While traveling to Portland, Oregon, John Wojtecki had the opportunity to check out several businesses he had never worked with before. Over the next several weeks, read his reviews of each from the perspective of a businessperson.
Over the years, beginning in college, I have flown in airplanes to get to my desired destination. My first experience in flying was on Allegheny Airlines flying from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to Bradford, then on to Erie, Pennsylvania. Flights were short. Smoking was allowed. There was no security screening. The year was 1969.
Once I graduated and started in business, I began flying to the East Coast and LaGuardia Airport. United was the airline that took me into New York City. In 1980, I flew Pan Am to Florida. In 1984, I again flew, now renamed, US Airways to Chicago and changed airlines to get to Moline to interview for what would end up a career of twenty-eight years.
When in the corporate life, we had a contract with United Airlines. I could get an early flight if I arrived early to the airport without a charge to change flights.
Recently I have been flying American Airlines to get to Houston to visit my son, and Southwest Airlines to get to continuing education workshops.
Last spring, I was invited to Portland, Oregon. I was to meet a colleague and travel from Chicago. When I looked at the options that were before me, I saw a direct flight to Portland from O’Hare Airport on Alaska Airlines. The price and timing were good. Book it, John! And there it was.
Here was the opportunity to explore a different airline, observe their customer service, see how Alaska Airlines might be different from their competitors. This was also an excellent opportunity for an article to share with you.
Both of us decided to check luggage. We proceeded quickly.
Of course, security is very different than when I started flying many years ago. I decided to use the X-ray to get through security. And, of course, my shoulder replacements set the x-ray off and prompted a pat down. It always does.
Seats were comfortable on this flight. The flight attendants came around with coffee and a snack after take-off. This was going to be a four-hour flight. The coffee and snack were welcome. Flight attendants were cheerful and made us feel welcome. A second cup of coffee was a pleasant surprise.
We chatted with the flight attendants. I told them this was our first-time flying Alaska and thought it was a positive experience. She seemed pleased. I am sure she had heard a few complaints over the years.
There was some rocking as we descended into the Portland Airport. We landed on time and headed for the check baggage area. Alaska has a twenty-minute guarantee to secure one’s baggage when checking. They did not disappoint.
We met our contacts there and began what was to be an enjoyable visit. I was pleased to have had the Alaska experience and would fly Alaska Airlines again.