Douglas7Seas
Topic Author
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What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Sun Nov 04, 2007 11:27 pm

I started flying on a semi-regular basis in 2001. About every six weeks I travel from SEA to LGB, usually on Alaska Airlines. I take Alaska for several reasons: (1) I'm not rich, and their prices are usually lowest, (2) they fly into Long Beach which is infinitely preferable to the chaos of LAX, and (3) I can drive the 1.5 hours from work to SEA in time for the 6:50 PM flight.

Two or three years ago, something changed. The employees became noticeably surly. The frequency (and length) of flight delays increased radically. Lastly, the frequency of mechanical failures increased significantly, at least from the passengers standpoint. So my question is "what's up with Alaska"?

An example for your analysis. Last Thursday (11/01/07), I was scheduled on Alaska Flt. 342 from SEA to LGB, departing at 6:50 PM. At 6:45 PM, waiting passengers were advised that the rear lavatory on the aircraft was broken, and no further information on departure would be available until 7:15 PM. At 7:30 PM a gate change was made to a new aircraft, arriving at 8:00 PM. Soon after that aircraft's arrival, it was announced that it too was broken, and another aircraft at another gate would be used. After boarding that aircraft, a stewardess gruffly announced that everyone needed to be seated at once as an 11:00 PM curfew for arriving flights is in effect at Long Beach. Then the Capt. stood in the isle and asked "are we having fun yet"? He the stated 'well, I've never had to change airplanes three time either. But we do have to push back by 8:30, in two minutes or we won't make it into Long Beach. By the way, we don't have any gas on this plane, and I'm not flying without gas, and that takes 15 to 20 minutes to load. So if you don't want to go to Los Angeles, now is your chance to get off'.

So I ask again, what is up with Alaska Airlines?
Be different; Be nice.
 
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TK787
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Sun Nov 04, 2007 11:53 pm

Wow , that is unacceptable.
Especially coming from the pilot. I have flown with AS over 70 times in the past 20 years, and yes I have lowered my expectations over the years. Even the business class has taken a hit. Why? Please someone explain.
 
tdscanuck
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 12:11 am

Quoting Douglas7Seas (Thread starter):

Two or three years ago, something changed. The employees became noticeably surly. The frequency (and length) of flight delays increased radically. Lastly, the frequency of mechanical failures increased significantly, at least from the passengers standpoint. So my question is "what's up with Alaska"?

That would be about the time they they outsourced all their ground handling, I think. That immediately increased delays due to issues with loading/unloading baggage and servicing the airplane and I think it pissed the remaining Alaska employees off, which might explain the surliness.

I don't fly them as often as you do but my experiences to date have been quite positive.

Tom.
 
PanAm747
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 12:19 am

When you outsource, you get what you pay for - or rather what you DON'T pay for. This is true for airlines or any other "service" (and I use that term lightly).

As you yourself stated, you travel with them because their prices are generally the lowest. May we ask how much you save? Is it really worth it in the long run to have to suffer through this?

I ask this because I seriously doubt anything is going to improve anytime soon.
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
AirframeAS
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 12:32 am

Quoting Douglas7Seas (Thread starter):
Two or three years ago, something changed. The employees became noticeably surly. The frequency (and length) of flight delays increased radically. Lastly, the frequency of mechanical failures increased significantly, at least from the passengers standpoint. So my question is "what's up with Alaska"?

This has been going on with the morale for the last several plus years or so. I started to notice this in 2003-2004. My expectations are getting lower and lower each time I fly on them. I don't know as to WHY the employees are being this way. This is not the Alaska Spirit that AS preaches about anymore. The FA's are really disrespectful and rude towards the pax, expecially on my last second to last flight (DEN-SEA) last May. The gate agents are okay, but still, ya know. I used to work for AS and this is definately not my former airline for sure. It has really changed and it is sad. I am considering switching my business over to F9 exclusively (west coast flying) and I don't mind a plane change in DEN. Again, Alaska Airlines isn't the same Alaska Airlines that I once knew....

As for your question "what's up with Alaska?" I dont know the anwser. Ask Ayer. Only he can anwser that for you, but he probably won't be very truthful.

Quoting TK787 (Reply 1):
Even the business class has taken a hit.

AS doesn't have a business class. Just F & Y class only.

