Alaska Is Cutting Flights to 14 Major Cities After This Year
The airline announced it will be paring back its schedule starting in January.
Planning out an airline's schedule can be difficult, complicated work. Most of us experience the changes in the short term when extreme weather, staffing issues, or a combination of the two catch carriers off guard and create delays or cancellations. But companies also regularly build up and scale back their daily departures when trying to keep up with changes in demand and maintain profitability. The latest example of this is Alaska Airlines, which is cutting flights to 14 major cities after this year. Read on to see which locations are affected and what this could mean for your travel plans.
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Alaska Airlines will cut more than 3,000 flights from its schedule starting in January.
Alaska Airlines is a major player in the travel industry, ranked as the fifth-largest airline in North America with over 41 million passengers in 2022, according to Statista. However, the carrier will be making some notable changes to its schedule to kick off 2024 that will see departures cut to more than a dozen destinations.
Data posted to flight schedule website Cirium shows that Alaska Airlines will drop more than 3,000 flights in January, Simple Flying reports. The move will have the most significant impact on service between Seattle's Pane Field and its hub at San Francisco International Airport, cutting 72 flights per week and reducing the number of seats served by more than 5,400.
Other major cities will see a reduction of 48 departures a week from some of the airline's other hubs. These include service between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, as well as between San Francisco and New York City's John F. Kennedy Airport and Spokane, Washington. The airline will also reduce flights between its primary hub at Seattle Tacoma Airport and Sacramento and Oakland, California; Eugene and Portland, Oregon; Atlanta, Georgia; and New York's J.F.K. Airport. The changes will result in a drop of roughly 140,000 seats, per Simple Flying.
A few other cities will see slightly smaller reductions in service.
The carrier will also make slightly smaller flight reductions between other major cities. Data posted to Cirium shows that the airline is cutting 34 flights per week between Anchorage and King Salmon in its namesake state of Alaska.
The airline will also be dropping 37 weekly flights between Los Angeles and Washington Dulles Airport, according to Simple Flying. These combined changes will reduce the number of available seats by nearly 10,000.
Best Life reached out to Alaska Airlines for comment on the schedule changes but has yet to hear back.
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Alaska Airlines announced other changes to its schedule a few weeks ago.
This isn't the only time in recent memory that Alaska Airlines has announced significant service changes. In June, the carrier dropped more than 200 flights from its November schedule from eight routes, Simple Flying reported.
The move affected routes between Boise, Idaho and Austin, Texas; San Jose, California; and Palm Springs, California. Flights were also reduced between Los Angeles and Boseman, Montana and Reno, Nevada. And service between Portland, Oregon and Missoula and Billings, Montana; and between San Diego, California and Salt Lake City, Utah were also scaled back.
The move reduced the number of flights on the airline's schedule by 226 for the month. However, it's still an increase from the same month in 2022 by 4,723 additional departures, Simple Flying reported.
Other major airlines have also announced some significant flight changes.
Of course, Alaska Airlines isn't the only carrier to shuffle around its schedule lately. In July, United Airlines made good on its announced plan to reduce the number of daily flights from its hub at Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey. The company made the decision after suffering a logistical meltdown that brought days of delays and cancellations.
"Airlines, including United, simply aren't designed to have their largest hub have its capacity severely limited for four straight days and still operate successfully," United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby explained in an email to staff sent on July 1, obtained by travel news website One Mile at a Time. "We are going to have to further change/reduce our schedule to give ourselves even more spare gates and buffer—especially during thunderstorm season."
Since then, United has announced a reduction in flights from Newark this month from 410 to 390, Simple Flying reports. The company also said it was cutting more than 700 flights from its schedule beginning in November, as well as dropping a few planned international routes.