Consumer Complaints and Reviews
Let me start this email by stating that my husband, Steve, a retired navy commander, and I have been flying for many years worldwide. I am a neurogerontologist and travel extensively training professionals on brain and spinal cord injury. My husband and I do not normally complain about anything. We know that issues can happen and we understand that. This trip was our first time to fly Alaska, we normally fly Delta, United, Southwest or JetBlue. I am now doing trainings in Alaska and we obtained your Alaska Airlines credit card and added you to our frequently flyer airlines.
So what went wrong? Flying from Portland to Anchorage, Steve ate your snacks and within two hours of deplaning had food poisoning (I did not eat any of the snacks). We let you know, not for a discount, but we thought you should be aware of this. It has never happened to us before. However, it was in flying home that we had significant problems.
I should state that I had a spinal stroke in 2015 which left me paralyzed on my left side from the waist down. We have flown since this happened and getting a bulkhead seat with additional legroom has always worked in the past on Delta, KLM and JetBlue putting my leg up on the suitcase for the severe edema and pain was enough. However, on this flight (both ways) there was no legroom. I had no issues flying to Anchorage - flight attendants were fine - but home was different. On the way back to Portland the flight attendant in the back cabin saw me using my cane to elevate my leg and suggested using my suitcase and even got it down for me.
We were in seats right behind first class that had no extra legroom at all (6 D & E). I had my leg on my suitcase just barely in the isle near the armrest of the first class seat. The man sitting in the seat didn't like it at all and on three separate occasions punched my foot with his fist that was an assault! The pain was excruciating and left me crying in pain. The first class flight attendant, Sophie, came and told me that no one cared about my problems and that I could not put my foot, resting on my suitcase, in the isle no matter what. My husband assumes the man in front that punched me complained.
In some ways this was an eye opening experience, in that I saw what my patients go through. It has just never happened to me before. I was humiliated and embarrassed to be treated like this and to be assaulted and be blamed for it because it was my problem. My first reaction was to tell the world about my experience on your plane and cancel my credit card. But I knew that the best thing is to reach out and let Alaska Airlines know happened and hope for changes to be made. Flight attendants should be trained on understanding people with disabilities. I didn't ask for this and to be told that nobody cares to very cold and heartless even if she felt that way. Passengers should not be allowed to punch other passengers and then the one that was assaulted is told it is their fault!
Alaska Airlines treated me very poorly. I vow to never fly them again and that they never get another cent from me. I needed to check a bag round trip so I paid the $25 extra charge at the start. On the return trip I could not check the bag again without another $25 extra charge. When I questioned this I was told that it is their policy to charge each way. I explained that was not clearly stated when I paid initially and the only other times I had ever paid extra for checked bags on other airlines it was for the round trip. I said that I felt that I was being taken advantage of.
I asked that they waive the $25 as a courtesy. I was told that policy prevented them from doing that. I questioned their policy and where could I find that in their website. I was told that it was everywhere in the site. I asked specifically where because I could not find it. I was told "here it is, it is $25 for one extra bag." I said "I see that, but where does it say it is only for one way?" I was told it is understood and that I was the only person who has ever complained about this.
So I was basically told I'm a stupid person for not knowing that an UNWRITTEN policy is understood by everyone else but me! I told the agent that if they didn't want to take advantage of people they should just state in their fee information that it is only one way and not round trip, but I had the feeling that the advice of a stupid person would not be taken. I was stuck because I had to get the bag back home, so I paid another $25 fee. I hope the extra $25 was worth it to them, because they lost a customer over it.
We have been using Alaska Airlines for the past 10 years and never had a delayed flight. They are the cheapest airline for unaccompanied minors and charge only $25 one-way, compared to competitors who charge around $100. Children get excellent service with free meals and in-flight movies. They are very responsive to the kids' needs. When calling them about seats when I was not able to book them online due to a very full flight, I got a rep on the phone right away, who knew the children by name when I called, before me even giving them their names. They got them seats within 2 minutes in and outbound. I have been flying worldwide for the last 30 years, but never got such good service for such a reasonable price. Thank you Alaska Airlines for your dedication.
Canceled return home flight, nothing offered to compensate for the cost of hotel for 2 extra nights, loss of shuttle fee due to last minute change, 2 days of work missed, missed medical appointment, arrangements for child and animals at home to be made. Airline hung up on me when connecting to a supervisor and no offer to assist in getting home earlier. This was more than a small inconvenience. The attitude from airline personnel was poor. I will be overlooking Alaska for other airlines when arranging future flights.
