Guidance for travel plans as weather improves in the PNW

 

Guidance for travel plans as weather improves in the PNW 

If your travel plans to or from Seattle were interrupted over the last week, we sincerely apologize for the considerable inconvenience and understandable frustration.  

Heading into the weekend, as we get airplanes and crews back into place, we’ve pre-canceled 86 flights operating on Friday, Dec. 31, 2021 and 16 flights on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022 to/from Seattle. If your flight is affected, you will be notified via email and can check or change your flight online.  

Here’s what to do if your travel has been impacted:   

Re-book travel online (NOT at the airport).  

Our team members are working hard to enact cancels far enough in advance, so guests are notified whenever possible before arriving at the airport. We strongly encourage guests to avoid going to or staying at the airport to rebook their travel.  

The best thing to do at this moment is manage your reservation online if you’re able to do so. 

We automatically reschedule canceled flights on the next best available flight(s) to your final destination. If you are unable to reschedule your flight at this time, rest assured that we will hold the value of your ticket until you are ready to travel again.   

  • If you don’t need to travel before Jan. 2 and can extend your trip to a later date, we highly suggest adjusting your flights using our flexible travel policy.  
  • We’ve modified our flexible travel policy to include all ticket types, even non-refundable, for travel Dec. 22, 2021 – Jan. 16, 2022.   
  • Due to winter weather and canceled flights, we’re unable to fly animals in the cargo hold, unaccompanied minors, teen no-assists and teen assists into and out of Seattle through Jan. 3, 2022. 

Flights canceled? Don’t leave your bags behind.  

If your flight has been canceled and you’ve checked a bag, despite the urge to go straight to a customer service counter, please immediately claim them at the baggage carousel prior to leaving the airport.   

Our baggage service teams are working around the clock to reunite unclaimed bags with their owners. It will take a couple more days to complete this work, but our agents will contact every guest to arrange for pick-up or delivery.  

Transportation/lodging accommodation is available. 

We encourage guests waiting for their next flight to find a cozy hotel nearby or stay with friends or family until more flights can be added to the schedule.

Dec. 30

Guidance for travel plans affected by winter weather in the PNW 

Light snow fell overnight in Seattle and Portland, and a mix of snow and rain showers remain in the forecast this evening. As of 9:30 a.m. Pacific time, we’ve canceled 150 flights, as part of our plan to reduce departures by 20 percent in Seattle.  

As painful as it is to cancel flights, it allows us additional time to efficiently deice aircraft, an absolute must during winter weather like we’ve been having this week. Our team is working hard to enact cancels far enough in advance, so guests are notified whenever possible before arriving at the airport. 

In the days ahead, it’ll take time to reposition our flight crews and aircraft as we get our operations back to normal. Unfortunately, this has been the perfect storm of severe winter weather coupled with crew members and aircraft being displaced around the country and the continued impact of the omicron variant on staffing levels. As a result, guests may feel the effects throughout our network.

We deeply apologize for the impact all of this is having on our guests and are working hard to return to the level of service you know and expect from us, while operating safely.  

Here’s what to do if your travel is impacted:   

Re-book travel online (NOT at the airport).  

We strongly encourage guests to avoid going to or staying at the airport to rebook their travel.  The best thing to do at this moment is manage your reservation online

We automatically reschedule canceled flights on the next best available flight(s) to your final destination. If you are unable to reschedule your flight at this time, rest assured that we will hold the value of your ticket until you are ready to travel again.   

  • Before you head to the airport, check the status of your flight
  • If you don’t need to travel before Jan. 2 and can extend your trip to a later date, we highly suggest adjusting your flights using our flexible travel policy
  • We’ve modified our travel waiver to include all ticket types, even non-refundable, for travel Dec. 22, 2021 – Jan. 16, 2022. 
  • Due to winter weather and canceled flights, we’re unable to fly animals in the cargo hold, unaccompanied minors, teen no assists and teen assists into and out of Seattle through Jan. 3, 2022. 

Flights canceled? Don’t leave your bags behind.  

If your flight has been canceled and you’ve checked a bag, despite the urge to go straight to a customer service counter, please immediately claim them at the baggage carousel prior to leaving the airport.   

Our baggage service teams are working around the clock to reunite unclaimed bags with their owners. It will take several days to complete this work, but our agents will contact every guest to arrange for pick-up or delivery. Please make sure your contact information within your Mileage Plan account is up to date so we have the best numbers to reach you.  

Transportation/lodging accommodation is available. 

We encourage guests waiting for their next flight to find a cozy hotel nearby or stay with friends or family until more flights can be added to the schedule.

We greatly appreciate the patience of our guests and tireless effort from our employees during this difficult travel week and are doing everything we can to get you to your destination while operating safely!  

This post will be updated with the latest information related to our operations in Seattle as it becomes available. 

Dec. 29 @ 4 p.m. PT 

Guidance for travel plans affected by winter weather in SEA 

With the perfect storm of severe winter weather coupled with crew members and aircraft being displaced around the country and the continued impact of the omicron variant on staffing levels, more flights are being canceled this week to/from Seattle. As a result, guests may feel the effects throughout our network.

