Alaska Airlines flight operations and reliability has been terrible for the last couple of months. The airline is facing a pilot shortage and is canceling flights due to lack of staff. On average, the airline is canceling approximately 50 flights a day. Or 4% of it’s operation. Many of these flights are canceled the day of, not in advance. This is obviously causing frustrations for travelers. Today, Ben Miniccui sent a video message to guests addressing the issue.
Getting back on track
Alaska Airlines is short staffed across the board. This includes flight attendants, pilots, and reservation agents. Turns out, that during the pandemic, despite taking government aid, Alaska Airlines let too many employees leave. After all, they were providing early retirement packages and threating layoffs when travel came to a standstill. Now, Alaska Airlines can’t even schedule or forecast appropriately, as they have less pilots than expected. Thus leading to the daily cancelations and delays.
Alaska Airlines claims to have already made some changes to help expeditated and rebook guests. Yet, planes are full and other airlines are too facing staffing challenges. Come June, Alaska Airlines will have an additional 200 reservation agents which should help hold times. In the air, 150 new pilots and 1,100 new flight attendants will join the ranks. Yet, for the next two weeks expect more Alaska Airline flight cancelations and headaches when flying.
Is great to see that Ben is finally getting out there and apologizing for Alaska’s faulty operations. Alaska Airlines was JD Power and Associate highest ranked US Carrier for several years in a row. Not now. They also use to be among the most reliable operations for domestics carriers. Only Hawaiian Airlines had a better on time rating. That is all clearly not true. Ben says come June Alaska will become the airline we remember and love. I’m skeptical. I say, prove it! Alaska Airlines tickets tend to be 2-4x higher than the competition this year. Not to mention a lack of reliability, this 100K has definitely been looking and purchasing tickets elsewhere. What is your take on Ben’s message? I wanted to see more.