Information about Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 and our 737-9 MAX fleet

NTSB issues preliminary report on Alaska Flight 1282

Latest update: 1 p.m. Pacific, Feb. 6

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its preliminary report today, Feb. 6, involving Alaska Airlines Flight 1282. This is part of the NTSB’s established process during an investigation that it continues to lead.

Alaska’s safety and technical representatives, along with Boeing representatives, remain in close contact with the NTSB. Since this remains an ongoing investigation, we are limited in the details we can release or confirm. We defer questions to the NTSB.

Safety is always our top priority. As this investigation moves forward, we have full confidence in the safety of our operation and aircraft.

Photos by Ingrid Barrentine / Alaska Airlines

Our first 737-9 MAX planes return to service as final inspections continue 

9:30 a.m. Pacific, Jan. 26

Alaska Airlines has completed final inspections on our first group of 737-9 MAX aircraft as we move forward to return the fleet to commercial service. We’ll resume flying the 737-9 MAX with Flight 1146 from Seattle to San Diego on Friday afternoon, Jan 26.  

On Jan. 24, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved the detailed inspection and maintenance process for the 737-9 MAX to return to flying. Our Alaska technicians began the inspections that night. We expect inspections on our 737-9 MAX to be completed by the end of next week, allowing us to operate our full flight schedule. 

Each of our 737-9 MAX will return to service only after the rigorous inspections are completed and each plane is deemed airworthy according to FAA requirements. The individual inspections are expected to take up to 12 hours per aircraft.  

We remain extremely grateful to our skilled Maintenance and Engineering team that is shouldering the inspection work and safely returning the planes to service, along with gratitude to all our employees who continue to help support our guests. 

Previous Updates

8 a.m. Pacific, Jan. 25

Final inspections of our 737-9 MAX fleet underway to safely return the aircraft to service 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Wednesday, Jan. 24, approved a thorough inspection and maintenance process for the 737-9 MAX aircraft. Alaska Airlines is now performing these detailed inspections of our planes. 

Each of our aircraft will only return to service once the rigorous inspections are completed and each aircraft is deemed airworthy according to the FAA requirements. We have 65 737-9 MAX in our fleet. The inspections are expected to take up to 12 hours for each plane.   

Following these inspections by our skilled Alaska Maintenance technicians, we expect to bring our first few planes back into scheduled commercial service on Friday, Jan. 26. 

At the request of the FAA, our Maintenance technicians completed preliminary inspections on 20 of our 737-9 MAX aircraft two weeks ago. The data we collected was provided to the FAA for further analysis. Those findings informed the FAA’s final orders for thorough inspections of the door plug on each of our 737-9 MAX aircraft. We are now implementing those final orders. 

With the first of our 737-9 MAX set to resume flying on Friday, we’ll add more planes back into service every day as inspections are completed and each aircraft is deemed airworthy. We expect inspections on all our 737-9 MAX to be completed over the next week.  

We greatly appreciate the FAA’s diligence and commitment to safety to get the 737-9 MAX safely back in the air. 


5 p.m. Pacific, Jan. 24

Final inspections of our 737-9 MAX fleet begin to safely return the aircraft to service 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Wednesday, Jan. 24, approved a thorough inspection and maintenance process for the 737-9 MAX aircraft. Alaska Airlines is ready to perform these detailed inspections of our planes. 

Each of our aircraft will only return to service once the rigorous inspections are completed and each aircraft is deemed airworthy according to the FAA requirements. We have 65 737-9 MAX in our fleet. The inspections are expected to take up to 12 hours for each plane.   

Following these inspections by our skilled Alaska Maintenance technicians, we expect to bring our first few planes back into scheduled commercial service on Friday, Jan. 26. 

At the request of the FAA, our Maintenance technicians completed preliminary inspections on 20 of our 737-9 MAX aircraft two weeks ago. The data we collected was provided to the FAA for further analysis. Those findings informed the FAA’s final orders for thorough inspections of the door plug on each of our 737-9 MAX aircraft. We are now ready to implement those final orders. 

The first of our 737-9 MAX will resume flying on Friday, Jan. 26, with more planes added every day as inspections are completed and each aircraft is deemed airworthy. We expect inspections on all our 737-9 MAX to be completed over the next week.  

We greatly appreciate the FAA’s diligence and commitment to safety to get the 737-9 MAX safely back in the air. 


5 p.m. Pacific, Jan. 20

Our Maintenance and Engineering technicians completed preliminary inspections of a group of our 737-9 MAX aircraft as requested by the FAA. We provided the data to Boeing, which will share it with the FAA for further analysis and consultation.

We’re awaiting the next steps based on this collection of new information, including the final inspection orders so we can begin safely returning our planes to service.

The ongoing grounding of the 737-9 MAX continues to impact our operations with all 737-9 MAX paused. This remains a dynamic situation and we greatly appreciate the patience of our guests. We are notifying those whose flights are canceled and working to reaccommodate them. We also have a Flexible Travel Policy in effect.

Alaska has 65 737-9 MAX planes in our fleet of 231 737 aircraft.


10 a.m. Pacific, Jan. 18

Our Maintenance and Engineering technicians completed preliminary inspections of a group of our 737-9 MAX aircraft as requested by the FAA. We provided the data to Boeing, which will share it with the FAA for further analysis and consultation.

We’re awaiting the next steps based on this collection of new information, including the final inspection orders so we can begin safely returning our planes to service.

The ongoing grounding of the 737-9 MAX continues to have a tremendous impact on our operation. We’ve extended the cancellations of our 737-9 MAX flights through Sunday, Jan. 21. This remains a dynamic situation and we greatly appreciate the patience of our guests. We are notifying those whose flights are canceled and working to reaccommodate them. We also have a Flexible Travel Policy in effect.

Each day of 737-9 MAX cancellations for Alaska impacts between 110 to 150 flights, depending on the flight schedule for a given day. Our sister regional carrier, Horizon Air, continues to help get our guests to their destinations by flying some routes that Alaska would normally fly with the 737-9 MAX.

Alaska has 65 737-9 MAX planes in our fleet of 231 737 aircraft.


12:15 p.m. Pacific, Jan. 17

Our Maintenance and Engineering technicians completed preliminary inspections of a group of our 737-9 MAX aircraft as requested by the FAA. We provided the data to Boeing, which will share it with the FAA for further analysis and consultation.

We’re awaiting the next steps based on this collection of new information, including the final inspection orders so we can begin safely returning our planes to service.

The ongoing grounding of the 737-9 MAX continues to have a tremendous impact on our operation. We’ve extended the cancellations of our 737-9 MAX flights through Friday, Jan. 19. This remains a dynamic situation and we greatly appreciate the patience of our guests. We are notifying those whose flights are canceled and working to reaccommodate them. We also have a Flexible Travel Policy in effect.

Each day of 737-9 MAX cancellations for Alaska impacts between 110 to 150 flights, depending on the flight schedule for a given day. Our sister regional carrier, Horizon Air, continues to help get our guests to their destinations by flying some routes that Alaska would normally fly with the 737-9 MAX.

Alaska has 65 737-9 MAX planes in our fleet of 231 737 aircraft.


7:20 p.m. Pacific, Jan. 13

Alaska Airlines began preliminary inspections this weekend on a group of our 737-9 MAX aircraft.  

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is requiring more data from Boeing before approving the manufacturer’s proposed inspection and maintenance instructions that will be used to conduct final inspections on all 737-9 MAX and safely return the planes to service. Up to 20 of our planes could undergo preliminary inspections. 

Moving forward 

Aviation safety is based on having multiple levels of quality control and safety assurance, much like system redundancies that are built into an aircraft for operational safety. Together, these layers have made the U.S. aviation industry the safest in the world. 

Last week’s incident involving Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 was an extremely sobering reminder that these layers require continuous strengthening and improvement. 

Boeing leadership has publicly said that this incident is the result of a “quality escape.” This week, we engaged in a candid conversation with Boeing’s CEO and leadership team to discuss their quality improvement plans to ensure the delivery of the highest quality aircraft off the production line for Alaska. 

We welcome and appreciate the FAA’s recently announced steps to audit and review all safety processes in the production of the 737-9 MAX aircraft, and more broadly at Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems, Boeing’s supplier that builds the fuselage for the planes. 

In addition to the FAA’s review and oversight, Alaska Airlines will initiate and enhance our own layers of quality control to the production of our airplanes:  

  • Our quality and audit team began a thorough review of Boeing’s production quality and control systems, including Boeing’s production vendor oversight, and will partner with our maintenance team on the design of enhanced processes for our own quality control over aircraft at Boeing.  
  • Starting this week, we will also enhance our own quality oversight of Alaska aircraft on the Boeing production line, expanding our team with additional experienced professionals to validate work and quality on the Boeing 737 production line.  