As we head into the next couple of days, we’re proactively thinning Seattle departures by about 20% to allow for the additional time it takes to deice aircraft, a requirement during winter weather.   

We deeply apologize for the inconvenience and are working hard to return to the level of service you know and expect from us, while operating safely.   

Tips for guests traveling this week: 

1. Re-book travel online (NOT at the airport). 

With more snow expected this week and staffing issues, we strongly encourage guests to avoid going to or staying at the airport to rebook their travel.  

Your best option is to manage your reservation online

  • We strongly urge flyers with non-essential travel scheduled before January 2, 2022, to consider changing their travel to a later date using our flexible travel policy.  
  • We’ve modified our flexible travel policy to include guests who were scheduled to travel through Dec. 28. 
  • Due to winter weather and canceled flights, we’re unable to fly animals in the cargo hold, unaccompanied minors, teen no assists and teen assists into and out of Seattle through Jan. 3, 2022. 

2. Hotel accommodation is available.

We encourage guests waiting for their next flight to find a cozy hotel nearby or stay with friends or family until more flights can be added to the schedule.

3. Don’t leave your bags behind. 

If your flight has been canceled and you’ve checked a bag, despite the urge to go straight to a customer service counter, please immediately claim your bag(s) at the baggage carousel prior to leaving the airport.  

Our baggage service teams are working around the clock to reunite unclaimed bags with their owners. It will take several days to complete this work, but our agents will contact every guest to arrange for pick-up or delivery. Please make sure your contact information within your Mileage Plan account is up to date so we have the best numbers to reach you. 

Looking ahead: 

In the days ahead, it will take time to reposition our flight crews and aircraft as we get our operations back to normal, especially since Seattle is our largest hub. This could also require further delays and cancelations.  

We’re deeply sorry to our guests for the delay in their holiday travel plans and are working hard to reposition aircraft and crews back to the West Coast to get everyone where they need to be as quickly and safely as possible,” said Constance von Muehlen, chief operating officer and executive vice president.  

We greatly appreciate the patience of our guests and tireless effort from our employees during this busy travel period and are doing everything we can to get you to your destination while operating safely! 

Dec. 28 @ 2 p.m. PT 

Winter weather continues: 3 things to know if you’re trying to fly to/from SEA

With the perfect storm of severe winter weather coupled with crew members and aircraft being displaced around the country and the continued impact of the omicron variant on staffing levels, more flights are being canceled this week to/from Seattle.

Today, 150 flights were canceled as a result, with more cancellations and delays expected throughout the day. We deeply apologize for the inconvenience and are working hard to return to the level of service you know and expect from us, while operating safely. Below is our advice for impacted guests on what to do next:   

1. Re-book travel online (NOT at the airport). 

With more snow expected this week and staffing issues, we strongly encourage guests to avoid going to or staying at the airport to rebook their travel.  

Your best option is to manage your reservation online

If you do not need to travel before Jan. 2, we recommend pushing out your travel plans using our flexible travel policy. Currently, we are unable to rebook most guests for at least three days. If you were scheduled to travel between Dec. 22, 2021 through Jan. 16, 2022 you can change your ticket online and complete your travel through Feb. 16, 2022.

If you are unable to reschedule your flight at this time, rest assured that we will hold the value of your ticket until you are ready to travel again.  

2. Hotel accommodation is available.

We encourage guests waiting for their next flight to find a cozy hotel nearby or stay with friends or family until more flights can be added to the schedule.

3. Don’t leave your bags behind. 

If your flight has been canceled and you’ve checked a bag, despite the urge to go straight to a customer service counter, please immediately claim them at the baggage carousel prior to leaving the airport.  

Our baggage service teams are working around the clock to reunite unclaimed bags with their owners. It will take several days to complete this work, but our agents will contact every guest to arrange for pick-up or delivery. Please make sure your contact information within your Mileage Plan account is up to date so we have the best numbers to reach you. 

Looking ahead: 

In the days ahead, it will take time to reposition our flight crews and aircraft as we get our operations back to normal, especially since Seattle is our largest hub. This could also require further delays and cancelations.  

We’re deeply sorry to our guests for the delay in their holiday travel plans and are working hard to reposition aircraft and crews back to the West Coast to get everyone where they need to be as quickly and safely as possible,” said Constance von Muehlen, chief operating officer and executive vice president.  

We greatly appreciate the patience of our guests and tireless effort from our employees during this busy travel period and are doing everything we can to get you to your destination while operating safely! 

This post will be updated with the latest information related to our operations in Seattle as it becomes available. 

Dec. 27 @ 4PM PT 

Winter weather continues to impact travel to/from Seattle 

Snow and freezing weather continue to disrupt our operation at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, our largest hub. On Monday, we had to unfortunately cancel 214 mainline and regional flights. With forecasts calling for bitter cold temperatures throughout the week and snow on Thursday more flights could be canceled throughout the next several days. 