My wife and I booked first class seats Anchorage to Cabo San Lucas. The first flight was delayed 30 mins. They booked our connections so tight we missed our flight out of LA. We arrived in LA at 10:30 AM. They said they could not get us out until the next day. They took no responsibility helping us get a hotel. The gate agents were rude and tried to make us feel like it was our fault, our problem. The flight was delayed due to LAX terminal size. There are not enough gates for the amount of people Alaska Airlines is trying to move through there. And they know it. Yet, they overbook to keep seats full and profits up.
Also, keep in mind as soon as you complain you are flagged and the information is passed along to your destination gates and who knows if they keep it on file afterwards? There is so much more to this that was lost on our behalf. Needless to say that in our eyes Alaska Airlines will never be the "home team" again. Just another company getting by on the minimums to maximize profits. And the customer- Hah! Who cares, there's another hundred in line behind you so it doesn't matter if you received poor service, sucker.
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In general, I'd say that Alaska is one of the best airlines to fly. I wouldn't go so far as to say "perfect," then again who or what is perfect? I like the option to make a variety of options online, i.e. flights, hotels, car rentals (though not competitive), etc. I believe they try their best to check me in for my flight whether it be: from my airport's outside sky cap, airport in-house counter, &/or online precheck 24 hrs in advance. Still think airlines in general should give long-term/loyal customers (10+ years) 1 free check-in baggage! I believe that the staff themselves are very good and do their best to work with airline guidelines and customer service.
I am very disappointed in Alaska Airlines’ lack of support during a flight that was not full, departing from Seattle to Kansas City, Missouri on 12/25/16. My mother and daughter were on a flight when my daughter became ill and threw up all over herself. My mother ask for assistance and something for my daughter to drink to help settle her stomach when the stewardess was rude and took her time getting a drink for my daughter. My entire family flies with Alaska Airlines, but after this event, my family and I will no longer fly with Alaska Airlines. Also, this is not the first time I had issues with the lack support from this airline. Furthermore, I usually fly first class with Alaska Airlines and this seems to be the only time I receive good customer support, but that does not mean provide poor customer support to individuals flying coach.
My mom was handicapped and had limited mobility and was escorted to her flight via wheelchair by airport workers whom purposely uploaded my mom outside on the outside tarmac, pushing her onto the plane, via a long ramp, which subsequently both airport employees and Alaska staff tried to assist with the escort process and my mom was dropped three times, and they all employees simply let go of the wheelchair forcing my mom to drop on her head leaving her with internal bleeding and subsequently resulted in her untimely death?
The employees and staff are held to higher standard of care for elderly handicapped customers, but purposely failed to provide any adequate care, or medical attention, and once arrived at the desired destination, they escorted my mom off PDX airport premises, and stating "You should think twice before riding with us again, if you don't like our services or treatment"? No apologies given by anyone at Sea-Tac, and no medical help or compensation given, or offered for my mom's untimely death, due to this deliberate injustice, by Sea-Tac employees and Alaska airlines?
Hi there. Just wanted to leave feedback. After a failed attempt to book on the web I decided to call Alaska Airlines Vacations. After an obscenely long hold time I was connected to Miguel. I explained I needed to book the non-stop flight from Bellingham to Hilo, Hawaii. He was perplexed and said I've never heard of that airport and I don't think we fly there. I explained to him they do, it's a new routing but it available. Needless to say I ended the call right there. Why would I have someone booking my vacation that doesn't even know where they fly? Let alone trust you to book my entire vacation package! Shame on you Alaska Airlines. I expect you to have your people trained professions if you want me to trust you with my hard earned vacations.
I have flown on every major airline and this was the WORST customer service I have ever received! My fiance and I were flying home to San Diego. We checked in at the airport and were at the gate an hour and a half early so we decided to grab dinner at the cafe just down the way that was within earshot of the intercom. When we arrived at our gate at 4:21 we were informed that Alaska has a "strict 10-minute cutoff policy" and that we had missed our flight by 1 minute. We asked when the next flight was and they said not until tomorrow afternoon!!!
