How does Alaska Airlines handle a rolling delay at an outstation?
While I fly 200,000 miles per year and have largely avoided any sort of extended delays over the last two years, my parents hit a horrible delay yesterday in Honolulu.
They were flying Alaska Airlines from Honolulu to Los Angeles and showed up at airport at 11:00AM for a 12:50PM flight. I warned them that they would not have lounge access in Honolulu, but they went early any way “just in case” there were any complications with traffic or security.
Boarding commenced on time and they settled into their first class seats, ready to relax for the next five hours and still make it back home at a reasonable hour.
And then the fateful announcement…
The captain announced a problem with the air conditioning system onboard. After tinkering with it for an hour, the captain announced passengers would need to deplane.
The collective groan was audible.
After stepping off the aircraft, Alaska Airlines emailed each passenger a $12 meal voucher for lunch. Since I booked the trip for them, both vouchers went to my email. These were electronic coupons with a QR code.
The delay was only supposed to be about 90 minutes.
But 90 minutes later the delay was extended another hour. And another hour.
My father sent me the following text message:
Something with the AC system which can cause the cabin to get very hot while in flight. Makes me weary about riding in a 737. 😐
There was a United flight leaving soon with two first class seats which I offered to book them on. They still would have been able to get home in time for a good rest in their own bed. But thinking the delay would soon be over, they declined. I also offered them club passes to United, even though it would have meant walking to the Diamond Head Concourse. They declined.
(Alaska did issue $15 dinner vouchers about five hours into the delay)
Alaska proactively sent the following email, promising compensation will come. Nothing has arrived yet:
They finally arrived into LAX at 3:16AM…and are currently sleeping.
It could have been worse. My parents were stopping in LA while 70 passengers onboard had missed onward connections.
But I felt so bad, since I planned and booked this trip for them. They don’t travel very often and nothing spoils a day like sitting in the airport for nine hours (unless you’re crazy like me).
The mechanical delay was sad, but Alaska seemed to handle it well. The pilot was communicative, flight attendants friendly, and ground staff prompt to offer meal vouchers (not that $12 gets you very far at HNL).
Most importantly, they made it home safely…even if it was in the middle of the night.
How did Alaska Airlines handle your delay?