Exorbitant airfares

Posted: Sunday, July 27, 2003

Picture yourself as a low- or medium-income person in Southeast Alaska wanting to visit grandparents and other relatives in the Lower 48 but for the last five-plus years cannot afford the Alaska Airlines tickets. Or you are a grandparent with a fixed income and cannot visit your grandchildren in Southeast Alaska because of the exorbitant fares charged by that airline.

Compare Alaska airline ticket costs from any other location than Southeast Alaska and especially in those cites where there is competition against what it costs residents in Southeast Alaska to travel shorter distances such as to Seattle vs. Washington, D.C., Boston and Florida from Seattle. Today a Web special (July 23 - return July 26) from Anchorage to Seattle is $279. The cost from Juneau (they don't have a Web special) is $887.32.

If you do write to Alaska Airlines you will receive the same heart-wrenching excuse that it has been using for years about removing eight seats for a litter patient and flying at a loss into smaller communities simply to provide jet service. I've got this letter memorized.

Are we missing something? Maybe the government should investigate the costs for a captivated audience.

Tim Bigelow


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