2014 VIDEO: After hurricane, Alaska Airlines brings people home from Cabo

When the powerful Category 3 Hurricane Odile hit Mexico’s Baja Peninsula on Sept. 14, Alaska Airlines responded immediately.

Through a series of humanitarian relief flights dubbed Operation Ayuda – “help” in Spanish – Alaska evacuated more than 2,000 people.

This video is a tribute to the more than 1,000 Alaska and Horizon employees who offered their skills, their expertise and their compassion in Los Cabos, Mazatlan, Loreto and in the United States.

Thank you for showing the world what it means to say, “I am Alaska.”


  1. I was evacuated at 3:00AM from Los Cabos Wednesday September 17th. Our resort announced the army had stopped by to announce they could evacuate 200 hundred on a flight out of Cabo, unfortunately there were 300 of us so not all would be able to leave, knowing this was heartbreaking. We did not know where we were going, or how long we would be at the airport.

    I had awoke at around 3:00AM on Tuesday the 16th drenched in sweat feeling hopeless, not knowing when we would be able to leave, not able to reach my family, first time I traveled without my husband. We were told the soonest we would evacuate would be the 23rd or as late as the 30th. Inside I was terrified, I was at the lowest place of my life, I then prayed for a miracle, for God to grant us four women favor.

    When we were dropped at Cabo airport it was dark it looked like the apocalypse, we stood for seven hours outside waiting for the plane. We were flown to Guadalajara airport once there we headed straight to Alaskan Air we were to have left Cabo Monday September 15th on Alaskan to San Diego (we obviously missed our flight). My heart was pounding wondering if we were going to be charged for a ticket home or if Alaskan would honor our missed flight.

    Our biggest fear in Cabo was wondering if everyone knew the dire straights we were in, if they knew why we missed our flight. My heart skipped a beat, the instant tears of joy burst forward with a cry when the ticket agent announced to us as he handed back our passports the most beautiful words I had heard in days…On behalf of Alaskan Airlines we would like to upgrade your tickets to first class!

    Within an hour I was sitting in first class on a brand new air craft put into commission in May 2014 headed for LAX. As we broke through the clouds I saw the most beautiful sunrise I had ever seen, it was pink! I knew at that moment I received the miracle along with the favor I had prayed for. I love Alaskan Airlines! Thank you for rescuing me!
    Brenda Ashurst

  2. I am truley grateful to Alaska Airline and the wonderful people that make them the very best. We were stranded for 4 days and were among the lucky ones that got out on Thrusday Sept 18th. The generosity of the Alaska Airline staff was amazing. They were so pleasant and caring to all of us. First thing our Attendant did was place a card on every seat that she had made herself and included a small token of comfort for us with a lovely caring statement. I am a devotee now to fly Alasak Airline wherever I go.
    Thank you to all of you wonderful folks

  3. I was taken to safety by Alaska Airlines on September 18th the compassion they showed was very touching. it was great seeing them fly in to help us get out. Thank you Alaska.
    Jim Brundage

  4. I was one of the thousands trapped in Cabo after Hurricane Odile. After 5 days of tension, chaos and devastation, Operation Ayuda was truly a relief for thousands of people who weren’t sure how they were going to get home to their loved ones. I am so grateful to Alaska and all the other airlines that rescued those of us who were stranded. Of course, I already have a huge place in my heart for Alaska Airlines… In 2001 Alaska Airlines flew me from Anchorage to NYC where I won the very first Amazing Race on CBS. So, double thanks to Alaska 🙂

  5. It has been two months today since arrived home from the “Vacation from Hell” with my wife Jeanie Jennings and our housemates Marcey Graham and Keith Graham. I am no longer having nightmares, and my life is mostly back to normal but I still think about it often, and shed tears whenever I talk about it.

    One of the things that helped me heal from this was being asked to tell my story to Alaska Airlines for them to use in an internal video to highlight their humanitarian efforts. Today they released that video on their public blog.

    Watching this video brought it all back to me like a tidal wave and it was like I was there again. But then as the video progressed, I understood that there were people at home concerned about us. Not just my family, but people I had never met that were genuinely concerned about our welfare, and were determined to get there and get us out.

    Watching this video was a very healing moment for me, and I hope that I can now close that chapter of my life and move on. Thank you again Alaska Airlines, for saving my life, and for also helping me put this all into perspective in my life and move on.

  6. I am flying Alaska tomorrow from San Diego to Portland – with so much more awareness of what it means to be taken care of by a great company with amazingly great people.

    Friends and I flew Alaska to Cabo the day hurricane Odile (Ordeal) struck, Sept. 14. Alaska Airlines airlifted us out on September 18. I will never forget. I am grateful. Thank you again Alaska. Helga L.

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