Alaska Airlines pulls out all the stops for 100-year-old’s birthday

Guest Velma celebrated her 100th birthday on a flight to visit her family & we broke out the party hats!

When a frequent flyer wrote in that his mother-in-law was turning 100 and wanted to celebrate on Alaska Airlines — you know, we broke out the party hats and pulled out all the stops.  

Velma is a spry 100-year old woman who lives in assisted living and still drives. She attributes her good health to a shot of Crown Royal Whiskey with water every evening.  

She loves being with her family, who live in Florida, but doesn’t travel often, according to her son-in-law. But that changed five years ago when he surprised her with a trip to Orlando on Alaska for her 95th birthday. During the flight, Velma confessed that she found flying Alaska quite enjoyable and said if she reached the age of 100, she’d do it again. 

And Velma kept her word. On Oct. 6, she boarded Alaska Airlines Flight 340 to fly to Orlando, on her 100th birthday.  

“We had so much fun,” said Flight Attendant Wendy, who along with Flight Attendants Jena, Darshan and Emily made sure Velma felt like a birthday girl.  

Before boarding, Velma got a special meet and greet with our pilots. Our agents led guests in a round of “Happy Birthday.” Once on board, the celebration continued.  

Using supplies they had on hand and crafting chops that would make Martha Stewart jealous, they fashioned empty silver coffee bags into a crown, strung pretzel and Biscoff packages into a sash and crafted paper streamers.  

And, of course, they poured her favorite adult beverage, with a splash of water (even though Crown Royale isn’t a regular item on our beverage carts).  Upon landing employees in Orlando greeted Velma with a “Happy Birthday” sign.  

Velma’s return trip the following week was equally enjoyable, with special attention from our crew on board.   

Velma and her family with the crew on her return flight. 

“It was such an honor,” said Wendy, who noted that Velma also got a nice tote of Alaska logo goodies, provided by the company. 

Now back home, Velma has the crown, sash and the sign on display in her assisted living apartment — all reminders of her birthday trip.  But it doesn’t appear that her suitcase will be gathering dust anytime soon — as she just signed up for our Mileage Plan 😊.  

 I want to thank all of the employees who made Velma’s birthday trip flights so very special,” said her son-in-law Michael who is an Alaska Million Miler. “I have flown a lot of miles on Alaska, and other carriers as well, and I know that no other airline would have done anything remotely like this to make our 100-year-old mom so happy. You have the best employees, and they really care about your passengers. This is why I continue to fly Alaska.”