Plan for busy end of summer travel season with tips for Labor Day weekend 

Photo by Joe Nicholson

With Labor Day weekend only days away, summer is coming to an end, but travel is in full swing— and we’ve got all the pointers to get you wherever you want to spend your long weekend with ease. 

From Thursday to Monday, we expect nearly 700,000 guests throughout our network, an increase of nearly 8% from last year.  

Passenger levels for the Labor Day period are expected to be at pre-pandemic levels. Volume at Seattle Tacoma International Airport, our largest hub, will be about 18 percent higher than it was last year, according to the Port of Seattle. AAA also reports domestic bookings are up 4% this year. 

Safe to say, it’s going to be a busy weekend — we expect full aircraft, busy airports and lots of guests — but we’ve got you covered. 

As we head into a big travel weekend, credit to our people for running a safe and reliable operation while showing care for each other and our guests throughout the summer. Labor Day is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions and achievements of our team – 85% of employees at Alaska Airlines are represented by a union, and we know our labor partners are integral to our success as a company. We are proud to lead the industry this summer with the best on-time performance and fewest flight cancellations. When we work together as one team, these are the results that we deliver.”

– Constance von Muehlen, Alaska Airlines Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President
What were this summer’s hottest destinations?  

Travelers this summer loved cities and sunshine. Millions of our guests made these destinations the most popular for 2023 summer adventures: 


We offer the most flights to Anchorage year-round, including the most nonstop flights than any other major airline. This is the first Labor Day you’ll be able to fly nonstop to Anchorage from Paine Field. Alaska’s largest city is packed with adventure—from stunning views of glaciers, wildlife, whale watching and more, it’s surely one to add to your bucket list.  

San Diego 

We’re proud to offer our guests the most nonstop destinations from San Diego with four more routes added this year, including Eugene, Washington, DC (IAD-Dulles), Tampa and Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo in Mexico. San Diego has become a favorite among our guests for its beaches, comfortable climate and mix of culture and cuisine.  

New York City 

Alaska serves both Newark (EWR) & JFK airport and offers nonstop service from New York to five West Coast cities. Starting on Dec. 14, guests will be able to fly to JFK from Palm Springs. When summer arrives on the East Coast, the warm summer days and endless things to do in the big city draw our guests to the Empire State. 


For 16 years, we’ve had the privilege of flying our guests to Hawai‘i, one of the most beautiful and amazing places on the planet. We serve four Hawaiian Islands from eight West Coast cities, including our newest route from Paine Field to Honolulu and recently increased to five daily flights between Seattle and Honolulu. 


Alaska offers service from four West Coast cities to Orlando, and this summer many families took advantage of our nonstop flights to the theme park capital of the world. We offer three peak-day flights between Seattle and Orlando International Airport. For our guests on the West Coast, our flights to this popular summer destination are scheduled to allow you to maximize your time at the theme parks.  

Traveling this Labor Day weekend? Here are some tips for a smooth traveling experience:

Check in:

Use the Alaska Airlines mobile app to check in beginning 24 hours before your flight.

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 mobile boarding pass to your phone, text it to yourself, or even print one before arriving to the airport.

Know when to arrive:

Give yourself plenty of time to get to and through the airport. We recommend arriving at the airport 2 hours before a domestic flight and 3 hours for international.

Heads up: Some of our hub airports—including Seattle—are undergoing construction that may increase congestion. Parking might also be limited.

Pay for bags ahead of time:

Avoid lines at the airport and pay for up to three checked bags in the Alaska mobile app or on You may qualify for complimentary bags if you’re an Alaska Airlines credit card holder, U.S. military personnel or have Elite or oneworld Alliance® status. Learn more about our baggage policies.

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. Pro tip: If you’re flying with just a carry on, skip the lobby and head straight to security with your mobile boarding pass.

Get in touch with us:

If you’re an Alaska Mileage Plan member, set up communication preferences in your account profile. Our Reservations team can easily update you if your flight schedule changes due to something like weather. You can receive notifications through the app, email and text (to request more info, simply text HELP to 252752).

Pre-order meals before your flight:

Reserve your favorite meal on the app or online up to 20 hours before your departure. We’ve filled our flight menu with a range of fresh, bright flavors inspired by the West Coast food scene and serve freshly prepared meals and snacks for breakfast, lunch and dinner—always including a vegetarian option.

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. Mileage Plan members can now enroll for a CLEAR Plus membership at a reduced rate and receive bonus miles. And our hometown airport, SEA, offers a program called Spot Saver to save a spot in the security line.

Get to your gate faster with CLEAR Plus and enjoy exclusive discounts as a Mileage Plan member.

Request special assistance:

If you need special assistance while traveling, you can request it online or call our dedicated accessible services line at 1-800-503-0101 (dial 711 for relay services). Request wheelchair assistance, add a trained service animal to your trip and more.

Download our free mobile app called Fly for All on the App Store and Google Play, designed for those with cognitive and developmental disabilities, first-time flyers, and unaccompanied minors.

Recharge in our Lounges:

Experience unparalleled airport Lounge service in a quiet space to relax and recharge, or get a little work done between flights in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York – JFK, Portland, or Anchorage to relax before your flight. Lounge members can access the lounge with their digital membership card, available in our mobile app.

Our well-loved Seattle D Concourse Lounge has reopened after a massive makeover (ICYMI: check it out!).

Stream & text in flight:

Snuggle into your seat and choose from over 800 free movies and TV episodes in our entertainment library. Most aircraft feature our streaming entertainment system, letting you watch free movies and TV shows on your own device. Simply connect to our onboard Wi-Fi network during your flight, and visit to see browse our extensive library.

On most flights, you can also purchase our streaming-fast satellite Wi-Fi for just $8. And enjoy free texting while you fly, by simply connecting to our Wi-Fi.

Earn miles every time you fly:

Make sure your Alaska number is listed with your flight so you can earn miles for every flight you take with Alaska Airlines or any of our partner airlines. Not a member? Join today.