Are you kidding me?
Dear Alaska Airlines,
We started off with a beautiful relationship, your reviews were good, your tickets were more than reasonable, booking through you was so easy. When my flight was cancelled due to the weather in Boston I understood, after all I cannot be angry at you for acts of god, when you rebooked me for three days later I was a little frustrated but I got it. I appreciated your willingness to work with me and the woman on the phone was so kind.
We finally landed on Boston, got our luggage without a hitch and enjoyed our vacation without very many bumps. Then it came to our return flight. This has been the worst airline experience I have ever had and I’ve flown through O’hare. We got to the airport to find that our flight had been delayed 2.5 hours, no biggie, I can wait. I’m a pretty patient person and I work Customer service myself, I am REALLY understanding. We got through TSA, made it to our gate, sat for a little while and then got another notice. Now our flight which was supposed to depart at 6:55 was leaving at 10:07 instead of 9:55, I promptly went up to the desk to figure out what was going on because I was curious. I asked very politely what was going on, was it the weather, was there something wrong with the plane? Very quickly and very rudely I was blown off by one of your customer service reps. I took a deep breath and went back to my seat. At this point I had been at the airport for over four hours, and again I am a pretty patient person so I wait two more hours.
Now normally waiting six hours for a new flight isn’t so terrible and I bring extra activities just in case but when in that six hours I get seven texts with continuous flight changes I get nervous. I want to know what is going on with my flight like any normal passenger so I go up and ask again and yet again I am very VERY rudely blown off. The Desk attendants looked at me as if I were just an annoying customer who was just being a nuisance. This is not how we treat customers in customer service no matter how annoying they are. I have been patient, I have been kind, I have been polite. This is NOT how you treat me. I need to know what is going on, my family is getting worried and they need to know what is going on. I have to work tomorrow, I need to know if I need to call my boss and call-out of work. This is not unreasonable to ask what is going on and what time the flight will actually be departing.
So I go back to my seat and I wait. And wait. And wait and wait and wait to find out that we will be boarding at 10:11, maintenance just has to check over the flight. I get a little worried with this announcement but it’s pretty regular for them to check the flight over, especially because apparently this same flight (But you have no idea if they really traded planes) had issues in Portland, OR. Really? Suddenly the captain comes up and announces “We don’t know what is wrong with the plane, we don’t know how long it will be until it is fixed.” Excuse me? At this point it’s been seven hours, soon to be eight hours that you have kept me sitting here in the dark about what is going on with my flight. My patience is wearing thin but I’ve been really good about being extra polite because you have enough angry customers and screaming children on your hands. You have a rough job, probably more stressful than mine and I work in a Restaurant. This isn’t your fault, but you aren’t exactly working with me either.
My boyfriend and I looked at each other with equal frustration, listening to phone calls and announcements about it only being 15-20 minutes more before getting on the plane. Right. That’s what we were told at least two more times before that and in between your announcements and when we got to the airport I had received 12 notifications on my phone of flight time changes. Twelve changes bouncing anywhere from 9:45-10:45 and eventually turned into 12:45. We were sitting next to the front desk where we could hear them say that they were *JUST* starting to troubleshoot the plane around 11:20, the plane that may or may not be the same plane that broke down in Portland. I cannot even express to you how wrong it is to give someone a boarding time when you have no actual idea when that boarding time may be.
Finally we made it onto the plane around 11:50 pm which means we had been at the airport at this point nine hours. At least we were on the plane though, at least this was progress to just sitting there getting absolutely no answers at all. One would think that once everyone was boarded and the captain (who was the only polite person in our entire experience) announced that we would be taking off shortly that shortly wouldn’t mean us sitting on the ground for another 50 minutes. I understand that everyone’s luggage had to be loaded, that wasn’t the issue. The issue was that I had completely lost my patience at this point and was trying not to kill the girls with high-pitched, ear-piercing, giggles in front of me (admittedly this is not your fault.) The issue was that even though I had lost all patience I was STILL nicer than the flight attendants on board. I still remembered to smile, say please and thank you and joke to make things just a little easier for everyone. I provided better customer service than your own hired attendants. After all of this mess, all of the waiting and the being blown off and the rude desk staff the last f#$&ing think I wanted to listen to was a flight attendant who had forgotten her own manners. At no point did anyone offer to have us send a survey of our experience so we could receive a discount for our inconvenience, which is fairly typical of most airlines. No one offered us a customer service number we could use, not that it was of any use because when I finally got the number and called it turns out that you are only open 8am-8pm Monday through Friday. As a major airline might I suggest 24/7 customer service, I don’t know and maybe it’s just me but that seems like a pretty reasonable idea.
These are basic things that SHOULD be used to repair your relationship with a customer who would have loved to give you her miles and money had good service been offered and had someone actually tried to talk to me about the problems that did arise. I travel just about every two months to somewhere, I fly a LOT so I am always looking for reasonable airlines. You could have had a dedicated customer who only used you when it came to the west coast. Unfortunately this past experience has completely soured our potentially beautiful relationship and I do not regret to inform you that I will not be flying with you again, I hope that for the sake of the future costumer that you go above and beyond to repair these issue.
Less than amused flyer,
UPDATE: Thank you Alaska Airlines for responding incredibly promptly to my post!