Our Northwest

United squeezed out in Delta-Alaska battle

Friday, October 17, 2014by  Jon Osterberg

(Updated Oct. 21) The airline turf battle over Seattle between Alaska and Delta has further squeezed once-dominant United Air Lines to the sidelines.
   On Tuesday, United said its Seattle flight-attendant base – 264 people – will close in January. Employees can transfer to San Francisco or accept a retirement package, if eligible. See the Tacoma News Tribune story.
   Delta has aggressively sought to supplant Alaska as the dominant carrier at Sea-Tac, which Delta has adopted as an international hub. That battle was featured in a Wall Street Journal article four months ago.
   For years, United was the major carrier at Sea-Tac. Seattle-based Alaska gradually supplanted United to where it now occupies the entire North Satellite Terminal, and more.
   Personally, Delta irritates me. Not the company, but the frequency of one Delta ad. You can't watch a game on local TV without being bombarded by the one that portrays Delta as the local choice that knows the Northwest. 
   Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta has roots in Louisiana and Mississippi. Alaska was founded in Anchorage before relocating its headquarters to Seattle. And United? Though now based in Chicago, it started in Boise in 1926 and the next year was acquired by Bill Boeing, who began operating it as United Air Lines in 1928. Truly a Northwest company.

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