Over many decades, we have cultivated a strong partnership with Boeing. With a commitment to transparency and candor, we are dedicated to working together to uphold the utmost quality and safety of our airplanes for our employees and guests. 


6 p.m. Pacific, Jan. 12

 Today, the FAA communicated its instructions for preliminary inspections of some of our 737-9 MAX aircraft.  

Data collected from these inspections will inform the FAA’s ultimate issuance of a global Method of Compliance (MOC) and the process to complete inspections of the full fleet – a required step to safely return the aircraft to service. Read more from the FAA here

Alaska has 231 737 aircraft in our fleet. 65 of those planes are 737-9 MAX. 

Additional 737-9 MAX flight cancellations through Tuesday 

With the grounding of the 737-9 MAX still in place, we’ve made another difficult decision to cancel additional flights that were scheduled with that aircraft.  

We’re working as quickly as we can to notify our guests of cancellations through Tuesday, Jan. 16. This equates to between 110-150 flights per day. The decision allows us to give our guests further clarity and begin notification and reaccommodation processes.  

More information for impacted travelers can be found at the bottom of this page.  

We’ll begin repositioning some of our 737-9 MAX aircraft for inspection 

In the coming days, we will begin repositioning designated 737-9 MAX aircraft to our primary maintenance bases. This will allow us to perform the required inspections as soon as the approvals are given. Key points to keep in mind: 

  • Any 737-9 MAX maintenance flying is authorized and permitted under the FAA’s Emergency Airworthiness Directive. 
  • These special flight permits are not new or unique. They are a regular activity in aviation. 
  • Flights are flown by our specially trained functional check flight crews. 
  • No passengers or flight attendants will be on the maintenance flights. 
  • These flights will be designated with a four-digit flight number beginning with a 9, such as AS 9834. 

Horizon Air helps keep our guests moving 

During the grounding of the 737-9 MAX, Alaska’s sister regional carrier Horizon Air is helping to get our guests to where they need to go. 

Through Sunday, Jan. 14, nearly 5,000 guests will fly on 90 flights to destinations across our network on a Horizon E-175 jet instead of a 737-9 MAX aircraft they were originally scheduled to be on.  

Horizon even recently flew a nonstop flight to Dallas-Ft. Worth – an airport the airline does not usually serve. The airline also added 23 flights to and from Las Vegas for the popular CES conference this week.  


10 a.m. Pacific, Jan. 12

As of today, Friday, Jan. 12, Alaska Airlines continues to wait for documentation from Boeing and the FAA to begin inspection of our 737-9 MAX fleet.   

We regret the significant disruption that has been caused for our guests by cancellations due to these aircraft being out of service. However, the safety of our employees and guests is our highest priority and we will only return these aircraft to service when all findings have been fully resolved and meet all FAA and Alaska’s stringent standards.   

We have made the decision to cancel all flights on 737-9 MAX aircraft through Sunday, Jan. 14, while we conduct inspections and prepare fully for return to service. This equates to between 110-150 flights per day. We hope this action provides guests with a little more certainty, and we are working around the clock to reaccommodate impacted guests on other flights. More information for impacted travelers can be found at the bottom of this page.  

As a reminder, three things must be in place prior to beginning inspections: 

  • A final Multi-Operator Message (MOM) provided by Boeing, providing inspection details for the 737-9 MAX aircraft as approved by the FAA.  
  • A global Method of Compliance (MOC) published by the FAA with details for approval of operators’ inspection processes to ensure compliance with their Airworthiness Directive. As a party to the NTSB investigation, the FAA works to ensure that inspection details address findings that may have surfaced during this process, even if not yet shared with the public.  
  • Detailed inspection instructions and processes developed by Alaska Airlines for our maintenance technicians to follow to conduct thorough inspections per the FAA’s specifications.   

10 a.m. Pacific, Jan. 10

As of today, Wednesday, Jan. 10, Alaska Airlines continues to wait for documentation from Boeing and the FAA to begin inspection of our 737-9 MAX fleet.  

We regret the significant disruption that has been caused for our guests by cancellations due to these aircraft being out of service. However, the safety of our employees and guests is our highest priority and we will only return these aircraft to service when all findings have been fully resolved and meet all FAA and Alaska’s stringent standards.  

As of this morning, we have made the decision to cancel all flights on 737-9 MAX aircraft through Saturday, Jan. 13 while we conduct inspections and prepare fully for return to service. This equates to between 110-150 flights per day. We hope this action provides guests with a little more certainty, and we are working around the clock to reaccommodate impacted guests on other flights. More information for impacted travelers can be found at the bottom of this page. 

As a reminder, three things must be in place prior to beginning inspections: 

  • A final Multi-Operator Message (MOM) provided by Boeing, providing inspection details for the 737-9 MAX aircraft as approved by the FAA. 
  • An Alternate Method of Compliance (AMOC) published by the FAA with details for approval of operators’ inspection processes to ensure compliance with their Airworthiness Directive. As a party to the NTSB investigation, the FAA works to ensure that inspection details address findings that may have surfaced during this process, even if not yet shared with the public. 
  • Detailed inspection instructions and processes developed by Alaska Airlines for our maintenance technicians to follow to conduct thorough inspections per the FAA’s specifications.  

We will continue to provide updates as progress is made.  


12:45 p.m. Pacific, Jan. 9

We continue to await inspection and maintenance instructions from Boeing and approval for the procedures from the FAA. Until then, the Boeing 737-9 MAX fleet will remain grounded. 

When we are able to proceed with the formal inspection process, all aircraft will be thoroughly inspected in accordance with detailed instructions provided by the FAA in consultation with Boeing. Any findings will be fully addressed in a matter that satisfies our safety standards and FAA compliance. The formal inspections will also require documenting all findings and those will be reported to the FAA. No aircraft will be returned to service until all of these steps are complete. The safety of these aircraft is our priority and we will take the time and steps necessary to ensure their airworthiness, in close partnership with the FAA. 

As these steps remain pending, we continue to experience disruption to our operation with these aircraft out of service. As of 12:30 pm. Pacific, we have cancelled roughly 109 flights for today due to the 737-9 MAX grounding.


6:50 p.m. Pacific, Jan. 8

We continue to wait for final documentation from Boeing and the FAA before we can begin the formal inspection process.  

As our maintenance technicians began preparing our 737-9 MAX fleet for inspections, they accessed the area in question. Initial reports from our technicians indicate some loose hardware was visible on some aircraft.  

When we are able to proceed with the formal inspection process, all aircraft will be thoroughly inspected in accordance with detailed instructions provided by the FAA in consultation with Boeing. Any findings will be fully addressed in a matter that satisfies our safety standards and FAA compliance. The formal inspections will also require documenting all findings and those will be reported to the FAA. No aircraft will be returned to service until all of these steps are complete. The safety of these aircraft is our priority and we will take the time and steps necessary to ensure their airworthiness, in close partnership with the FAA. 


10 a.m. Pacific, Jan. 8

This morning, Boeing issued a multi-operator message (MOM) which provided inspection details for the 737-9 MAX aircraft, which have been approved by the FAA. Two additional steps must occur before inspections can begin:

  • FAA must approve operators’ inspection processes to ensure compliance (called an Alternate Method of Compliance, or AMOC);
  • Alaska must develop detailed inspection instructions and processes for our maintenance technicians to follow.

As we await further information from the FAA and work through these important steps, our technicians have prepared each aircraft to be immediately ready for the required inspection when instructions are finalized.

We recognize that additional questions remain about the details surrounding Flight 1282 that we are unable to address at this time. Because this is an active investigation, we must receive permission from the NTSB to provide information about the aircraft and its prior maintenance. We will provide information as soon as the NTSB permits us to do so.

As these steps remain pending, we continue to experience disruption to our operation with these aircraft out of service. As of 8:30 a.m. Pacific, we have cancelled roughly 140 flights for Monday due to the 737-9 MAX grounding.


6:30 p.m. Pacific, Jan. 7 

While we await the airworthiness directive (AD) inspection criteria from the FAA and Boeing, our maintenance teams are prepared and ready to perform the required inspections of the mid exit door plugs on our 737-9 MAX fleet.

The 737-9 MAX grounding has significantly impacted our operation. We have cancelled 170 Sunday flights and 60 cancellations for Monday, with more expected. Cancellations will continue through the first half of the week, and we encourage guests with travel plans to continue to check their email and alaskaair.com for updates.

We will continue to share information as we’re able.


2:30 p.m. Pacific, Jan. 7

As we navigate the impacts of the 737-9 MAX grounding on our operation, we have cancelled 170 Sunday flights affecting roughly 25,000 guests. We expect additional significant cancellations through the first half of the week.

We are awaiting further instruction from both the FAA and Boeing to begin the required inspections on the door plug of our 737-9 MAX fleet and will share information as we’re able.


