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n7371f
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Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:19 am

Hitting front doors Sunday morning, the Seattle Times has a very unflattering front page story on the unraveling at Alaska Air Group. Some of this is not new; other stuff like pilots holding their planes at the busy C/D/NS holding ramp at SEA to slow down the operation is.

Throughout my career I've always been weary of unionized airlines employees accuracy of how bad things actually are (I spent years close to Northwest Airlines). But the fact that Seattle's most powerful media voice has decided to call out Alaska and Brad Tilden's management team is saying something. Homerism is usually an innate trait of Seattle.

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... s-at-risk/

I'm surprised the article doesn't mention the possible upcoming blowback on Virgin America's excellent soft product being removed for Alaska's basic product (Sat TV, TV's, food/drink ordering, higher-end first class, and so on...) It may end up being a non-issue with revenue, since Virgin America never appeared to generated a revenue premium, or it could blow up on social media and other channels as VA lovers find themselves on Recaro cardboard seats with injection molded plastic starring at them from the front seatback instead of a TV. To be seen...
 
dashdrvr
Posts: 93
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Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:54 am

n7371f wrote:
Hitting front doors Sunday morning, the Seattle Times has a very unflattering front page story on the unraveling at Alaska Air Group. Some of this is not new; other stuff like pilots holding their planes at the busy C/D/NS holding ramp at SEA to slow down the operation is.

Throughout my career I've always been weary of unionized airlines employees accuracy of how bad things actually are (I spent years close to Northwest Airlines). But the fact that Seattle's most powerful media voice has decided to call out Alaska and Brad Tilden's management team is saying something. Homerism is usually an innate trait of Seattle.

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... s-at-risk/

I'm surprised the article doesn't mention the possible upcoming blowback on Virgin America's excellent soft product being removed for Alaska's basic product (Sat TV, TV's, food/drink ordering, higher-end first class, and so on...) It may end up being a non-issue with revenue, since Virgin America never appeared to generated a revenue premium, or it could blow up on social media and other channels as VA lovers find themselves on Recaro cardboard seats with injection molded plastic starring at them from the front seatback instead of a TV. To be seen...


I am intrigued by the Seattle Times about face. For the past couple years they have been AAG's biggest fan boy. Ignoring or burying a story. The Horizon pilots had to buy multi thousand dollar add space to get out front and center what was going on at Horizon and ostensibly the AAG. That was 5 months ago. What has all of sudden changed. .
 
BoeingGuy
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Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:54 am

I can say that AS 737s are a lot more comfortable than AA’s. I flew AS SEA-SNA for Thanksgiving and the seat and leg room was a lot more comfortable than the AA 738 I flew a few weeks later SEA-LAX as part of an SEA-AKL routing. AS’s 737s were sure more comfortable than the gosh awful 31” 3-3-3 787 searing on the overseas flights.

I fly AS several times a year and still find them to be just as good and reliable.
 
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kmz
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Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:09 am

n7371f wrote:
.................... VA lovers find themselves on Recaro cardboard seats with injection molded plastic starring at them from the front seatback instead of a TV. To be seen...


VA and AS have RECARO seats
 
jbpdx
Posts: 866
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Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:50 am

I love those cookies.

Hope they get it together. Portland is totally dependent on Alaska. Taking them to SoCal in a week.
^
 
DarthLobster
Posts: 392
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Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:11 am

Nice little smear campaign, with a few flattering statements towards the competition. Can't imagine who paid to run this article...
 
MaverickM11
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Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:29 am

If VX’ soft product mattered it wouldn’t be blown away by AS’ profit margin, never mind UA
I don't take responsibility at all
 
scoping2008
Posts: 73
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Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:41 am

Definitely a smear piece.

"One veteran flight attendant at Alaska said she’s lost much of the flexibility she once had in her schedule. She said changes to work rules, related to trading trips with others and the flying time needed to gain vacation days, make it more difficult to juggle the responsibilities of looking after children or elderly parents. “Most of us do this job for that flexibility,” she said."

It's the same set of work rules the flight attendant union ratified in its contract about 3 years ago. The merger has nothing to do with this.
 
wedgetail737
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Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:16 am

Yeah...just because the Seattle Times produces a report about the likes/dislikes of AS, it doesn't mean it is accurate. Most has to do with interviews with some team members. The media chooses who they want to listen and what they want to write. Many times, comments made are taken out of context. This article is definitely something AS competitors and anti-AS armchair CEO's want to hear.
 
AA737-823
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Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:10 am

While I'm certainly not an Alaska Air Apologist, I must say that in the past year, my life with AS has been far better than my life with UA was.
I'll certainly miss the VX product, too, and in many way, I wish this merger hadn't happened.
But I can say the same for UA/CO. No one gained anything (especially we customers) with that ridiculous conflab.