We explained that we could not miss work tomorrow and needed to get on the flight and that to have us waste 24 hours of our time and money to re-book a hotel and re-rent a car over a 1 minute technicality was unreasonable and poor customer service but they did not care. I asked to speak to the manager and, at first, they said no and that I could speak to the 'supervisor' on duty. I said no and insisted that I speak to the manager, however the woman they sent down admitted she was not the manager that the manager had already left for the day (before 5 PM). She offered no remedy and simply repeated that they "have a very strict policy" - very frustrating! The bottom line is they used a (1 MIN) technicality to prevent us from boarding our flight with no consideration of the repercussions and cost it would have on us.
The facts are: We checked in at the airport - they knew we were there. They did not give us the courtesy of a final boarding call. There were still passengers on the bridge boarding the plane. Their "strict policy" is not printed anywhere on the boarding pass. Because we were 1 minute after their (unknown to us) cutoff, they cost us 24 hours of our time and over $1,000 in additional expenses and loss of income. Ironically the flight we had to catch the following day was over an hour late - horrible experience all around and the staff at the Kahului Airport should be ashamed of themselves.
While out of town I had a family emergency and had to change my flight to get home. I changed it to the exact same flight, except 2 days earlier. The charge was outrageous! My original leg home cost $110, and Alaska charged me an additional $123 plus a change fee of $175, for a total of $298. They should be more considerate re emergency situations. And of course they charge for all checked baggage. I will never fly Alaska again.
I used Alaska's Mileage Visa Card paying an annual fee. I thought it would be easy to redeem my 100k miles 9 months in advance of a trip overseas. No so! Alaska makes it very difficult to redeem and they know they are doing this. If you wish to go to Europe and find a flight, the 'free ticket' fees are more than a normal airfare one could find easier.
Example: a flight to London. Fees of $800 are not uncommon to use your miles. I found when I tried to book to Hong Kong, I found decent flight with acceptable fees but when I got to the Alaska pay page, there was an error message. When I went back to try again, the flights I wanted were gone. I called Alaska. Had a conversation suggesting this is a way for Alaska not to allow redemption of miles. I heard a laugh from the agent as they know it's true. The agent did not refute my claim.
The third way they make it difficult to redeem is to have very inconvenient wait times changing planes. Example: I booked to Hong Kong. The return is on their partner American. After a 12 hour flight to Los Angeles, instead of taking a connecting Alaska flight nonstop to Seattle (of which there are many), they made me wait 6 hours in LAX, then take an American Airlines flight to Las Vegas, wait 2 more hours then finally a flight to Seattle. That's how difficult they make it. I complained to Visa and cancelled my card. I sent a letter to Alaska about this 'planned' treatment of loyal customers but zero response. I believe this is a class action suit in the making. If you've had these experiences, please write a review.
Alaska provides most of the flights in and out of my regional airport, connecting at Seattle and sometimes Portland. I've flown Alaska almost exclusively the last few years with flights via Seattle or Portland to Phoenix, Los Angeles, Burbank, Sacramento and Orlando. Never a problem with check-ins or the flights which were all pretty close to being on time as I recall. Check in at their desk in Burbank was especially fast---both times we were literally the only people there checking in. Easy enough to print out boarding passes the night before.
With my two Alaska Airlines Visa accounts I get $100 companion fares once a year which I've always been sure to use, saving about $200/flight each time. Easy to build up miles on the frequent flyer account and I've used it to get a Pasco-Seattle-Baltimore round trip for late this year for 32,000 air miles and only $11. Oh, if you pay for the flights on an Alaska Visa card, you get one free check-in bag per person on the tickets you bought. I've had no problem booking flights with Alaska through Priceline.com, Alaskaair.com or through my travel agent (using her for the more complex stuff).
I've found it an easy airline to deal with. Last year my companion agreed to be bumped on our Seattle to Pasco flight and take a later flight. Turned out it wasn't necessary and they gave her a $100 gift certificate to use on a future flight anyway and with that the $100 companion fare we later got three tickets for the price of two to travel to Phoenix at Christmas. Seattle is Alaska Airline's main terminal and it's an easy airport to get around, is clean and contemporary as you might expect for Seattle, has convenient food services near the Alaska gates and other than rain, you rarely have to worry about being fogged in or snowed in there.
I will never recommended Alaska Airlines to my friends or family. Got to the airport in Seattle to discover our lock on suitcase had been broken and suitcase had damage. My daughter and I had to buy all new suitcase. No apologies from the airport. Didn't bother to calls us over the airport intercom to come and open up our suitcases. I only my coat and traveling pillow and my daughter didn't have much either. Their airline is a disgraces. Never again.
