A Delta Air Lines Boeing 757 – Photo: Jason Rabinowitz
Every month, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) releases a load of airline statistics ranging from on-time performance rankings to lost bag rates and simple info requests. Within the monthly data dump sits the number of complaints the DOT received about airlines for that particular month. You’ve probably seen the new headlines like “airline complaints spike in 2014,” or something like that. That data comes from the DOT releases.
Buried in the 47-page monthly DOT report, the word “compliment” is mentioned twice
Buried in a recent release, I noticed that the DOT also reported airline compliments in addition to complaints. While complaints sometimes tally over 2,000 per month (2,205 in August 2015), the number of compliments ranges anywhere from none at all to maybe one or two. In the August 2015 release, a whopping three airline compliments were received, and I couldn’t help but wonder what they said. I simply had to know more.
A Boy Scout walks by an Alaska 737 at Aviation Day
Passion, dedication, and giving back to the community. These are the main things that really made Alaska Airlines Aviation Day shine. Since I have been running AirlineReporter, for almost eight years, I have met many people in the airline business and aviation. Almost all have a strong passion, but no matter where I travel and who I meet, it is hard to find people that are more dedicated than those who live and work in the Pacific Northwest.
Multiple planes on display at Alaska’s Aviation Day 2015
We have deep roots in aviation here, and I think one prime example of this is Alaska Airlines’ Aviation Day. This yearly event, which is only open to formal youth groups, allows guests to experience and learn about aviation and potential careers in the field. I was invited to this year’s event, and although there were plenty of amazing things to see and do, I was more in awe of all the wonderful people who work hard to make this event happen.
One of the seating areas for the new Alaska Airlines Board Room at SEA’s N Satellite – Photo: Neil Enns | Dane Creek Photography
As of November 10, customers visiting Seattle-Tacoma International Airport’s North Satellite terminal will have an enhanced passenger experience. After several months of delays and postponements, the new and highly-anticipated Alaska Airlines Board Room opened for business between Gates N1 and N2.
The N Board Room supplements the main location in the D Concourse of the main terminal, allowing passengers to have lounge access closer to Alaska’s departure gates in the remote terminal. This lounge is meant as a stopgap until a permanent lounge opens in 2018 as part of an overhaul and expansion of the North Satellite building.
When the project was first announced in December of 2014, the original target opening date was mid-2015, but postponements kept rolling in and pushing the date further out. Coupled with little information about lounge design and amenities, the anticipation grew, especially within the frequent flyer community on Flyertalk.
An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900ER landing at LAX – Photo: Carlos Ever | Flickr CC
On Monday, an Alaska Airlines flight from Newark bound for Seattle had to divert to Buffalo for an emergency landing because of smoke reported in the passenger cabin.
According to a statement from the airline, a malfunctioning credit card reader on board Flight 17, operated by a Boeing 737-900ER, started producing the smoke. A flight attendant took it to the back galley, placed the the device into a trash bin to contain it, and used a fire extinguisher to suppress any possible fire, while the flight crew declared an emergency and prepared to divert. There were no flames from the device, and the plane landed without incident at 8:15am EDT with 181 passengers and six crew members on board.
No injuries or fire damage to the aircraft were reported, though fire and emergency vehicles met the aircraft on the runway as a precaution, due to landing overweight from to a full cabin and fuel tanks for the transcontinental flight. A passenger on board the flight posted details of the diversion as it was happening on Flyertalk, an online forum for the frequent flyer community. User “autumnmist” reported that the “[f]light attendants and pilot handled it well,” and also lamented, “[s]o much for getting a solid nap in before landing in Seattle!”
We reached out to autumnmist, who asked to be identified as “J,” for more information. J, seated in Row 13, stated that the passengers were calm, mostly dozing because of the early hour and some not realizing that anything had happened until the descent started. The cabin crew announced that all passengers should be seated and prepared for landing. The captain came onto the PA system to announce that there was a small incident and that they would be landing at Buffalo out of an abundance of caution, touching down in about 17-18 minutes.