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UCSD Says Travel Costs Are Back On Track After It Projected $15K Over Budget Last Month

Laura Kraegel

The Unalaska City School District's travel costs are back on track.

This comes after Superintendent John Conwell reported last month the district incurred approximately $15,000 in additional travel costs for charter flights in the wake of October's fatal plane crash.

"Because of the unanticipated need to use charter flights during that three-to-four week period, the district incurred additional costs of approximately $15,000," said Conwell. 

In the wake of the accident, RavnAir Group suspended regular flights to and from Anchorage for about four weeks.

During that time, Conwell said the district had to pay for expensive charters for traveling sports teams, student government reps, and school board members, as well as cover unexpected hotel stays.

But at Wednesday's school board meeting, Conwell said district-sponsored travel is beginning to get back to normal – after reservations were transferred from Alaska Airlines to RavnAir Group following the resumption of regular commercial air service last month. 

According to Conwell, the district now anticipates it should be able to stay within its original budget for student and staff air travel, based on a few assumptions:

"No further cancelled passenger service requiring the use of charters and the availability of mileage seats for travel beyond Anchorage using Alaska Airlines miles," said Conwell. 

Conwell said the district hopes to puchase tickets from Anchorage to Cordova and Sitka using Alaska Airlines miles for school band and student government trips in the spring. 

Conwell added that district representatives met with RavnAir officials in Unalaska this week, and that Ravn has stepped up to help the district arrange its travel plans.

Hope McKenney is a public radio news director, reporter, producer and host based in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska.
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