Bush Flights

This is the new version of the Alaska Teacher Placement (ATP) forum for teachers, education majors, and school administrators to discuss working and living in the state of Alaska. Those considering an Alaskan job, or considering a new Alaskan education job ask questions, and those with information and/or opinions provide answers. Although many users are teacher or principal candidates from the Lower 48, a large number of current and former school district HR and school administrators subscribe.

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Bush Flights

Postby natmikesell » Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:31 am

Is it okay to book a flight online with Ravn from Anchorage to a village? I have read somethings about the many issues to flying into and out of villages and was worried if I booked online, somehow, my reservation would be lost. Veterans - what is the most reliable way to book your flight from Anchorage to your village?
Thank you for your help!

Natalie
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Re: Bush Flights

Postby marymatt718 » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:29 am

If it's a straight, one-flight shot and you aren't taking any pets in kennels, go ahead.

If you have ANY conditions at all, try to call a number and speak to an agent. I have to do that with Pen Air when I go either in or out of the first leg of my flight to my village because I have large dogs in large kennels. The Pen Air hub in Dillingham has no way for me to pay them the $75 extra per kennel that I have to pay. Pen Air also has a limit in how many large kennels they allow per flight (two), so if someone is on that flight with a dog in a #300 or #400 kennel, I can't get both my dogs on that flight. An agent can verify that for me and advise me on which flight I CAN get on.

Also, if you are taking a bush flight from a hub to your village, it is better to try to call the bush service in that hub town. For example, I take Pen Air to Dillingham and I take Grant to my village. Grant has a kiosk in the Anchorage airport, but they don't always have the updated schedule for the hub office. Grant was short one pilot for a while in March, so they had no flights from Dillingham to my village on Sunday. The Anchorage office still had Sunday flights listed. Had I not checked, I would have been stuck in Dillingham overnight with 2 dogs in kennels, luggage, and no place to stay except the parking lot of the airstrip.
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Re: Bush Flights

Postby Johncn » Fri Jul 10, 2015 4:41 am

Hi,

If your district expects you to make your own flight arrangements, then Ravn is just like any other airline for purchasing online. They are a "code share" partner with Alaska Airlines, and use a centralized reservation system that works just fine for secure credit card purchases.

http://www.flyravn.com/

You should sign up for their frequent flyer program, FlyAway Rewards. They have a good one that involve free trips if you earn a certain number of their points. If you use your Alaska Air mileage plan, you don't earn the points with Ravn. It's one or the other. The Ravn points are much better for most teacherss, as the number of miles is limited for Bush flights.

http://www.flyravn.com/flyaway-rewards/

I would recommend that you take flight departure and arrival times in the Bush with a grain of salt...think of them as "approximate times" and sometimes "approximate days". Everything involving airplane travel in the Bush is "weather dependent". Check the baggage policies, excess fees and pet policies of any rural carrier carefully for the specific village you are flying to. They can vary greatly. Ravn's are pretty clearly marked on their website.

Also, they have an active Facebook page with contests and news:

https://www.facebook.com/RavnAlaska

One little known fact about Ravn is that their President, Jim Hickerson, was the HR Director for Bering Strait School District for many, many years, and a regular on this forum..although he lurked more than posted. He retired as Superintendent of BSSD in 2010. :ugeek:

Regards,

John
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Re: Bush Flights

Postby natmikesell » Fri Jul 10, 2015 5:42 am

Thank you both so much for all of your information! That really helps me feel more confident to go ahead and book my flight out to my village. I did ask my district if they arranged these things and they said no, so I am so thankful to have this forum and the contributors!! to help with questions that I have as a newbie :)
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Re: Bush Flights

Postby Bushteachers » Sun Jul 12, 2015 10:40 pm

natmikesell wrote:Thank you both so much for all of your information! That really helps me feel more confident to go ahead and book my flight out to my village. I did ask my district if they arranged these things and they said no, so I am so thankful to have this forum and the contributors!! to help with questions that I have as a newbie :)

Where are you heading? Ravn is pretty decent. Seriously. Sign up for their rewards program. Five flights equal a free flight. Anytime you travel on them (even if you didn't buy ticket) use your reward number. You also get bonus points for booking online.
You should get two free bags.
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