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 2):
That would be about the time they they outsourced all their ground handling, I think.

 checkmark  I agree with that. I would also add about the mx being outsourced too, that p'eed off alot of the folks at the SEA base and the folks at OAK too. I am saddened that the SEA C/D-check base is gone.

AS needs to get their ducks in a row, and the only way that will ever happen is starting with Ayer, who needs to resign.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
F9Animal
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:26 am

Quoting TK787 (Reply 1):
Wow , that is unacceptable.
Especially coming from the pilot. I have flown with AS over 70 times in the past 20 years, and yes I have lowered my expectations over the years. Even the business class has taken a hit. Why? Please someone explain.



Quoting Douglas7Seas (Thread starter):
So I ask again, what is up with Alaska Airlines?

I had to really think about how to approach this question, because EVERYONE knows my theory. The CEO of Alaska needs to go, and so does about 90% of the corporate office. And 90% of the management needs to take the walk along with him. Ayer has done a royal job of changing Alaska from a jewel, to just another airline.

Ayer (CEO) and his team fired and outsourced the dedicated ramp workers in SEA, and replaced them with a contract that has really made them the spotlight of the Seattle media. Planes whacked, bags stolen, guns stolen and used in driveby shootings, and the list goes on. Ayer and his team will use the outsourcing of the ramp workers as a tool to use against the front line workers that remain. The poor employees have to be hand shy. Do you really feel protected job wise, when your fellow coworkers got kicked to the curb? Oh yes, and where is the big savings from outsourcing the ramp? If anything, it has cost them alot more than just money lost.

I see a need for change, and it needs to start at the top. The front line employees deserve a better leader. Alaska has so much potential, but I just don't see it happening under the current leadership. Ayer and his team are so concerned about cutting costs, and making money. Sadly, they have no vision of what Alaska Airlines stands for, and what it is about. They have done a fine job of making Alaska just another airline, and I would give anything to have some of the old Alaska Airlines back.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the need to change. But change should not affect your customers. Change should not inconvenience your customers. Change should not hurt your customers. Most importantly, change should not damage your workforce. The 2010 plan is a complete failure.

Clean house at the top. Bring back your own ramp workers. Raise the employee morale, and the employees will bring back the special Jewel that Alaska really is. I want Alaska back!

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 4):
Again, Alaska Airlines isn't the same Alaska Airlines that I once knew....

As for your question "what's up with Alaska?" I dont know the anwser. Ask Ayer. Only he can anwser that for you, but he probably won't be very truthful.

I should have read your post before I wrote a book! DARN!!! You said everything I just said, except that your 2 sentences could have saved me from carpal tunnel! LOL!

Quoting TK787 (Reply 1):
Wow , that is unacceptable.
Especially coming from the pilot.

Yes, the pilot was somewhat wrong, but straight to the point. The pilots and flight attendants also have no easy task.

Anyone want to guess how long it takes until this one gets deleted?  Wink
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F9Animal
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:28 am

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 3):
When you outsource, you get what you pay for - or rather what you DON'T pay for. This is true for airlines or any other "service" (and I use that term lightly).

As you yourself stated, you travel with them because their prices are generally the lowest. May we ask how much you save? Is it really worth it in the long run to have to suffer through this?

I ask this because I seriously doubt anything is going to improve anytime soon.

100% agree with you on this. My wrists hurt, so I better call it a night!  Smile
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
Douglas7Seas
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:50 am

Hey PanAm,

I usually save around one hundred dollars, more or less. Last Thursday's flight cost $298.30 with a return scheduled for Monday evening. The reservation was made on Oct 14, so Alaska has had my little pittance to play with for about 2 weeks. To answer the question, is it worth it, trading the hassle and nasty attitudes for a hundred dollar savings? Right now, seeing as I'm pissed off, no it's not. But as I said, I don't count myself among the affluent, so a hundred dollars is better in my pocket than theirs.
What really irritates me is that I got a mom in her 80's who isn't going to be around that long (poor, poor me), so I enjoy the time with her. To have it F'ed up because... oh well, I've said too much anyway.

See ya,

John
Be different; Be nice.
 
Mcmax
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:50 am

I fly AS a bit up and the down West Coast (Aadvantage elite miles available). I have to disagree on the comments on Alaska's FAs. The ones I've encountered are always quite chatty and nice, and tend to thank me flying Alaska. The SNA-SEA route has pretty friendy FAs, even in coach. All the attendants in the Board Room in SEA are extra-friendly as well, too.

