Old Sep 2, 2011, 1:59 AM
Alaskan flyer Alaskan flyer is offline
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1
Default Problem with seat availability

This is to identify the difficulty of obtaining seats on flights and overall poor service to a specific geographic area. I am talking about Fairbanks Alaska. Alaska Airlines is currently the only carrier in and out of Fairbanks. I will give you a run down of my experiences in the past year when I have traveled between Fairbanks and Seattle for critical medical care with my son.

It started in Feb 2010 when my family was separated between Fairbanks and Seattle. My wife and son were in Seattle at Children’s Hospital where our son was diagnosed with a life threatening disease. He was scheduled for immediate preparatory surgery and I was in Fairbanks with the rest of our family and in need of seats for travel to Seattle. There were no immediate seats available and what was available was three days away. I was also informed Alaska Airlines no longer offers discounts for immediate family members traveling to see terminally ill patients or bereavement. It took me 3 days to find seats out of Fairbanks.

Since then, at least 3 other occasions traveling to Seattle from Fairbanks I have experienced windows when no seats were available when we needed to travel on short notice for critical complications. Not just on one flight but for several days. On one occasion I was forced to buy first class tickets as the only option to make it to Seattle within a week for serious complications with my son’s treatment. Our son’s doctor in Fairbanks informed us other parents with sick children have been experiencing the same issues getting out of Fairbanks.

This brings me to my most recent experience dealing with airline policy changes. We had a schedule from our doctor for our next follow up trip to Seattle and tickets were made. Due to an uncontrollable change by the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance our schedule was changed and the tickets needed to be changed. A supervisor informed me that under no circumstance are change fees to be waived. It was stated that we should pay for the insurance to avoid having this problem in the future. I will utilize it on the flights we have any doubts might change in the future. However it doesn’t keep me from spending the extra $150 I really don’t need to spend right now. The lack of service or the ability to help someone who truly needed a little help at that moment was very frustrating.

I haven’t called about the several times I ended up paying for bags when they were prepaid by Medicaid (consistent issue)….Nor the several times bags and needed car seats didn’t show up. One occasion they showed up 2 hours after we left the airport. The bags couldn’t be delivered until the next day so due to necessity I drove back to the airport to pick them up. I asked about the mile compensation which was posted on the counter for late bags and was informed the bags were there the whole time and just couldn’t be located so therefore they weren’t late and no compensation was applicable.
Old Sep 3, 2011, 9:14 PM
azstar azstar is offline
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 375

Not to Seattle, but there's at least some competition to Fairbanks now. Frontier flies nonstop to Denver.
Old Sep 4, 2011, 5:48 PM
Gromit801 Gromit801 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 745

You realize that with the same issues, you have the same problems with ANY airline. Last minute bookings and changes, etc.

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