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Alaska Airlines suffers another spate of flight cancellations, infuriating passengers

Alaska Airlines passengers suffered another bad run of flight cancellations over the weekend.

Internal data from Alaska, obtained by The Seattle Times, showed 47 flights were canceled on Friday and 41 more on Saturday, affecting the travel plans of 13,500 passengers.

Independent data from airline flight tracking firm FlightAware showed another 61 cancellations Sunday, 8% of Alaska’s total scheduled flights.

And FlightAware showed the trouble bleeding into Monday, as planes out of position caused further cancellations. As of 9 a.m., Alaska had canceled 36 flights Monday, or 5% of its schedule.

Meanwhile, on Monday Alaska’s pilot union emailed a strike authorization ballot to its members. The pilots have through May 25 to complete the ballot.

The cancellations caused more chaos for travelers and drew complaints about Alaska’s service and support.

“Alaska is in meltdown,” wrote Dale Christensen via email Saturday. “They’re squandering years of customer goodwill.”

On Friday, Alaska canceled his Sunday evening flight home from New Orleans to Seattle and offered no alternatives.

“Your flight was canceled and due to limited flight availability, our automated system was unable to find a new flight for you within the next couple of days,” was Alaska’s message. He was invited to cancel and ask for a refund.

When he called the phone number provided, the wait time on hold was cited as “5 to 7 hours.”

Christensen left New Orleans a day early, giving up one night at his Airbnb and a day at the jazz festival. He booked the only flight home he could get on short notice to be back for work Monday: an 11-hour journey via New York on Delta Air Lines.

This article originally appeared in The Seattle Times

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