And is it the Seattle Times, or the Seattle Post Intimidator that is always running pieces on how lousy Boeing is?
It's given me a foul taste for Seattle media, either way.

So, while I've written ad nauseum on flyertalk about everything I've found wrong with AS, I can't sit here and drink the "sky is falling" Kool Aid.
 
Prost
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Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:10 am

Please keep in mind, the Seattle Times interviewed 10 employees out of 23,000. That is .043% of employees. You probably would have a similar amount of disgruntled employees at Santa’s Workshop.
 
Travelmanager
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Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:14 am

It is an interesting article. Yes, there are problems. I am yet to see an airline merger where everyone is super happy.
My thoughts are that:

    The theory that Alaska management felt that they needed to buy to keep JetBlue from gaining a competitive advantage is under emphasized. The merger with the timing and terms and conditions wasn't Tilden's brainchild.
      the Delta JFK service isn't going to make or break Seattle. On other routes, there isn't a clear product advantage.
        Seattle is a very busy airport these days. I don't think that the dalays are AS management's fault (Horizon issues aside). Construction and congestion will cause delays, and Delta and others will feel that as well.
         
        rbavfan
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        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:44 am

        kmz wrote:
        n7371f wrote:
        .................... VA lovers find themselves on Recaro cardboard seats with injection molded plastic starring at them from the front seatback instead of a TV. To be seen...


        VA and AS have RECARO seats


        Hello guys. VA is Virgin Australia, VX is Virgin America.
         
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        chepos
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        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:03 pm

        That was a piece of crap article. Who knew Biscoff cookies where held in such high esteem by some.
        Fly the Flag!!!!
         
        LJ
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        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:17 pm

        wedgetail737 wrote:
        Yeah...just because the Seattle Times produces a report about the likes/dislikes of AS, it doesn't mean it is accurate. Most has to do with interviews with some team members. The media chooses who they want to listen and what they want to write.


        Which is exactly the reason why this is an interesting development as the question is why a (previous) very pro-Alaska media outlet is now running a less than favourable article.

        DarthLobster wrote:
        Nice little smear campaign, with a few flattering statements towards the competition. Can't imagine who paid to run this article...


        Thus when it's positive it's not paid but when a paper runs a less favourable article then it must be paid by a competitor?
         
        VS11
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        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:21 pm

        I know lots of people here drink the AS kool-aid but in this time and age when airlines are rolling in cash if they have to try and save money from cookies it is only downhill from here.

        From the article: "Management insisted, though, that cabin crew must still try to save money by handing out cookies only if a passenger asks for them, and then only one packet per person."
         
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        EA CO AS
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        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:25 pm

        Yet another hit piece by the Seattle Times. AS has never been held in high regard by them, to be honest, although the PI has always been even tougher on them; I'd imagine the PI staff is saying, "Crap, why didn't WE do this piece?"

        QX has turned the corner and is getting better each day. SOC is in just a few days. Single PSS is in April. This integration, while not flawless, is going as well as can be expected, if not better. Yes, there are always some hiccups, and I kind of wish AAG had just paid the pilots what they asked for since the difference between what they got and what they wanted wasn't going to bankrupt the company, but taking the "sky is falling!" word of these ten disgruntled employees as gospel is just ridiculous.
        "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

        Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
         
        frmrCapCadet
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        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:47 pm

        Friends flying the west coast for business noticed the decline in Alaska (versus Delta) two years ago. Seriously so. Seattle papers have covered aviation accurately and presciently for years. Keep in mind that top notch reporters develop and cultivate deep sources. They never get quoted, never get their pictures taken, and likely are very careful not to leak information illegally. But when the reporter asks "I am hearing so and so", they get the sort of answer like "yeah, I am hearing that too", or "This is overblown", or even "there is a big story out there but this isn't it". Those deep sources could be workers, engineers, mid-management, or even a highly placed executive with certain axes to grind.
        Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
         
        N212R
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        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:13 pm

        DarthLobster wrote:
        Nice little smear campaign, with a few flattering statements towards the competition. Can't imagine who paid to run this article...


        Big Media has evidently gotten its talons into even the once reliably "hometown" Seattle Times.
         
        Capn
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        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:20 pm

        Prost wrote:
        Please keep in mind, the Seattle Times interviewed 10 employees out of 23,000. That is .043% of employees. You probably would have a similar amount of disgruntled employees at Santa’s Workshop.


