Don't you hate companies that don't really want your opinion

I see on the TV this morning that Alaska Airlines, who I mostly enjoy flying with, made a big loss and also announced that they will be charging $15 per checked bag going forward.

I'm sure 90% of people will start whining just like they did when other airlines added it but to be honest I don't care - as long as you know in advance you can just figure it into the overall price. Fact is that almost everyone shops for air travel on price no matter what they say they do so airlines don't dare actually put their prices up enough to make a profit (or at least avoid a loss - seriously how is it ever OK to lose $19 million) like a normal business would because unless ALL of them did it then they wouldn't seem competitive. So instead they charge you a loss making amount up front and make up the difference elsewhere. Stupid fees, security tariffs, fuel surcharges that never go away... but at the end of the day its not too hard to work out the total. Totally annoying but pretty much everyone is, or soon will be, doing the same thing.

But what REALLY annoys me is that the $15 fee will now make many people just pack even more into already oversized hand luggage and fill up the overhead space. The situation is bad enough now with people who puff up the front of their case and then bring on a purse the size of another suitcase - get a hint people personal item means a normal sized purse or a laptop bag - it doesn't mean one of each and your grocery shopping. And people when they say "wheels first" it applies to YOU not everyone else. If your bag doesn't fit wheels first then it means its too big....

Anyway, I digress..... I thought I would send Alaska an email saying 'Guys I want to keep flying with you, shame about the $15 fee but can you please enforce the hand baggage size and limits if you are going to do this.' I think its unlikely they will listen to me but I'm an optimist.

But you can't - there's no way to send general feedback to Alaska air online. Try it - go off to the and find me an email address or a web form that is applicable. I found a form for reporting technical issues on the website, I found a form to complain about your flight that needs flight details... I even tried using my google skills to find an undocumented email address. Nothing. I have a mileage plan card which has several flights and the credit card and even in the members section there is nowhere to contact them.

Isn't it great that in 2009 I'm expected to pick up a phone, listen to music for 20 minutes and probably fight their phone system and people to try to find the right department. My guess is that so many people complain abut airlines in general that they simply remove the easy options to stop people contacting them.  


Published 23 April 2009 08:32 AM by zman
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