Cup, cup and away! Starbucks and Alaska Airlines are making coffee––and the holidays––a priority

Photo by Ingrid Barrentine.

‘Starbucks holiday cup holders get priority boarding.’

How does it sound to be one of the first guests to board a flight while you take a sip of your Starbucks Peppermint Mocha?

Well, ‘tis the season. We’ve joined forces with our hometown partner, Starbucks, to kick off the 2019 holidays. Starting tomorrow, anyone traveling with a Starbucks holiday cup gets priority boarding on all Alaska Airlines flights, Nov. 7-10.

What does this mean exactly? Starbucks holiday cup-holders––anyone who purchases a Starbucks drink served in a holiday cup––will get to be in the “espresso” lane, following group B. Just be sure to listen closely to your gate agent’s announcements.

With all that holiday spirit in the air, you know we couldn’t stop there! Some lucky guests on select flights might find surprise Starbucks treats on their seats, too.

If you’re traveling this weekend, we hope you have a nice trip––and a nice sip!

Find out more about the holiday cheer taking flight below.

Holiday Priority Boarding FAQ

Q: Who is eligible for priority boarding? Only Mileage Plan members? First Class?

ANYONE with a Starbucks holiday cup on flights served by Alaska Airlines can board early, following group B. *Any guests with First Class tickets or airline status will board first in their typical fashion.

Q: What Starbucks cup/drink qualifies to get early boarding?

It can be any Starbucks beverage (hot or cold) in any Starbucks holiday cup, including reusable holiday cups.

Q: Does my Starbucks cup need to have a Starbucks drink in it?

No, if you’ve already finished your beverage, your cup will still get you priority boarding.

Q: What time do I have to arrive to get early boarding?

The boarding process begins 40 minutes before departure.

Q: How will I know if it’s happening on my flight?

All Alaska Airlines flights from Nov. 7 – Nov. 10 will offer priority boarding with any Starbucks holiday cup. Please listen for the boarding announcements for further instructions.

Q: Where/when is the holiday cup magic happening?

All airports that serve Alaska Airlines flights from Nov. 7 – Nov. 10.

Q: What if my airport Starbucks is not giving away holiday cups?

Select airport Starbucks including: SFO, ATL and MSP are piloting compostable cups, so they will not have holiday cups available at these locations. HOWEVER, beverages at these airports will be served with holiday cup sleeves, which, along with the regular cup, are eligible for priority boarding (yay!).

Q: What if I’m already eligible for early boarding? Do I get something else?

Unfortunately, no, but you have Starbucks and early boarding, so that’s a win!

Q: Why is Alaska partnering with Starbucks?

Starbucks and Alaska Airlines have been proud partners for years. We’re thrilled to help spread holiday joy with our guests traveling between Nov. 7 – Nov. 10.


  1. Oh bummer! My next flight won’t be until December…. . . . hope there will be another opportunity.

  2. Can you continue til Nov 21. That’s when I’m flying to Alaska. 😊❤️

  3. Ditto on all previous comments.

  4. This is such a fun holiday surprise! I’m grabbing my holiday drink for my PHL to SNA flt 11/9! 🌟 thank you Alaska Airlines and Starbucks! ✈️+ ☕️= ♥️

  5. I’m flying Saturday on a Horizon flight, operated by Alaska Air… does that count?

    1. Hi! Yes, it counts! ANY Starbucks Holiday cup will give you priority boarding on ANY flight operated by Alaska Airlines between Nov. 7 – Nov. 10. Safe travels!

  6. I love this promotion! I hope you do it again in December!

  7. now let’s carry the small Starbucks can Double shot and cream in every cabin! it will be a hit

  8. So glad two of my favorite things have come together. Traveling and Starbucks. Unfornately im traveling the following week and I’m so sad I won’t be apart if this event. Make it a month long event

    1. I agree! I’m flying the 14th-21st. Pre-Thanksgiving rush.

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