        I have to complement you on how you always take the HIGH ROAD.
        I am pretty certain you work for DL., if not I wish you did.
        Your posts are always fair and unbiased. Wish all us netters were more like that.
        UH-1 DEHAVILAND HERON MARTIN 404 DC-9 CHALLENGER 601 FALCON 50 & 900EX
         
        N212R
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        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:35 pm

        frmrCapCadet wrote:
        Friends flying the west coast for business noticed the decline in Alaska (versus Delta) two years ago. Seriously so. Seattle papers have covered aviation accurately and presciently for years. Keep in mind that top notch reporters develop and cultivate deep sources. They never get quoted, never get their pictures taken, and likely are very careful not to leak information illegally. But when the reporter asks "I am hearing so and so", they get the sort of answer like "yeah, I am hearing that too", or "This is overblown", or even "there is a big story out there but this isn't it". Those deep sources could be workers, engineers, mid-management, or even a highly placed executive with certain axes to grind.


        What you describe is NOT reporting. Any fool, dupe or deeply compromised individual can believe he "hears" something and whisper it in the ear of another fool, dupe or deeply compromised individual...before long you have a long list of foolish inaccuracies that is surreptitiously called NEWS. And so it passes in our deeply flawed Republic.
         
        snowzilla
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        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:10 pm

        n7371f wrote:
        Hitting front doors Sunday morning, the Seattle Times has a very unflattering front page story on the unraveling at Alaska Air Group. Some of this is not new; other stuff like pilots holding their planes at the busy C/D/NS holding ramp at SEA to slow down the operation is.
        .


        I can assure you that no pilot is slowing down the operation. Waiting for a gate or a chance to push is simply a fact of there being too many airplanes.
         
        wedgetail737
        Posts: 5278
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        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:21 pm

        snowzilla wrote:
        n7371f wrote:
        Hitting front doors Sunday morning, the Seattle Times has a very unflattering front page story on the unraveling at Alaska Air Group. Some of this is not new; other stuff like pilots holding their planes at the busy C/D/NS holding ramp at SEA to slow down the operation is.
        .


        I can assure you that no pilot is slowing down the operation. Waiting for a gate or a chance to push is simply a fact of there being too many airplanes.


        I have had many experiences where my AS flight had to be held because of the lack of gate space. A lot of times, the AS flights leave early or on time from the originating destination and arrive SEA sometimes as much as 40 minutes early. Then you have to wait 15 to 20 minutes for a gate. It's often the byproduct of vying to be an on-time airline.
         
        MIflyer12
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        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:28 pm

        Capn wrote:
        Prost wrote:
        Please keep in mind, the Seattle Times interviewed 10 employees out of 23,000. That is .043% of employees. You probably would have a similar amount of disgruntled employees at Santa’s Workshop.


        I have to complement you on how you always take the HIGH ROAD.
        I am pretty certain you work for DL., if not I wish you did.
        Your posts are always fair and unbiased. Wish all us netters were more like that.


        Anybody take a college stats class? A few journalism classes? If the reporter interviewed ten employees and got substantially the same answer eight times, that has very high statistical significance. (The reporter would also have a professional obligation to note the answers of the 1 or 2 that didn't fit the pattern.)
         
        tphuang
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        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:41 pm

        N212R wrote:
        frmrCapCadet wrote:
        Friends flying the west coast for business noticed the decline in Alaska (versus Delta) two years ago. Seriously so. Seattle papers have covered aviation accurately and presciently for years. Keep in mind that top notch reporters develop and cultivate deep sources. They never get quoted, never get their pictures taken, and likely are very careful not to leak information illegally. But when the reporter asks "I am hearing so and so", they get the sort of answer like "yeah, I am hearing that too", or "This is overblown", or even "there is a big story out there but this isn't it". Those deep sources could be workers, engineers, mid-management, or even a highly placed executive with certain axes to grind.


        What you describe is NOT reporting. Any fool, dupe or deeply compromised individual can believe he "hears" something and whisper it in the ear of another fool, dupe or deeply compromised individual...before long you have a long list of foolish inaccuracies that is surreptitiously called NEWS. And so it passes in our deeply flawed Republic.


        If you look at as ft forum, there are threads after threads complaint about as since vx merger that were never there pre merger. As management has pissed off a lot of its ff with perceived favoring off vx ff, Horizon mess and big losses in airline partners since the merger.

        A q4 4% drop in rasm when other airlines are raising their rasm forecast is not a good sign. Especially when this happened before some of the new competitive challenges they are facing in 2018.
         
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        NameOmitted
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        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:07 pm

        MIflyer12 wrote:

        Anybody take a college stats class? A few journalism classes? If the reporter interviewed ten employees and got substantially the same answer eight times, that has very high statistical significance. (The reporter would also have a professional obligation to note the answers of the 1 or 2 that didn't fit the pattern.)


        Assuming a random distribution of respondents to a survey, yes. The challenge faced by reporters is that there is generally a bias from the self selection of purple who are motivated to go talk with a reporter in the first place.
         
        dc10lover
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        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:33 pm

        snowzilla wrote:
        n7371f wrote:
        Hitting front doors Sunday morning, the Seattle Times has a very unflattering front page story on the unraveling at Alaska Air Group. Some of this is not new; other stuff like pilots holding their planes at the busy C/D/NS holding ramp at SEA to slow down the operation is.
        .


