GEG Hotel Update

GEG Hotel Update

Recent Developments at the GEG Ruby River Hotel


Dear Horizon Air Flight Attendants:

It has come to our attention that the Pilot’s Union (IBT) has filed a grievance regarding the selection of the Ruby River as the crew hotel in GEG. What you may not realize is that additionally, our MEC Hotel Chair Jane Casey, has been in communication with Inflight Management regarding the same issues. CrewConnex has received upwards of 50 new reports since the company forced this hotel selection on crew members after AFA and IBT voiced their disapproval of continuing this contract. In March, Dee Dee Caldwell reached out to our Hotel Chair and requested she revisit the property to give it another chance. Again our Hotel Chair sourced the hotel and voiced her concerns regarding hotel safety, security and cleanliness and the need for immediate relocation. IBT did the same. Historically the company, Travel Alliance, IBT and AFA have agreed on the crew hotel when sourcing new markets or when contracts have come up for renewal. Management decided to move forward with the Ruby River Hotel against all concerns. In the last week since IBT filed their grievance we have been in contact with Management and have requested they immediately move our crew members to one of the approved, back up hotels, the Wyndham Airport or the Doubletree Downtown. The initial request from the Hotel Chair went to Dee Dee Caldwell. When this was denied the MEC sent an email to Kieran Whitney and finally a request to Diana Shaw, both of which have also been denied.  Most recently Kieran Whitney and Diana Shaw have asked for another site visit for the current hotel. We have confirmed that our Hotel Chair will also be present. We do not agree that any further site visits are needed as we have an agreed upon back up (Wyndham Airport/Doubletree Downtown) that meets all requirements and does not have the numerous concerns that the current hotel is experiencing. The site visit will be tomorrow. We will keep you apprised of the outcome.

Along with our decision from tomorrow’s site visit, we will also be providing the following excerpts from Investor Day to Kieran, Diana, Constance and Gary as we ask them to “Do the Right Thing” and move our crew to a mutually agreed upon hotel in GEG.

From Brad on November 27th at 4:30 PM.

Every business talks about this, but these are our various stakeholders. One of the things that I believe about airlines is we are probably far more visible than most other businesses. So if you’re running your business in a way where everybody gets better as you move forward or not, it’s probably more visible in our industry than in others. But our simple idea is that we try to make this a fantastic place for our people to spend their careers. We want them to be compensated well. We want them to have great benefits. We do need to be very, very productive. We want them to feel empowered. We want them to feel like they can sort of realize their life dreams while working here. Our belief is that if we do that well, our people will do a great job of taking care of our guests and that has panned out year after year after year as the video shows. If we can do these things, we can do a good job taking care of you, our owners, and we also take — we try to do the right thing with our communities along the way. It’s — I do think Alaska has been unique. Airlines have been challenged by this, but I think Alaska, if you look at us over the decade, it’s always — it is hard to keep these groups one by one sort of happy in the short run, but what we strive to do is over time, over 5, 10, 15 years when you look back as an owner of the business, as a community, as an employee, we want this to have been a great investment or a great place for you to have spent your career. That’s the basic idea. That’s what we’re trying to do. 

Andi Schneider

The first one that you’ll see on there is this notion of own safety. You saw it in the video. Brad talked about it. Ben talked about it, but every employee at Air Group knows that they can stop the operation in the name of safety at any point in time. And it’s foundational to what we do, and I think every one owns and takes that job very, very seriously.

The next item is, “do the right thing,” and as everybody will say, integrity really matters and we really work hard to hold ourselves to high standards that way and to make sure our decisions reflect the highest integrity as we move forward. 

And then lastly, we have, “be kindhearted.” We work hard to hire folks that are that way, and we work to reward employees who have a deep sense of caring. We look for people at Alaska who kind of see the world outside themselves, and in one of the flight attendant interviews, he’s told me that the kind of people we try to hire are the kind of people that always put the shopping cart back in the rack because nobody’s watching them do it. They just know it’s the right thing to do and that’s who we are about. 

And these values are more than just something that we have on our web page or something that’s in a book. They really are something that we live and they serve as a guidepost for who we hire and how we promote and how we measure performance. And then, additionally, they serve as a framework, what we call the beyond service framework for all of our frontline employees to use when they have to make decisions, so they start with safety. Is the situation safe and they work their way down through this and know that they are empowered and they’re encouraged and they’re supported when they make decisions for our guests, using this framework as a backdrop for decision-making. We think that it really matters.

And great cultures matter because when your employees are engaged, they turn — in turn deliver the service rewards we get and that thing engages employees and customers to come back. 

We demand safety in our crew hotels and we expect the company to make this change immediately.

In solidarity,


Lisa Davis-Warren
Horizon MEC Acting President