(Story updated with response from Alaska about what happened, plus additional information from the passenger, saying more deicer was expected to arrive, but that the delay would take the crew out of its work hours.)
Jeanette Marker was supposed to fly out of Redmond Municipal Airport just after 6 p.m. on Sunday. After several delays, her flight was canceled.
“The pilot comes on and says they need to deice the plane. It was all kind of fun at that point because I’d never seen a plane be deiced before. I saw the deicer hitting his hose at one point, then they backed away and left. Sure enough the pilot comes back on and says they ran out of deicing fluid,” Marker said.
Marker said that she was told more deicer would arrive in about 45 minutes, but that it would take the crew out of its scheduled work hours.
Alaska Airlines told Central Oregon Daily News Tuesday that the flight did not run out of deicer fluid. However, the airline did say there was a “challenge” refilling the deicer truck. Because of this, the flight crew “timed out” — meaning they ran up to their limit on how many hours they could work that day.
“If deicing is required due to weather conditions and, for some reason, we do not have deicing fluid on hand, we would not operate the flight until fluid is resupplied,” Alaska added in response to questions Central Oregon Daily News sent Monday.
Marker was stranded at the airport for seven hours. Two of those hours, she said she was stuck on a plane that would never take off.
“I do not want to fly if it’s not safe. I was very much like ‘it happens. It’s fine.’ But when I got off the plane, I never once saw a single employee to help us. We were left to fend for ourselves in Redmond,” Marker said. “There was no one to help you out with hotels. There were elderly that needed wheelchair assistance. There was a woman behind who was worried because she needed to pick up her cancer medication.”
Marker wishes Alaska Airlines communicated more with their passengers.
“Just some sort of communication rather than a text,” she said. “It was so cold to only get a text message from Alaska Airlines as you’re sitting at an airport at midnight. Never once having an actual person tell you ‘I hear you. I see you. I understand you’re frustrated.'”
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