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PDX-ANC History  
User currently offlinePdxintl From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 18 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2088 times:

Curious at the history of the PDX-ANC route. Currently the flight is only operated by AS with ONE midnight departure (might be another earlier in the day). The AS timetable currently has PDX passangers connecting through SEA for one of its 20+ flights to ANC. Seems like their would be more demand between the two cities to warrant more service at more convienient times. In the past few years, I remember this route being operated by CO (757), TWA (757), and AS. Also, I remember flying this route in the late 90's on DL with a 767! The flight was packed. It seems there is enough O&D and feed from AS/QX to add more flights. Why has the frequency and equipment on this route diminished in recent years?

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMtnWest1979 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 2426 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2080 times:
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I think ABX does it with a DC-9-30!  Wink

I doubt there is enough demand for more than one daily nonstop ( and maybe 2 during Summer) between these two cities.

Maybe they (AS) find it easier to funnel pax thru SEA as opposed to dedicating an a/c to run this route.

Plus, AS can connect to QX cities easier thru SEA than PDX, for the most part.



"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
User currently offlineSJUSXM From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 294 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2020 times:

In 2001 right after the AA merger, TWA was using an MD-83 on this route once daily. The flight when it came in from ANC continued to STL and then TPA.


AT7, ER3, ER4, ER5, CR7, E70, E75, F100, M82, M83, 722, 732, 738, 752, 762, 763, AB6, 320, 321, 772, 77W
User currently offlineBushpilot From South Africa, joined Jul 2007, 0 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2007 times:

Quoting MtnWest1979 (Reply 1):
Maybe they (AS) find it easier to funnel pax thru SEA as opposed to dedicating an a/c to run this route.

Although I am not sure why, but within the las few years I have noticed that AS really funnels more and more through SEA. I flew ANC-PDX on AS back in 96, I know last summer AS was having some real problems with on-time performance due to lack of airframes for the quite ambitious daily schedule they were trying to maintain. The AS expasion to the east coast seems to have done something to do with this.


User currently offlineFloridaflyboy From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 2007 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 1997 times:

Quoting MtnWest1979 (Reply 1):
I think ABX does it with a DC-9-30!

Lol. Good one! They sure do fly that one, but it's with a DC-9-40 (Last I checked)



Good goes around!
User currently offlineCRJ900 From Norway, joined Jun 2004, 2171 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 1965 times:
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Can't QX fly the route with a CRJ700? A 3,5-4-hour flight is not unusual on these birds any more...


Come, fly the prevailing winds with me
User currently offlineTheCheese From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 206 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 1959 times:
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I know that AS flight 101 used to be PHX-SMF-PDX-ANC-PDX-PHX, but may not be any longer.

Being that travel to Anchorage can change with the vagaries of the Alaskan economy (it seems to me that AS has more flights when money isn't tight in Alaska), I would presume that there just isn't enough demand to warrant more non-stop flights between those destinations.

Especially with the frequency of Horizon flights between PDX and SEA, and by extension AS flights from SEA to ANC. The short hop between PDX and SEA means that it's only one stop and an additional 45 minutes (or so) onto that trip, and there are a good number of SEA-ANC flights to choose from, AS or not.

I do know that AS tends to put more PDX-ANC non-stops on during the summer, and goes back to just the red-eye (usually flight 101) during the off-season.


User currently offlineJunction From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 766 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 1904 times:

Quoting TheCheese (Reply 6):
I do know that AS tends to put more PDX-ANC non-stops on during the summer, and goes back to just the red-eye (usually flight 101) during the off-season.

This is very true. The past several years AS has had 3 to 4 non-stops daily for PDX-ANC from June through early September. Then down to the one red-eye in winter. This is actually an improvement overall, because in the past the non-stop redeye got dropped midwinter as well. TW and CO flights were usually just seasonal, and don't forget QQ. In it's heyday QQ kept the non-stop all year even before AS would do it. DL kept those flights right after the merger with Western for quite a while, but the market can't seem to support more then the one year round.
On a side note - I'm originally from ANC and also lived in Oregon for several years, and I'm always surprised how out of touch Oregonians seem to be regarding Alaska compared to people from other states in general. Especially when you consider the proximity. I often find I have a lot less Alaska stereotype disarming to do (as in - "No, people don’t live in igloos") with people from places like Texas, California, and of course Washington then I do with people from Oregon. What gives?