        I can assure you that no pilot is slowing down the operation. Waiting for a gate or a chance to push is simply a fact of there being too many airplanes.

        Aircraft waiting for a gate probably happens a lot at other airports as well.
        Why endure the nightmare and congestion of LAX when BUR, LGB, ONT & SNA is so much easier to fly in and out of. Same with OAK & SJC when it comes to SFO.
         
        BoeingGuy
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        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:39 pm

        dc10lover wrote:
        snowzilla wrote:
        n7371f wrote:
        Hitting front doors Sunday morning, the Seattle Times has a very unflattering front page story on the unraveling at Alaska Air Group. Some of this is not new; other stuff like pilots holding their planes at the busy C/D/NS holding ramp at SEA to slow down the operation is.
        .


        I can assure you that no pilot is slowing down the operation. Waiting for a gate or a chance to push is simply a fact of there being too many airplanes.

        Aircraft waiting for a gate probably happens a lot at other airports as well.


        It just happened to me in SYD. QF flight CHC-SYD. We arrived early. Had to wait on the tarmac for a gate to open up. Must have been the pilots intentionally slowing down operations because they are mad at the airline. ;)
         
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        usxguy
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        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:06 pm

        Alaska has had a lot of "little" squabbles and the Seattle Times are just connecting some dots. Its more than just a few threads on FlyerTalk or the pilots groups. When you add them up, yes, Alaska is having a few hiccups. A group of pilots are pissed. 5th best is a mantra going around. Raises are nice, but lack of scope has many bothered. Slowdown may be a handful of pilots. Could be more, who knows. Seattle goes to hell quickly when there's a snowflake involved (and I don't necessarily mean the political kind). Sabre is having a few hiccups.

        regarding biscoff, Alaska used to serve snack mixes by King Nuts - we had a ranch mix, savory, and hawaiian blend. Its been replaced by 2 single small biscoff cookies. Its noticed by frequent flyers and regulars, so the lack of cookies after 10AM would have been noticed by many more.

        Virgin's product is very nice - its a MIX of everything though. When you start chipping away at it, as Gordon Bethune said "you have a tasteless pizza with no toppings".

        Recaro seats - Virgin's seats are NOT the slimline (I don't know whats on the NEOs though). Alaskas are the slimline.
        xx
         
        MAH4546
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        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:10 pm

        I'm an Alaska convert after Parker ruined AA by bringing in the toxic US Airwys culture, and ask myself why it took so long to convert. The best domestic airline by far in nearly every respect. From a customer perspective, they should keep doing what they're doing, it's fantastic flying with them.
        a.
         
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        TVNWZ
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        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:12 pm

        You can find 10 Billionaires who will not be content with their financial returns and think their lives suck.
         
        BravoOne
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        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:14 pm

        BoeingGuy wrote:
        dc10lover wrote:
        snowzilla wrote:

        I can assure you that no pilot is slowing down the operation. Waiting for a gate or a chance to push is simply a fact of there being too many airplanes.

        Aircraft waiting for a gate probably happens a lot at other airports as well.


        It just happened to me in SYD. QF flight CHC-SYD. We arrived early. Had to wait on the tarmac for a gate to open up. Must have been the pilots intentionally slowing down operations because they are mad at the airline. ;)


        I'll second that observation. I have sat waiting for as much as 30 minutes for a gate while flying Delta into Seattle. That airport is simply not ready for prime time action.
         
        berari
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        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:18 pm

        AS decided to buy Virgin and downgrade it to its own level of service while at the same time not focusing on fending of DL in its home turf. Maybe it was its way of countering DL at LAX. It's a big gamble that we will have to sit back and watch as it unfolds. I still think that JetBlue was the better match for Virgin when looking at product/vision and culture/fleet.
         
        frmrCapCadet
        Posts: 4334
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        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:25 pm

        N212R wrote:
        frmrCapCadet wrote:
        Friends flying the west coast for business noticed the decline in Alaska (versus Delta) two years ago. Seriously so. Seattle papers have covered aviation accurately and presciently for years. Keep in mind that top notch reporters develop and cultivate deep sources. They never get quoted, never get their pictures taken, and likely are very careful not to leak information illegally. But when the reporter asks "I am hearing so and so", they get the sort of answer like "yeah, I am hearing that too", or "This is overblown", or even "there is a big story out there but this isn't it". Those deep sources could be workers, engineers, mid-management, or even a highly placed executive with certain axes to grind.


        What you describe is NOT reporting. Any fool, dupe or deeply compromised individual can believe he "hears" something and whisper it in the ear of another fool, dupe or deeply compromised individual...before long you have a long list of foolish inaccuracies that is surreptitiously called NEWS. And so it passes in our deeply flawed Republic.


