Alaska Airlines to Cease Services in Lewiston, Sparking Outrage and a Petition
This summer, options for flying out of the Lewiston-Nez Perce Regional Airport are going to be drastically reduced. Alaska Airlines, parent company of Horizon Air, announced Monday they're consolidating services with Pullman's airport, meaning no more flights out of Lewiston.
The services will end on August 25th, as the airline consolidates all flights to Pullman. Alaska says the reason for the move is their average LWS flight is only 60% full, below their 85% standard to maintain services.
Many customers are saying that's not going to fly. Many are vocally opposing the decision, including a woman who's hoping 5,000 signatures will reverse the decision.
"I was instantly fired up," Amanda Collins laughs. So fired up, Collins, a Lewiston resident who flies often for work, started a petition to get Alaska to change their mind.
For her, and the hundreds of people who have signed her petition, the airline's decision is personal.
"I have a daughter who lives in Boise and we fly her monthly," Collins says. Now her daughter will have to fly from Boise, connect in Seattle, and land in Pullman. "It would go from 55 minutes to a four to five hour flight."
Lewiston's only other option, Delta, connects in Salt Lake City, and Collins says when she checked ticket prices, it would be over $200 more than what they already pay with Alaska.
Across social media, many are against a drive to Pullman or Spokane to catch a plane, especially in the winter. Others say direct flights are essential for their livelihoods or even their lives.
Amanda says, "We may seem minute to them [Alaska Airlines]. To see this happen is just a slap in the face. I really feel like our community is going downhill."
Amanda admits the petition may not make a difference to a multi-billion dollar corporation, but for the community's sake, she hopes a solution is on the horizon.
Meanwhile, repeated calls to the airport manager and members of the airport board were not returned. Alaska Airlines also declined to comment on further questions, referring KLEW News to an original statement made about the decision.