6 p.m. Pacific, Jan. 6

The investigation into what happened on Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 on Friday, Jan. 5, is underway. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has now assumed the lead role in the investigation. Alaska’s safety and technical teams, along with representatives from Boeing, are closely involved in supporting the NTSB.    

At this early stage, here are details that we can share:  

  • As we shared last night, Alaska made the decision to temporarily ground its 737-9 MAX fleet pending inspections which began early this morning. 

  • Today, the FAA issued an emergency airworthiness directive (EAD), requiring all operators of the 737-9 MAX aircraft to conduct specific inspections before returning the aircraft to service.  We are working with the FAA to ensure that our inspections meet their detailed requirements and comply with the EAD, but this process will take more time.  

  • Our voluntary temporary grounding of our 737-9 MAX fleet and ongoing work to comply with the FAA’s EAD has impacted travel plans for many of our guests. As of 4pm PT today, we have cancelled 160 total flights, affecting roughly 23,000 guests. We are identifying necessary cancellations for tomorrow and expect the disruption to last through at least mid-week. A flexible travel policy is in place for guests to change or cancel their flights. Guests should visit alaskaair.com for rebooking options. We are deeply sorry for the disruption this has caused our guests. 

  • Eighteen of Alaska’s 737-9 MAX aircraft received in-depth inspections as part of heavy maintenance checks and continued in service today until we received the FAA’s EAD. These aircraft have now also been pulled from service until details about possible additional maintenance work are confirmed with the FAA. We are in touch with the FAA to determine what, if any, further work is required before these aircraft are returned to service.  

  • The aircraft involved in flight 1282 was delivered to us on Oct. 31, 2023. The part of the aircraft involved in this event is called a plug door – a specific panel of the fuselage near the rear of the aircraft.  

  • Several guests onboard experienced injuries that required medical attention. All guests have now been medically cleared. 

We will continue to share information as we learn more. Thank you to our guests for their understanding as we safely return our fleet of 737-9 MAXs to service.  


12:00 p.m. Pacific, Jan 6

Early this morning, our maintenance team began a detailed inspection process in connection with our decision to temporarily ground our fleet of Boeing 737-9 aircraft. Of the 65 737-9 aircraft in our fleet, it was determined that 18 had in-depth and thorough plug door inspections performed as part of a recent heavy maintenance visit. These 18 aircraft were cleared to return to service today.  

The inspection process of the remaining 737-9 aircraft is expected to be completed in the next few days. We will provide additional updates on the progress of our inspections. 


9:00 a.m. Pacific, Jan. 6 

As of this morning, inspections on more than a quarter of our 737-9 fleet are complete with no concerning findings. Aircraft will return to service as their inspections are completed with our full confidence.  

We deeply apologize to our guests whose flights have been impacted. Guests whose travel has been impacted can go online to view flight options and rebook travel, place the value of their ticket in their Mileage Plan Wallet for future use, or request a refund.

For Pacific Northwest Travelers: We’ve been receiving many questions from guests traveling to Texas. Flights on Saturday and Sunday from Seattle to Houston are not impacted. Return flights next week are also not affected.


11:42 p.m. Pacific time, Jan. 5
A statement from Alaska Airlines CEO, Ben Minicucci:

At Alaska Airlines, safety is our foundational value and the most important thing we focus on every day. Following tonight’s event on Flight 1282, we have decided to take the precautionary step of temporarily grounding our fleet of 65 Boeing 737-9 aircraft. Each aircraft will be returned to service only after completion of full maintenance and safety inspections. We anticipate all inspections will be completed in the next few days.

I am personally committed to doing everything we can to conduct this review in a timely and transparent way.

We are working with Boeing and regulators to understand what occurred tonight, and will share updates as more information is available. The NTSB is investigating this event and we will fully support their investigation.  

My heart goes out to those who were on this flight – I am so sorry for what you experienced. I am so grateful for the response of our pilots and flight attendants. We have teams on the ground in Portland assisting passengers and are working to support guests who are traveling in the days ahead.

-Ben


7:55 p.m. Pacific time, Jan. 5

Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 from Portland, Oregon to Ontario, California, experienced an incident this evening soon after departure. The aircraft landed safely back at Portland International Airport with 171 guests and 6 crew members. The safety of our guests and employees is always our primary priority, so while this type of occurrence is rare, our flight crew was trained and prepared to safely manage the situation. We are investigating what happened and will share more information as it becomes available. 

Timeline of 737-9 MAX return to service:

Overview:

Flight 1282:

On Friday, Jan. 5, Alaska Airlines temporarily grounded its fleet of 65 737-9 MAX after a door plug detached during flight 1282 from Portland, OR to Ontario, CA. This was a harrowing flight for our guests and crew, and we’re grateful that all individuals have been medically cleared. 

Quality Control:

Alaska Airlines will initiate and enhance our own layers of quality control to the production of our airplanes. Learn more.

Getaway Goals: when the Seattle Kraken score, fans can win a getaway on Alaska Airlines

To celebrate our home team’s run through the playoffs, we’re offering deals, chances to win and priority boarding

This story was updated on May 8, 2023

As the Kraken make hockey history, we couldn’t be prouder to be the team’s official airline. We’re so proud, we’re getting our guests in on all the fun.

Getaway goals

When the Kraken score, you win round trip tickets!

Starting with Round 2 Game 3, the first player to score a goal unlocks the chance to win round trip flights. How many? The number on his jersey! For example, Jordan Eberle (#7) scored the first goal in Game 3, so we gave away 7 round trip tickets to 7 lucky winners.

Who will score first in Game 4? Tell us for a chance to win the next getaway!

Fans can enter by following @alaskaair on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, replying with the player you think will score first and using the hashtag #AlaskaAirGoals. Entry opens 24 hours before and ends at puck drop for each game, and we’ll keep playing as long as the Kraken do.*

$99 flights to away games

We’re slashing ticket prices so hockey fans can cheer on the Kraken when they’re playing in enemy territory. As we’re playing the Dallas Stars in round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, fares between Seattle and Dallas (both DAL and DFW) are only $99. Restrictions apply, see terms and conditions at alaskaair.com/sale.

We are so proud of everything the Kraken have accomplished so far this season, and now we want to fill the rink in Dallas with as many Kraken fans as we can,” says Alaska CEO Ben Minicucci. 

Priority boarding 

As always during hockey season, guests sporting Kraken gear can board early on all Alaska flights departing from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), following group B.  

American Hockey League fans of the Coachella Valley Firebirds, Palm Springs’ (PSP) new professional ice hockey expansion team of the Seattle Kraken, can also board early if they’re wearing Firebird gear. 

*Terms and Conditions apply. Read more here.


Alaska Airlines 

Alaska Airlines and our regional partners serve more than 120 destinations across the United States, Belize, Canada, Costa Rica and Mexico. We strive to be the most caring airline with award-winning customer service and an industry-leading loyalty program. As a member of the oneworld alliance, and with our additional global partners, our guests can travel to more than 1,000 destinations on more than 25 airlines while earning and redeeming miles on flights to locations around the world. Learn more about Alaska at news.alaskaair.com and follow @alaskaairnews for news and stories. Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group. 

Our operations are back to normal after winter wallops. To our guests: Thank you for your patience

WEATHER UPDATE: In the wake of the winter storms, our operations have returned to normal across our network. We continue to help our guests with travel arrangements for flights that were canceled over the past week and a half, including booking them on other airlines to get them to their destinations. To make traveling less burdensome for those looking to book new flights in the wake of weather disruptions, we have lowered our fares in select cities.

For guests whose travel was affected by winter weather, refunds and reimbursemetns are available. Learn more here.

Updated @ 1:53 AM PT on 12/30

Generally, freezing rain is more challenging than snow and causes airline operations to slow down significantly or even halt completely until weather conditions improve.  Aircraft must be completely clear of ice or snow to maintain the aerodynamic integrity and be safe for flight. It generally takes longer to clear an aircraft of ice than it does to clear it of snow.

While it is never our goal to disrupt someone’s flight, especially around the holidays, the safety of our guests and employees is our highest priority. If you are traveling this week, we encourage you to check the status of your flight before heading to the airport and take advantage of our flexible travel waiver, which has been extended and now includes Portland and Seattle, to rebook your travel.

Here’s what to do if your flight is impacted and a look at our strategy to fly in winter weather:

Should your flight cancel, you can rebook your trip online or on Alaska’s app 

If your flight is impacted for any reason, you should receive a notification from our team and an accommodation on a new flight if flights are available. If you need to make further changes, you can use our app or go online to rebook your travel. 