User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6343 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 1893 times:

Quoting Junction (Reply 7):
I often find I have a lot less Alaska stereotype disarming to do (as in - "No, people don’t live in igloos") with people from places like Texas, California, and of course Washington then I do with people from Oregon. What gives?

Ignorant, big-city attitudes Big grin (at least here in PDX). Signed, a transplanted Texan (who has to disarm his fair share of stereotypes up here...).



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineTheCheese From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 206 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 1867 times:
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Quoting KELPkid (Reply 8):
Ignorant, big-city attitudes Big grin (at least here in PDX).

Heh, I find that it's usually the folks from the smaller towns that have those misconceptions. (I was born and raised in ANC, not 1 mile from the airport, and now live in HIO, not 1 mile from the airport.)

Oh, I forgot to say in my earlier post: AS sometimes discontinues the non-stop PDX-ANC altogether in the fall, but usually brings it back over the Christmas holidays (which is a godsend to those of us that have to go to ANC at that time and don't want to have to deal with SEATAC.)


User currently offlineChugach From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1041 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 1754 times:

Quoting MtnWest1979 (Reply 1):
I doubt there is enough demand for more than one daily nonstop ( and maybe 2 during Summer) between these two cities.

There are three daily nonstops in the summer. Winter has one. They could do more in the winter, but don't, which annoys the hell out of MVP Golds like myself. I fly ANC-PDX almost once a month and I despise redeyes. AS could EASILY fill up a second winter flight on connections alone, especially with the new PDX-Mexico flights. In all the times I have taken the AS 100/101 redeye turn, I can remember ONE flight that wasn't either sold out or damn close to it. But AS wants to do all Seattle, all the time.

Quoting MtnWest1979 (Reply 1):

Maybe they (AS) find it easier to funnel pax thru SEA as opposed to dedicating an a/c to run this route.

Ding ding ding, we have a winner Big grin On most of the Horizon PDX-SEA shuttle flights there are people connecting to/from Alaska. I have theorized for a long time that the reason there's not more PDX-Alaska is that they don't want to cannibalize the Horizon shuttle.

Quoting TheCheese (Reply 9):
AS sometimes discontinues the non-stop PDX-ANC altogether in the fall, but usually brings it back over the Christmas holidays (which is a godsend to those of us that have to go to ANC at that time and don't want to have to deal with SEATAC.)

ANC-PDX has been year-round on AS for at least seven or eight years now.

Up until 9/11, this route almost always had two carriers on it. DL inherited it from WA, and flew it until the late 90's, when they started to dismantle the PDX hub. Then TW picked it up and flew it until they were bought out by AA. After that, CO stepped in as a continuation of EWR service. I think CO may have flown it through 2002, but it was axed not long after 9/11. However, this is a hub-to-hub route for AS with solid FF's on both ends. What chaps my ass is that AS runs between 16 and 20 flights a day between SEA-ANC. Would it really be that big of a deal to pull one 734 off SEA-ANC, leaving it at 15 to 19 flights per day, and have it do PDX-ANC?

Ok, I'll get off my soapbox now. I love AS, but I've thought for years that they've been dropping the ball on this route.



GO ROCKETS
User currently offlineChugach From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1041 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 1741 times:

Quoting TheCheese (Reply 6):
Being that travel to Anchorage can change with the vagaries of the Alaskan economy (it seems to me that AS has more flights when money isn't tight in Alaska), I would presume that there just isn't enough demand to warrant more non-stop flights between those destinations.

I forgot to hit on this point. The Anchorage economy is booming right now, and it's only going to get better if/when the gas pipeline is built. Another route that I think could be done year-round by either AS or AC is YVR-ANC. A lot of people don't realize that there are several mining companies in Vancouver with substantial interests in Alaska.