        Obviously you do not know what good reporting is, and how good reporters work.
        Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
         
        F9Animal
        Posts: 4438
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        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:33 pm

        I will just say it. Poor Alaska.... Barely squeezing a profit. Maybe setup some soup kitchens? I am heading off to their corporate office to donate some firewood, and maybe a few packs of Top Ramen. Meantime, I keep seeing their planes taking off, and they look like pretty full planes.

        The Seattle Times has been in a rapid decline, for obvious reasons. I keep getting phone calls from them to restart my Sunday service. They even offered me 2 months of free Sunday papers. Maybe the Seattle Times should run a front page article on their own little house?
        I Am A Different Animal!!
         
        jbpdx
        Posts: 866
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        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:36 pm

        dc10lover wrote:
        Aircraft waiting for a gate probably happens a lot at other airports as well.


        When I took AS to MCI in November we arrived early and had to wait for the MCI-SEA 739 to pull out of Alaska’s (that day) only gate. Meanwhile, looked like 75% of the gates at MCI we’re empty.
        ^
         
        vadodara
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        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:16 pm

        MaverickM11 wrote:
        If VX’ soft product mattered it wouldn’t be blown away by AS’ profit margin, never mind UA


        Ha, ha! VX was happy (& lucky) to get Jet Blue and Alaska get into a bidding war. Neither of them got into that for the soft product.
         
        axiom
        Posts: 901
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        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:07 am

        frmrCapCadet wrote:
        N212R wrote:
        frmrCapCadet wrote:
        Friends flying the west coast for business noticed the decline in Alaska (versus Delta) two years ago. Seriously so. Seattle papers have covered aviation accurately and presciently for years. Keep in mind that top notch reporters develop and cultivate deep sources. They never get quoted, never get their pictures taken, and likely are very careful not to leak information illegally. But when the reporter asks "I am hearing so and so", they get the sort of answer like "yeah, I am hearing that too", or "This is overblown", or even "there is a big story out there but this isn't it". Those deep sources could be workers, engineers, mid-management, or even a highly placed executive with certain axes to grind.


        What you describe is NOT reporting. Any fool, dupe or deeply compromised individual can believe he "hears" something and whisper it in the ear of another fool, dupe or deeply compromised individual...before long you have a long list of foolish inaccuracies that is surreptitiously called NEWS. And so it passes in our deeply flawed Republic.


        Obviously you do not know what good reporting is, and how good reporters work.


        Amen. I'm not going to say if this is "good" or "bad" reporting, but some of the issues raised here are not news to anyone who follows AS. My perception is that the last few years have been rougher than before, but I also don't see the sky falling.

        What is distressing to me is the venom people in the US have for journalists today. As if journalists don't operate with a professional code of practice, or as f there wasn't always a politics behind the scene in *every* business. Fragrantly dismissive of a serious profession -- and an attitude that I think would not be well accepted if directed to aviation professionals.
         
        dc10lover
        Posts: 1594
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        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:27 am

        F9Animal wrote:
        I will just say it. Poor Alaska.... Barely squeezing a profit. Maybe setup some soup kitchens? I am heading off to their corporate office to donate some firewood, and maybe a few packs of Top Ramen. Meantime, I keep seeing their planes taking off, and they look like pretty full planes.

        The Seattle Times has been in a rapid decline, for obvious reasons. I keep getting phone calls from them to restart my Sunday service. They even offered me 2 months of free Sunday papers. Maybe the Seattle Times should run a front page article on their own little house?

        The Seattle Times lie so much and they tell people who to vote for. Not worth being in business. I think operations for Alaska Airlines will be back to normal by Summer.
        Why endure the nightmare and congestion of LAX when BUR, LGB, ONT & SNA is so much easier to fly in and out of. Same with OAK & SJC when it comes to SFO.
         
        BoeingGuy
        Posts: 6313
        Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:01 pm

        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:45 am

        dc10lover wrote:
        F9Animal wrote:
        I will just say it. Poor Alaska.... Barely squeezing a profit. Maybe setup some soup kitchens? I am heading off to their corporate office to donate some firewood, and maybe a few packs of Top Ramen. Meantime, I keep seeing their planes taking off, and they look like pretty full planes.

        The Seattle Times has been in a rapid decline, for obvious reasons. I keep getting phone calls from them to restart my Sunday service. They even offered me 2 months of free Sunday papers. Maybe the Seattle Times should run a front page article on their own little house?

        The Seattle Times lie so much and they tell people who to vote for. Not worth being in business. I think operations for Alaska Airlines will be back to normal by Summer.


