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Blaming crew shortages, Alaska suspends Boise flights to Austin, cuts back other routes

Travelers with tickets on flights between Boise and Austin, TX, and other destinations recently got notice their flights were canceled.

Alaska Airlines blames it on staffing shortages.

An unnamed spokesperson told BoiseDev that it was cutting all its nonstop flights between Boise and Austin starting next month. A check of online schedules shows that the flights end on Friday, September 30th. The spokesperson said in an email that the flight would “return for a period around Christmas for holiday travel,” and then “return in February.”

Alaska launched the Austin flights last year.

The airline’s nonstop flights to and from Chicago also end full nonstop service at the end of September. Starting in October, passengers can fly on Sunday, Monday or Thursday – but the previous flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays are off the books as of October 2.

For the Austin flights, Alaska is the only airline with direct service to the Texas capital. Fliers have other options for the Chicago flights, including United Airlines and seasonal service from American Airlines.

“The primary reason for our decision to adjust service is due to a shortage of crew from our regional partner that wasn’t anticipated when we built our schedule several months ago,” the unnamed spokesperson wrote in an email.

While the airline blames the issues on a regional airline partner, the online schedule says the flights are operated by Horizon Air, which Alaska owns. BoiseDev asked for clarification, and the spokesperson confirmed that Horizon is owned by Alaska.

Two other airlines are paring back service to the Austin Airport, including JetBlue and American, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

More route cuts

BoiseDev asked Alaska about any other cuts impacting Boise. The spokesperson didn’t respond, instead saying travelers could check online schedules.

We reviewed the schedules for each of Alaska’s destinations and found more cuts.

  • Service to Paine Field in Everett will shrink from every day to just four days per week.
  • Flights from Boise to Las Vegas will drop from six days per week to just Sunday, Monday, Thursday, and Friday.
  • Nonstops between Boise and Los Angeles will go from two flights every day, to two flights just Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
  • Flights between Boise and San Francisco will go from two flights every day to two flights only on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

The Alaska cuts come after a period when the Boise Airport has trumpeted a number of new routes and destinations but also seen pullbacks, including JetBlue dropping service from Boise to New York City.

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Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at [email protected].

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