Airlines Cap Fares Between Seattle and Portland After Fatal Amtrak Derailment

Dec 19, 2017

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

On Monday morning, an Amtrak train traveling nearly triple the speed limit derailed outside Tacoma, Washington, killing three passengers and injuring over 100 train passengers and drivers on Interstate 5. 13 of the 14 train cars derailed when it was clocked going 81 mph in a 30 mph section of track.

Amtrak co-CEO Richard Anderson — the former CEO of Delta — confirmed “Positive Train Control” was not activated on the tracks at the time of the crash. PTC is a system designed to avoid these type of crashes by — among other features — automatically slowing speeding trains. In 2008, Congress passed a law requiring PTC to be on all major rail lines in the US by 2015. However, just 24% of passenger railroad lines had the technology enabled at the end of 2016.

While Amtrak is shut down during the investigation and I-5 is still snarled, many travelers’ only option to get between Seattle and Portland is via plane. And some travelers didn’t appreciate how much the prices of flights cost.

In response to this and other pleas, Alaska Airlines has capped the fare for all flights between Seattle (SEA) and Portland (PDX) at $99 each way. As of this writing, the cap is only in place for Monday and Tuesday (December 18 and 19).

The fares we’re seeing in Google Flights and other OTAs don’t reflect the price caps. You’re going to need click through Google Flights to Alaska Airlines’ website to book your selected flight in order to see the capped fares.

Similarly, if you search directly on AlaskaAir.com, the initial search results still show the uncapped fares:

However, once you select your flight and click “Add to Cart,” the fare will reprice:

Another major player in the Pacific Northwest, Delta has also capped fares between SEA and PDX at $99 on Monday and Tuesday. These fares are showing up in Google Flights. However, there’s a catch to these: it books into basic economy. Thankfully, Main Cabin fares cost just $15 more.

We applaud Alaska Airlines and Delta for making this move to help affected travelers get where they need to go.

Featured image by John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.