During my working life Alaska Airlines has done a couple good things for me. They began non-stop service between Portland and Phoenix at a time when I lived in Portland and business required travel to Arizona. Years later, when I lived in Santa Rosa California, Horizon Air, a subsidiary of Alaska, initiated flights from the Sonoma County Airport to several destinations on the West Coast. Again, helpful to me, saving the sixty-mile trip to San Francisco or Oakland airports. Alaska was always a little bit better than its competitors, with clean planes, a bit more legroom, helpful staff and food on most flights. Horizon, later re-branded as Alaska, even served complimentary wine and beer on its flights.
Airlines over the past few years have striven to make air travel ever more uncomfortable and inconvenient, Alaska has followed that path, with the apparent goal to be just like all the other airlines. They now charge for checked bags, charge for a change of itinerary, charge for food and are squeezing more seats into their aircraft. What’s next, no free beer and wine on Horizon?
Bill Maher recently commented on the decline of customer care on airplanes.
Alaska purchased Virgin America a couple years ago. Prior to the Virgin merger, Alaska closed its lounge at SFO, but arranged for lounge member s to use Cathay-Pacific’s SFO facility, truly pleasant and relaxing space. Most flights from San Francisco to Portland are now from former Virgin gates, in a different terminal from the Alaska gates. American Airlines, with whom Alaska members have reciprocity, has a lounge in the same concourse. So of course, the reciprocal agreement n longer is valid at SFO, Alaska fliers no longer can access the American lounge because it’s too congested.
So, reminisce about the good old days and view the advertisements that for obvious reasons Alaska no longer airs.
And just for fun… from the only consistently-profitable airline, the one that does not impose checked-baggage or change fees.