Should you wish to hold the value of your ticket(s) and decide to move your trip to a future date, you may place the value of your ticket in your Mileage Plan Wallet for future use or request a full refund by viewing our refund options

Take advantage of our flexible travel waiver

Sometimes things like winter weather force you to adjust your travel plans. In those instances, we have a flexible travel policy you can use to waive the difference in the price of a new ticket (rules apply) and as always, we don’t charge change fees. Learn more  

Download Alaska’s app  

Our app is the perfect tool to have on hand when you fly with us. You can use it to check in, pay for bags and stay up to date on any changes to your reservation—it’s like having a travel agent at your fingertips.  

Pro-tip: Turn on app notifications to get alerts from us + retrieve your boarding pass in one easy swipe on your home screen. 

Sign up for flight notifications 

Stay in the know by signing up for flight notifications via text or email. Unless otherwise noted, we will use your primary email address linked to your reservation for all communications. 

If you’re using the app, be sure to refresh your reservation frequently and check your messages!

Call us, if you can’t rebook online

While we understand your first reaction might be to call our reservations team when your flight has been canceled, we’ve found you can save time by rebooking your trip online or on our app.

If your flight is impacted, you should receive a priority phone number to call via email if you’d like to discuss alternate options with one of our reservation agents—who are a constant and dependable source of reassurance and help when you need it most. 

For all other reservation questions, guests can call 1 (800) 252-7522. 

Why do the impacts feel worse in Seattle?

Seattle is Alaska’s hometown, and our operations represent the largest percentage (by a wide margin) of departures and arrivals at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) compared to other airlines. Because of this, more of our guests are impacted when something impacts operations at Seattle. If another airline’s main hub got hit with a snowstorm, hurricane or power outage, they would be disproportionately impacted.

For context, SEA has a very small footprint by acreage compared to other metropolitan airports. This constrains our ability to deice our entire schedule of flights in wintry weather. Because the space doesn’t allow for that type of volume, we have to thin out our schedule to keep planes moving.

Why do we cancel flights before snow and ice arrives?

We use numerous tools and resources to help us predict the weather. When our forecasts tell us to expect snow or ice, we know we need to act. Freezing temperatures and precipitation mean that we need to deice our aircraft before they can safely fly (more info on that below). Much like putting chains or studded tires on your car before hitting a snowy road, deicing aircraft slows down our operation. This means we can’t move our normal number of aircraft into and out of the airport. In order to reduce traffic jams, we need to proactively cancel flights from our schedule so we can keep as many aircraft moving as possible.

If we need to cancel flights, we try and let impacted guests know as early as possible. This means it could look clear and beautiful outside, but your flight tomorrow may have been canceled.

Why does an airplane need to be deiced?

Whenever there’s any snowfall or ice on our aircraft, we begin deicing procedures as part of our safety protocol. Aircraft cannot safely operate if there is snow or ice accumulation on the wings or tails, so it’s critical that we remove it before takeoff.

We have a full fleet of trucks, equipment and personnel across our stations ready to do that work, along with a well-stocked amount of deicing solution. They work as quickly as the airport and weather conditions will safely allow. However, deicing aircraft at the gate can lead to longer wait times on the tarmac—but safety comes first.

📹 If interested in deicing b-roll, download it here.

December 20, 2022; SeaTac, WA | Photo by Joe Nicholson

Hey Canada! Alaska Airlines launches new nonstop service between Seattle and Toronto 

For the first time, we’re linking our home airport and Canada’s largest city; our guests can also connect on flights with Porter Airlines in Toronto, our newest global partner

Starting today, Alaska Airlines is flying our new daily, nonstop flight between our home airport in Seattle and Toronto Pearson International Airport – our newest destination and the sixth Canadian city we now serve. Tickets, with convenient departure and arrival times, are available for purchase at alaskaair.com.

In Toronto, guests can enjoy the city’s rich culture or catch a flight from Toronto Pearson with our 30th global airline partner, Porter Airlines, to destinations across Eastern Canada and beyond, including Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Halifax and St. John’s. These Porter flights and others are available for one-way purchase at alaskaair.com with more booking options coming this summer.

Toronto is the largest city in Canada along the shores of Lake Ontario. For visitors, the possibilities are endless with its bustling downtown and walkable neighborhoods, stunning parks, rich history and diverse restaurants and entertainment. 

“We are very excited to welcome Alaska Airlines to Toronto Pearson. Their service to Seattle will provide much-needed capacity to the market and enhance customer choice,” said Kurush Minocher, Executive Director, Customer Experience and Airline Relations, Greater Toronto Airports Authority. “Last year, over a third of passengers traveled between Toronto and Seattle, and we’re delighted to enable this service for thousands of passengers while simplifying travel to the West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii.”

Alaska continues to add international options for travelers out of SEA Airport, providing a wide array of unique, adventurous experiences,” said Lance Lyttle, SEA Airport Managing Director. “Ease of access throughout the continent brings Eastern Canada closer with more competition.”  

New Seattle-Toronto nonstop service

Times are local

Porter Airlines began new flights to Toronto from two of our West Coast hubs in January: Los Angeles and San Francisco. Those flights, along with flights connecting on Alaska throughout our West Coast network, can also be purchased at alaskaair.com

Across Canada, we also fly to Calgary, Edmonton, Kelowna, Vancouver and Victoria. While Toronto is a brand-new destination for us from Seattle, this isn’t the first time we’ve flown to Eastern Canada from the West Coast. In the early 90s, we flew nonstop service between Los Angeles and Toronto.

Our guests can take advantage of a premium travel experience on their next Alaska flight. We are the West Coast’s premier airline offering our flyers the most legroom in First Class* and Premium Class; no change fees; multiple fare offerings; the most generous loyalty program with Mileage Plan with the fastest path to elite status; 30 global partners; and West Coast food and beverage on board. We’re also making it easier for our guests to buy tickets and earn Mileage Plan miles with our domestic and global partners directly at alaskair.com.

For inflight entertainment, our guests can enjoy hundreds of free movies and TV shows streamed to their devices. Our flights are also enabled with streaming-fast satellite Wi-Fi available for purchase and the option to pre-order from a range of fresh meal selections. Our mainline flights also offer power outlets at every seat to charge devices.

* Out of any U.S. airline excluding lie-flat seats   

You gotta pay the rent. Why not reward yourself? Use your Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card to now earn triple Mileage Plan miles with Bilt Rewards 

Bilt Rewards members can now transfer points to Mileage Plan miles. Plus, now you can earn 3x miles when you pay rent via Bilt with your Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card.

Paying your rent is just one of those must-do’s. But how about earning something valuable for that regular monthly expense? You can now use your Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card to pay your rent through Bilt and earn three Mileage Plan miles for every dollar you spend, up to $50,000 a year. Miles can then be redeemed for free flights with Alaska or with our vast network of global airline partners at alaskaair.com.    

Special offer for Alaska Visa Signature® cardholders

In mid-March, Alaska announced our new partnership with Bilt Rewards.



This innovative new partnership with Bilt will enable our guests who rent to get even more value from their Alaska Visa Signature card and builds upon our industry-leading loyalty offering,” said Brett Catlin, vice president of loyalty, alliances and sales at Alaska Airlines. “Our guests can use their miles for travel on Alaska and our oneworld and additional global partners to 1,000+ destinations across the world.”  

“From the Northwestern tip of Alaska to the most southeastern point of Florida, at Bilt we want to continuously reward our members no matter where they live in the United States,” said Bilt Rewards CEO, Ankur Jain. “As one of the most loved brands in aviation, this first-of-its-kind partnership with Alaska Airlines not only broadens Bilt’s members’ ability to travel everywhere Alaska and its partners fly but also exemplifies our commitment to providing Americans with more valuable ways to earn and redeem rewards on their largest monthly expense, rent, and within their local neighborhood.” 


About Bilt Rewards

Bilt Rewards is the first program for consumers to earn rewards on rent and daily neighborhood spend while creating a path to homeownership.    

Through a partnership with the country’s largest owners including Greystar, Asset Living, AvalonBay, Equity Residential, Related Companies, GID, Starwood, Cushman & Wakefield, Bozzuto, Camden, Brookfield, Berkshire Residential, ZRS, Highmark, Beztak, Trammell Crow, PGIM and more. Bilt Rewards enables renters in more than three million units across the country to earn Bilt Points just by paying rent, while these owners benefit from resident loyalty, cost savings and a share of revenue. 

Bilt Rewards boasts one of the highest value rewards programs on the market today, including one-to-one point transfers to 12 loyalty programs allowing members to travel across over 100 major airlines and hotel partners. Members can also book travel through the Bilt Travel Portal powered by Expedia; book fitness classes at the country’s top boutique studios including SoulCycle, Solidcore, Rumble and Y7; shop limited-edition and exclusive collections of art and home decor through the Bilt Collection; shop on Amazon.com; or redeem Bilt Points for credits towards rent or even towards a down payment on a future home. 

