Winter weather impacts and what you need to know if you’re flying on Alaska Airlines.
The Impact On Seattle Operations
Winter weather, displaced crew members and aircraft, and the continued impact of the omicron variant on staffing levels are converging to cause more canceled and delayed flights for Alaska Airlines this week.
Yesterday, 170 flights were canceled across Alaska’s network, with more cancellations and delays expected throughout the week. As the airline heads into Wednesday and Thursday, they’re proactively thinning Seattle departures by about 20% to allow for the additional time it takes to deice aircraft, a requirement during winter weather.
The weather in Seattle is impacting passengers beyond the Pacific Northwest. Alaska Airlines strongly urges flyers with non-essential travel scheduled before January 2, 2022, to consider changing their travel to a later date using our flexible travel policy. With more snow expected and limited seats available during an already busy holiday week, the airline is not able to re-accommodate most passengers for at least three days.
“We deeply apologize for the inconvenience this winter storm has on our guests and employees and are working hard to return to the level of service you know and expect from us, while operating safely,” said Constance von Muehlen, Alaska Airlines chief operating officer and executive vice president.
Re-booking Travel, Accommodations And Baggage Claims
If passengers cannot reschedule their flights at this time, you can be assured that Alaska Airlines will hold the value of the tickets until they are ready to travel again. Learn more about our Customer Service Commitment here.
Here are some tips for these weather cancellations:
- Before heading to the airport, check your email or alaskaair.com to see if your flight is impacted.
- If your flight has been canceled, do not go to the airport to change your itinerary.
- Managing your reservation online is the best option. Our Contact Center is experiencing hold times of more than 20 hours. To reduce long hold times, guests without immediate needs are asked to wait to contact us about their itineraries until next week.
- Guests impacted by cancellations and delays may be eligible for reimbursement of reasonable travel expenses by providing flight information and expense details here.
- If your flight is canceled while you’re at the airport and you’ve checked a bag, please immediately claim it at the baggage carousel before leaving the airport.
Alaska’s baggage service teams will be working around the clock to reunite unclaimed bags with their owners. It will take several days to complete this work, but baggage agents will contact every guest to arrange pick-up or delivery.
Heavy snow at Seattle and Portland airports is rare. In terms of severe drought in the Pacific Northwest, heavy snow is really needed but not all at once. It will take days for the schedule to return to normal as scheduled aircraft for upcoming flights are out of position. Looking ahead for the week, Seattle will see cold temperatures and some snow on Thursday and Saturday.
Be proactive in rescheduling flights so you can get ahead of your fellow passengers. There may be long hold times for reservation assistance so you may want to call during off-hours to shorten your hold time. If you can’t remain on hold, the airline will call you back when it is your turn to speak with an agent.