Back on point, there are a lot of economic and cultural ties between Alaska and Oregon. Not quite as significant as ties between Alaska and Seattle, but they're there. The company I work for is based in Portland, and I see Oregon plates driving around Anchorage almost every day. There is also a substantial amount of Alaskans in Oregon who still have ties to the Great Land. I grew up in Oregon and still have family there, so between that and business, I travel down that way all the time.



GO ROCKETS
User currently offlineAlaska737 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1063 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1680 times:

i dont know about you but i would much rather go through SEA. AS doesnt rent out dig-e-players on the PDX-ANC flights.

User currently offlineEVA777SEA From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 473 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1666 times:

Quoting Chugach (Reply 10):
What chaps my ass is that AS runs between 16 and 20 flights a day between SEA-ANC. Would it really be that big of a deal to pull one 734 off SEA-ANC, leaving it at 15 to 19 flights per day, and have it do PDX-ANC?

SEA-Alaska is by far the largest US-Alaska market and if those flights weren't full and making money they wouldn't be there. (The Seattle are has the largest Alaskan Native population of anywhere else in the nation besides Alaska)

Quoting Chugach (Reply 11):
Back on point, there are a lot of economic and cultural ties between Alaska and Oregon. Not quite as significant as ties between Alaska and Seattle, but they're there. The company I work for is based in Portland, and I see Oregon plates driving around Anchorage almost every day

 checkmark   checkmark   checkmark  Probably the 2 largest US-Alaska markets.


User currently offlineChugach From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1041 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 1616 times:

Quoting EVA777SEA (Reply 13):
SEA-Alaska is by far the largest US-Alaska market and if those flights weren't full and making money they wouldn't be there.

Agreed wholeheartedly. But, if they can fill up another PDX-ANC flight, and charge a higher fare for the PDX-ANC O&D sector (PDX-ANC fares on AS have been outrageous lately), why not? Or, why not have the best of both worlds once all these new 738's come on line and keep SEA the same while adding more PDX Big grin

I know that Portland will never be as important to Alaska as Seattle. That still doesn't mean that the market could use a few more flights, though.

Quoting Alaska737 (Reply 12):
i dont know about you but i would much rather go through SEA. AS doesnt rent out dig-e-players on the PDX-ANC flights.

Personally, I'd rather go through PDX, as it is a much nicer facility than SEA. Dige-players aren't a huge deal to me (although I understand why they would be to some folks). This Saturday, my girlfriend and 6-week-old daughter are flying ANC-PDX-EWR-BUF on AS/CO. I purposefully sent them through PDX because it is considerably easier to navigate through than SEA, and I wanted things to be as easy as possible since this is my kiddo's first flight.



GO ROCKETS
User currently offlineEVA777SEA From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 473 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1535 times:

Quoting Chugach (Reply 14):
But, if they can fill up another PDX-ANC flight, and charge a higher fare for the PDX-ANC O&D sector (PDX-ANC fares on AS have been outrageous lately), why not? Or, why not have the best of both worlds once all these new 738's come on line and keep SEA the same while adding more PDX

True, but I was under the impression that the 738's supposed to replace the MD80's?


User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 57
Reply 16, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1498 times:

Some ancient history on this route.......Western flew it a long time ago, mainly with 72S aircraft......usually the routing was LAX-PDX-ANC (and sometimes on to Fairbanks) back then.

In more recent times, didnt CO try EWR-PDX-ANC for one summer?

With SEA being ""THE"" Alaska gateway (for both AS and other carriers), PDX gets overshadowed and nonstop service between PDX and Alaskan cities is not a priority. The other issue is aircraft range....now that airplanes like the 737NG can easily fly from LAX or SFO to ANC, routings that would have included a stop in PDX (like the old WA flight mentioned above) are no longer flown.


User currently offlineAlaska737 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1063 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 1398 times:

here's a route i'm sure most dont remember. i believe it was Western or Wien, not sure who but for a short while someone operated a flight that went: PDX-Kodiak-Fairbanks. called it the triangle route. i think the plane then went from FAI-ANC but i am not sure.

User currently offlineTheCheese From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 206 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 1375 times:
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Quoting Alaska737 (Reply 17):
Western or Wien, not sure who but for a short while someone operated a flight that went: PDX-Kodiak-Fairbanks

Likely it was Wien; I have a poster hanging in my front room advertising their "Premium Quality Business and Coach Class" service from the late 1970s or early 1980s to the Rose City.

