLEAR
Posts: 3,728
Come back! You know you wanna!

(... and FWIW, I'm in BUR 10+/yr on WN and have never paid more than about $120 unless I had to leave that very minute- "overpriced"?)
kennycrudup is offline  
Old Aug 7, 18, 10:05 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: LAX/BUR/SJC/SFO/MMH: Thousand Oaks, Sunnyvale and Mammoth Lakes
Programs: SWA A-List Preferred, TSA Pre
Posts: 78
Originally Posted by kennycrudup View Post
Come back! You know you wanna!

(... and FWIW, I'm in BUR 10+/yr on WN and have never paid more than about $120 unless I had to leave that very minute- "overpriced"?)

If Southwest can offer the exact same flight for $70 during a sale, then I don't want to pay over $100 for it. $120 is about average and I deal with it. But I've paid up to $150 a few weeks out for evening flights out of BUR, which is absurd. Sometimes if I had to book last minute, it would be much cheaper to fly Virgin America first class LAX->SFO, than Southwest Business Select (which was usually all that was left). In most instances, Horizon is usually cheaper or the same. The only way I would fly with Horizon again is if I park my car at SJC, so I don't worry about missing trains and light rails.
DataJunkie is offline  
Old Aug 8, 18, 8:43 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 3,252
I've been flying Alaska/Horizon out of BUR regularly since September and haven't had anything like your experience. More typical is that boarding is quick, doors close 10 minutes early - don't cut things close, but at least there are no lines at TSA in Terminal B, and arrival in PDX is 10-20 minutes early. I mostly fly to PDX, but have also flown to SJC and the experience was the same. I like the E175s much more than 737s, though Alaska has 737s on some of the BUR-PDX flights. My only real complaint has been that the flight to PDX is under their duration for stocking anything more dinner-like than the fruit and cheese plate.
chrisl137 is offline  

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