Alaska falsely advertises free checked bags (Free checked bag for you and up to 6 others on same reservation), however, upon booking through Alaska Airlines, on a flight that is operated by another airline that Alaska "partners" with, the consumer is then stung with the checked bags fees. The application is misleading.
My family and I boarded a flight after getting off a cruise and waiting in the airport for 5 hours. My 7 year old son got a nose bleed (common for him) as soon as we got on the plane. I asked the stewardess for tissues - she came back with them and ice for his neck. The bleeding lasted 3-4 minutes. The stewardess came back and said she needed to notify the medical team and they would have to evaluate him (seriously). I explained that I have spoken with his pediatrician about this and he is fine. A man came back - asked if this has happened before - barely set eyes on my son and walked away.
Two minutes later, the supervisor came over and said my family needed to be removed and take a flight 24 hrs later (I thought it was joke). They threatened that the plane would not leave until we got off so we did so we didn't ruin anyone else's trip. The supervisor was rude and obnoxious. He told us we were rude and treated us like children. Yes, I admit I was extremely upset. I did yell and I was not happy but I think most people would feel this way. They would not give us a reason as to why he needed to be removed only that there is more involved in a nose bleed. My son was hysterical crying because he didn't understand why we had to get off. Another person with Alaska Airlines said it was because of the spread of a possible communicable disease. First off my son has none and second healthcare says you should use universal precautions regardless.
We were told they don't have to help us do anything like rebook our flights. They were doing it because they felt bad. Right. They put us on a flight the next day sitting all over the place. My kids are 7 & 9. Seriously. Thank goodness they are excellent fliers. The supervisor was rude and has definitely let his authority go to his head. I still have no real reason for why we had to be removed. When I called the airline they said there is no problem with flying after a bloody nose. When I explained we were just removed because of it they quickly backtracked.
I am appalled and shocked at how lightly Alaska Airlines has taken their flight attendant's misbehavior with me on a recent flight. With over 20 years of frequent flying experience, I would describe my recent flight on Alaska Airlines as the worst ever. What makes it worse is that I had two little kids with me who couldn't understand why we were treated by their flight attendant so rudely. The flight attendant, whose behavior toward us was dismissive from the beginning of the flight, intentionally skipped to serve us altogether and when she moved two aisles behind us and I requested her to come back, she said, "No need to yell, I'm right here". She tried explaining how service is rendered. Really? You don't serve the aisle across and aisles behind and claim that's normal behavior. And you don't YELL at your customers. If it's a genuine mistake, you apologize and serve the passengers.
Both Alaska and the in-flight supervisor acknowledged she crossed the line, but what did they do? When I complained to the in-flight supervisor, he brought me chocolates, when I complained to Alaska Airlines they gave me a 75 dollar coupon for my next flight. Is this how you treat a customer? Is this the seriousness allocated to discrimination? I will never travel on this airline again. I appealed twice to Alaska Airlines to take stricter action, but nothing came of it. Absolutely ridiculous! Shame on Alaska Airlines.
Arrived 50 min before flight. Attendant refused check in. Low. TSA lines. I could see the plane. I could have easily made my flight with spare time. I was forced to re-book and spend the night and half the day in the airport. My job is on the line. The rudest employees ever. I complained and TSA was called. Worst experience ever. Needless to say I would never use ALASKA Air ever again.
Great airport but if you want to leave or arrive on time, avoid Alaska Airlines. Been flying the Lax to Sonoma route for months and virtually every flight out of STS has been delayed or canceled. Perfect example of a business having little competition with no incentive to provide standard customer service.
Okay so this is not as good as Delta. Sometimes uncomfortable seats, :( sometimes bad service, but never had a problem with that - did not let us bug us. Alaska Airlines is okay, the food is good. Delta's is better. Never had any problems with booking flights but we usually fly Delta anyway.
I needed to change my return flight, move it up by a week. I went on the website to try to change the return flight; the system returned an error message that my number and name were not in the system. So I called. The customer service person had no problem finding my reservation. When I asked her how much to change the flight she quoted me $350! A brand new ticket was only $280! What?! It's more expensive to use my return flight than to buy a new ticket?! I was willing to pay $100 for the change, but MORE than a new ticket?! That's just BS! People vote with your $$; do NOT use Alaska Air if you have a choice!
