The “Southeast Alaska Consortium” of Angoon, Pelican, Elfin Cove & Tenakee Springs have filed a proposal with the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) for a Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP) grant to market those communities and enhance the in-house reservation system of Alaska Seaplanes Services’ (including presumably Air Excursions, which now shares common ownership) that provides access to Global Distribution Systems (GDS) used by other airlines, travel agencies, and Internet travel retailers such as Travelocity and Expedia.
SeaPort Airlines, Inc. dba Wings of Alaska supports marketing aimed at increasing tourism within reason; however we have filed comments with USDOT opposing this proposal on the basis that federal dollars should not be used to acquire technology for the benefit a specifically identified, privately-owned airline.
Our company has invested in reservation system improvements and GDS access well into the mid-six figures. Wings of Alaska believes that competition benefits air travelers throughout the region by ensuring we continue to provide our customers with excellent service, convenient schedules, and affordable fares all at the highest level of safety on every flight and every day. This in mind, we have expressed to USDOT our concern over the possibility of a competitor being “granted” an unfair competitive advantage in the form of equal reservation capabilities using little or none of their own money. While we are focused primarily on the impacts to Wings of Alaska, we believe that other air taxi services in Southeast Alaska would share in the pain. Long-term, this could reduce the number of operators in the region, meaning lower frequencies, higher fares, and less over customer choice. More importantly, anything that weakens competition would impact customers more than anyone.
If you agree that Consortiums proposal has the potential to be disruptive to air taxi service in Southeast Alaska, please take a few moments to share your thoughts with USDOT. To do so:
- Go to: www.regulations.gov.
- On the home page, please enter the following docket number in the SEARCH box: DOT-OST-2012-0069-0038.
- In the response page, there will be an icon where you can download the complete proposal of the Consortium.
- There will also be a COMMENT NOW button which takes you to simple form to file comments.
If you do not have a computer at your home or office, you are welcome to use a computer at any Wings of Alaska airport counter (except Excursion Inlet) for purposes of filing your comments.
If you would like a copy of comments as filed by SeaPort Airlines, Inc. dba Wings of Alaska, you can search for them on the same government website. In the SEARCH box enter: DOT-OST-2012-0069. All proposals and comments will appear, and you will likely have to scroll through a few pages before finding those of SeaPort Airlines, Inc. Alternatively, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . We’ll gladly send you a copy of our filing.
THANK YOU FROM ALL OF US AT WINGS OF ALASKA.