Mt. Redoubt

Restless Mt. Redoubt nixes more flights

Alaska’s Mt. Redoubt just won’t settle down.  Here’s a Twitter-ed update Alaska Airlines sent out Tuesday about the impact of volcano eruptions on flights:

Nighttime flts in/out of ANC canceled due to Mt. Redoubt. Check flt status in a.m. b/4 leaving home…

This is getting sort of old. Flights into and out of ANC has been canceled repeatedly over the past week.  In fact, as of Monday, Alaska Airlines had canceled more than 250 flights since March 22, affecting more than 10,000 passengers and leaving folks stuck in airports such as Seattle, Phoenix and, of course, Anchorage.

According to this report, those stranded passengers include the Alaska Aces hockey team, which had been scheduled to fly back from Phoenix but has decided to stay in the Lower 48 rather than risk getting stuck in Anchorage and not be able to play at Utah this weekend

Mt Redoubt

In the meantime, they’re getting some great photos!

Mt. Redoubt- March 30th. Photo by Heather Bleick; courtesy of the Alaska Volcano Observatory / U.S. Geological Survey.

Alaska volcano brings strange planes to Seattle


It’s not just passengers who are having their flight plans disrupted by the repeat eruptions of Mt. Redoubt.  Many cargo freighters heading to Anchorage for refueling are instead diverting to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

According to airport officials, so far SEA is getting at least three times  the normal arrivals of  international cargo planes: 45 during the first four days of diversion, the equivalent of a full week’s regular schedule at SEA.  Now the airport is figuring out where they’ll put more diverted wide-body planes if the volcano stays active.


So are passenger planes being pushed aside to make way for the giant, thirsty, visitors?  “Nope, no delays for passenger traffic,” says airport rep. Perry Cooper, “A passenger may see a big cargo plane next to them at the terminal, but it won’t delay any of their flights. This, of course, is outside what passenger delays are created by the flights Alaska has had to cancel due to the volcano. What has created the cancellation for those flights is creating the extra traffic in the cargo area for us.”

(Photos of visiting cargo planes courtesy Port of Seattle)

Mt. Redoubt, tornadoes, snow nix flights

Due to a mid-morning eruption (re-eruption?) of Mt. Redoubt, Alaska Airlines has suspended all flights into and out of Anchorage, at least until early Friday morning.

Volcano ash is serious stuff; it can limit visibility and ruin engines.  So the airline is taking no chances: 45 flights were canceled earlier this week due to previous eruptions from Mt. Redoubt, leaving more than 4,000 travelers stuck at the airport, at home, or somewhere they didn’t plan to be.


If you’re scheduled to fly to or from Alaska, check in with or 1-800-ALASKAAIR.  In the meantime, you might want to follow the mountain’s activities on the Alaska Volcano Observatory Web site.  It has photos, seismic graphs, airport flight status reports, and instructions for collecting ash fall – finally another use for those Ziploc bags!

(Photograph of Mt. Redoubt taken from Diamond Ridge near Homer, by Dennis Anderson. At 9:50 Am  March 26, 2009)

Folks are also ending up stuck at airports all across the country today due to snow in Denver and tornado activity in the south, so if you’re going anywhere, be sure to check in with your airline before you leave the house.

Can that ash-alert for flights to Alaska

Alaska Airlines resumed flights in and out of Alaska today now that the ash from Mt. Redoubt has settled.

A big help: airplanes in Anchorage were wrapped in a protective plastic sealant overnight so that engines didn’t get damaged by abrasive ash particles.

No photos have been shared, so I have an image of an airplane wrapped in a giant plastic bag with a large twist-tie at the top. Or a huge zip-top bag, like the ones we stuff our toothpaste and face lotion into at the security checkpoint.


Is that how they did it?

Flights canceled due to volcano

Due to all the volcanic ash in the air caused by the eruption of Mt. Redoubt, Alaska Airlines today canceled flights in and out of the Alaska cities of Fairbanks, Bethel, Prudhoe Bay, Nome, Kotzebue and Barrow.

The airline is still operating flights south of Anchorage and throughout Southeast Alaska, but says that may change as all the routes get revaluated.

To find out about refunds and rebooking, be sure to contact the airline as soon as possible. You can also keep track of their updates on Twitter.

Sometimes, when airlines say a delay or cancellation is due to weather, we don’t believe it.  But I don’t think anyone can make a case against this ash-cancellation.


Image courtesy Heather Bleick and Alaska Volcano Observatory / U.S. Geological Survey