08/01/2010: "Kenmore/Alaska Joint Booking"
Local islands airline finalizes last aspects of Alaska Airlines partnership
Travelers wishing to fly between the San Juan Islands and any of more than 90 Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air destinations across the United States, Canada and Mexico can now make single-ticket bookings at www.alaskaair.com.
The activation of online booking of such itineraries is the final phase of an interline partnership between Kenmore Air and Alaska Airlines that was first launched in April 2010.
"The San Juans are now fully integrated into the national air transportation system," said Kenmore Air director of marketing Craig O'Neill. "Booking air travel to or from the islands is now a seamless process through Alaska Airlines' acclaimed Web site. The inconvenience of having to make reservations with two different airlines and manually coordinate schedules is a thing of the past."
An additional benefit of booking a joint itinerary through Alaska Airlines is that fully coordinated customer service is guaranteed in the event of delays or other travel irregularities.
"Once a customer has booked a Kenmore Air/Alaska Airlines itinerary through alaskaair.com, they are 'in the system,'" explains Andrew Otterness, Kenmore Air's director of customer service. "Any issue that might arise for such a passenger will be resolved quickly and more efficiently than if a passenger had booked separately with each airline."
Alaska Airlines has been rated "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers in North America" three years in row by the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates North American Airline Satisfaction Study(sm).
Since online booking of joint itineraries was first activated, passengers have made connections between the islands and Austin, Ketchikan, Los Angeles, Ontario, Orange County, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Jose and Sitka.
"Encouragingly for us," notes O'Neill, "the majority of our online bookings to date through alaskaair.com have been passengers brand new to our airline. This validates our belief that the interline partnership with Alaska Airlines will give greater national visibility to the possibility of traveling to the San Juans by air. At the same time, we're looking forward to our loyal local clientele discovering the convenience of one-stop online shopping when they need to travel to an Alaska Airlines or Horizon Air city."
In addition to seamless itineraries, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members can earn and redeem frequent flier miles on either airline. Mileage Plan members earn 250 miles for every flight between the islands and Seattle. Ten thousand miles can be redeemed for a free round-trip on the route.
Currently, online booking of joint itineraries through www.alaskaair.com is limited to flights to/from Friday Harbor or Orcas Island airports on Kenmore Air Express wheeled-aircraft service or to/from Friday Harbor or Roche Harbor marinas on Kenmore Air's seaplane service. Online interline booking to/from the airline's other San Juans seaplane destinations (Deer Harbor, Lopez Island, Rosario and West Sound) is pending. Flights to/from all eight San Juans locations are eligible for Mileage Plan accrual and redemption.