• Jul

    The Alaska Airlines Drama, Continued…


    Some time ago, I wrote a complaint letter to Alaska Airlines about deceptive booking practices and I asked for compensation. As you can imagine, I was pretty ticked off about what they did and how I was treated.

    To learn more about what happened, read on…

    Here’s the letter I received:

    Dear Mr. Segal,

    I appreciated receiving your email regarding your recent flight from Cabo San Lucas to Seattle. By taking the time to contact us, you have not only given me the opportunity to assist you with your concerns, but also to consider what we can do to prevent a similar situation from occurring again. I have asked our Customer Advocacy Team research your situation and to assist me in addressing your concerns. When booking a flight on alaskaair.com you are provided with many options, including, non-stop, direct and connecting flights. Unfortunately, we do not offer a non-stop flight from Cabo to Seattle, and we do our best to make it clear that flight 233 from Cabo to Seattle is not a non-stop flight, but a direct flight. I think you may already be aware of this, but a non-stop flight is defined as travel between origin and destination only with no stops in between. A direct flight is defined as travel with the same flight number between origin and destination, regardless of any intermediate stops. When selecting flights, you can click on the “details” button; this will provide you with the specifics of the selected flight. Flight 233 provides the following information under the details button, showing that the flight stops in San Diego.

    Alaska Airlines 233 Depart Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos (SJD) 2:10 pm, Fri, Jul 1
    Stop in San Diego (SAN) (emphasis added)
    Arrive Seattle, WA (SEA) 7:27 pm, Fri, Jul 1 Another indicator that this flight is not a non-stop flight is that “non-stop” is not an option under the filter results box on the left hand side of the page. Mr. Segal, I am truly sorry that you were not aware that this flight stopped in San Diego, however, we do make this information available when booking online. I would like to assure you that we have passed on your feedback to our Web Design team so that they can review the way this information is displayed. While they advise us that they have received very few complaints regarding this issue, we certainly will continue to monitor customer feedback and use that feedback to improve our website.

    I am truly sorry to hear that our reservations agents provided conflicting information regarding the customs process for this flight. Flight 233 stops in San Diego after coming from a foreign country, as such, we are required to have our customers go through customs prior to continuing on to Seattle. This requires customers to deplane, go through customs, and then route to our domestic terminal to re-board the same aircraft that has been moved from the international terminal to the domestic terminal. I have forwarded your letter to our reservations Training Manager so that she can review the information that we have available to our agents regarding situations such as these.

    Mr. Segal, I apologize for any inconvenience you experienced and that you felt the information available on our website was not clear. As a customer service gesture, I am including a Discount Code. The discount is available for your use for one year from the date of issue. Please reference the appropriate code below at the time of booking. Discount Codes do not require a pin and need to be entered in the Discount Code box at the beginning of your reservation. Complete rules and restrictions can be found online at alaskaair.com. Nathan Segal, Discount Code xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, in the amount of $50.

    It is my sincere hope that your future flights with us will reflect the high level of service you have rightfully come to expect when traveling with us. We value your patronage and look forward to welcoming you aboard another Alaska Airlines flight soon. Sincerely,

    Raymond Prentice
    Director, Customer Advocacy

    Reference#: xxxxxx

    And that was the long and short of it? What do you think? Is this enough compensation? Or not? What would you do if this was your situation.

    In my next article I’ll tell you what I did and to the best of my knowledge it was successful.

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