        I really don’t know what you are talking about. The Seattle Times is one of the last Independent good newspapers left. Just because they may report information that you might not want to believe, doesn’t make them “lie”. And they don’t tell you who to vote for. They make recommendation with rationale behind them. A newspaper is entitled to express an opinion. That’s caled Democracy. You are free to follow their endorsements or not. That’s called Democracy too.
         
        alfa164
        Posts: 3666
        Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:47 am

        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:02 am

        axiom wrote:
        What is distressing to me is the venom people in the US have for journalists today. As if journalists don't operate with a professional code of practice, or as f there wasn't always a politics behind the scene in *every* business. Fragrantly dismissive of a serious profession -- and an attitude that I think would not be well accepted if directed to aviation professionals.


        It is a depressing - but inevitable - result of politicians who determined they could advance their cause by creating an "us against them" mentality. It plays to the most basic instincts of an uninformed public, who see their prejudices and dogmas reinforced by unscrupulous purveyors of division and hatred. the dmage it has done to the fabric of America will take a long time to mend - if, indeed , it can ever mend.

        Like the damage from climate change, sometimes it just becomes to late to fix.

        BoeingGuy wrote:
        dc10lover wrote:
        F9Animal wrote:
        I will just say it. Poor Alaska.... Barely squeezing a profit. Maybe setup some soup kitchens? I am heading off to their corporate office to donate some firewood, and maybe a few packs of Top Ramen. Meantime, I keep seeing their planes taking off, and they look like pretty full planes.
        The Seattle Times has been in a rapid decline, for obvious reasons. I keep getting phone calls from them to restart my Sunday service. They even offered me 2 months of free Sunday papers. Maybe the Seattle Times should run a front page article on their own little house?

        The Seattle Times lie so much and they tell people who to vote for. Not worth being in business. I think operations for Alaska Airlines will be back to normal by Summer.

        I really don’t know what you are talking about. The Seattle Times is one of the last Independent good newspapers left. Just because they may report information that you might not want to believe, doesn’t make them “lie”. And they don’t tell you who to vote for. They make recommendation with rationale behind them. A newspaper is entitled to express an opinion. That’s caled Democracy. You are free to follow their endorsements or not. That’s called Democracy too.


        :checkmark: This.

        Nowdays, instead of studying the issues and evaluating the evidence, too many people just blame - and disparage - the messenger. It is a sad commentary on what is happening in society, and a bad reflection on the intellect (or lack thereof) of those who express such a knee-jerk reaction to anything they do not agree with.
        I'm going to have a smokin' hot body again!
        I have decided to be cremated....
         
        Varsity1
        Posts: 2226
        Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 4:55 am

        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:19 am

        I don't think people are upset with how difficult the AS/VX merger is. That is to be expected. They are upset by how dismissive and out of touch the AS management is.

        Delta has been building a castle in SEA, yet management refused to acknowledge it as a threat until labor negotiations came around.

        AS mgmt has refused to negotiate with the pilots at all, forcing the last CBA into court defined arbitration. What 'good' managers refused to even attempt to talk with their employees? Ridiculous.

        The QX fiasco was a problem every other regional airline in the country saw coming 2+ years ago, yet somehow it blindsided the 'super analytical' AS management is seattle like a freight train. Things like that do not inspire confidence.

        Yet Brad Tilden & co. sits at the top saying "let us pay you 25% less than your peers and everything will be great!"
        "PPRuNe will no longer allow discussions regarding Etihad Airlines, its employees, executives, agents, or other representatives. Such threads will be deleted." - ME3 thug airlines suing anyone who brings negative information public..
         
        n7371f
        Topic Author
        Posts: 1836
        Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 3:54 pm

        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:02 am

        "Yet another hit piece..." You are comical. Provide some examples of The Seattle Times PURPOSELY swinging at Alaska. I'll be checking...

        The Times writes 20x as much about Boeing, and often very critical, but I've rarely heard "hit job" in response to the only responsible media entity in the PacNW. I suppose you think that guy at KING 5 which reports better PR than anyone at Angle Lake is a reputable, fair reporter.

        And the serious decline in PRASM and RASM doesn't provide any leeway I'm sorry to say. Major airlines are 1-4% improving; AS falling.

        There are so many great employees at AS and their loyalty is admirable. Take a few minutes and question if your in-house management team is capable of handling this. There are a lot of industry folks who believe Brad & Co are way in over their head with this merger and subsequent out-growth issues...

        EA CO AS wrote:
        Yet another hit piece by the Seattle Times. AS has never been held in high regard by them, to be honest, although the PI has always been even tougher on them; I'd imagine the PI staff is saying, "Crap, why didn't WE do this piece?"