Now, what takes the cake are the QX flights from SEA-YVR. For such a short hop, they serve complimentary beer and wine, pop and other drinks. For free. Service is great, and with it being such a small place (DH-200), the FA is always telling jokes or taking to the passengers.

As much as I hate to dis my own airline, the vast majority AS FAs put the a good deal of the AA FAs to shame.
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AirframeAS
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:01 am

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 5):
I should have read your post before I wrote a book! DARN!!! You said everything I just said, except that your 2 sentences could have saved me from carpal tunnel! LOL!

Sorry bro! LOL! I knew you would be pitching into this thread sooner or later. I remember you and I having personal discussions about this very issue in private so I know how you feel.

I wished (previous CEO) John F. Kelly never left. But then again, who knows what Kelly would have done today if he was still around. When I heard that Ayer was picked to succeed Kelly, I was disgusted and knew that something like laying off the ramp and mx folks was going to happen. I never saw the mx thing coming, thas for sure!
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
greg3322
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 4:12 pm

It has been my experience that about all airlines customer service and employee moral has gone way down in the last several years. I think 9-11 was a big part of it and of course the bankruptcys. It is not just an AS problem.

Greg
 
AirframeAS
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 4:34 pm

Quoting Greg3322 (Reply 11):
I think 9-11 was a big part of it...

I disagree with that. The 9/11 excuse has been badly so worn out effective like a few years ago. No one is buying that anymore.

Quoting Greg3322 (Reply 11):
of course the bankruptcys.

This, I agree to. But AS was one of the few U.S. airlines that didn't go through bankruptcy after 9/11.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
717-200
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:10 pm

Quoting Greg3322 (Reply 10):
I think 9-11 was a big part of it and of course the bankruptcys.

That statement has become such a cop-out and excuse for the slipshod service of many of the leagcies these days. It is a shame that an airline like AS which had a good reputation for its service has gone down hill so much. It just shows how one person or group of persons like F9 Animal stated can make a difference.
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alaska737
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:19 pm

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 2):
That would be about the time they they outsourced all their ground handling,



Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 3):
When you outsource, you get what you pay for - or rather what you DON'T pay for.

ok i highly doubt you can contribute your delay to the outsourcing of ramp personal....not even F9Animal could find a way to make that connection...more than likely this is another issue with the Mad Dogs which is why they are being retired.
Alaska isnt the only airline to cancel a flight.

Quoting McMax (Reply 8):
I fly AS a bit up and the down West Coast (Aadvantage elite miles available). I have to disagree on the comments on Alaska's FAs. The ones I've encountered are always quite chatty and nice, and tend to thank me flying Alaska

I would agree with this entirely. even if one FA was a little grouchy with you it still doesnt justify you saying that all of AS's FA's are poor,
 
AirframeAS
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:40 pm

Quoting Alaska737 (Reply 13):
...if one FA was a little grouchy with you it still doesnt justify you saying that all of AS's FA's are poor,

We are not even saying that, thats pretty far fetched. I have encountered some really good AS FA's, but lately most of my FA's I have had are less than subpar. Their attitudes certainly did reek...
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
StuckInCA
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:48 pm

I've had nothing but bad experiences lately on AS. Here's a summary of my last 4 flights:

SEA-SMF: 2x Mechanical. 3rd plane's a charm ~4 hour delay. Very little information during the entire delay.
Return ~ 2 hour delay

SEA-SMF: On time
Return: "Rolling" delay (20 - 30 minute delays over and over). We left the airport when they said 11:18 PM. Original departure was scheduled for 5 or 5:10. The flight left at 11:59 PM. Our new flight (the next morning) was ~ 3 hours delayed. They said the reason for the original delay (the 5 PM) was fog in Seattle that morning. I don't buy it. If that's the case they need to be able to know how delayed they are.... not go from on time to 7 hour delay with no increment larger than 30 minutes along the way.

SEA-SJC: On time
Return: Mechanical. Instead of waiting until after 11 PM (original flight scheduled for around 5:30) we shuttled to SFO and got out around 9:30. Net delay for us ~ 4 hours. Not a SINGLE apology from any crew for the inconvenience. On approach to SEA we had to do an extra tour of the Puget Sound region due to a problem with a landing gear light not illuminating (737-400).

