21 December 2008

Alaska Air's Schedule falls apart under pressure

Alaska Airlines recently made the decision to lay off 1000 workers.

Could that have been the reason that the schedule fell apart beginning on Saturday December 20th?

That morning a mechanical delayed then canceled their first flight to ORD. The next 48 hours have been a text book case of how not to handle things. While Southwest was able to operate a skeleton schedule - AS literally canceled most of their flights. 47 on saturday and the vast majority into and out of Seatac on Sunday.

With flights being diverted to Spokane and then being stranded there (at least 7 flights at last count - not to mention the flights that didnt go today). at 5PM today the arrivals board showed on one flight of AS operating normally. Yet all the other airlines managed to operate some kind of schedule to their points. So why not AS?

At present it looks like it will take over 5 more days to right the ship. Alaska's legendary superior customer service has totally failed. I watched an arriving passenger from a 10 hour international trip only to have to wait for MORE than 8 hours before she would reach the AS desk for assistance.

Clearly - the AS outsource model should be reviewed. Additionally why a reduced schedule should fall apart so easily indicates that there is something fundementally wrong that they need to fix.

Bill Ayer and his crew better be working late tonight to make this go away and fast.


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