Alaska offering support to hurricane victims
Alaska Airlines has donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross and offering additional support to relief organizations to assist in helping victims of Hurricane Harvey, a devastating storm that hit the Houston region Friday night and continues to batter the city with heavy rain and floods.
Flights have been grounded at both Houston-area airports. So far, Alaska has canceled its seven scheduled flights from last Friday through Tuesday, and is planning to cancel another scheduled flight on Wednesday.
“We are on standby for Thursday to see if the airports reopen and conditions improve,” said T.J. Banakes, director, customer and incident response, at Alaska Airlines’ System Operations Control.
Thousands of residents have been displaced from the storm, which dumped more than 30 inches of rain on the region, flooding homes and roadways. Harvey has been downgraded to a tropical depression, but it continues to batter the region with another 15 to 25 inches of rain forecast through Friday.
“We are offering our support to the American Red Cross. They are on the front lines, helping people with shelter and supplies throughout this storm,” said Shaunta Hyde, Alaska Airlines managing director, community relations.
Hyde said Alaska is partnering with four organizations – the American Red Cross, Airlink, Airline Ambassadors and Angel Flight West – to get relief workers to airports served by Alaska in Texas at no charge.
“These relief workers will be facing some intense human challenges,” said Hyde. “If we can support them and make their trip down a bit easier, it’s the right thing to do.”
So far, Alaska has donated $100,000 through the Red Cross Ready 365 program. Today, an additional 1 million miles will be donated to the American Red Cross to support Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, Hyde said.
In addition, Alaska Mileage Plan members can donate their miles to the Alaska Charity Miles pool, which supports disaster relief.
“Alaska will also match up to 1 million additional miles to disaster relief for mileage plan donations made by our guests,” said Hyde.
To donate miles to hurricane relief efforts, Alaska Mileage Plan members can log into their mileage account, click the donate miles link, and select the Alaska Airlines Charity Miles pool.