On top of that they canceled the flight I had booked for thanksgiving.

It's been a very bad few months for AS in my world. Not coincidentally all of the Mechanical problems were MD-80's.
 
gunsontheroof
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:50 pm

Quoting Douglas7Seas (Thread starter):
I can drive the 1.5 hours from work to SEA in time for the 6:50 PM flight.

If you're working anywhere near the location stated in your profile, I'd love to know how you're pulling that off.  Wink

Quoting Douglas7Seas (Thread starter):
Then the Capt. stood in the isle and asked "are we having fun yet"?

Bad call. I can't imagine that went over well with the pax.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 4):
I agree with that. I would also add about the mx being outsourced too, that p'eed off alot of the folks at the SEA base and the folks at OAK too. I am saddened that the SEA C/D-check base is gone.

What's AS using their hangars at SEA for then? Seems like an awful lot of workspace for a company that's outsourced its MX (is it still happening at PAE and YXX?)
 
Douglas7Seas
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:41 pm

Guns !!

Hey, I'm a government employee... so while I work very slowly, I do put extra speed into starting my vacations ~ just kidding. I actually moved to the general area of Seattle about a year ago, so what with rush hour traffic, I usually make the drive in 1.5 hours.

All three aircraft involved in my attempted trip were MD80's... which I kinda like cuz I know they're in their last days. In regard to canceled Thanksgiving flights, I tried to book one on Alaska last night and there are none listed in the usual time-frame that I fly... I mean NONE. I wonder what's up with that.

See ya,

John
Be different; Be nice.
 
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seabosdca
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:55 pm

Have to say this has not been my experience recently. I fly Alaska frequently BOS-SEA, DCA-SEA, and now BOS-PDX. I've also taken the occasional AS or QX west coast flight in the last few years. I'm very happy with the service.

It does seem that their on time performance out of SEA has slipped (many late-arriving aircraft in BOS and DCA) but the F/As are almost always friendly and polite, and much more willing to give extra drinks, peanuts, etc. if asked. For whatever reason, I've also found the US ground staff in BOS to be much more cheerful when they're working Alaska flights. I have no idea why -- I'm used to "Get your @#&^ on the 6:30 to LaGuardia NOW!" kind of attitude from them, and given the whiny and spoiled nature of many East Coast pax it seems appropriate.

Since I'm usually flying on 737NG aircraft, I haven't had many mx issues. I expect if you regularly flew on M80 or 734 equipment it might be different. The one time I recently flew on a M80 (SAN-SEA, no mx issues) I was in row 32, and the Alaska cabin crew gave a free drink and earplugs to everyone back of row 29! It was much appreciated and the sort of gesture that separates Alaska from the rest.

Have I just been lucky, or is Alaska focusing on the transcons at the expense of their west coast bread and butter?
 
gunsontheroof
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:14 pm

Quoting Douglas7Seas (Reply 17):

Hey, I'm a government employee... so while I work very slowly, I do put extra speed into starting my vacations ~ just kidding. I actually moved to the general area of Seattle about a year ago, so what with rush hour traffic, I usually make the drive in 1.5 hours.

Gotcha. For a second there, I was wondering just how fast you were driving!

Quoting Seabosdca (Reply 18):

Since I'm usually flying on 737NG aircraft, I haven't had many mx issues. I expect if you regularly flew on M80 or 734 equipment it might be different. The one time I recently flew on a M80 (SAN-SEA, no mx issues) I was in row 32, and the Alaska cabin crew gave a free drink and earplugs to everyone back of row 29! It was much appreciated and the sort of gesture that separates Alaska from the rest.

I recently took my first (and probably last) trip on an AS MD-80. I was glad to catch one before they leave the fleet. My return trip (OAK-SEA) was on a 734 and was delayed by about an hour (arriving late from SNA). Wonder if it was mx related.
 
spirtofalaska
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 10:35 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 4):
The FA's are really disrespectful and rude towards the pax, expecially on my last second to last flight (AND CURRENT: Denver - International (DEN / KDEN), USA - Colorado">DEN-SEA) last May.

Yeah, I have to say I am appuled at that comment. AND..Flat out, you are wrong. We are all on a higher level Of nice-ness than most other airlines. Your crew could have been not the most pleasant, but for you to state that all of us are nasty, is rude and not accaptable. Out of the 3000 or so inflight crew members we might have 500 or so that do not want to be here, The other 2500 of us love what we do, and do it for a reason. We realize we get paid better than most, We get treated better than most, And therefore, we treat you the passenger better than most.

