I have been thinking over this post all day long. Ever since Alaska Air (AS) put up the scathing “rant” on their company blog about why they did the shameful acts they did I have been thinking about what to say. I mean I really think I said it all yesterday and stand by each word. Heck even online papers have started to run with my quotes from the post. What I don’t want to do is put up a rant myself today (nor was yesterday’s post a rant).
But what I do and must talk about is the utter ridiculousness of the statement put out by AS. Overnight the AS twitter folks, at some point, gave up the battle and the company had most of the day to formulate a well written response and they instead come out with the above! Amazing.
I make no bones about the fact that I, and most of us who read travel blogs, are points enthusiast. We sign up from promotions. We get travel cards. We do silly things even like mailing in dozens of post cards (all hand written) to earn points. Heck years ago one enthusiast collected pudding tops for points and got a ton of them. What I don’t do is “hack” anything. Notice what “hacking” means in computer terms from the Merriam Webster.com dictionary:
“a person who secretly gets access to a computer system in order to get information, cause damage, etc. : a person who hacks into a computer system” – Merriam-webster.com
Now did any of us “hack” into AS computers to gain information? Did we cause any damage to AS or their computers? Did we do anything secretly? I think most of us logged in and used the PROVIDED company web site and perhaps called and spoke to AS agents who used their computers to book flights for us using the company rules in place.
The last bit is really important. Did “we”, that is, the AS customers make the rules? No, we ask and read what the rules are and then follow them. Since when did it become a crime to follow the rules an airline told us we can use?
Now as to the rest, if AS has routes priced too low then raise them. United used to have a 135,000 point round trip point price to fly Lufthansa 1st class from the USA to Sweden (and it was truly amazing). I saved and used my points for that trip twice until they just about doubled the price in points and now I no longer collect United points. AS has every right to do what they want with their program but they should tell us in advance they are changing things. They even later admit they “want” to do that i.e. give us 30 days. But they didn’t.
So Alaska, don’t blame your customers for using the tools YOU gave them to book flights. It is shameful and embarrassing and frankly you just look stupid for even suggesting the above. You are better than this!
But on to the next point that simply validates again what I said yesterday. AS says they will not do unannounced changes “when at all possible”. Nice. If someone you really trusted did something utterly shameful, disgraceful & loathsome and then they told you I will try not to do that again “”when at all possible” would you forgive them and move on and trust them again? Yeah me neither.
You know the saddest part of all of this is the realization this has had on us. We Delta fliers expect Delta to act secretly and make nasty changes to SkyMiles and hide them from us. We know they don’t care one bit what we think or feel. They leave it up to us to find what they have changed (also why I have tools to scan Delta.com to find such changes each day). But that is Delta. I think most of us thought AS was better than that. At least we know better now! – René 🙁