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Thread: Air Travel To/From Kodiak

  1. #1

    Default Air Travel To/From Kodiak

    Wanted some input from bear hunters that flew from ANC to Kodiak for bear hunts. I know a bear hunt can either end up quite a bit shorter or longer due to success/weather/etc.

    What did those who flew to Kodiak do for buying airfare to/from Kodiak? Buy round-trip or 2 x one-way tickets with best estimated return date selected. From my research, it appears as if there is no savings to buy roundtrip versus one-way--however, maybe one gives you more flexibility and/or standing with the airline if you need to change the flight back to Anchorage???
    Does anybody have experience with having to change their return flight time due to hunt ending early/going long??
    Was it a pain/extra cost if you needed to fly off Kodiak earlier/later and were ticketed already on a different flight?

    Who knows, maybe the flights aren't very full usually and frequent enough that an option can be to book it when we come out of the hunt area to avoid any potential hassle of rebooking return flight times?? Is this doable??

    Thanx for the responses.

  2. #2
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    You might check into an "open return" ticket, which gives you some flexibility.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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  3. #3
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    Default Flights from Kodiak

    Its amazing how many people fly to and from Kodiak. If flights get canceled because of weather it can get frustrating trying to catch another flight to Anchorage. Been there and done that.
    Olin

  4. #4

    Default Flexibility and Cost

    I've flown to Kodiak a total of 4 times for hunts, only once did I fly back to Anchorage on my selected date. The other times we left the field early (injury, weather and success).

    All three times I had to pay a $100 change fee on my round trip ticket (my last two round trip tickets ran roughly $330). This price is the same regardless if you take ERA or Alaska Air, as they partner for ANC to Kodiak service. However, there is a difference. Generally, Alaska air will include 2 checked bags free of charge because they use a larger jet (737 maybe), while ERA generally only includes 1 checked bag free because its a smaller prop Dash-8. So, that is a $50 difference right there. Regardless of which carrier you choose, be polite with the check-in agent, I have had baggage fees waived in the past for that small effort.

    Other potential hidden costs. While the $100 change fee is usually it, occasionally you can get hit with the sold out fare charge as well. This happens when there are no more seats available at the rate you bought the original ticket, and you must pay the difference to go to the higher rate. I've only had this happen once (to my hunting partner) and we split the difference.

    Bear hide out (if you check it as luggage) is going to cost $110. $10 for a large plastic rubbermaid tub at Walmart, $50 extra baggage fee and $50 overweight fee (although that last one depends on how heavy your hide is and the mood of the agent). This is for a trip back to ANC. I have no idea if the cost is higher if you are being checked all the way through to your final destination.

  5. #5

    Default

    I went through this last year in Kodiak. Actually came out of the field 3 days early due to early success and a incoming storm that would have left us out there 3 or so additional days longer than we wanted. So we got back to Kodiak only to be stuck another 36 hours in Kodiak due to weather. Had to pay the change fee, but since I flew there on mileage to begin with I didn't feel the price pinch as bad as had I paid for my ticket outright.

    Oh and you get 3 checked 50# bags for free currently if you fly via AK airlines not 2.

  6. #6
    Member Casper50's Avatar
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    In Friday's Clarion there was an article that Grant Air is now flying to Kodiak from Homer. $349 RT

  7. #7
    Member Phil's Avatar
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    Default Beyond Anchorage

    I have flown to/from Kodiak several times and I must say the agents at Kodiak are some of the nicest and most helpful of any agents I have dealt with (and I've dealt with many).

    Treat them nicely and they will more than return the favor. I've had baggage fees waived for continuing flights - even on airlines that usually charge.

    I've flown with both Alaska and ERA.

  8. #8
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    Default One more thought

    Often times Alaska Air will still be flying when the weather gets bad and ERA will be grounded. Just a thought to ponder.

  9. #9

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    It can cost more to fly ANC-ADQ round trip than ANC-SEA before you add change fees. How do you pronounce m-o-n-o-p-o-l-y?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiak kid View Post
    Often times Alaska Air will still be flying when the weather gets bad and ERA will be grounded. Just a thought to ponder.
    To a point. I was stranded a 1 and a half last year in Kodiak due to weather and I was flying with AK airlines that time. A month later I flew down to Kodiak with ERA and was not delayed at all. Just something to think about. Granted that storm that we were delayed in Kodiak for was the one withe some of that record rain (even for Kodiak) that caused all the mudslides down there across the roads and what not so weather delays can happen regardless of who you are flying with.

    But I just booked my flights down there again today in fact and it again be with AK airlines as I like the 3 free checked bag option as well as like Kodiak Kid stated they generally shutdown due to weather after ERA. Well that and I'm a cheapskate and wanted to use mileage.

  11. #11
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    Default The one bad experience I had.

    We were booked with ERA. All flights were canceled for a day or two. We sat at the air port watching Alaska Air land and take off. Finally after the forth jet landed we were able to find seats on a Alaska Air jet while ERA was still grounded. Just seems like the jets will fly in a Little worse weather than ERA's prop planes. I've flown with both several times and have really no preference.

  12. #12
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    It can cost more to fly ANC-ADQ round trip than ANC-SEA before you add change fees. How do you pronounce m-o-n-o-p-o-l-y?
    Currently $542 to Seattle and $360 to Kodiak..round trip. Who wants to go to Seattle
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  13. #13
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    It can cost more to fly ANC-ADQ round trip than ANC-SEA before you add change fees. How do you pronounce m-o-n-o-p-o-l-y?
    There's a lot more to it than that... once an airline commits to a market, they are obligated no matter whether they have one person or a hundred on board. The ADQ flights are highly seasonal in nature, as are many of the other Alaska Airlines markets. They have to come up with rates that allow them to fly all year, not just peak season.

    Other carriers have tried to serve these markets, and failed, because they could not make it work from a financial standpoint.

    There's a lot more about it than I understand, to be sure, but this is at least one reason why some of the smaller markets are more expensive at times.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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  14. #14
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiak kid View Post
    We were booked with ERA. All flights were canceled for a day or two. We sat at the air port watching Alaska Air land and take off. Finally after the forth jet landed we were able to find seats on a Alaska Air jet while ERA was still grounded. Just seems like the jets will fly in a Little worse weather than ERA's prop planes. I've flown with both several times and have really no preference.
    One of the reasons Alaska can keep flying in weather that grounds some other carriers is because of their sophisticated flight nav systems. They were the first commercial carrier to use Head-Up Guidance systems in their passenger aircraft, clear back in 1989. It has made a huge difference in the level of service they provide to the public, not to mention the safety aspects. Amazing stuff...

    -Mike

    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    There's a lot more to it than that... once an airline commits to a market, they are obligated no matter whether they have one person or a hundred on board. The ADQ flights are highly seasonal in nature, as are many of the other Alaska Airlines markets. They have to come up with rates that allow them to fly all year, not just peak season.

    Other carriers have tried to serve these markets, and failed, because they could not make it work from a financial standpoint.

    There's a lot more about it than I understand, to be sure, but this is at least one reason why some of the smaller markets are more expensive at times.

    -Mike
    They also have to make money. AK Air is very competitive down south, not so much in AK. JNU to Sitka is $200RT, this is a 15-20 minute flight. Make no mistake, the monopoly aspect figures into it. It's tough for other airlines to come in when AK Air slashes prices drastically and amps up the mileage benefits. Markair, gone. Reno, gone. Frontier...gone? I'm not sure on the last one.

  16. #16
    Member AAA's Avatar
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    ERA Aviation doesnt have the change ticket fee anymore... That's what I usually do with Kodiak

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