On a side note....On my last 3 weeks of flying ( i've flown non-stop the last 3 weeks, minus my 24hr layovers to remain legal ) We have only arrived late one or two flights, And those were only by a few minutes. that has been up and down the west coast, to alaska, and east coast.

I really am sorry you had a bad expereince on our airline, and like someone else graciously pointed out, Those flights that you are on, are usually opporated by the MD80, and once the end of 08 rolls around and we get the last one out of here. Our ontime reliability and MX issue's will improve dramatically.
you fo'Coffee?
 
ca2ohHP
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 10:56 pm

I honestly have always been surprised at how well Alaska seems to do in DOT complaint rankings, and that's from working their flights first hand. Between AS and QX it seems like there is always some issue - and it's almost always maintenance. And it is not just the Mad Dogs either...the 73NG's seem almost as bad.

Part of the problem is AS/QX schedule their aircraft with a very very short ground time. In the line stations it is sometimes 35 minutes to turn an MD80 (and this is scheduled, so very little give in terms of irregularities) - which can be difficult if the rear stairs are not available. US, for instance, has a minimum ground time on an A319 of 35 minutes, but it seats 20 fewer customers..and the flights are usually scheduled with 45 minutes ground time. JetBlue has 60 minutes ground time, and I've seen how trashed the AS cabins are after a 3 hour flight. If anyone has aircraft utilization info (I'm too lazy to look at the moment) it would be interesting as I feel that plays a significant role in on-time performance and not necessarily the aircraft age.

Edited to add: The above is strictly my opinion based off what I see operationally. I will say that almost everyone I have known or worked with at Alaska Airlines is top notch in professionalism.

[Edited 2007-11-05 15:05:11]
 
HikesWithEyes
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:06 pm

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 16):
What's AS using their hangars at SEA for then? Seems like an awful lot of workspace for a company that's outsourced its MX (is it still happening at PAE and YXX?)

AS outsourced heavy check maintenance, not Line MX.
The hangars are used for engine borescopes, lubes, A-cks, etc.
First, benzene in my Perrier, and now this!
 
gunsontheroof
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:23 pm

Quoting HikesWithEyes (Reply 22):
AS outsourced heavy check maintenance, not Line MX.
The hangars are used for engine borescopes, lubes, A-cks, etc.

Should have thought of that myself. Got it.
 
tdscanuck
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Tue Nov 06, 2007 2:05 am

Quoting Alaska737 (Reply 13):
ok i highly doubt you can contribute your delay to the outsourcing of ramp personal...

How do you figure? If ramp operations don't get the plane ready to go, you're delayed.

Tom.
 
AirframeAS
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Tue Nov 06, 2007 3:08 am

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 16):
What's AS using their hangars at SEA for then? Seems like an awful lot of workspace for a company that's outsourced its MX (is it still happening at PAE and YXX?)

AS has stopped the c-checks on SEA (The tail stand is gone.) And OAK is no longer doing c-checks either, they are all outsourced. Now its only line work.

Quoting Spirtofalaska (Reply 20):
Yeah, I have to say I am appuled at that comment. AND..Flat out, you are wrong.

Ah! An intelligent mind!  sarcastic  You were not there on that flight with me in May 2007. So you don't know diddly because you were not on the flight I took. Is your crystal ball inop with green stickers??

Quoting Spirtofalaska (Reply 20):
... for you to state that all of us are nasty, is rude and not accaptable.

I didnt say ALL AS FA's are rude. And no-one is saying that. See.......

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 14):
Quoting Alaska737 (Reply 13):
...if one FA was a little grouchy with you it still doesnt justify you saying that all of AS's FA's are poor,

We are not even saying that, thats pretty far fetched. I have encountered some really good AS FA's, but lately most of my FA's I have had are less than subpar. Their attitudes certainly did reek...

Hmmm.... Ok, Spiritofalaska, I guess you missed that one.

Quoting Spirtofalaska (Reply 20):
flights that you are on, are usually opporated by the MD80...

