Bad experience on Alaska Airlines

From a member of our community:

I had a terrible experience with Alaska Airlines. Is this usual or unusual? My family has been traveling almost once a month from January of this year. We purchased tickets from Cheapoair and ride different airlines. However, all my bad experiences were with Alaska Airlines. How should I complain to Alaska Airlines? Please let me know. Thanks

I flew with them from Fairbanks to Dallas/Ft. Worth not had no issue. Whenever I have an issue with any provider I do a little research online and I go straight for the top. If I can find the CEO’s name I address my correspondence to him/her and explain my issue. Several years ago I had a terrible experience with a particular hotel chain. I booked s handicapped accessible room for a night before a cruise. This hotel also provided parking for my car for the duration of the cruise and we were able to book transportation from hotel to port and port to hotel through the hotel’s front desk. I booked this room in February for late May. I called a couple of months later to reconfirm the need for a handicapped accessible bathroom with roll in shower. I was assured it was done. We got there and checked in and front desk was a madhouse. Five clerks answering phones with “sorry we are full” and giving same answer to people walking in without reservations. I was given a map of the property and told handicapped parking was right by our building. My granddaughter and I drove around the main building and found our location; there were exactly 2 spaces that were handicapped and they were occupied. Mind you this was a large building of many rooms but only 2 handicapped spaces. First thing I noticed was I had to jump a curb to get to the walkway to our room. Then I had to jump another curb high step to get into the room. I use a waljer but had it been a chair of some type I would have not been able to get into the room. Then, once inside I looked for bathroom and after making a right, a left and another left I found it tucked in behind the wall that was behind the kitchenette provided in the room (I did not ask for a kitchen). Not only was it difficult to get there, my walker would not fit through the bathroom door. I noted a small sink hanging from the wall and beside it was a standard toilet with no accessibility nor handrails. The shower was one of those box types you can buy and put anywhere. I described it as a coffin standing upright. My granddaughter used it before going out to dinner and told me that I would not be able to use it because ig had no grab bars nor any place to set body wash or shampoo; she had to set hers on the shower floor. There was nothing I could do at that point because I knew they were booked solid and hac no available rooms and at 4 or so in the afternoon I was sure I would get the same answer from other places around us as this is a port city for several major cruise lines such as Roysl Caribbean and Disney, etc. I waited until I hot home and wrote parent corporation an email. Got no response so after a couple of weeks I wrote a second email and attached the first one. I still received no response. I then went online to the corporate Facebook page and I explained my lack of response to a valid complaint and I copied and pasted my original email and the photos I took of the curb I had to jump and the step up into the room, a photo of the tiny bathroom with absolutely no handicapped amenities and the fact the door would not accommodate my walker. In less than 30 minutes I was being contacted by corporate and an apology was given and they offered me like 50,000 points from their system and they took down my post. I told them under no circumstances would I ever stay at any of their hotels/motels in the future and that when asked I would let everyone know that the Choice Hotels group didn’t care about their handicapped customers and even upon checkin their desk clerk lied right to my face when she assured me this was indeed a handicapped accessible room as requested. So go to the top dog. I am in the process right now of filing a formal complaint both with the local building inspections department as well as with the federal oversight people regarding a restaurant here that has totally disregarded handicapped accessibility. Do it!

What kind of bad experience? I fly 90% of the time on Alaska as a w/c user and never had a problem.

Get the corporate address, write a letter explaining, either mail or email it to them with all of the bad experiences to them.

Contact the corporate office with a list of all of your issues. Email them, you will get a faster response from them.

I also had a bad experience on Alaska Airlines. Instead of allowing me to stay in my own wheelchair until they transferred me into an aisle chair to get me on the plane, personnel insisted on transferring me into an airport wheelchair (which did not fit me at all) and I had to wait in it in great discomfort nearly 2 hours (because I always try to arrive early, of course) before getting on the plane. Since plane seats themselves are pretty uncomfortable for me, by the time I got to my destination, I was in agony. Also, the people who transferred me to and from the aisle chair seemed to be clueless about what was needed and seemed to have no training in dealing with people with disabilities. I did complain and got a coupon for $50 for my next flight on Alaska. But, since I am never going to fly them again because of their policies, that’s a coupon that will never be used.

FWIW, despite their seemingly poor record, I have STRONGLY preferred travelling by Southwest Airlines for the last 15 years and have never had any major problems. The training they give their personnel on dealing with disability issues is excellent IMHO.

I’m sorry about your bad experience. I’ve never had a bad experience with Alaska Airlines, but I would go to the Airlines Customer Service Desk immediately, before take-off if possible, or more realistically, when I reached my destination airport. I’ve found the quicker you report a problem, the better the resolution.
*This is one of the reasons I like group travel, there really is strength in numbers, and we can advocate and hopefully get results for future challenged travellers.

