How ready are you for summer travel? Here’s everything you need to know.

Do you have lots to learn when it comes to summer travel, or could you teach the course yourself? Get ready to fly Alaska Airlines this summer with these tips.

It’s getting warmer, students are getting antsy, and everyone is ready for a summer vacation. Like last summer, we expect full aircraft, busy airports and lots of guests.  It’s nothing we haven’t handled before and some insider tips that can help make summer travel a breeze.

Pre-reading 📚

This summer is going to be one for the record books:

  • We’ve returned to our pre-pandemic level of flying, operating 1,200 daily flights to more than 120 cities.
  • We expect June 30 – the Friday before Independence Day – to be our busiest travel day of the summer. Fridays and Sundays continue to be our peak travel days, but guests are stretching trips due to flexible work policies.
  • Our guests are loving Latin America, so we’ve increased seats to our destinations there by 30%. We’re also seeing strong demand for travel to national parks and have added service from five West Coast cities to the Yellowstone area.
  • We’re staffed up and ready for summer with about 6% more staff than we had in 2019. Our pilot schoolhouse is graduating twice as many pilots each month compared to last spring.

The essentials – Summer Travel 101 🧳

Get travel ready before coming to the airport

Guests should check-in and get a boarding pass on the Alaska app or online at before heading to the airport. You can download a digital boarding pass to your phone, text it to yourself, or even print one before arriving to the airport.

Pros know that Alaska is transforming our airport lobbies with new technology, so preparing before you get to the airport will help you get to your gate faster.
Know when to arrive

You know your needs best. We recommend arriving at the airport 2 hours before a domestic flight and 3 hours for international. If you’re traveling with a large number of guests or checking bags, you might decide you need more time. If you’re not checking a bag or are enrolled in a trusted traveler program, then you might decide you need less time.

Some of our hub airports – including Seattle – are undergoing construction that may increase congestion. Pros know to read all email communication from Alaska leading up to a trip to stay up to date with the latest information.  

101 extra credit: not checking bags? If you’re flying with just a carry on, skip the lobby and head straight to security with your digital boarding pass.

So close to pro – Summer Travel 201 🥪

Pay for your checked bags ahead of time

With new Bag Tag Stations coming to every airport we serve, you’ll be able to quickly pay for and tag your bags and go. But why not cut that time spent in the lobby even more? You can pay for checked bags on the Alaska app or online when you check in and be on your way in minutes.

Pre-order that in-flight snack

We just announced our drool-inducing summer menu, and we want to make sure you can try every dish you have your eye on. The way to sample everything is by pre-ordering your meal on the app or online up to 20 hours before your departure. How good does that smoked salmon bagel sandwich sound?

Enroll in a Trusted Traveler program

Programs like TSA’s Global Entry and Pre-Check provide expedited screening that reduces your time in the security line and comes with a few other perks including allowing children between 13-17 to enter with an enrolled parent. CLEAR members also rarely worry about being late because they’re always at the front of the security line. And our hometown airport, SEA, offers a program called Spot Saver to save a spot in the security line. Pros know to use one (or all!) of these programs to make security a breeze.  

201 extra credit: if departing out of Seattle, set a reminder on your phone to sign up for Spot Saver in advance. You can sign up 5 days before your flight.

Talk about elite – Summer Travel 301 ✈

Upgrade your seat

If there’s room, we offer the opportunity to upgrade to First Class for only 15,000 miles. There may also be an opportunity to pay for an upgrade within 24 hours of departure through online check-in or at the airport.

Become a Lounge member

With airports getting busier this summer, our relaxing lounges offer the chance to start your vacation before you board the plane. Pros know how much a pre-flight pancake can relax you before the runway.

Start planning your next trip

You can book flights on many of Alaska’s partner airlines right on Why not spend your miles while you’re earning even more at 35,000 feet? All made easy with our streaming fast $8 Wi-Fi.

301 extra credit: Alaska Airlines Visa Signature cardholders get $100 off a Lounge+ membership. Sign up today.

Put your new knowledge to use on your next Alaska flight.
We can’t wait to spend our summer with you!