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Alaska Suspends SNA-YVR!

Thu May 02, 2002 10:38 am

This is from

Alaska Airlines is temporarily discontinuing its brand new nonstop service between Orange County and Vancouver while it works to resolve compliance issues related to Customs procedures. Inaugurated this past weekend, Alaska is suspending operations in this market through this Sunday, May 5.

"Since U.S. Customs authorities and the INS maintain personnel and facilities in Vancouver to pre-clear passengers traveling to and from U.S cities, we presumed all the bases were covered," said Gregg Saretsky, executive vice president of marketing and planning. "Obviously we were wrong-there needs to be a Customs presence in Orange County in order for us to fly nonstop between the two cities. Plain and simple, there was an oversight on our part and we apologize for the inconvenience to our customers."

"...we presumed all the bases were covered." - WOW.

looks like someone made a big mistake.
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RE: Alaska Suspends SNA-YVR!

Thu May 02, 2002 10:40 am

Wow... this is a big, big mistake -- an airline should not "presume" things before starting service internationally...

This is quite an embarrassment for AS...
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RE: Alaska Suspends SNA-YVR!

Thu May 02, 2002 10:42 am

Heads should roll for this at AS.

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RE: Alaska Suspends SNA-YVR!

Thu May 02, 2002 11:41 am

This may sound dumb, but if the plane clears customs and immigration in YVR, why does it have to clear customs and immigration again in SNA?
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RE: Alaska Suspends SNA-YVR!

Thu May 02, 2002 11:44 am

When I worked at PSP , for Canadian Airlines we had 12 flights a week arrive from Western Canada to PSP.
All the flights cleared US Customs in Canada.
I do remember one time there was something wrong with the paperwork and customs agent drove from
LAX to PSP to clear it.
Maybe there was a change after 911?
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RE: Alaska Suspends SNA-YVR!

Thu May 02, 2002 12:07 pm

I'm not sure what the customs requirement is for a US station on a pre-cleared flight, but this same situation happened about a year and a half ago on an Air Canada regional flight. They had planned to fly YYZ to either South Bend or Ft Wayne, IN. (I cant recall which one) They were forced to withdraw service and go to the other Indiana city because their first choice didnt have any US customs agents there.
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RE: Alaska Suspends SNA-YVR!

Thu May 02, 2002 12:24 pm

Oh boy....this has got to be the silliest mistake made by an airline I've heard yet.  Wow!

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RE: Alaska Suspends SNA-YVR!

Thu May 02, 2002 2:35 pm

Hopefully operations will only be suspending through this Sunday (making it 4.5 days total). I'm not sure exactly what happened today, but the SNA-YVR segment was operated as scheduled, but the return YVR-SNA segment had to be cancelled.

While I don't understand the need for a Customs presence at SNA, this does sound like the sort of thing AS should have looked into prior to starting service!  Insane

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