Family travel with Alaska Airlines is just as delightful as the destination

Photos by Ingrid Barrentine

As families plan their holiday trips, especially to destinations as enchanting as the Disneyland® Resort, choosing an airline becomes part of the narrative. With Alaska Airlines, the story is always about putting families first, ensuring the journey is as memorable as the destination. And isn’t that what family travel should be about? Creating stories, together, up in the air and beyond.

As a content creator and family travel blogger, I’m always on the lookout for experiences that resonate with the heart of family adventure.  Traveling with family can be complex, but my recent trip to Disneyland highlighted how one airline could simplify the journey from the jump to landing. I couldn’t gate-keep  my experience with Alaska and why it will continue to be my top choice for family travel with all of you.

A plane for fun and all. On November 1, 2023, Alaska officially welcomed the “Mickey’s Toontown Express” airplane to its fleet. This new livery is adorned with playful images of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, along with their pals Goofy, Pluto, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck in Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland® Park. It took artists over 400 hours and 20 days to hand-paint the brightly colored aircraft exterior from nose to tail.

ICYMI Alaska recently unveiled its ‘Mickey’s Toontown’-themed aircraft, featuring designs inspired by Mickey Mouse and friends, as part of their special themed aircraft, which my kids love seeing at the airport — including other meaningful aircraft like Alaska’s “Our Commitment” aircraft which we got to see in-person last year.

Here’s some of the reasons I’ll fly Alaska again and again:

Families sit together

Alaska always rolls out the red carpet for families right from the get-go with policies around seating and boarding for families. I love Alaska’s commitment to ensuring families sit together without any additional fees. Under their policy, if there’s ever any challenge in seating a child 13 or under with their accompanying adult, they’ll accommodate you on the next flight at no extra cost and that’s important to note, because when traveling with a larger family it isn’t always easy to be seated together, but it’s a family seating guarantee that takes the stress out of booking.   

Priority Boarding

Beyond seating policies, my family loves the practical perks for those flying with young children. Alaska provides Priority Boarding for families with children under the age of two, a convenience that simplifies the boarding process significantly and infants under the age of two fly for free on a parent’s lap, which is a wallet-friendly bonus for parents.

Free Checked Strollers + Car Seats

The airline also offers complimentary gate check for strollers and car seats, reducing the hassle of managing these bulky items, but making them available for navigating through the airport to the gate and having them ready and on hand once you deplane to your destination. 

Inflight entertainment 

On board, Alaska enhances the flying experience for kids with purchase options like Disney-themed picnic packs and complimentary coloring books. They also have an extensive range of inflight entertainment, with over 800 movies and TV episodes free of charge, to keep the little ones engaged.

Preserve your Mileage Plan Status

Alaska’s thoughtfulness extends to new parents too. Their “Elite Leave” program preserves the Mileage Plan Member’s elite status, keeping it intact for an additional year during pregnancy or maternity leave. It’s a breath of fresh air for parents who don’t want to worry about their traveler status during significant life changes.  

Care in every detail

The level of care is evident in how they want families to feel – taken care of, comfortable, and safe. This extends to addressing the needs of nervous fliers, with the “Fly for All” app, designed to assist first-time flyers and individuals with cognitive and developmental disabilities, which can help in reducing travel-related stress, and accommodating the dietary preferences and health needs of families. They offer kid-friendly menu options and cater to guests with peanut allergies, which is indicative of their attention to detail when it comes to comfort and safety.

From priority boarding and seating policies to entertainment and dietary considerations, Alaska has built a travel experience that caters to the nuances of family travel. The new ‘Mickey’s Toontown’ plane is more than just a themed aircraft; it’s part of a broader commitment by the airline to ensure families start their vacations the moment they step on board. The kids were thrilled, we were stress-free and the whole journey felt like part of the Disneyland® Resort experience — joyful, magical and wonderfully inclusive.

Flying to the Disneyland® Resort on the ‘Mickey’s Toontown Express’ aircraft reaffirmed my belief that the right airline could make all the difference in family travel. With Alaska Airlines, the journey is just as delightful as the destination.

Thank you, Alaska for making our family’s Disney dream take flight with such care and enchantment. Here’s to many more journeys filled with magic with you!