Terms & Conditions

Terms, conditions and fees apply to earn miles with the card. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® cardholders must link their card to their Bilt account to receive this offer. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® cardholders who take advantage of this offer will be opted out of earning Bilt points when paying their rent through Bilt with their Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card and will earn Alaska miles instead.  

The Alaska Airlines credit card program is issued and administered by Bank of America, N.A. Visa and Visa Signature are registered trademarks of Visa International Service Association and are used by the issuer pursuant to license from Visa U.S.A., Inc

This post was originally published on March 15, 2024 and updated to highlight the special credit card offer.

Honoring those who serve: Alaska Airlines salutes members of the U.S. military & their families

At Alaska, we are so very grateful for the service of active duty military and veterans and appreciate the personal sacrifices they and their families make for us all. We take seriously our responsibility to care for our military guests, and we prioritize it with every flight.  

Here are some of the ways we show our care—from booking to landing and everything in between. 

Special military fares 

We offer special military fares to active duty military and their dependents in some markets. These fares apply to service members traveling on an official excused absence, and those discharged from active duty military service in any one of the US military agencies.

Learn more 

Priority boarding 

When it’s time to fly, listen closely to the announcements at the gate. Our gate agent will offer active members of the military the opportunity to board the flight early. Stow your bags before most guests and settle into your seat to relax.

Our Boarding Process 

Check 5 bags for free 

For active duty US military personnel, and military dependents with travel orders, we’ll check your first 5 bags for free.

Learn more

Save on inflight purchases 

Members of the military and their families get a 15% discount on food purchased during a flight with us. Just show your military ID to our flight attendant, and then prepare to snack.

Browse our inflight food menu 

Lounge access 

Alaska Lounge Day Passes are complimentary for U.S. military personnel traveling on official government-sponsored travel booked through SATO and ticketed to fly on an Alaska flight departing within 3 hours. All other active duty military personnel with a valid Military ID, traveling on a paid or award ticket, may purchase a day pass at the discounted rate of $30 when traveling on Alaska. Available in all Alaska Lounge locations, subject to space availability. A valid Military ID must be presented.

Learn about day passes 

Receive a WeSalute discount 

We offer a discount on our flights for members of WeSalute. If you’re already a member, sign into your WeSalute to redeem your discount. If you’re not yet a member, enroll today to start saving on Alaska Airlines flights. 

Learn more

Fly with four-legged friends 

Trained service animals travel for free with proper documentation. Plus, we offer active military members and their dependents a pet shipping discount on Alaska Air Cargo.

Learn more.  

We’ve got your back. 

No matter what direction life takes you after your service, we’ll continue looking for ways to support you and your families, and to show you that we’re grateful for all you’ve done. 

Thank you, heroes. 

We are fortunate to work with the Honor Flight Network to provide complimentary travel and reduced fares for veterans on specially planned tours of Washington D.C., to honor them for their military service. Since 2012, we have flown nearly 5,000 veterans to the D.C. Area on over 100 Honor Flights. 

Alaska Airlines aircraft technicians created and implemented the “Fallen Soldier Program” in 2011. This process ensures that military protocols are followed when handling the remains of fallen servicemen and women being flown to their final resting place on Alaska Airlines. Watch video 

Honoring the fallen and their families. 

The conversations and dedication of a thoughtful group of employees was the catalyst for the creation of the Alaska Airlines Fallen Soldier program, which allows us to pay proper tribute to soldiers on the way home to their final resting places. Learn more about the program 

In 2019, Horizon Air unveiled its E175 aircraft sporting the “Honoring Those Who Serve” livery, which pays tribute to U.S. military members, veterans, fallen soldiers and their families. See all our commemorative aircraft. 

Our largest (& hardest) tributes to service members. 

Between Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, our combined fleet has three special aircraft to honor those who serve. The designs—adorned on two Alaska Boeing aircraft and a Horizon E175—feature an Alaska Airlines Salutes medallion and a fallen soldier badge, with the Battlefield Cross to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. The planes also feature five rings surrounding the engines, representative of the five branches of the United States military, and American flag winglets. Our fallen hero carts now include the six branches of the military—The Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force and Coast Guard—and our aircraft will reflect that in the future.  

Donating miles goes a long way. 

We’ve made it simple for our guests to donate extra Mileage Plan miles to the Hero Miles program, to help injured service members and their families to stay connected during treatment.  

The Honor Flight Network’s Lone Eagle Program is our newest member of our CARE Miles program, ensuring that all veterans, regardless of their geographic location in the U.S., are able to participate in an Honor Flight trip.  The Lone Eagle Hub honors veterans of all service eras, but gives priority to those who served during WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam Era and the time periods between these conflicts. Since 2008, Alaska Airlines has donated more than 90 million hero miles to support these initiatives. Donate miles 

Pilots, aircraft technicians, flight attendants – employees throughout Alaska and Horizon – balance full-time work schedules with service in the military reserves and National Guard. Read full story: Balancing work and duty: Stories from those at Alaska who serve in the military reserves 

Thinking about your next career? 

We’d love to help you join our team. Alaska has a long history of recruiting military talent. We work with groups like Camo2Commerce to learn how to help service members and their spouses use their military training and experience in civilian positions.  

Our Business Resource Group—Military, Veterans and Allies (MVA)—supports current and future military and veteran employees with career development, promotes education and awareness, and provides networking opportunities. Explore the possibilities 

It’s our pleasure. 

We are honored that employee-led efforts like those above, along with tributes from individual employees and our company’s work, have been recognized with the Employer Support Freedom Award from the Department of Defense. Serving and supporting service members and veterans is a privilege, and we are committed to continuing our efforts in any way we can. 

Thank you, again to all service members, past and present. 

Countdown begins for travelers to obtain REAL ID for domestic flights

The one-year countdown is officially underway to obtain your REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards. With the REAL ID Act, Americans must ensure they have compliant identification by May 7, 2025, to continue accessing federal facilities and boarding domestic flights per the Department of Homeland Security.

Beginning May 7, 2025, every air traveler will need to present a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, or other acceptable form of identification, to fly within the United States.

If you like to use your driver’s license as your main identification to get through TSA security checkpoints at the airport, it’s crucial to make sure it’ll be REAL ID-compliant and ready to fly starting May 7, 2025.

To get flyers ready for this significant transition, we’re providing a resource for our guests, employees and the public to get the latest information about REAL ID and its fast-approaching changes.

  • Beginning May 7, 2025, your driver’s license will need to be REAL ID-compliant if you want to use it to fly within the U.S. It’s part of a law passed by Congress. If your license is not compliant, and you don’t have another acceptable form of ID, you’ll have trouble getting through airport security.

  • State licensing agencies and motor vehicle departments are expecting long lines and wait times in the months leading up to May 2025. If you want your driver’s license to be REAL ID-compliant, now’s the perfect time to make the upgrade because the rush is coming. Why not check this off your list now?

  • REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and the processes to get them are different state to state, which can be confusing. In most cases, you’ll need to bring additional documentation to get a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, and you might even need to make an appointment. A few states, like Oregon, have not yet begun to distribute REAL ID-compliant licenses, so residents should refer to their state licensing agency or motor vehicle department websites for details and plan accordingly.

  • Many states identify their REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses with a gold star in the upper right corner, which indicates they’ll be ready to use at airport security checkpoints starting May 7, 2025. But some states, such as Washington, do not use gold stars for REAL ID-compliant licenses.

  • You do have a choice. If you want to fly after May 7, 2025, with other acceptable identification – for example, your U.S. passport or a U.S. military ID – you can do that instead. Just remember to bring that ID to the airport.
Some states, like California, mark their REAL-ID-compliant licenses with a star. Other states, like Washington, do not. (Samples provided by state motor vehicle departments)

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Alaska Airlines launches new options for guests to support sustainable travel

Alaska is the first U.S. airline to link guest participation in sustainability to loyalty with an accelerated path to elite status.   

We’re excited to share a new way you can join us on our journey toward a more sustainable aviation future.

Now, when you book your flights with Alaska Airlines, guests will have the option to reduce their environmental impacts by purchasing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) credits right in the booking path. You can choose to support SAF in an amount based on 5%, 10%, or 20% of your emissions when you book on alaskaair.com (mobile app feature coming soon!).  

Plus, Alaska Mileage Plan™ members who buy SAF credits can earn elite-qualifying miles (EQMs) for their contributions! For every $100 spent on SAF, you’ll score 500 EQMs (up to 5,000 EQMs per year), giving you a boost on your journey to elite status. 

SAF is a critical part of aviation’s path to a more sustainable future, and while we use it today, there is not enough SAF available. It will take all of us to grow this market,” said Diana Birkett Rakow, senior vice president of public affairs and sustainability, Alaska Airlines. “The more people who know about and support this important technology, the better we can impact efforts to make a sustainable future for air travel a reality.”   

