Alaska Airlines delays the launch of Paine Field service

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Alaska Airlines delays the launch of Paine Field service

Alaska Airlines has issued this statement on their blog:

We hope you can appreciate the adage “good things come to those who wait,” because we have an update to pass along about our planned flights at Paine Field.

Several key groups within the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which conduct crucial certification and oversight work required for the start of commercial air service at Paine Field, are subject to furloughs because of the government shutdown. The FAA’s work on the environmental assessment continues. However, essential work groups within the FAA are furloughed and further delays are expected if the shutdown continues.

It’s a tough decision, but we believe the responsible action is to postpone the start of service at Paine Field. Originally set for Feb. 11, 2019, we’re now scheduling service to begin on March 4 – subject to receipt of all required government approvals.

If you bought a ticket for a Paine Field flight, your first question might be: what now?

Here’s what we’re doing for guests:

  • Guests with tickets for travel between Feb. 11 and March 4 will receive an email notification from us today that they’re automatically being confirmed, waiving any fees, on a new flight on the same travel date from Sea-Tac International Airport. It’ll be for a time that’s closest to their original Paine Field flight.
  • If guests wish to keep Paine Field as their departing or arriving airport for a new flight on March 4 or later, you can do that, waiving any fees, by calling us at 1-800-252-7522.
  • And if you prefer not to travel, we’ll provide a full refund to your original form of payment, waiving any fees. To make that happen, call us at 1-800-252-7522.

“We know our guests who purchased tickets to and from Paine Field will be disappointed by this delay – so are we,” said Andrew Harrison, Alaska Airlines’ chief commercial officer. “There are certain things that are simply out of our control. We apologize if your travel plans need to change. But we remain eager and committed to giving you – our loyal guests – a much-needed airport alternative north of Seattle, and a great experience.”

We’re still moving forward to prepare for operations at Paine Field, including hiring and training our employees, who look forward to serving you in the coming months. And we’ll continue to work closely with the FAA as it completes its environmental assessment and other needed approvals.

It’s still not clear when the government shutdown will end. Why was March 4 selected as the new start of service date?

It’s a judgment call on our part because we don’t know when the government shutdown will end. We selected a new date for start of service that could allow time for a resolution, but not too far out in case the shutdown suddenly ended. We’re hopeful our operations at Paine Field will get up and running soon and we can get our guests going places.

If the shutdown continues, could Alaska be put in a position to once again delay start of service?

Unfortunately, yes. We can’t start flying at Paine Field until we have all the required, final government approvals. We’re making the best business decisions we can during a difficult situation.

Why not re-route all flights to Sea-Tac that are scheduled to fly between Feb. 11 and March 4 at Paine Field?

We are indeed moving a majority of the previously scheduled flights from Paine Field to Sea-Tac to accommodate our guests. We can also rely on our normal, robust flight schedule at Sea-Tac to get our guests to their destinations.

Revised flight schedule

Service BeginsRouteFlight Time
Mar. 4 onlyPaine Field-Portland10:00 a.m.-10:55 p.m.
Mar. 4 onlyPortland-Paine Field11:55 a.m.-12:55 p.m.
Mar. 4 onlyPaine Field-Las Vegas10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Mar. 4 onlyLas Vegas-Paine Field1:55 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Mar. 4Paine Field-Phoenix12:00 p.m.-3:55 p.m.*
Mar. 4Phoenix-Paine Field4:55 p.m.-7:05 p.m.*
Mar. 5Paine Field-Portland6:30 a.m.-7:25 a.m.
Mar. 5Portland-Paine Field10:20 a.m.-11:20 a.m.
Mar. 5Paine Field-Las Vegas9:20 a.m.-11:50 a.m.
Mar. 5Las Vegas-Paine Field12:35 p.m.-3:20 p.m.
Mar. 5Paine Field-San Diego10:40 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Mar. 5San Diego-Paine Field2:20 p.m.-5:20 p.m.
Mar. 5Paine Field-Los Angeles11:25 a.m.-2:15 p.m.
Mar. 5Los Angles-Paine Field3:35 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
Mar. 5Paine Field-Los Angeles4:00 p.m.-6:50 p.m.
Mar. 5Los Angles-Paine Field7:55 p.m.-10:50 p.m.
Mar. 6Paine Field-Portland6:00 p.m.-6:55 p.m.
Mar. 6Portland-Paine Field9:35 p.m.-10:35 p.m.
Mar. 6Paine Field-San Diego7:45 p.m.-10:35 p.m.
Mar. 7San Diego-Paine Field7:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m.
Mar. 7Paine Field-Los Angeles7:00 a.m.-9:45 a.m.
Mar. 7Los Angles-Paine Field10:30 a.m.-1:20 p.m.
Mar. 7Paine Field- San Francisco8:30 a.m.-10:45 a.m.
Mar. 7San Francisco-Paine Field12:05 p.m.-2:20 p.m.
Mar. 7Paine Field-San Jose2:00 p.m.-4:15 p.m.
Mar. 7San Jose-Paine Field5:45 p.m.-7:55 p.m.
Mar. 9Paine Field-San Francisco3:00 p.m.-5:15 p.m.
Mar. 9San Francisco-Paine Field6:10 p.m.-8:25 p.m.
Mar. 10Paine Field-Los Angeles7:10 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
Mar. 10Paine Field-Portland9:05 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
Mar. 11Los Angles-Paine Field7:05 a.m.-9:45 a.m.
Mar. 11Portland-Paine Field7:40 a.m.-8:40 a.m.
Mar. 11Paine Field-San Jose7:30 a.m.-9:45 a.m.
Mar. 11San Jose-Paine Field10:30 a.m.-12:40 a.m.
Mar. 11Paine Field-Portland1:20 p.m.-2:15 p.m.
Mar. 11Portland-Paine Field3:50 p.m.-4:50 p.m.
Mar. 11Paine Field-Las Vegas5:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
Mar. 11Las Vegas-Paine Field8:40 p.m.-11:25 p.m.
Mar. 12Paine Field-Orange County8:00 a.m.-10:40 a.m.
Mar. 12Orange County-Paine Field5:50 p.m.-8:40 p.m.

*Due to daylight saving time, the Phoenix flight times will change starting Mar. 10:

  • Paine Field-Phoenix 12:00 p.m.-2:55 p.m.
  • Phoenix-Paine Field 3:55 p.m.-7:05 p.m.

All images by Alaska.