Need choice in airlines

Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2004

I feel it is time for Juneau to get another airline carrier. While Alaska Airlines expands its service down south they seem to forget about those of us living where there is no other choice in airlines.

Minor inconviences like never getting the vegetarian meals I order and being told I obviously did it wrong even though on other airlines there never seems to be a problem can be lived with. But I finally had it with Alaska Air when the Feb. 3 Flight 69 from Seattle got stuck in Ketchikan because of a broken part.

We waited for hours in an airport with no food services open even though Alaska Air was really nice and gave us food coupons and phone cards that did not work.

A different plane flew in with mechanics and parts and flew out the Sitka folks, but because the plane was supposed to end in Sitka for morning flights we Juneau folks sat - including small infants and several older passengers who were given no assistance. We finally get on our way and are told weather got bad in Juneau so we are going to Anchorage. We arrive and we are told to get out and go get your luggage. The service rep there said we could call to get rebooked as she was the only one there and could not help us.

When we told her many of us had no cell phones and didn't even know who to call she said use a pay phone or we could wait until the counters opened.

She had reassured us plenty of flights to Juneau. When we got to the counter not only were people told their bags were too heavy and they needed to pay extra, but that there were no seats and we could just go standby.

Seems like Alaska Air wanted to try to sell the seats first. We didn't deserve any help because it was weather - not mechanical trouble - that caused us to end up in Anchorage. The fact that weather was fine when we left Seattle before waiting in Ketchican was not their concern.

Help us? Rebook us? Why? Who else are we going to fly? The joke is on us.

Monopolies are good business for them. I would fly another carrier at this point even if it cost me more because in the long run we would be better off.

Christine Longacre


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