Now, when you’re booking your trip, you’ll see SAF credit options in the booking process as part of the other options, powered by climate technology company, CHOOOSE. The SAF credit option is based on carbon emissions associated with the guest’s flight and follow the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Recommended Practice 1726 (Passenger CO2 Calculation Method). This calculation method leverage parameters including  aircraft fuel consumption, flight path, seat configuration, cabin class, and load factors sourced directly from Alaska’s operational data.   

How it works:
The example above is a simplified calculation to demonstrate what you can pay to address the carbon emissions of your booked flight(s) (excluded service fees).

“Alaska is on a journey to make air travel more sustainable with an ambitious goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2040. Now we are inviting our guests to join us on the journey,” said Rakow. “We’re proud to be the first U.S. airline to make this connection between guest engagement in SAF and earning elite status.” 

Want to support SAF and cover even more of your trip?
Visit alaskaair.chooose.today to do so! 

Join Base Chief Pilot JP Wilson for a journey through Alaska Airlines’ path to net zero carbon emissions by 2040. We reflect on the impact of aviation on our planet and explore sustainable solutions for the future of air travel.

Our EverGreen Journey 

We have prioritized immediate actions and long-term investments –being the first airline to remove plastic straws, water bottles and cups on board – aimed to reduce our carbon emissions and waste, and to protect local ecosystems. We know we can’t make this journey alone and are working closely with innovative partners across the globe to inform our sustainability work and enable new solutions for the future. 

SAF is a safe and certified fuel that, according to IATA, can slash carbon emissions by a whopping 80% or more over its lifecycle. And the best part? It can be used in all the aircraft and fuel systems we already have. Since 2010, Alaska has worked with a coalition of partners to drive the growth of the SAF market.

These efforts include programs with Microsoft and other companies to offset employee business travel. We’ve also been working with universities and scientists to stay up to date on all the latest research and knowledge when it comes to SAF. Plus, advocated for public policy to help advance SAF. 

Parting gifts from Guatemala: Alaska employees go above & beyond to delight guests

When was the last time you received a handwritten note? Perhaps it was a quick memo from a coworker, a reminder left on the counter to take out the trash or a card on your birthday. Maybe you don’t even remember. What was once a common courtesy and necessity has slowly faded away in favor of instantaneous, digital communications.

However, there is a small but mighty team in Central America who still believes in the power of putting pen to paper.

Last year, Alaska made history by adding Guatemala City (GUA) to the list of destinations we serve non-stop daily from the West Coast. Daily service between Los Angeles (LAX) and Guatemala City (GUA) has not only been closing the distance between cities, but also connecting the people and cultures that call the two places home.

Customer service agents (CSAs) have played a big role in that.

For many, there are a lot of aspects of traveling that can feel monotonous. But thanks to a few employees, the boarding process in Guatemala City has been reinvigorated with the hospitality and warmth the country has to offer.

Prior to each departure from Guatemala City, control and boarding agents find time in their busy schedules to handwrite notes for every First Class and MVP guest. When guests arrive at their seats, they’re greeted with a short, personalized note that speaks to a much greater message; it sets a tone of value and positivity for their entire journey. As part of our values, this tone is echoed in everything we stand for as a brand: being remarkable means being welcoming and hospitable to everybody who boards one of our aircraft.

The process is as heartfelt as the gesture itself. Customer service agents, in the midst of their bustling tasks, find moments of quiet to write these notes,” says Krystal C., director station operations Latin America. “Each message is a reflection of the individuality of the recipient, whether it’s a warm welcome, a wish for a pleasant journey, or a note of appreciation. This task, though simple, is imbued with the team’s genuine desire to create an unforgettable & premium experience for our guests.”

“It spoke of a bygone era of travel, where every journey was an occasion, and every passenger, a guest of honor,” said Fernando C., GUA station operations manager.

While times have changed, our commitment to delivering a premium experience for every guest remains the same. For the GUA team, travel is truly a labor of love.

This initiative was completely homegrown and is one of the reasons why people choose to fly with us,” said Rick H., managing director of operations. “The GUA team saw an opportunity to connect and appreciate some of our most valued guests. The initiative continues today, and guests have taken notice of it. I’m incredibly proud of each member of the GUA team!”

Did you know? With the additions of Guatemala and the Bahamas in December, we now serve six countries from the West Coast. 💙✈️

Chart your flight path: Insider tips from aspiring and legendary pilots at Alaska Airlines

Video by Karina Matias & Ingrid Barrentine

Mohammed Hakeem always had a deep passion for aviation.  

As a child, he would often make the trek from Los Angeles to Fiji aboard a Boeing 747-400. Those trips with his family led him to fall in love with flying, and he quickly knew it was something he wanted to do for the rest of his life.  

In 2017, Mohammed took his first step into the realm of air travel and joined Alaska Airlines as a customer service agent (CSA) at San Francisco International Airport. Following a quick promotion, he became a lead CSA across the bay in Oakland, then eventually transitioned to a flight attendant in 2019.  

But even after attaining two different roles in the airline industry, he still dreamed of becoming a pilot. He wanted to recognize his parents’ sacrifices and make them proud by achieving his ambition. 

As a Fijian American, he also recognized the importance of seeing skilled individuals who looked like him in the captain’s chair and wanted to be a part of that change.

I have always dreamt of becoming a pilot. Growing up, I was told by adults that my dream was too ambitious and that it wasn’t practical. But I held onto that dream, and it eventually became a reality for me,” said Mohammed. “Being a part of the industry which I’ve loved all my life helped me realize that my dream was indeed attainable.” 

Following some research and a push from a friend, in early 2023, Mohammed applied to Alaska Airlines’ Ascend Academy, a multi-year program with Hillsboro Aero Academy in Hillsboro, Oregon, that takes prospective pilots from zero experience to commercial flight. He is now working toward graduation, where he will transition into working as a pilot for Horizon Air.  

“Trust the process, move at your own pace, and always believe in yourself! You will make mistakes, but you will learn and grow from them. Trusting the process can be grueling especially when we compare our progress amongst our peers. It is not a race but a journey–one we cannot complete if we do not truly believe in ourselves the entire way.”  

– Mohammed Hakeem

Meet some of our legendary pilots 

Last year, Alaska Air Group recognized the careers of some pilots, naming them “Alaska Legends” and “Horizon Air Pathfinders,” an honor for those who always look up, push higher, put others first, and have been doing so for over a decade.  

Captain Julie Thiele was an art major before switching to aviation and had to overcome severe motion sickness in her journey to becoming a pilot. Today, she is the director base chief pilot at Anchorage International Airport. 

Captain Geoff Nelson’s first flight was in Juneau, Alaska for a glacier tour. He immediately knew he was hooked. With a tenure of more than 20 years, he has worn multiple hats including flying guests, teaching in the classroom, and performing duties as a technical pilot. 

Captain Rich Loudon came to the airline following a full Navy career; in addition to his role in the flight deck, he has built essential training courses for Alaska pilots and is a revered expert in the industry for his work on Human Factors.  

Captain Rich Loudon | Photos by Joe Nicholson

You literally have the best office in the world, with ever-changing breath-taking view. Feeling the exhilaration of climbing away from the earth on every takeoff has never failed to keep me smiling. What a privilege. In addition to that, the aviation career is filled with high performing people that make it safe, fun and highly rewarding.” 

– Captain Rich Loudon

Along with the rest of their cohort, these individuals exemplify the care and expertise our pilots aspire to. As Rich celebrates 32 years as an Alaska pilot and Mohammed is just starting his journey to the flight deck, it remains as important as ever to provide and recognize expertise, hire pilots from various backgrounds, and ensure that our employees have opportunities to pursue their dreams.  

Pathways to a pilot career 

Interested in becoming a pilot yourself? While we participate in recruitment events at select universities, military bases, and industry events, we also have designed a pipeline to carry prospective pilots from their first step to the first officer’s chair at Horizon Air and Alaska Airlines. Here are some of the ways you could end up at Alaska Air Group: 

Ascend Pilot Academy  

 If you have no experience as a pilot or have some flight experience but have yet to obtain your private pilot license, check out Alaska’s Ascend Pilot Academy. Over the course of 13-18 months, students in the program train to become commercial pilots and flight instructors, obtaining private pilot licenses, instrument ratings, commercial pilot licenses, and eventually certified flight instructor certificates and CFIIs. Over the following two years, they log hours toward the FAA’s 1500-hour requirement to fly for Horizon Air.  