Just completed travel from Los Angeles to Washington DC on Alaska. Traveled coach from LAX to DCA and the trip was good. I usually travel on Virgin, and I suppose I've been spoiled by their great service, so I can only call that part of the trip "good." Flew first class back to Los Angeles, and was extremely disappointed. The two flight attendants gave short curt answers to questions, ignored me and were anything but accommodating. On one occasion I had to use the restroom and stood waiting more than 20" for access. When 10" had passed without the occupant emerging, I asked the flight attendant if anything could be wrong with the passenger. She and the other attendant were sitting in their jump seats and said, "He's just washing up."
I looked around at the first class passengers, and all were in their seats. OK. Ten more minutes and he still hadn't emerged, this time the flight attendant said, "He's still washing up. We have two bathrooms in coach, use them." I didn't pay for a first class seat to go back to coach. I've traveled coach, business, and first class. I know where the coach bathrooms are. When I looked behind me the line to the coach restroom was about ten deep. I decided to wait for that one person holding up the bathroom. One of the reasons I chose to go first class is because of my need to use the restroom without long waits, however I should have saved my money. Eventually a bleary eyed man emerged and walked back to coach, which freed up the first class bathroom.
No harsh words were spoken. No raised voices. However the flight attendants made a point to repeatedly ask if the person sitting next to me needed anything, pointedly ignoring me. They did this with several other first class passengers. Each time I needed a water glass removed, a tray taken away, or anything done, I was met with a blank stare from the flight attendants. I was extremely disappointed by my experience with Alaska Airlines, and I know I am going to miss Virgin terribly for my coast to coast trips.
We pre-checked in last night and arrived at the check-in post 25 minutes before the flight time. But the agents at the check-in would not let us check-in and caused us to change from a direct flight home to a red-eye 2 segment flight. They would close their gates 40 minutes before the scheduled departure time. At first I thought this was just the under trained employee but even their customer care manager is also very insensitive to customer's complaints and very rigid. This is the worst airline I ever flied with and will never flight with them again.
I could give them negative stars I would. I have been traveling between Portland and San Jose every other weekend for the last few months. Up until now, I have been using Southwest. No problems at SW. I just print out my boarding pass the night before then turn my suitcase over to the check in people (at no cost) and I'm on my way to security and my flight. Unfortunately SW had no flights available that fit my schedule this last weekend. So I went with Alaska.
So I printed out what was supposed to be my boarding pass and checked in with my luggage the next day. After paying for my luggage I asked the attendant if he needed to see my boarding pass and he said no. I got in line at the TSA security and waited for an hour + only to find out that my boarding pass was no good because it had "not valid for security" written on it. So I was sent back to the Alaska check in where I was chastised in a very rude manner, for not reading and understanding what was written on the statement that printed out when I hit the print boarding pass option on the website.
When I tried to explain to the girl that they have a very confusing system and the original clerk should have caught this, she became very agitated and defensive. My impression was that they were doing us a favor by allowing me to fly on their airlines. There was nothing obvious to me about this situation. She told me that because I had to pay for luggage at check in, this necessitated the need to print a valid boarding pass the time of check in. I really had no problem with this if I would have known. My problem was that they allowed me to print out a faux pass then allowed me to proceed to security thinking I'm fat, dumb and happy. The guy that took my bag originally even said that he did not need to see my boarding pass.
What am I missing here? Alaska Airlines is very incompetent and I will avoid traveling with them in the future. I'll stick with Southwest from now on if possible. As a side note, the flight I was on had at least 3 screaming children crammed into the back of the plane.
They were great. I have no complaints. I lost my wallet with ID a week before our trip. Besides a few extra bag searches and pat downs, I was able to continue. Every trip anywhere has its ups and downs. Can you imagine what they have to deal with every day? They are not the ones getting ready to go on a dream vacation. They have to stand all day and deal with idiots. The "woman" who was throwing a temper tantrum about how her poor frail husband, heaven forbid had to sit next to a fat chick. Well how do you think she felt about the situation. You have no idea why she is overweight. Maybe she was going to see her dying mother, and couldn't afford the extra seat. How about you put yourself in her shoes. Your holier than a skinny cow attitude disgusts me and I would rather sit next to a fat chick or man that had substance any day, than to be stuck next to you.