        QX has turned the corner and is getting better each day. SOC is in just a few days. Single PSS is in April. This integration, while not flawless, is going as well as can be expected, if not better. Yes, there are always some hiccups, and I kind of wish AAG had just paid the pilots what they asked for since the difference between what they got and what they wanted wasn't going to bankrupt the company, but taking the "sky is falling!" word of these ten disgruntled employees as gospel is just ridiculous.
         
        hiflyeras
        Posts: 2267
        Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:48 pm

        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:20 am

        1. I don't think AS management is 'over their heads' with the VX acquisition. That said, I think they ARE a bit surprised about WN and UA trying to rain as hard as they are on their parade in California. They won't be making it easy for them.
        2. Yes, they've lost some partners and some will hurt (especially AF/KL) but bringing in Singapore is huge and will be a major addition to Mileage Plan.
        3. The Seattle Times is an excellent, award-winning paper. AS shouldn't be surprised by occasional scrutiny and it's been a long time since there was any article considered unflattering.
        4. If AS wants to play with the big boys then they need to step up their game, not step back. It seems they're doing that with new hard-product on the way but they're only playing catch-up with the big 4. Now is not the time to take away a cookie (and get the embarrassing publicity attached) to save a measly $3m.
         
        n7371f
        Topic Author
        Posts: 1836
        Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 3:54 pm

        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:28 am

        Not same models. AS is a Recaro slimline.

        kmz wrote:
        n7371f wrote:
        .................... VA lovers find themselves on Recaro cardboard seats with injection molded plastic starring at them from the front seatback instead of a TV. To be seen...


        VA and AS have RECARO seats
         
        MSPNWA
        Posts: 3698
        Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:48 am

        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:43 am

        frmrCapCadet wrote:
        N212R wrote:
        frmrCapCadet wrote:
        Friends flying the west coast for business noticed the decline in Alaska (versus Delta) two years ago. Seriously so. Seattle papers have covered aviation accurately and presciently for years. Keep in mind that top notch reporters develop and cultivate deep sources. They never get quoted, never get their pictures taken, and likely are very careful not to leak information illegally. But when the reporter asks "I am hearing so and so", they get the sort of answer like "yeah, I am hearing that too", or "This is overblown", or even "there is a big story out there but this isn't it". Those deep sources could be workers, engineers, mid-management, or even a highly placed executive with certain axes to grind.


        What you describe is NOT reporting. Any fool, dupe or deeply compromised individual can believe he "hears" something and whisper it in the ear of another fool, dupe or deeply compromised individual...before long you have a long list of foolish inaccuracies that is surreptitiously called NEWS. And so it passes in our deeply flawed Republic.


        Obviously you do not know what good reporting is, and how good reporters work.


        In this article, good reporting would not be ignorant to the fact that this is the second time DL has attempted premium service on the SEA-JFK route.
         
        PlanesNTrains
        Posts: 9524
        Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:19 pm

        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:46 am

        1. The Delta build-up in SEA has clearly put pressure on AS. No surprise there at all.
        2. The VX acquisition really was important if AS wanted to diversify out of the PNW.
        3. AS FA's are somewhat opinionated on AS management and has been that way for years from my experience.
        4. AS management may or may not be making all the right decisions, but that remains to be seen. There have been times in the past where they have been questioned "in the moment" but you can't say they haven't been successful.
        5. I would not be a bit surprised that the employees sought out the newspaper to tell their story. With an AS fa in my extended family, I have seen and heard first-hand the bitterness at management, and this has been going on since the 90's. It really is SSDD sort of stuff. Most recently, it was the astonishment that they didn't get a Christmas bonus - just a card. Before that, it was switching resort hotels for layovers in PVR. I think they are a bit stuck in the past but it's their job and workplace - I respect that they have strong feelings.
        6. Hopefully they can navigate this challenging period without too much artificial drama.
        -Dave


        MAX’d out on MAX threads. If you are starting a thread, and it’s about the MAX - stop. There’s already a thread that covers it.
         
        User avatar
        adambrau
        Posts: 336
        Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 11:44 pm

        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:53 am

        AA737-823 wrote:
        While I'm certainly not an Alaska Air Apologist, I must say that in the past year, my life with AS has been far better than my life with UA was... But I can say the same for UA/CO. No one gained anything (especially we customers) with that ridiculous conflab.


        I beg to disagree as a pmUA NYC-based flyer, I have gained greatly from the UA-CO merger. I will grant you - love did take a while to develop. But looking at what is going on at JFK tonight the UA-CO marriage is now a sweet thing!

        Adam
        JFK Friendly
         
        User avatar
        EA CO AS
        Posts: 15746
        Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2001 8:54 am

        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:52 am

        PlanesNTrains wrote:
        Most recently, it was the astonishment that they didn't get a Christmas bonus - just a card.


        There hasn't been any sort of "Christmas bonus" since the mid 90s. Not sure why anyone would be astonished by that.