*BUZZZZ* Incorrect. The flight I was on (DEN-SEA May 12, 2007) was a 739.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
spirtofalaska
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:08 am

AIRFRAME AS

not sure if you wern't aware, but i wasn't talking to you... or refering to anything you had posted
you fo'Coffee?
 
alaska737
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:18 am

Quoting Spirtofalaska (Reply 20):



Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 24):
How do you figure? If ramp operations don't get the plane ready to go, you're delayed.

I was refering to Douglas7Seas first post about his delays and plane switches, I dont think Menzies could break a lav. yes i know that the ground crews could delay a plane but in this situation, they had nothing to do with it from the information that Douglas7Seas has given.
 
Douglas7Seas
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:57 am

Just as a parting shot, cuz I am a bit put out over this situation, here is a link to me griping and complaining about the same thing on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=in8g8cYnCPQ

Oh, and thanks for allowing me to bitch and gripe, I appreciate you all listening and giving your insights.

See ya,

John

[Edited 2007-11-05 22:09:52]
Be different; Be nice.
 
AirframeAS
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Tue Nov 06, 2007 1:17 pm

Quoting Spirtofalaska (Reply 26):
AIRFRAME AS

not sure if you wern't aware, but i wasn't talking to you... or refering to anything you had posted

I apologize. I thought you were. Sad I hope I had not offended you, sir.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
717-200
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:34 pm

Quoting Douglas7Seas (Reply 28):
Oh, and thanks for allowing me to bitch and gripe, I appreciate you all listening and giving your insights.

Have you ever tried flying WN instead despite the connections at OAK, SJC, or SMF? Seems they would be quicker than AS with their a/c mx delays and their front line employees are generally happier than Alaska's people. Lately I have been hearing radio ads by Alaska for customer service jobs at SeaTac. Could this be a sign of a turnover problem with their CSA's due to the delays that have put AS second to the bottom in the DOT latest on-time stats?
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rwsea
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:24 pm

If you're flying AS, avoid the M80s at all costs. In the past couple of years, all of my extreme delays (2 hours+) have been on M80s going mechanical. I've generally had much better experiences with QX and on the 737s.

With regard to the transcons, these generally seem to operate on time with the exception of congestion on the ground in BOS/EWR.

In terms of service, I've seen some noticeable improvements in F lately (especially the meal service) but the FAs continue to be hit or miss. The baggage situation at SEA is the worst - regular waits of 30-40 minutes but in fairness that's the airport in general and not just AS.

The truth is that there used to be a reason to fly AS and there no longer is. They're no better than UA, DL, etc. I fly them simply because they're the only non-stop to many cities, but on routes where there's competition (e.g. SFO, ORD, etc.) I go with whatever schedule is most convenient.
 
AirframeAS
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Wed Nov 07, 2007 12:26 am

Quoting 717-200 (Reply 30):
Lately I have been hearing radio ads by Alaska for customer service jobs at SeaTac.

They are always hiring for people at the CSA position. They just can't seem to keep people because they keep firing them (not passing probation is a big issue), and I speak from experience, I have worked there and seen how the supervisors treat the SEA CSA folks. Its not a picnic between the workgroup and the supervisors. The trainers are very, very picky on who stays and who gets fired, its very biased. This needs to change!

Quoting 717-200 (Reply 30):
Could this be a sign of a turnover problem with their CSA's due to the delays that have put AS second to the bottom in the DOT latest on-time stats?

No, see above.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
skyguyB727
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Wed Nov 07, 2007 12:41 am

F9Animal, you said it exactly. AS used to be a great airline. I'll never forget my first experience flying with them when I was new in the travel industry. I was also a stockholder and flew to SEA for the annual meeting. I met Bruce Kennedy (fromer CEO) and John Kelly (former VP of Sales). Mr. Kelly personally gave me a tour of HDQ and arranged for a tour of SEA res. I was so impressed that they treated me like such a valued guest. It left a great impression on me. It's sad that things aren't like that nowadays.
 
Avion346
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Wed Nov 07, 2007 1:11 am

In summation, a lot of issues need to be addressed and fixed. Everyone is aware there are serious problems, and work is being made to begin the long road to recovery. Rest assured that there are plenty of people still with the company who are at work daily trying their best to bring the old AS back. Nothing will be overnight, but that won't deter those that care.
 
HikesWithEyes
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:10 am

Quoting Douglas7Seas (Thread starter):
1) I'm not rich, and their prices are usually lowest

Well, maybe the fact that you vote with your pocketbook has something to do with the quality
of service in the airline industry.
If someone else offered a lower fare to Long Beach, that is who you would fly on, correct?

