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COMPLAINT: Alaska Airlines standby for earlier connecting flight

 
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  #1  
Old Oct 1, 2012, 12:39 AM
Umpireernie Umpireernie is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 3

Today I was travelling Alaska Airlines from Spokane to Anchorage connecting in Seattle.

When I made the reservation the only flights I could book had a 3 1/2 hour layover in Seattle. However there were two earlier flights on the Seattle to Anchorage leg.

Upon checking in at Spokane, I was told I would have to get on standby once I got to Seattle. My bag would still ride my confirmed flight. This was fine with me as I live in Anchorage and work at the airport. I just wanted to avoid unnecessary time sitting in an airport. Anyone who ever travels can probably understand this.

Arriving in Seattle, I went directly to the gate of the next Seattle to Anchorage flight to get on standby. I was told that since I was going to Anchorage, I could not standby for an earlier connection. Huh??

They went on to "explain" that if I was going to Portland or Spokane I could standby but not if I was going to Anchorage. Then I was further told that it didn't matter because the flight (leaving in 45 mins) was booked full so I probably would not have gotten on anyway.

I asked the gate agent point blank.. "But if the people who have reservations don't all show up, you will let seats go empty while I stand here?" "Yes," was the reply.

Since I had nothing else to do for the next three hours I watched the boarding process and close out of this flight. About 8 mins before scheduled departure.. they started calling standbys!!

When I asked about this, I was told that these were simply airline employees.

I was an airline employee for many years. Other than crew members being deadheaded to cover a flight in another city we NEVER would board a "nonrev" over a paying passenger, and we would never let a seat go out empty when revenue people were there willing to go early.

This makes no sense to me whatsoever. Why does it matter that I am going to Anchorage vs, Portland or Spokane? More importantly, why does a for-profit airline let a seat go out without a fare paying passenger in it when they don't have to? Most importantly why would you treat a customer like this?

I have traveled home to Anchorage on Alaska Airlines many times, getting to Seattle with a long layover but intervening flights happens often. I have always been allowed to try to shorten my wait by standing by for an earlier connecting flight until today. Apparently there is no reason for it, it's just their policy!

Bad move Alaska Airlines!
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  #2  
Old Oct 6, 2012, 2:44 AM
Gromit801 Gromit801 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 745

Alaska doesn't have standby seating. You can pay $25 to get on a different flight, which I'm guessing you didn't want to do.
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  #3  
Old Oct 7, 2012, 10:57 PM
Umpireernie Umpireernie is offline
 
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Posts: 3

Originally Posted by Gromit801 View Post
Alaska doesn't have standby seating. You can pay $25 to get on a different flight, which I'm guessing you didn't want to do.
Why would you assume this was about me not wanting to pay $25?

Had that option been available it would have been offered to me upon check in at Spokane. In fact, had the seats been available to reserve in advance I would have booked the better connection in the first place.

Keep in mind I was NOT changing my return date and time, I was just trying to shorten my layover in SEA. So no, I don't see why the airline should get an extra $25 bucks. Haviing said that, if at any point I would have had the option to confirm the better connection for $25 I would have paid it and breathed easy.

You say Alaska does not have standby seating. Yet I have gone thru this same song and dance many a time in SEA. This is obviously some new thing where standby is allowed in some markets (the markets they compete with Southwest I noticed) but not others.

Except that they DO allow standby; I stayed in the gate house and watched the gate agent call standby passengers. Then she made an announcement to "everyone else on standby" that the flight was now full and she would move everyone else to the standby list for the next flight. Gonna stick with the story that AS does not offer standby seating??

I just don't see the upside for the airline for doing this to me. I can't even see a short sighted, screw the customer as long as we squeeze out another buck sort of reason for doing this.

But don't hang your hat on me being cheap as the reason for screwing me over. Try again, if you can.
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  #4  
Old Oct 7, 2012, 10:59 PM
Umpireernie Umpireernie is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 3

As of today it's been a week since I emailed my complaint about this to AS customer service.

The silence of the non-reply is deafening.
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  #5  
Old Oct 8, 2012, 2:14 PM
Gromit801 Gromit801 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 745

Alaska doesn't have standby seating. Don't confuse that with non-revenue fliers and employee's deadheading.

Standby is a pretty generic term.

What SWA does, is irrelevant to your post, and it seems there's more than meets the eye here.
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  #6  
Old Oct 8, 2012, 3:10 PM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
Former Airline Employee (NOT OFFICIAL REP)
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,109

Originally Posted by Gromit801 View Post
Alaska doesn't have standby seating. Don't confuse that with non-revenue fliers and employee's deadheading.

Standby is a pretty generic term.

What SWA does, is irrelevant to your post, and it seems there's more than meets the eye here.
Really? What's this?

http://www.alaskaair.com/content/tra...y-standby.aspx
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