This is Heather. I have 19yrs old disabled son.
We are traveling because he want to visit football stadium all over the USA.
Since we are traveling once a month from January of this year, we took diffrent airlines.
However we had all bad experiences with Alaska Airlines. On April when we checked in travel to Texas manager said my son can’t use first class bathroom because he will disturb first class customers. We thought she is right. On May when we came back from Georgia my son ate protein platter from airplane. He got sick had to go bathroom 3 times from seat 11 to seat 34. He can’t work by himself so we always order isle chair when we travel. That time my husband carried him 6 times. After 6times of hard work fright attendance said next time he can use first class bathroom. Whhat she said elders, disabled, and children have right to use first class bathroom. Because of wrong information we had terrible time that trip.
Alaska airlines in Seattle is huge. I had hard time to find help and customer service desk. On June trip we went New Mexico for family reunion. My husband went to park car so I had to push wheelchair with 2 back packs and suit pack. I didn’t know where to go so I lined up long line for baggage check up. That is unusual experience. Other airlines have luggage check up station so customer can easily drop off ther bags. I had asked someone favor for holding my stop and I searched customer service for check in. When we board because of short staff we had to wait and they wouldn’t let us go first. So we told customer service person we need more time and we went early with other airlines. She let us went in and my husband tie my son. Finally one person came and pushed isle chair for my son.
When we came back from New Mexico to Seattle was worst. When we checked in the person from front desk did’t signed in seat because we asked for seat together. She said that she already called boading check in desk and they will assigned seat for us. Useally with other airlines when we checked in they assigned seat first then the person from boarding desk changed for us. When we went to boarding check up desk they keep saying that we wear waiting list so we had to wait until everyone boared. Also isle chair person came late too. What a embarrassing moments. Since we are last we had to wait until isle id cleared. Also Every one was looking at us and the person push my son hard time to figure out to way out. Even the seat arms was not folding fully so my son had hard time to move from isle seat to Window seat. After we seat male fright attendance came with tablet he showed to us said you had all these troble because we bought saver tickets. So I told him we bought ticket from Cheapoair all the time and I never had problems with other airlines why with Alaska Airlines. He said Alaska airline had different rules. So I told him then we should not take Alaska airlines, then he said that is not his problem. I felt so shame and I felt discrimination. Because I bought cheap tickets my son don’t have right to board early get ready for comfortable fright. My husband told woman fright attendant that we have future fright with Alaska Airlines first class. We really worry to take Alaska airlines. She said we will not have problems with first class. I felt so bad if someone has money then they have privilege and someone has cheap tickets they don’t care even handicap.
One time they lost my son’s wheelchair part which we never had problems before.
My son had bad seizure ladt night so we went emergency room. My son diagnosed ALD 11yrs ago. He is miracles for our family. We have been traveling last 11yrs for his treatment or fun. However I never had this disrespect , discrimination feeling before. May be I am too sensitive but compare to my other trip their services are worst. I felt like uneducated, under staff and didn’t teach staff treat everyone equally is best customer service.
Thanks for reading my stories.
I want many people know what kind of services they will have from Alaska Airlines.

It is hard to ride only one airline because I shop around the cheapest tickets. However I will keep in mine. Thanks

If any group travel coming up, then let me know.

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I flew on Alaska with my chair and other airlines as well. I’ve had good experiences and bad experiences with them all. Communication seems to be the key. Let them know ahead of time by phone, at check-in and at the gate what you need and they will usually be happy to accommodate.
Never under estimate the power of Murphy’s Law.

Go to to get on the information list for upcoming trips!
All ages, physical abilities welcome, no stress, really makes travel and vacations stress-free fun!

Frankly my husband speaks good English and he sttod there more than 30 minutes. Since I ride other airlines , we knew what we are doing. May be it is one of bad day.

I am sorry about your experience . My husband travel a lot and have given talks to our ALS support group about travel and wheelchairs. We have learned you never book through websites like cheap o air, expedia etc. book specifically through the airlines or hotel you are using. After recieving airline confirmation code call accessible department. At Alaska it is 1-800-503-0101, notifing them of needed services. They can move you to accessible seats, arrange isle chair, stop at counter and verify, and at gate, 45 min- 1 hr before flight tso they have time to be able to board you before everyone else.
Same with hotels, call them direct not national reservation number. Ask specific questions about room, if they are unsure about room ask hotel staff to put you on hold and go look.
Good luck on future travels.

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Thank you so much.
I never had any problems with other airlines, I didn’t know I have to do some extra work. For future reference I will take your advice.