You probably wear disgusting smelling perfume, and people wished that you weren't sitting next to them. This woman is a human being, and you could have learned something insightful from her. You know karma and how she works... I would just sit first class from now on, because after those comments, you will forever have bad experiences traveling. And then to actually complain to the higher ups? Do us all a favor, just stay up in first class, where the seats are bigger so you don't have to come into contact with a fat person. I realize I am absolutely judging you in a way that you judge others, and for that I am sorry. Maybe I am assuming too much, but lady, that is just RIDICULOUS.
I recently spent endless hours trying to use my frequent flier miles to book a flight from LAX to Lima Peru. I started this project back in November, 2015 for a trip in July 2016. Given the fact that Alaska supposedly has at least three partners who fly to this destination, and that I started nine months ahead of time, I expected this task would not be too difficult.
But after fruitless countless efforts and endless hours wasted over the course of five months ("feel free to call back and check again"-- gee, thanks) to book this international flight and NOT spend two full days getting there (13 hour layovers and multiple stops were a common "benefit") I finally gave up and booked just the domestic leg of the flight direct from LAX to Atlanta on Alaska Airlines partner, American Airlines, using miles, and then bought a ticket on Delta from Atlanta to Lima. I allowed myself a two hour+ connection/layover in Atlanta in order to get from the American flight to the Delta one.
So, problem #1: Alaska advertises all the ways one can accumulate miles, and is forever rewarding more for dining in particular restaurants, etc. and ostensibly has a multitude of partners flying all over the globe, but try actually BOOKING one of these flights, getting a consistent class of service throughout it, and not spending day(s) in multiple airports, especially if you hope to fly internationally. It's a joke, and the joke is on us, the consumer.
It was, admittedly, never exactly easy to book an international flight with Alaska but in the past, if you were somewhat flexible on dates, started far enough ahead of time and weren't hoping to fly to, say, Paris in June, you could reasonably expect to be able to actually use this benefit to which you were supposedly entitled for being such a loyal customer. Well, not anymore. Their program is a shadow of its former self, and imho at this point effectively amounts to false advertising. What use are these miles if they make it so ridiculously onerous it's all but impossible to ever actually use them?
Problem #2: This morning, I received an email from Alaska telling me that American Airlines had decided, unilaterally and without explanation (though one guesses the words "profit margin" undoubtedly figure in there somewhere) to reschedule my outbound flight from 8:30 am to 10:10 am, and I now would not be getting into Atlanta until 5:43 pm as expected, and instead would have a grand total of 5 full minutes to make my connection to the Delta flight at 5:48 pm.
I immediately called Alaska and requested their help and was told there was nothing they could do beyond booking me out of another airport in Los Angeles, (not the one I'm flying home to) and adding an additional stop and more time to my flight. And, needless to say, there are no guarantees that they wouldn't change THIS schedule on me between now and July. I then checked with Delta and found I could get on a flight with them straight from LAX to Lima, but it would cost me an additional $159.00 in fare, and another $200 in change fees. Since this change was neither my idea nor my choice, AND since Alaska is partners with both Delta and American, I felt this fee was something Alaska ought to be able to get Delta to waive or American or that they should compensate me for.
They'd already wasted an utterly absurd amount of my time and cost me a ridiculous amount of aggravation, but apparently from their perspective they owe me nothing. I'm expected to shoulder the full additional expense for a change that was never my idea or my choice, take it and like it. The idea that Alaska Airlines is one of the more highly rated frequent flyer programs is ludicrous at this point, they are coasting on past performance. I've had this card with Alaska for more than 20 years, but I'm officially done with them. I've already stopped using the card to charge anything, and after I use (or perhaps just give away?) my remaining miles I'll be cutting it up and mailing it back to them.
I am writing to complain about the service I received from your check-in counter people on Wednesday, (03/23/2016) at Palm Springs International Airport. I live in Mexico, my family lives in Washington state; my sister purchased tickets for my son to travel to Washington during his spring break, she bought the tickets 2 months ago. My son is 14 but he has been flying since he was 2 and we have flown many different airlines both domestic and international and have never been subjected to what happened yesterday. My son's flight was at 6:08AM, we arrived at the ticket counter at 5:30AM, I explained to the young lady at the ticket counter that the drive to get there is 114 miles and we had crossed an international border in order to make the flight. She refused to let my son board the airplane; she also called the departure gate and the woman at the gate refused also (even though my son was checking no bags).
