Monthly Archives: October 2010

Why I think we’ll be saying goodbye to Horizon Air soon

I alluded to this in a previous post, but now wanted to provide the proof/thought behind my reasoning.  I’m going to preface this with the fact that I’m a big Alaska Airlines and Horizon Airlines fan; I’m MVP Gold 75K, and travel at least one of these two carriers weekly.  That’s what saddens me so much to report this.

My last trip PDX -> ORD came just days before I started a regular PDX -> SEA -> EAT routine.  I always read the inflight magazines (Alaska Airlines is here, and Horizon Air’s is here).  Mostly not for the features or articles, but for the airline information in the back.  I was particularly struck with the route mapping in the back of the Alaska Airlines magazine as opposed to the Horizon Airlines magazine.  So much, that I’ll show you what I mean

Horizon Air and Alaska Air Route Map from the Horizon Air Magazine

This is the route map that everyone is used to.  It’s the Alaska Airlines and Horizon Airlines route map, clearly distinguishing who goes where.  The PDX->SEA Shuttle, of course is in red meaning Horizon Air.  While SEA-DEN is in blue meaning Alaska Airlines.  This is the route they’ve used for forever.  And the ones that customers are used to.

Alaska Airlines route map October 2010

The above is the route map in the latest Alaska Airlines magazine.  Notice anything?  Yeah.  Everything is in blue.  And the map indicates that these are “Alaska Airlines Routes”.  PDX -> SEA Shuttle.  SEA -> DEN.  All of it.  Alaska Airlines.  No indication of Horizon Airlines at all.  The only red on the map is now what’s shown of partner routes (Delta out of MSP, DTW, ATL, and American out of DFW and ORD).

I may be reading into this, but I think I’m not.  With all the hints of Horizon changing (Alaska Air Express, anyone?) that I’ve heard from my flight attendant buddies, I’ve been waiting for this.  Not happy with it, but knew it was coming.  This is just one more bit of conclusive evidence to that fact.

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In which I bid AVIS adieu

I’ve rented from AVIS almost exclusively for the last many years.  And as I said in a previous post, I’ve not always had the best experience.  But now, this is a new low, even for AVIS.

Every few weeks, I get an email from AVIS saying, “Enjoy a free weekend rental!” along with a coupon code, etc.  I’ve used them in the past, and I’ve only ever had to pay the tax on rentals.  This past weekend, because of an incident with our own car and a deer, I used one of my free weekend rentals, just like I had in the past.  I made the rental for Thursday 8PM to Monday 6AM.  In the past, when I have made reservations with these coupons, it’s warned me if the period is too long or too short, etc.  No warning.  I picked up a Toyota Camry (which should have been my first clue, since Toyotas have all been massively recalled, yet again.  I got gas on the way to the airport this morning and turned the car in.

That’s when the guy handed me a receipt for $91.31 charged to my credit card on file.

Now I’m used to paying something for taxes and such, and that’s fine.  But this bill clearly says “Time and mileage: $67.50”.  Now if they started something new, then fine.  That’s their right.  But when you allow someone to use your coupons, and you DON’T tell them you’re actually going to charge them, well that’s bullcrap.

So I have a rental with Hertz this morning.  We’ll see how long they can go without pissing me off.

Oh – and one more thing.  For that previous post that I mentioned, a followup:  Ann from AVIS was quite concerned over Twitter, and someone was to call me “the next day” at the number I gave them.  No call.  No call the following day either.  I got home and had a voicemail on a number I did NOT give AVIS.  When I called, they’d already given me coupons for $75 off a future rental.  Most consultant business travelers don’t pay their rental fees, so these were useless.  The person I finally talked to said he was sorry and that the district manager would be calling me.  He didn’t.  Not that I expected them to.  For most companies out there, AVIS included, customer service is in the toilet.

And one more thing…  Here’s the difference between AVIS and Hertz, in my own findings.  I’ve had exactly two incidents with rental cars, one with AVIS and one with Hertz.  Upon reaching the drop off point, Here was the discussion:

ME: There was an incident with the car
AVIS Rep: You know you’re going to have to pay for that

Me: There was an incident with the car
Hertz Rep: Oh my goodness. Are you okay? Do you need anything?

THAT should have been my clue to switch over.  Oh well.

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Know where Horizon Air is going?

Yes, there’s stuff going on with Horizon Air, and no real explanation as to what’s going on.  But this month’s Alaska Airlines magazine, take a look at the latest route map that covers Alaska and Horizon.  Oh wait.  It just now covers ALASKA.  Alaska Air routes used to be in blue, Horizon routes in red.  Now everything is just marked in blue.  And now they’re showing partner routes out of American and Delta hubs.

So it looks pretty much like Horizon is going to go bye bye in the near future.  Probably come “Alaska Air Express” or the like.  Bets?

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