It's unfortunate for any passenger that is inconvenienced by a delay that the airline has control over.

As far as the youtube video goes, well enjoy your 15 minutes of fame.
Do you film a youtube video if you have an unpleasant experience at Safeway ?
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Douglas7Seas
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:47 am

Well, I suppose that if Safeway took $300.00 from me and provided nothing, I might do a video on them. Are you interested in co-staring? And if that silly little video is my "15 minutes" of fame, I got short changed; it was only 7minutes and a few seconds long.

See ya,

John

[Edited 2007-11-06 18:48:49]

[Edited 2007-11-06 18:51:29]
Be different; Be nice.
 
HikesWithEyes
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:48 am

Quoting Douglas7Seas (Reply 36):
Well, I suppose that if Safeway took $300.00 from me and provided nothing

Provided nothing? Your post doesn't say that you weren't able to get to Long Beach.
If I had realized that was the case, then I wouldn't have replied as I did.
But if you did make it to Socal, then you can't say that you were provided nothing, correct?
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seabosdca
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:59 am

Quoting RwSEA (Reply 31):
The baggage situation at SEA is the worst - regular waits of 30-40 minutes but in fairness that's the airport in general and not just AS.

Offtopic, I know, but this is so true... baggage service at SEA is slower than at any other airport I regularly fly into, including some much bigger East Coast hubs where I'm used to worse service in other respects.

Is there something intrinsic about the airport that causes this, or is it just a problem of understaffed or inefficient ground handling? It seems to be true for all airlines, but worse for UA. On three of my last four UA flights into SEA, I've had to wait well over an hour only to discover that a bag was missing. Bags get lost, but that record is a little crazy. Now I avoid flying UA into SEA.

AS hasn't lost a bag for me yet, but the 30-45 minute wait gets kind of old.
 
Douglas7Seas
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:30 am

I didn't get to Long Beach. Total "loses": 1.5 days of vacation time, 1 tank of gas, $300.00 (298.30 actually) plane fare, and accommodations in the South Bay.

[Edited 2007-11-06 20:33:41]
Be different; Be nice.
 
SpencerII
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:34 am

Quoting Douglas7Seas (Reply 17):
All three aircraft involved in my attempted trip were MD80's... which I kinda like cuz I know they're in their last days. In regard to canceled Thanksgiving flights, I tried to book one on Alaska last night and there are none listed in the usual time-frame that I fly... I mean NONE. I wonder what's up with that.

After such a RANT, I would take it you're a glutton for punishment. Why would ever even try to book a flight on Alaska.? after your video rendition of your flight & advice you're passing out in the video. Perhaps you should practice what you preach in your video.
 
Douglas7Seas
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:39 am

Sorry Spencer,

I should have been clearer. When I book travel I just go through the routine of looking at Alaska, UAL and SW schedules. It' s just a habit I guess.
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HikesWithEyes
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:42 am

Quoting Douglas7Seas (Reply 39):
I didn't get to Long Beach. Total "loses": 1.5 days of vacation time, 1 tank of gas, $300.00 (298.30 actually) plane fare, and accommodations in the South Bay.

[Edited 2007-11-06 20:33:41]

Well your original post doesn't say anything about not getting to Long Beach on Alaska.
I couldn't bear to watch the whole boobtube.com video, so I didn't get that part on there.
First, benzene in my Perrier, and now this!
 
Douglas7Seas
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:49 am

Well, I thought that it kind of went without saying... you know, if I want to go to Long Beach, and I buy a ticket to go to Long Beach and then the airline says they are going to fly to Los Angeles, you know, that well, um, I wouldn't stay on a plane going where I didn't want to go.

Silly me !!
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F9Animal
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:23 am

Quoting HikesWithEyes (Reply 35):
Well, maybe the fact that you vote with your pocketbook has something to do with the quality
of service in the airline industry.
If someone else offered a lower fare to Long Beach, that is who you would fly on, correct?

It's unfortunate for any passenger that is inconvenienced by a delay that the airline has control over.

As far as the youtube video goes, well enjoy your 15 minutes of fame.
Do you film a youtube video if you have an unpleasant experience at Safeway ?



