Port Officials Perplexed by Alaska Airline Flight Change

The change would push Walla Walla’s evening flight to an arrival time of almost midnight.


WALLA WALLA — A new schedule change for Alaska Airlines may be good for night owls but has local officials concerned it will cause travelers to fly out of other communities.

Travel officials have gotten word that the Seattle airline plans to change its flight schedule for a late night arrival into Walla Walla.

The last flight out of Seattle that currently lands in Walla Walla at 8:25 p.m. would move to an 11 p.m. Seattle departure. That puts the last arriving flight in Walla Walla at about 11:50 p.m., said Port of Walla Walla Executive Director Jim Kuntz.

The morning flight time would remain the same out of Walla Walla at 6:25 a.m.

The move is a huge concern to Port and Walla Walla Regional Airport operators, Kuntz said.

 “We think this could substantially affect ridership,” he said.

The change appears to be temporary — to begin March 9 and run through June 7. But that, too, could change, Port Commission President Paul Schneidmiller said.

The Port has not heard directly from Alaska Airlines, Kuntz and Schneidmiller said. Schneidmiller stumbled upon the scheduling change when he was booking a flight for one of his clients at World Wide Travel Service.

Calls to the airline from the Port had not yet been returned as of this morning.

Dozens of comments on the Walla Walla Regional Airport’s Facebook page showed mixed responses from travelers.


Published by the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
Wednesday, December 18, 2013