Kudos to Horizon Air

For gounding nearly a quarter of their fleet following landing gear incidents in Europe. Horizon too their Q400s with more than 10,000 take off/landing cycles out of service for special inspections even though the FAA hasn't required it. It's nice to know they put safety first.

Here's the notice from the Alaska Air website:

SEATTLE — Today, in response to a Transport Canada airworthiness directive (AD), Horizon Air initiated the inspection of the landing gear of its Bombardier Aerospace Q400 turboprops. To allow sufficient time for the inspection process and the reaccommodation of customers whose travels are being affected, Horizon announced it will be making additional flight cancellations through Friday.

The AD was produced in the wake of two landing gear failure incidents involving SAS-affiliated airlines in Europe. Horizon, which has operated the Canadian-manufactured Q400 since 2001 and now has 33 in its fleet, has never experienced any issues like those SAS recently encountered.

Horizon today canceled 120 flights out of its daily average of 500. Horizon is canceling 127 flights on Thursday, and those will appear in central reservations systems by 5:30 p.m. today.
However, I think the Seattle PI owes them an apology for this article.

The headline is "Horizon flights thrown into chaos." The article actually says:

Each Q-400 airplane holds 74 to 76 passengers. Because of the planes' relatively small size, a Sea-Tac spokesman said, the cancellations did not create mass confusion at the airport.
It seems like the reporter worked really hard to find some upset passengers, but most satisfied with the airline's response. The found only one person who was really upset.

But the 23-year-old, who visited Seattle on vacation, voiced concern that her Horizon ticket agent told her only that flights were canceled -- without giving a reason. Reporters at the airport gave her details.

"Now they're having flight problems?" she said, asking if other Horizon Q-400 aircraft would fly on Wednesday.

"I don't feel comfortable. I think they should explain it to people."

Of course, the other passengers did say the ticket agent explained it.

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