03 November 2006

Griping about Alaska Air

So I am going to Seattle next weekend to celebrate my birthday with Chris, Steve and Ian. I originally booked my ticket for Thursday night taking the Friday off to get more time puttering around Seattle. This was minutes before I heard of and found out I would be attending an exclusive Noel Gallagher and Gem Archer acustic set in LA on the Thursday night. There is no way I am missing Noel Gallagher the day after my birthday playing to a small crowd.

So I chose Alaska Air because they were one of the only airlines with direct flights to Seattle from San Diego. San Diego has a tiny runway and can barely handle the load it has being well undersized for the amount of traffic it receives. Anyways the flight was originally pretty reasonable at $314 return. So today I went to change the reservation and boy did I learn a lesson.

Firstly I booked through Expedia so I knew they would charge a fee to change the flight and I also knew that Alaska Air would charge yet another most likely $50 fee to change that flight as well. These all turned out to be true. However, what I also learned is that Alaska Air has a very strange system of calculating how much you owe. So they my original purchase price of $315 and subtracted it from the new roundtrip price of $435 (not taking into account that I was not changing the return leg of my flight) so add an additional $120 bringing the cost of changing this flight up to $200 and the total cost of the flight now $515, which I don't need to tell you is more expensive than I would have paid if I booked today.

So after hearing this I decided to see if I could just get a one way out there for cheaper and take my return home. I knew I was only going to save about $50 at most but it was the principal of the thing. So turns out the other flight was cheaper but unfortunately Alaska Air would have cancelled my flight on the return should I have missed the first one.

This sort of thing enrages me. Where is the customer protection here for your average person? This ensures I will never fly Alaska Air again.


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