The refusal to allow boarding was shocking in itself because in all my years of flying I have never had this happen even if I arrive somewhat later to a ticket counter. However the manner in which the young lady at the ticket counter acted was offensive; she would not help us to possibly get on another flight (we are aware that Alaska in all probability gave away my son's seat to someone on standby and there was another flight at 10AM), she was dismissive and said she could not help and gave an 800 number to call, she also stated "well, maybe you should go to another airport", she stated this knowing full well because she works at an airport the nearest airport is 4 hours away, this young lady's customer service skills were seriously lacking; if this is the way Alaska Airlines trains their employees I expect they will be receiving many more complaints.
We were forced to reschedule my son's flight until the following week which means another 200 mile round trip for me to drive and more money my sister had to pay to change the flight, unbelievable in my opinion. I was actually in shock for the whole day because I have never been treated like this by an airline. Like I stated above I have flown many, many times and have never encountered this level of rudeness nor unwillingness to help THE CUSTOMER. One time previous I arrived at a gate with my son for a flight late, through no fault of my own, the airline had given our seats to another couple but do you know what they did when we arrived at the gate? They made the people who they had given our seats to get off the plane so we could board because we had paid for those seats but that was American Airlines and they obviously have more class and respect for their customers.
I do not expect that a reprimand will be made to this young lady however one should be. I did not get her name but she was the only woman working the ticket counter for Alaska Airlines at 5:30AM on March 23, 2016. Perhaps if her attitude is brought to her attention as unacceptable she will endeavor to improve her manner of treating customers; I will be hoping she is not at the ticket counter when I take my son back to the airport on March 31, 2016, but really if she is it will not matter too much as this is the last time either myself or my family will be flying Alaskan Airlines.
When I fly Alaska, it's mostly vacation travel to Hawaii or the East Coast. Generally with my wife, occasionally solo. Have more destinations. I would fly Alaska every time I fly if they only had more flights to more cities. But it is a superior airline with nice employees, customer-centric policies. Generally, no being able to select a good seat without paying a lot extra. Since my status on American transfers over the Alaska, I can get either the exit row or premium seating without paying for it. This makes a very big difference to me. Also their credit card offer is very generous.
Most of the US airlines are pretty much clones of one another. Only Alaska and Southwest seem to have the customer in mind. They have given up a lot of the BS and instead have good inflight meals (Alaska), clean and modern planes, and customer oriented policies. I will never fly most of the major US airlines because they are indistinguishable and are trying to squeeze the customer with every transaction. Not so with Southwest and Alaska.
Boarding is a nightmare. People should not be allowed to board earlier than their section. People in the back of the plane put their carry-on luggage in the forward overhead compartments. This should be prohibited by the flight stewards. Alaska has an excellent rewards program which we use regularly. Other than the boarding mess, the food is good and reasonably priced. I would like to have free wifi!
I'm very satisfied with Alaska. I have no complaints about them other than at Portland airport - the gates are a long way away from the main part of the terminal. I'm willing to pay a little more for good customer service. I flew on Spirit Airlines once, and the cost was good but the experience was not. I like the free snacks and beverages on board, I like the schedules, I've never had an overly long delay. Employees are helpful and nice. Overall my experience has been very good.
Erika ArmstrongAirlines Contributing Editor
From the front desk of a busy FBO to the captain's seat of a commercial airliner, Erika Armstrong has experienced everything aviation has to offer. She is the author of A CHICK IN THE COCKPIT and her aviation articles can be found at Consumer Affairs, Plane & Pilot, Flying.com, Disciples of Flight, NYC Aviation, Contrails, Mentor, General Aviation News and Business Insider.
Founded in 1932, Alaska Airlines is now the seventh-largest passenger airline in the U.S. It is a West Coast favorite with corporate headquarters in Seattle.
- Mileage plan: Rewards program members can progress through reward levels to gain access to premium services such as priority boarding, free meals and other amenities.
- Credit card rewards: Obtaining the Alaska Airlines credit card gives users the ability to add an annual companion fare, check a free bag and earn triple rewards on Alaska purchases.
- Bags fly free: Local travel in Alaska comes with up to three free checked bags and a free carry on.
- Military service discounts: Active-duty military members get up to five free checked bags and relaxed weight limits.
- First class seating: Get extra amenities and more personalized service with first-class fare from Alaska Airlines.
- Best for Frequent fliers, business travelers, holiday travelers and vacationers visiting West Coast destinations and Alaska.
Alaska Airlines Company Profile
- Company Name:
- Alaska Airlines
- Year Founded:
- 19300 International Blvd.
- Postal Code:
- United States