The poster is an interesting artifact on its own, as it shows the modest Portland skyline, when the tallest building in town was still the First Interstate Bank tower.


User currently offlineChugach From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1041 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1341 times:

Quoting EVA777SEA (Reply 15):
True, but I was under the impression that the 738's supposed to replace the MD80's?

I could be wrong, but I believe after it's said and done AS will have a few more aircraft than before.



GO ROCKETS
User currently offlineFlyboy7974 From United States of America, joined Jan 2003, 1540 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1318 times:

Some corrections as to airlines and them servicing this route. I don't ever remember AS flying a PHX-SMF-PDX leg as AS101, Alaska Airlines has never served PHX with a nonstop SMF route. I believe the only AS service from PHX I can remember is SEA, PDX, TUS, LAX, BOI, ANC, PVR, SJD. Moreso, for those that might remember their Mexico service was seasonal for a number of years through the winter until AS approached HP with a lil bargaining of their own, and then AS stopped the winter Mexico flights.

Next, I've looked through almost every Reno Air timetable they printed and still cannot find their nonstop PDX-ANC flights that were mentioned. In quite a few are flights offering direct service with an intermediate stop in guess where, yep, Seattle, but other than that, I only see direct flights and no nonstops.

For anybody that knows this route, PDX-ANC traffic is heavily seasonal. Alaska offers additional nonstops through the summer season as every airline does the same in offering additional ANC flights traditionally through the months of May to early Sept. Airlines that have experimented with PDX nonstops I think were trying to break the norm of having flights fly from hub to Seattle and then onward to Anchorage, but as time has proven, the O & D still pulls more airlines and flights to the more lucrative Seattle market. TWA actually did quite well with this and offered B757 service through the summer season and then instead of eliminating the route, offered MD-83 service during the off season.


User currently offlineChugach From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1041 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 1286 times:

Quoting Flyboy7974 (Reply 20):
For anybody that knows this route, PDX-ANC traffic is heavily seasonal.



I don't have official numbers, but as EVA pointed out earlier in this thread, Oregon is probably the 2nd strongest domestic market to Alaska next to Washington. Traffic on this route dips down some in the winter, but I would hardly call it seasonal. And as I mentioned earlier in this thread, as an almost monthly traveler on this route, less-than-full flights are a very rare commodity. I don't want to sound like an arrogant ass here, but I think I've flown this route enough to get a good idea of the usual amount of traffic. I've also spoken with AS employees who say that ANC-PDX cleans up on cargo, too.



GO ROCKETS
User currently offlineTheCheese From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 206 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1255 times:
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Quoting Flyboy7974 (Reply 20):
Some corrections as to airlines and them servicing this route. I don't ever remember AS flying a PHX-SMF-PDX leg as AS101, Alaska Airlines has never served PHX with a nonstop SMF route. I believe the only AS service from PHX I can remember is SEA, PDX, TUS, LAX, BOI, ANC, PVR, SJD. Moreso, for those that might remember their Mexico service was seasonal for a number of years through the winter until AS approached HP with a lil bargaining of their own, and then AS stopped the winter Mexico flights.

I could well have been mistaken; I was pretty sure that the flight was a turn-around in ANC arriving from SMF, and heading to PHX from PDX. But it was several years ago, and I wasn't exactly taking notes. Most likely, I got the destinations wrong.

I seem to recally that Delta had (1989-90) at the very least a once- or twice-a-week 757 flight that had a PDX-ANC and return leg. Or, failing that, I have flown DL non-stop on a 757 from ANC to PDX at least once.


User currently offlineChugach From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1041 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1244 times:

Quoting TheCheese (Reply 22):
I seem to recally that Delta had (1989-90) at the very least a once- or twice-a-week 757 flight that had a PDX-ANC and return leg. Or, failing that, I have flown DL non-stop on a 757 from ANC to PDX at least once.

Delta flew this route, usually with a 727, for years. It was an old WA route. DL flew it until sometime in the late 90's when they began to dismantle the PDX hub.



GO ROCKETS
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