Horizon Air Pilot Development Program 

If you already have a private pilot license, the Horizon Air Pilot Development Program is another way to pursue your career goals. We recognize that when you’re a student pilot, finding the right support and guidance for your job can be challenging. By enrolling in our Pilot Development Program, you can receive a $12,500 stipend, get mentoring from a professional pilot, and join special events. After completing the program and meeting all qualifications, graduates are assigned a class date with Horizon Air.  

True North 

True North is a recruitment program aimed at hiring BIPOC pilots at Horizon Air. The program includes reimbursement for up to 80% of all flight lab fees, ongoing mentorship, and apprenticeship or direct hire placement into an entry-level position. Like Ascend and Pilot Development Program, True North places hires on the fastest path to employment at Alaska Airlines. 

The Alaska Airlines Pilot Pathways Program 

While Ascend, the Pilot Development Program and True North each seek to prepare prospective pilots for work at Horizon, the Alaska Airlines Pilot Pathways Program aims to provide the most direct flight path for Horizon pilots seeking to become pilots for Alaska Airlines. Horizon and Alaska Airlines share a goal to create a rewarding career at the Air Group family of airlines and to make the move from regional to a major airline, if desired, as simple as possible. Following a successful Pilot Pathways Program interview, Horizon pilots are placed onto the “Pathways List” in order of their Horizon seniority number and are then in line to be directly hired to Alaska Airlines.  

Join our talent community to stay updated on application dates and job openings. 

Alaska Airlines expands presence in Southern California with new routes and increased service to popular West Coast destinations

Starting this fall, we’re adding nonstop routes from San Diego and Los Angeles, as well as offering our largest Southern California schedule in recent years  

Alaska Airlines is expanding service at two of its major hubs in Southern California with new routes and additional capacity to popular West Coast destinations as part of the carrier’s ongoing commitment to growth in the state. 

Starting this fall, we’re adding our 39th nonstop destination from San Diego with service to Las Vegas. We’re also starting new service between Los Angeles and Pasco, as well as bringing back guest favorite Los Angeles to Reno. Guests can now book these new, nonstop routes on alaskaair.com with service beginning Oct. 1, 2024.

We’re also proud to announce we’re adding more flights to destinations we already serve out of Los Angeles International Airport, increasing capacity by more than 25%, including to Boise, Medford, Portland, San Jose, Santa Rosa and Seattle.

As the only airline based on the West Coast, we’re committed to growth in Southern California, and I’m excited that we will offer our largest schedule out of the region in recent years; with our new services from Los Angeles to both Reno and Pasco as well as increased options to the destinations our guests visit most frequently. This new schedule also solidifies our title as the airline serving the most nonstop destinations from San Diego with our new service to Las Vegas,” said Neil Thwaites, regional vice president of California at Alaska Airlines.

“We are pleased to see Alaska Airlines continue to grow at San Diego International Airport and offer new routes to destinations across the country,” said Kimberly Becker, president and CEO of San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. “This new nonstop route to Las Vegas will offer yet another option for Southern Californians to travel to this city of lights and entertainment while providing Nevadans easy access to our beaches and sunshine in San Diego.”

In Los Angeles, we’ll start to fly our expanded schedule on Oct. 1, 2024 when we’ll offer the most daily flights to West Coast destinations of any airline from LAX. 

“LAX looks forward to new routes and expanded services from Alaska Airlines, adding to their existing robust portfolio of flight offerings to and from our airport,” said Doug Webster, interim chief operations and maintenance officer at Los Angeles World Airports. “We are grateful for the opportunity to continue to grow our partnership with Alaska Airlines and are pleased to see their commitment to offer our guests a variety of travel options to meet their needs.”

All our guests across our expanding network can take advantage of a premium travel experience on their next Alaska flight. We are the West Coast’s premier airline offering our flyers the most legroom in First Class* and Premium Class; no change fees; multiple fare offerings; the most generous loyalty program with Mileage Plan with the fastest path to elite status; 30 global partners; and West Coast food and beverage on board. We’re also making it easier for our guests to buy tickets with our domestic and global partners directly at alaskair.com.

* Out of any U.S. airline excluding lie-flat seats   

Cultivating community and giving back: Alaska Airlines’ commitment to care for Hawaiʻi 

On a warm, overcast morning, a group of volunteers from Alaska Airlines came together on the lush grounds of Ka Papa Loʻi ʻO Punaluʻu to celebrate Earth Day by tending taro patches. More than 20 Hawaiʻi-based Alaska team members and their families gathered in the spirit of mālama ʻāina – caring for and honoring the land – at the three-acre agricultural site nestled in a rural community on Oʻahu’s windward coast. 

“It’s really exciting,” said Ashlyn Onaga, Honolulu Station Supervisor. “It’s my first time here—I’ve wanted to do something like this for a while to give back to the community and help our ʻāina (land).” 

The taro plant, known as kalo in the Hawaiian language, holds special significance in Native Hawaiian culture. Kalo was brought to Hawaiʻi by the first voyagers to reach the islands. In ancient moʻolelo (storytelling), kalo was part of the creation story, nourishing all Hawaiians. Tending to the plants and the loʻi (patches) they grow in is part of a reciprocal relationship between land and people. 

In observance of Earth Day, a group of Alaska Airlines team members and their families tended taro patches at Ka Papa Lo‘i ʻO Punaluʻu

 

Shannon Cheng and Ashlyn Onaga shape mounds of soil protecting young kalo plants. 

The University of Hawaiʻi, in partnership with Kamehameha Schools, maintains Ka Papa Lo‘i ʻO Punaluʻu. Dozens of plants grow in irrigated wetland patches, connected by a flowing stream. The restoration of the loʻi and streamflow also led to the return of native birds and other plants and animals. Ka Papa Lo‘i ʻO Punaluʻu welcomes volunteers several weekends a month to help clear invasive plants, maintain the streamflow, and care for the growing kalo.  

Having volunteers working with the loʻi and the kalo is really important to normalize these experiences,” said Ryse Akiu, who helps to manage Ka Papa Loʻi ʻO Punaluʻu. “It gives people an opportunity to build pilina (connection) and relationships, not only with Punaluʻu and all the things that exist here but also with each other.” 

Laulima is a word that we use, meaning cooperation and teamwork, and that’s what we do through loʻi work,” Akiu continued. “We have to work together to accomplish some of these huge tasks.” 

This spirit of laulima is also at the heart of Alaska Airlines’ ongoing partnership with Kanu Hawaii. This nonprofit organization  started Volunteer Month Hawai‘i, which is observed throughout April.  

“‘Kanu’ in Hawaiian means ‘to plant,’” said Keone Kealoha, Executive Director of Kanu Hawaii. “Our aim is to plant seeds of responsibility and community today to foster positive change for tomorrow.”  

Founded by 40 individuals concerned about preserving the community spirit and ‘aloha’ they grew up with, Kanu Hawaii has evolved into a vast network, hosting the largest volunteer opportunity platform in the state.  

“Alaska Airlines gave us our first sponsorship, our first major donation, and they continue to innovate,” said Kealoha. He added that Alaska’s work with Kanu is, “not just a hat tip or nod to a good idea. It’s a gateway to a deeper commitment and promise to our kids and our place.” 

In 2018, Alaska was the first major business in the visitor industry to sign on as a sponsor of what was then Volunteer Week Hawai‘i, a local celebration of National Volunteer Week. Today, the partnership continues with Alaska helping to promote the ‘Pledge To Our Keiki’, inspired by similar global commitments, to advocate for a sustainable and inclusive future for Hawai‘i’s children.  

Since its launch, thousands of people have signed the pledge, which Alaska promotes via pre-trip materials and digital platforms.  

“The pledge is a statement – it’s about awareness,” said Kealoha. “But we want to make it easy for people to actionize the pledge, so we’ve connected it to volunteer activities, in person, virtually, or remotely.” 

For visitors to Hawai‘i who want to take action in support of the pledge, Kanu Hawaii recently collaborated with the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority to launch the Mālama Hawai‘i Volunteer Dashboard. This online tool allows visitors to search for local volunteer opportunities tailored to their interests and the location and dates of their trip. 

For our team working at Ka Papa Lo‘i ʻO Punaluʻu, the experience was an opportunity to connect with each other and strengthen their ties to the community.  

It’s important to take care of our planet,” said sixth-grader Chandler Beyer, son of David Beyer, director of risk management at Alaska. “We can help preserve our planet and preserve everything we have for future generations to come.” 

Travel Math: How your spending habits actually earn you travel perks 

First, there was the trend, ‘girl math.’ Then, we saw ‘boy math’ take off. Even dogs got in on the equation! Now, we give you: travel math. It’s a playful concept that’s grounded in the very latest consumer insights where “the math” justifies the purchase, all for the sake of indulging in a little treat.

We know travelers are using credit card rewards and miles to book their travel and to stretch their dollars, especially Gen Z and Millennials. So, next time you want to book that flight or buy that pair of shoes with your Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card, we say go for it. Because you’ll earn valuable miles. And of course—travel math.