        Having said that, there are times where I do disagree with the track Brad, Ben, and Brandon have taken, but they haven't led the company totally astray yet. And I'm inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt, but I, like my co-workers, do call out things when they make no sense. For example:

        o I've been loudly criticizing the passenger experience from the standpoint of lacking a mid-cabin lav. I know it costs more long term, but I believe it's worth it.
        o I understand the business case behind not installing in-seat IFE, and even agree with it. Yet I can't help but think AS misses that inherent "wow" factor DL, B6 and others who have them get from their customers, even though they're a service failure waiting to happen.
        o PDBs in F are easily done at other carriers, yet at AS they're hit-and-miss at best. Not sure why this wasn't rectified a long time ago.
        o The Premium Class snack box is a joke. Either do a proper snack, or don't offer one at all and make the value proposition 3" more legroom and early boarding only.
        o We used to send boxes of cookies to our MVP Golds around the holidays, which they loved and looked forward to, and they were discontinued. Why we can't offer them to a much smaller subset of Gold 75K members is beyond me.
        o AS offers what I believe to be the best buy-on-board products in the industry, yet the hot meals that were previously on flights over 2 hours are now on flights that are 3 hours or more, eliminating many prime routes from contention (LAXSEA, for example) and missing the chance to wow guests.
        o F/C catering has gotten a bit better, but needs to be ramped up even more. People are done with polenta and quinoa - move on!

        Now, these are, in the grand scheme of things, little first-world-problem issues, and ones that ultimately DO cost money, but you've got to spend money to make money, and I think change in tactics on these little things would help elevate (see what I did there?) AS above the DLs and B6s of the world for good.

        That's my $0.02 worth, so take it for what you will. I still say that even with these aforementioned missed opportunities, I think AS provides one of the best, if not the best, services in the skies.
        "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

        Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
         
        User avatar
        neomax
        Posts: 945
        Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:26 am

        Re: Alaska "Beyond" problems, Seattle Times finally catches on

        Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:09 am

        vadodara wrote:
        MaverickM11 wrote:
        If VX’ soft product mattered it wouldn’t be blown away by AS’ profit margin, never mind UA


        Ha, ha! VX was happy (& lucky) to get Jet Blue and Alaska get into a bidding war. Neither of them got into that for the soft product.


        I can't help but feel bad for AS because they were in what was essentially a lose-lose situation. Damned if you do, damned if you don't, there was no good end result for AS. AS really didn't need to spend the billions needed to buy VX, but there was no way on EARTH AS was going to let B6 have both JFK and SFO, because then AS was finished. B6 basically forced AS's hand at no cost to themselves. There was really no time for AS to plan this merger as much as it turned out to be an insanely expensive and spontaneous bidding war compared to previous mergers. There was no time to think about anything, because once B6 lit the powder keg, it was basically a countdown for AS to do something and react before their own survival was threatened. One could argue that AS should've passed on VX, but VX was basically the last US airline that would make any sense to buy and that isn't a ULCC. For AS, it was VX or nothing. If B6 bought VX, AS would be forced to watch an essentially nonexistent threat become a existential crisis overnight that would eat them alive, not to mention that B6+VX would be a marriage made in heaven with very similar trendy, spunky personalities, two of the best hubs in the country chock full of juicy premium traffic, and fleet integration being a piece of cake and little more than being a paint job and cabin retrofit away from a single airline- in other words, possibly the easiest merger ever. AS knew this and knew it had no other option if they wanted to keep B6 out, and that has definitely worked, but it has cost them dearly. AS can further strengthen their position on the west coast, but the west coast was never a weakness for AS which is the real problem. AS needs to expand eastward, and this merger is not going to help that. Now AS is deep in debt, with integration, fleet, branding, and network headaches, all at the expense of keeping out a competitor. Was it worth it? I think in the long-term, yes it is, but it is a tough pill to swallow, and especially made trickier by the fact that B6 will almost certainly grow to become a real competitor to AS on the western front in the long-term regardless of whether or not they had acquired VX, it's just going to take longer now which buys AS time. Considering this inevitable reality in particular, I think that from a rational perspective, AS would better have been much positioned as a national competitor to B6 by letting them acquire VX, which makes B6 a national airline, after which AS would buy SY and in effect fight fire with fire to become another national airline and a much better long-term competitor. It wouldn't have been perfect, but AS would've gained the exact same advantages as B6+VX, ie. similar network centralization around a main hub, 737, similar company culture (B6+VX premium, AS+SY not), etc. It would actually also have given AS some advantages in addition to fighting B6, as it would cost significantly less, and pressure DL in MSP as a counter to DL in SEA. MSP isn't the most eastern city in the US, but it would be a fantastic growth point for AS that could result in some real growth outside the west and allow them to compete with B6 on the east instead of having to deal with it themselves when B6 is strong on both coasts and AS only on one. If you guys think AS+VX made no sense, wait till you you see how stupid B6+SY is...

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