Letters to the Editor

Letter: Flying concerns

A recent article on a travel blog regarding in-flight service reductions in January suggested flying on Alaska Airlines might not be safe. As an elite-level flyer on Alaska Airlines, this concerns me for several reasons.

Hungry, thirsty customers equal grumpy, dissatisfied customers. Not a pleasant experience for anyone. Why? Alaska Airlines appears to be reducing in-flight service, regardless of how long the flight might be, to single service and reducing food availability as well. Yes, this includes those six-hour transcontinental or trans-Pacific flights. The reason cited was concern by the Alaska Airlines flight attendant union over increased risks of COVID-19 exposure. This assertion is confusing.

Alaska Airlines publicly states in multiple forums that flying on their aircraft is safe due to their use of hospital-grade air filtration and their cleaning protocols. But the flight attendants’ union is suggesting it is not? Do you not all breath the same air on the aircraft? Since it appears Alaska Airlines capitulated to the union on this issue, they must been have presented some compelling scientific data supporting the assertion.

I have many flights scheduled in the month of January and throughout the year. Based on this news, I, like many others, am forced to consider my health and that of my family and employees. So is it safe or not? You cannot have it both ways. If I am forced to fly on Alaska Airlines, will I be refused food and water while stuck on the tarmac or while enduring the infamous “milk run?”

If the airline is reducing service, one must assume it will be crediting all the customers who paid extra for “Premium Class” service. If I am forced to use other airlines that are not reducing service because they are showing us it is safe to fly on their aircraft, will Alaska Airlines credit me qualifying miles on the flights I have to cancel until it is safe to fly on their aircraft?

I have been a loyal Alaska Airlines customer for more than 30 years. I invite Alaska Airlines and their flight attendant union to respond and openly share the scientific data with their customers and other airlines for safety reasons. After all, safety is their stated No. 1 priority.

— David B. LeNorman

Anchorage

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