Do you want to hit Alaska’s elite status even faster?
Get the boots.

New this year: A faster way to earn status through your Alaska Airlines credit card. Throughout 2024, for every $10,000 you spend on purchases in 2024, you’ll automatically earn 4,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) (up to 20,000 EQMs total).* Learn more.

With elite status, you get a range of benefits designed to enhance your travel experience. Elite perks include:

  • Priority boarding
  • Complimentary upgrades to First Class or Premium Class when available
  • Waived fees for checked baggage
  • Bonus miles on flights
  • Access to priority check-in and security lines
  • Dedicated customer service support
  • Learn more!

The specific benefits you receive depend on your elite status level within our Mileage Plan program (tiers include MVP, MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K).

Buy surf gear to earn miles for your Maui trip.

Rack up miles every time you  make a purchase with your Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card—it’s that easy!

With the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card, your purchases = miles:

  • 3 miles for every dollar spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases (flights, inflight purchases, Lounge).
  •  2 miles for every $1 spent on eligible gas, EV charging station, local transit (including ride share), cable, and select streaming services purchases.
  • 1 mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.

You’ll also earn Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™ every year after qualifying purchases.* This popular benefit allows a cardholder to bring a companion on a round-trip domestic flight for $99 (plus taxes and fees).

Buy the bag, check it for free as a cardholder.

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card grants you a first checked bag free for you and up to 6 guests on your reservation paid for with your card. 

Plus, cardholders can get priority boarding in Group C (even with a Saver fare) on Alaska flights when you pay for your flight with your card.


Terms & Conditions

*Earn 4,000 elite-qualifying miles (maximum of 20,000) that count toward elite status qualification if you make any combination of purchase transactions totaling at least $10,000 (exclusive of any fees, such as the annual fee) that post to eligible Alaska Airlines Visa consumer and business cards from January 1, 2024 through December 31, 2024. Returns, credits and adjustments to this card will be deducted from purchases, even if this card was not the original payment method. Cash Advances and Balance Transfers are not considered purchases and do not apply for purposes of this offer. If a cardholder has multiple Alaska Airlines Visa consumer and business credit card accounts linked to one Mileage Plan account, purchases made with those cards can be combined to reach the $10,000 spend requirement. One individual can only earn a maximum of 20,000 elite-qualifying miles via this campaign, even if they hold multiple Alaska Airlines Visa cards. Allow 8-12 weeks from qualifying for the elite qualifying miles to be posted to your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. To qualify for this offer, your credit card account must be open with active charging privileges. Bank of America is not responsible for fulfillment of this elite qualifying miles offer and posting of miles directly to your Alaska Mileage Plan account. Elite qualifying miles will not appear on your credit card statement. Elite-qualifying miles count toward elite status qualification only for calendar year 2025, are non-redeemable and cannot be used toward award travel.

** $99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23 after making at least $6,000 in purchases within the anniversary year. Terms and conditions apply. Visit MyAlaskaCard.com to learn more.

This credit card program is issued and administered by Bank of America, N.A. Visa and Visa Signature are registered trademarks of Visa International Service Association and are used by the issuer pursuant to license from Visa U.S.A., Inc. The Contactless Symbol and Contactless Indicator are trademarks owned by and used with permission of EMVCo, LLC

Bank of America is a registered trademark of Bank of America Corporation.


Alaska Air Group reports first quarter 2024 results

Achieved record first quarter operating revenue of $2.2 billion

Ratified new agreement with AMFA-represented employees

SEATTLE — Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK) today reported financial results for the first quarter ending March 31, 2024, and provided outlook for the second quarter ending June 30, 2024. 

I want to recognize Alaska’s employees for their uncompromising prioritization of safety, for taking great care of our guests, and for delivering strong performance in the first quarter,” said CEO Ben Minicucci. “Despite significant challenges to start the year our results have far exceeded initial expectations. Thanks to thoughtful capacity planning, network optimization, and diligent cost control, we are well positioned to carry our strong performance into the second quarter and beyond.”

Impact of Flight 1282:

Air Group’s first quarter operation and results were significantly impacted by Flight 1282 in January and the Boeing 737-9 MAX grounding which extended into February. The Company has received $162 million in initial cash compensation from Boeing to address the financial damages incurred during the first quarter.

Financial Results:

  • Reported net loss for the first quarter of 2024 under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $132 million, or $1.05 per share, compared to a net loss of $142 million, or $1.11 per share, for the first quarter of 2023.
  • Reported net loss for the first quarter of 2024, excluding special items and mark-to-market fuel hedge accounting adjustments, of $116 million, or $0.92 per share, compared to a net loss of $79 million, or $0.62 per share, for the first quarter of 2023.
  • Repurchased 561,086 shares of common stock for approximately $21 million in the first quarter.
  • Generated $292 million in operating cash flow for the first quarter.
  • Held $2.3 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of March 31, 2024.
  • Ended the quarter with a debt-to-capitalization ratio of 47%, within the target range of 40% to 50%.

Operational Updates:

  • Agreement to purchase Hawaiian Airlines for $18 per share was approved by Hawaiian shareholders. The proposed combination remains subject to regulatory approval.
  • Ratified a five-year collective bargaining agreement with approximately 1,000 Alaska Airlines employees represented by AMFA.
  • Completed inspections of all 737-9 MAX aircraft and returned the fleet to service in February.
  • Enhanced quality oversight program at the Boeing production facility to validate the work and quality of our aircraft as they progress through the manufacturing process.
  • Received two E175 aircraft during the quarter, bringing the total in the Horizon fleet to 43.

Commercial Updates:

  • Launched partnership with Bilt Rewards, which adds Alaska’s Mileage Plan as a transfer partner and later in 2024 will allow Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® cardholders to earn 3x miles when paying rent via Bilt.
  • Announced growth plans out of Portland to provide guests with more travel options, including 25% increased capacity and a new daily nonstop flight to Atlanta, beginning later this year.
  • Announced new daily nonstop service between Santa Rosa and Las Vegas, which will be Air Group’s seventh destination from Sonoma County.
  • Introduced Alaska Access, a monthly subscription program for price-conscious travelers that offers Wi-Fi vouchers, early access to sales, and a personalized fare page.

Alaska Airlines empowers students in the Pacific Northwest: Flying dozens to college tours 

In partnership with local organizations, Alaska Airlines flew more than 60 BIPOC high school juniors from Seattle and Portland to tour historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) 

Last month, we flew 60 BIPOC students from the Pacific Northwest to tour colleges in Atlanta, Georgia. The Atlanta area is home to many HBCUs, including Morehouse, Spelman, Clark Atlanta, Morris Brown, and Fort Valley State. Some students continued to tour additional schools along the East Coast, including Tuskegee University, Alabama State, Howard, and more. Given the absence of HBCUs in the Northwest, these trips inspire students to experience the cultural richness and opportunities offered by HBCUs. 

While at the schools, students spoke with admissions counselors, current students and administrators about the importance of going to college, the admissions process and financial aid.  

These college tours wouldn’t have been possible without our longstanding partnership with UNCF and Self Enhancement, Inc. (SEI). 

“The HBCU tour exposes and highlights the opportunities for our young people to strive for higher education. Seeing a version of themselves on these campuses inspires and excites them. Our students come back more focused and believing that they can achieve anything that they put their energy and effort into. Based on financial limitations, SEI absolutely could not do this tour without the support of Alaska Airlines.” – Anthony Deloney, Director of Development at Self Enhancement, Inc. 

The Alaska airlines sendoff alone was probably the best thing I’ve experienced at SEI, and I’ve been here 27 years.” – Tamra Hickok, Director of Program Innovation at Self Enhancement, Inc. 

Over two decades of collaboration with UNCF 

UNCF’s mission is to build a robust and nationally recognized pipeline of underrepresented students who become highly qualified college graduates. Alaska Airlines has been a proud partner with UNCF for more than 18 years – donating more than 20 million miles to fly students to attend college tours. We invite our guests to donate miles to UNCF through our CARE Miles program to support this effort. 

SEI & Alaska help move Portland forward 

Self Enhancement, Inc. (SEI) is a pillar in the North Portland community— providing academic support and services for Black students and their families. SEI’s strength is in its ability to meet the complex needs of the children and families it serves, including helping people to overcome cultural, educational and economic barriers. Alaska has been a steadfast supporter of SEI’s annual fundraiser for over a decade. However, this year marked a significant milestone as it was the first time we extended support to SEI’s annual HBCU tour.

SEI HBCU tour stops included Tuskegee University, Alabama State University, Clark University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, Johnson C Smith University, North Carolina A&T University, and Howard University. Hear Janiya’s experience at the tour and how each one impacted her college journey!