✅ Trip Verified
| Most of us appreciate the fact that during this pandemic we live with uncertainty and risk. I accept this, but take reasonable precautions to stay safe. With this in mind I choose Alaska for a recent flight from Portland to Orange County. My risk analysis was heavily influenced by the airline’s stated policy that passengers would be seated with an open seat next them, thereby significantly reducing the density of people, and creating more space between passengers. Separate seats were booked for myself and three other family members. We were all a bit nervous about the prospect of being in a confined space with strangers during Covid times, but took solace in the promise that the airline had a safety policy of spacing people and reducing overall passenger density. I calculated that my family’s “bubble” would be a space of four rows (the plane has two seats per row). We’d each have the option of sitting adjacent to the window, with an empty seat between us and the aisle. Imagine my disappointment when the boarding agent scanned my ticket and informed me that our seats were changed. Alaska had unilaterally decided that we were a group that must be packed in side by side. This was the case for many other travelers on this plane. Mandatory reseating. End result: a very full plane, zero personal space for those sitting in the aisle, more people impacting the restroom, more people in line, more hands on the fixtures, more risk for my family. And one more thing: more profit for Alaska Airlines. My decision to take this flight was a calculated risk. I weighed the facts based on what I thought was an honest agreement between me and the airlines regarding personal space and overall airplane density. I feel duped. When boarding, I told the agent we do not want to be reseated in a tighter cluster. The response: “sorry sir, we need to make room for more people”. Thank you Alaska for reorienting me on your company’s policy: profits over customer safety. I appreciate that airlines are struggling more than most businesses to financially survive the COVID crisis. But I do not appreciate being mislead. Airlines have a responsibility for their customer’s safety, and a moral responsibility to honest and transparent when communicating their policies. Alaska Airlines has lost my trust.