Year in review: 2023 highlights at Alaska Airlines

photo by Ingrid Barrentine

2023 flew by! Here are some highlights and what we’re looking forward to next:

We’re excited to combine with Hawaiian Airlines.  

Combining our beloved brands will expand benefits and choice for travelers throughout Hawai’i and the West Coast, including connectivity across Asia, Oceania and the Pacific.

Learn more

We said goodbye to plastic cups for good.

In January, we started the year by transitioning from plastic to responsibly-sourced paper cups for inflight beverages, a move which eliminates more than 55 million plastic cups annually and replaces them with a more planet-friendly alternative. We began the process of eliminating our five largest sources of plastic waste in 2018 by removing plastic straws and stir sticks from inflight service – a first for any airline at the time. 

Miles donated to CARE Miles nonprofits: 90,922,431+ 

Our CARE Miles program offers Mileage Plan™ members a unique and meaningful way to support important causes. Miles donated to this program help charities with business travel, accommodation of special organization requests and achievement of the organization’s mission.

In the weeks following the wildfires that devastated West Maui, Alaska helped transport 220,000 pounds of relief supplies to impacted communities and immediately sent rescue flights to help evacuees off the island and make room for recovery efforts. Alaska collaborated with long-time partner and local non-profit Kanu Hawaiʻi to distribute nearly 30 million miles — donated by Alaska, employees and guests — to those who needed support but could no longer afford the cost of flying.  To date, 544 impacted Maui residents were helped with these miles.

Our new coffee blend fit for the skies is now brewing!  

In October, we launched a new custom coffee blend with Portland-based Stumptown Coffee Roasters, which will be on all flights by the end of the year. Plus, guests can sip Stumptown in our Portland and JFK Lounges. 

We increased global travel on

You can now book flights on 21 of our global airline partners on, including American, Qantas, Air Tahiti Nui, Qatar, JAL, Iberia, Icelandair, Condor, Finnair.

We launched 23 new routes and 2 international destinations.

This year, we upped our route game! Guests can now fly to places like the Bahamas from Seattle and Los Angeles + Guatemala from Los Angeles, marking six countries that Alaska will fly to and from its West Coast hubs including, Canada, Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and the Bahamas. 

We also announced new flying from Anchorage to New York JFK and San Diego – that will start in 2024. At 3,386 miles, ANC-JFK will be the longest route in our network and the longest domestic flight in the industry using a 737.

We welcomed new aircraft.

Who doesn’t love that new airplane smell? This year, we updated our fleet with new 737-9 MAX aircraft. Plus, Horizon Air became an all-jet fleet, with new E175 aircraft after the retirement of the Q400.

Watch Behind The Scenes of our 737-9 Air-to-Air Photoshoot ⬆️

Custom designs: 4

Cheese plates devoured: 850,454 

Our guests told us they enjoy our fresh food options but were eager for more! So, we increased the variety of our food offerings, from doubling the number of pre-order options in the main cabin to giving our First Class guests up to five different entrees to pick up on their flights. We also brought back some of guests’ favorites with our ‘Greatest Hits’ menu and are offering a nonalcoholic beer for the first time.

Pancakes printed in our Lounges: 615,584 

This summer, we welcomed lounge members and guests back to our popular D Concourse Lounge in Seattle with 50% more seating and improved amenities. Over the last five years, we’ve doubled the footprint of our Lounges and invested $30 million in improvements and remain focused on bringing you fresh upgrades and new amenities to make the spaces bigger and better than ever. 

Movies and TV shows watched in flight: 14,449,492 

Top Movies:


Top Series:

Schitt’s Creek
The Office
Family Guy
Parks and Recreation
The Last of Us

See what’s new on board 

We added 5 new airline partners—30 in total.

Porter Airlines, a growing Canadian carrier, begins its inaugural nonstop service between Toronto and both Los Angeles and San Francisco in January.STARLUX Airlines, a Taipei-based premium carrier, connects guests from Los Angeles to 16 amazing destinations across Southeast Asia and Japan.
Discover the East Coast’s stunning seaside destinations with Cape Air.Get on board with Kenmore Air to explore the San Juan Islands and British Columbia.Bahamasair can take you to pristine beaches in the Caribbean & beyond.

Learn more about our 30 worldwide airline partners to earn and redeem Mileage Plan™ miles and enjoy elite benefits along the way.

We’re enhancing the lobby & inflight experience.

We’re working on getting you through the lobby and to security in 5 minutes or less. Much like mobile technology widely used to access sporting events and concerts, your phone is all you need to fly through our lobby.

Over the next three years, we’re investing $2.5 billion in overall improvements to enhance the airport experience within our hubs and focus cities including Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Anchorage.

A sneak peek at what the future lobby will look like at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

We’re also the first airline to offer Tap to Pay on iPhone – giving our guests more options to pay inflight. You’re now able to tap-to-pay for your alcoholic beverage or snack pack with just a simple tap from your iPhone or Apple Watch using Apple Pay, other digital wallet, or contactless credit or debit card to pay – no more swiping!

We were named “Airline of the Year” ⭐️

Among other accolades, this year, we were named “Airline of the Year” by the Centre for Aviation at the World Aviation Summit in Abu Dhabi on Nov. 28. The CAPA Airline of the Year Award is awarded to the airline that has been the biggest standout strategically during the year, has had the greatest impact on the development of the airline industry, has established itself as a leader, and provided a benchmark for others to follow.  Here is some other recognition we’re proud of this year:


  1. Love ASand QX miss it soo much!! Worked for over 15 years .. You want a great airline that treats you right ?? Airgroup is way to fly!! Go AS/QX!!

  2. This is the best recap ever! Eager to see all the progressive growth at work and at play

  3. Way to go AAG! Always becoming. Always striving. Always doing the right thing.

  4. Congratulations on all your achievements ALASKA AIR! Thank you from a very satisfied customer.

  5. As a new employee in 2023, I love working for Alaska!!! Bravo on this years accomplishments!!! I can’t wait to see what 2024 has to offer!!!

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