Quoting HikesWithEyes (Reply 37):
Provided nothing? Your post doesn't say that you weren't able to get to Long Beach.
If I had realized that was the case, then I wouldn't have replied as I did.
But if you did make it to Socal, then you can't say that you were provided nothing, correct?



Quoting HikesWithEyes (Reply 42):
Well your original post doesn't say anything about not getting to Long Beach on Alaska.
I couldn't bear to watch the whole boobtube.com video, so I didn't get that part on there.

Oh come on Hikes. I would expect a better response from an AS employee, especially regarding this topic. Boobtube.com?

If he made it to Socal, he was not provided what he paid for. If you order a pizza, but get a burger, is it correct? Should the restaurant at least attempt to fix the error, or tell you to flat out eat what was served to you? Sounds like AS is forcing people to eat and accept whatever is shoved at them, and that is exactly what I understand about the topic from Douglas7Seas. Your lack of sympathy or empathy from an airline/Alaska standpoint clearly shows what Douglas7Seas faced during his last few flights with AS.
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AirframeAS
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:25 pm

Quoting Avion346 (Reply 34):
In summation, a lot of issues need to be addressed and fixed. Everyone is aware there are serious problems, and work is being made to begin the long road to recovery. Rest assured that there are plenty of people still with the company who are at work daily trying their best to bring the old AS back. Nothing will be overnight, but that won't deter those that care.

The only way that can be accomplished is the removal of the CEO. Ayer has clearly destroyed what Alaska once was. And 9/11 has absolutely nothing to do with it. Someone earlier stated that 90% of that corporate office (Including the employee relations dude..) should be replaced as well. And I agre with that 100%!

Quoting SeaBosDca (Reply 38):
Is there something intrinsic about the airport that causes this, or is it just a problem of understaffed or inefficient ground handling?

Ever since AS parted ways with its in-house ramp work group, Menzies has taken over the ramp. And a surprising fact is that the majority of those Menzies workers are ex-AS ramp employees. So put two and two together, you get the result that we have now. Before Menzies ever came into the picture, baggage has never taken THAT long. It's pretty obvious. Menzies still has some pretty angry folks out on that ramp.....
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
SkyyMaster
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:25 pm

Quoting McMax (Reply 8):
I fly AS a bit up and the down West Coast (Aadvantage elite miles available). I have to disagree on the comments on Alaska's FAs

I've flown AS maybe 10 times since '04. Prior to that it was a couple times a year in the 90's, then none from about 97 to 04.

I'm not sure what everyone else is seeing, but I've always had a pleasant experience, both with AS and QX. Considering I usually take AA to LAX to get to my AS flights, I can certainly say the "attitude" by the gate and cabin staff at AA is much more surly and indifferent than AS. Living a long way from their base, I don't know much about what's happening internally within the company, but it sounds like management issues. Still, they treat me well and these days that is becoming a rare commodity. If there is something going on with them, I hope they get it fixed. It would be a shame to see them slip into the pit of mediocrity that engulfs most carriers these days.
 
717-200
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:38 pm

Quoting RwSEA (Reply 31):
The baggage situation at SEA is the worst - regular waits of 30-40 minutes but in fairness that's the airport in general and not just AS.

Interesting that bag waits are now 30-40 min at SEA. When I had the misfortune to work for Menzies back in the summer of '05 here at SEA as a ramp lead there was an iniative to get bags from the aircraft to the bag drop in 20 minutes. Guess that has gone by the wayside now. But then again it could be the fact that the Port of Seattle has botched up the conveyor system project to the point that it is could be causing part of the exteneded bag waits.
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HikesWithEyes
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:00 pm

Quoting Douglas7Seas (Reply 43):
Well, I thought that it kind of went without saying... you know, if I want to go to Long Beach, and I buy a ticket to go to Long Beach and then the airline says they are going to fly to Los Angeles, you know, that well, um, I wouldn't stay on a plane going where I didn't want to go.

Go to one of the flight tracking websites, and you will see that your flight did go to Long Beach.
Even if the flight hadn't made it before curfew, then AS would have provided busses for the passengers to go
from LAX to LGB.
First, benzene in my Perrier, and now this!
 
717-200
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RE: What's Up With Alaska Airlines?

Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:18 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 32):
The trainers are very, very picky on who stays and who gets fired, its very biased.

What are these trainers being picky on? Attendance, punctuality, demeanor towards customers during IROP situations, giving away too many upgrades?
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