I'm with AlaskaMVP on this one--
--Alaska was the first airline in the world to manually land a passenger jet (a 727) in Category III weather using a HUD.
--Alaska was the first US airline to take off in <600 ft. RVR with a passenger jet.
--Alaska flew the first passenger jet equipped with GPS navigation.
They are at the front of the pack when it comes to upgrading their aircraft to be as safe as possible in bad weather. I'd fly them in 0/0 anyday.
As for maintenance, yes, that was a paperwork screw-up as well as creating an unknown hazardous situation (using two different lubes on the jackscrew). As has already been pointed out, I'll bet they have one of the safest, if not the safest, MD-80 fleets in the country.
As for the charge that they have old planes-- they have four aircraft from the 1970s (all of which are 732 combis, three from '79, one from '74), 14 aircraft from the '80s, 69 from the '90s, and 15 from the 2000's. Not too shabby.
>IMHO, it's usually the Fox affiliates who scream out such headlines.
True. Fox affiliates' news programs are usually lacking in the ratings (I can't imagine why...
) so they tend to put out crap like this.
I'm sick of the media railing on Alaska-- Alaska is safer and has a better record than most, if not all, of the other nine top-10 airlines in the nation.
I'd take Alaska over any other carrier on any flight to any city on any day. The fleet is pretty new, the service is great, they are safe-- all around my favorite airline. Hopefully they will expand to the east beyond DEN, BOS, DCA/IAD, and ORD.