Here’s what to do if you’re traveling with us to/from SEA:  

  • Monitor your flight status and view recommended arrival times. 
  • If you wish to change your flight(s), a flexible travel policy is in place for travel through Jan. 2. 
  • Our Reservations team is experiencing hold times of up to 11 hours. The quickest way to reschedule or change your ticket is online at alaskaair.com or Alaska’s mobile app. 
  • Guests impacted by cancellations or delays may be eligible for reimbursement of reasonable travel expenses by providing flight information and expense details herePlease note: Reimbursements may take up to several weeks to review and process, and some exceptions may apply.    

We’ll get in touch with you ASAP. Our Reservations team has been coordinating round the clock with our operations to get those who are impacted on the next available flight. If there is an available flight for you to be rebooked on, you should receive an email from us at the email address you shared in your reservation. 

Our call centers are currently experiencing extremely high call volumes and encourage guests to check their flight status and try to rebook on alaskaair.com or our mobile app before calling 1-800-ALASKAAIR (1-800-252-7522). When you call, there is also a convenient option for us to call you back and save your place in line so you can avoid longer hold-times. 

Safety first. These extreme weather events just don’t impact the movement of our planes, but also our people. It’s important that our flight crews don’t exceed their FAA-regulated duty periods—that’s the allowable length of a safe workday for pilots and flight attendants. If the crew exceeds that duty period, flights are delayed or even canceled. 

Other factors can include when the FAA periodically activates ground stops, as it did on Sunday, to prevent arriving aircraft from landing at Sea-Tac. That’s in addition to ground delay programs, which can be activated to decrease the number of planes flying into   an airport, which gives our teams more time to de-ice aircraft and put more spacing between planes arriving and departing. 

Looking ahead: This has been an un-merry couple of days for all of us, and we appreciate the patience of our guests and tireless effort from our employees during this busy travel period and are doing everything we can to get you to your destination while operating safely!  In the days ahead, it will take time to reposition our flight crews and aircraft as we get our operations back to normal, especially since Seattle is our largest hub. This could also require further delays and cancellations. 

Dec. 27 @ 10 a.m. PT

Severe winter weather in the PNW continues to cause delays and cancellations to and from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. We sincerely apologize to our guests who are impacted by this and understand how incredibly frustrating it is when travel doesn’t go as planned.  

Here’s what to do if you’re traveling with us to/from SEA:  

Snow and wintery conditions significantly impacted on our operations over the weekend, resulting in ground delays and ground stops on Sunday, Dec. 26, affecting nearly 250 flights to and from Seattle.  

As we reset our operations and continue to adjust for difficult weather conditions, we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel more than 120 flights today and expect additional cancellations throughout Monday, Dec. 27. 

We appreciate the patience of our guests during this busy travel time and are doing everything we can to get you to your destination, while operating safely!  

Dec. 26 @ 10 a.m. PT

Winter weather is impacting travel in the PNW

Snow and wintry conditions are creating a bit of a bah-humbug for our operations to and from Seattle, including flight cancellations and delays.

We apologize in advance for any potential flight delays and cancellations that could take place due to the weather. And realize it’s incredibly frustrating when travel doesn’t go as planned, especially now as many of us are eager to connect with friends and family. 

  • Stay up to date with the status of your flight online or on Alaska’s mobile app. 
  • Be sure to add your contact information to your reservation so we can get in touch with you if there are changes to your flight. 
  • If your travel is impacted due to winter weather, we will notify you via the email address in your reservation. 

The safety of our operations is our top priority. With the added time to de-ice our aircraft prior to departure, it takes longer for aircraft departing the airport than on a warm sunny day. The pre-cancellation of flights eases congestion and allows all airlines to match the reduced number of aircraft allowed to land and depart.  

We appreciate the patience of our guests during this busy travel time and are doing everything we can to get you to your destination, while operating safely! 

Dec. 24 @ 8 a.m. PT

Winter weather expected in the PNW: Here’s the latest for holiday travelers

If you’re traveling to or from Seattle/Portland this weekend, you could face some winter weather (not the ideal travel present in the Pacific Northwest).  

While we hope it doesn’t take the merry out of this holiday for any of our guests, we are preparing for whatever weather comes our way in these locations and will keep you updated on any impact the cold weather or snow will have on our operation in this post. 

  • Stay up to date with the status of your flight online or on Alaska’s mobile app. 
  • Be sure to add your contact information to your reservation so we can get in touch with you if there are changes to your flight. 
  • If you wish to change your flight(s), a flexible travel policy is being offered through Jan. 2. 
  • Check out airport guides for recommended airport arrival times, ticket counter hours and cut-off times for check-in and boarding.  
  • If you’re driving to the airport, give yourself plenty of time to get there in case of any delays or potential road closures. 
  • Check in for your flight and print your bag tags in advance online or on our mobile app up to 24 hours before departure.  
  • Masks are still required through the airport and on board even if you’re fully vaccinated.  
  • If your travel is impacted due to winter weather, we will notify you via the email address in your reservation.