The Partial Government Shutdown’s effects are spreading. And, now, Alaska Air delays the start of Paine Field service because of it.
Thus far, though, the shutdown’s impacts on travel have been minimal. Yeah, some airports are seeing longer TSA checkpoint times, but that’s about it. However, as you’ll recall, the Shutdown is having an effect on the start of new routes. This is especially true for Southwest’s new Hawaii routes as the Airline needs to complete ETOPS certification. Unfortunately, the certification process cannot be completed during the shutdown due to work furloughs at the FAA.
Alaska Air’s Paine Field Service
Impacts from work furloughs at the FAA are now affecting Alaska Airlines too. Specifically, the Airline was supposed to begin service to Washington’s Paine Field on February 11, 2019. But now, that start date is being pushed back to March 4, 2019, at the earliest.
The delay, according to Alaska Air, revolves around the certification and oversight work required to begin service at Paine Field. This work isn’t being done while the FAA is under partial furlough, though work on the environmental impact assessment continues. And while March 4 is the anticipated service start date, the continuation of the Partial Government Shutdown may cause a further delay.
What You Need to Know
If you booked tickets on a flight to Paine Field, this is what you need to know. According to Alaska Air:
- 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.
Alaska Air Delays the Start of Paine Field Service, Final Thoughts
Clearly, the Government Shutdown is terrible. It’s having very real impacts to tens of thousands of people that must now figure out how to live without pay. And, of course, it’s increasingly negative having impacts on a number of companies too. So, again, let’s all hope the madness ends soon.