Alaska Airlines had emblazoned on one of its jets at one time: “The time’s always right to do what is right.”
It’s a quote by Martin Luther King Jr.
The airline — not unlike businesses galore — has had a trying time at least for the past couple of years, beginning with the pandemic and resulting much reduced flight schedule and staff shortages and, evolving into dealing with skyrocketing fuel prices and off-duty pilots’ picketing.
If that isn’t enough, then there are the regular daily challenges — flight delays, for example
A week ago, Flight 64 out of Ketchikan bound for Seattle experienced a six-and-a-half-hour delay, leaving the First City at about 10 minutes after midnight. For those who showed up early for security clearance and the eventual flight, it amounted to approximately 10 hours at the airport.
Arrival time in Seattle turned out to be 2:45 a.m.
Of course, much mumbling could have occurred by the fewer than a dozen passengers who had waited for the flight out of Ketchikan on one of its windiest April nights in memory. Perhaps some did.
But, others greatly appreciated that the airline didn’t fly a jet that needed to remain in Petersburg for maintenance, and that the airline brought in another jet and continued the scheduled flight. Late is better than not at all in this case.
Alaska Airlines did the right thing.
Then, by the end of the week, the airline experienced pilots picketing. Simultaneously, it canceled more than 100 flights on one day, affecting about 15,000 passengers, and continued cancellations into this week.
It isn’t our intention to weigh the right and the wrong between the pilots and the airline.
But it is to say that Alaskans — especially Southeast Alaskans — appreciate the consideration for a region that depends solely on Alaska Airlines to get to and from destinations. Other routes offer alternative airlines.
Flight 65 from Seattle and destined for Ketchikan, Wrangell and Petersburg took off on Saturday, albeit it 29 minutes behind schedule. Between the options of a slight delay or no flight at all, once again the choice by Alaska Airlines is applauded.
Alaska Airlines did the right thing by its passengers in southern Southeast. Of all flights, it didn’t cancel that one.
To say that the past couple of years have been challenging for many businesses is an understatement. Alaska Airlines is only an example.
But, the key, as Martin Luther King Jr. said, is “to do what is right” and, clearly, the airline is trying despite one big challenge after another of late.