How Bristol Bay sockeye salmon flies to your table with Alaska Air Cargo

More than half the world’s sockeye salmon comes from Bristol Bay, where multigenerational fishing families are deeply invested in protecting the sustainable catch

For thousands of families who fish Bristol Bay in Southwest Alaska — the world’s largest sockeye fishery — working the family boat is a rite of passage. The adrenaline of the short season, with tens of millions of fish running into the bay’s six rivers over just a few weeks in June and July, gets many rookies hooked on a lifelong love of fishing. 

Reba Temple was one of those kids who grew up begging her parents to let her fish with them in the bay. 

Her mom and dad started fishing for sockeye in the early 1990s after fishing for years with their parents in Cook Inlet. When Reba was 14, her parents finally brought her aboard the fishing vessel FV Cloud 9.


Reba Temple and her mom, Lynn, fishing in Bristol Bay. (Temple family photo)

“My sister and brother and I were the only deckhands, and we were so excited,” Temple said. Her dad ran the boat, and her mom showed them the ropes. ”From the get-go, it was my favorite time of the year.”

Nels Ure was a little younger when he started working on a boat with his dad, who also began fishing the bay in the early ‘90s.  

“When you first start out, it’s chaotic and jarring – and absolutely addicting,” Ure said. “The three to seven days that are the peak, the fish are charging upstream, and you’re going from hundreds of pounds to thousands of pounds in your net. You’re on a 32-foot boat and all of a sudden you’re reeling in 900 to 1,200 feet of net and having to figure out how to get all the fish out of it.”  

More than half the world’s sockeye salmon comes from Bristol Bay, where the state, scientists, fishing industry and Alaska Native tribes work together to sustainably manage the fishery.  

Last year, a record 82 million sockeye returned to the bay. About 600,000 pounds of the 60 million salmon caught were carried fresh out of the Bristol Bay community of King Salmon (AKN) on Alaska Air Cargo freighters, destined for restaurants and grocery stores — and ultimately, diners’ plates — across the country and around the world.  

“I get a little awestruck by the numbers coming in at the peak of the season,” said Shannon Stevens, Alaska Air Cargo sales manager for the state of Alaska.  

The new larger freighters will also be certified to fly long hauls over open water, including from remote communities like King Salmon to Seattle.  

And while most of the Bristol Bay catch is frozen and carried out by barge, Alaska’s cargo team is investing in more payload to feed the nation’s growing appetite for fresh salmon. By the beginning of next year, we will add two new larger freighters, essentially doubling the fleet’s capacity.  

Sustainable for the long haul 

In the ongoing effort to manage the fishery sustainably, the state Department of Fish and Game monitors the returns of each river feeding the bay. For the 2023 season, scientists forecast a total return of about 50 million salmon, well above average, with a net catch of 37 million fish. 

“The long-term goal isn’t about making the big buck just this year,” said Daniel Schindler, a fishery sciences professor at the University of Washington who has studied the salmon habitat for 27 years. “It’s really been about how do we keep the system going for a long, long time.” 

Seattle Chef Renee Erickson sources salmon from sustainable fisheries like Bristol Bay: “We love curing it because it’s so gorgeous.”  

Ure, who lives in Naknek with his wife and young daughter, said the residents of the small communities nestled around the bay are invested in its long-term health. “Fishing supports so many economies: welders, all of the gear shops, net hangers, net menders,” said Ure, noting that fishing buoys local businesses year-round. “You have the actual salmon ecosystem, which is phenomenal, but then there’s an economic ecosystem that the salmon sustain as well,” he says.  

Both Ure and Temple are looking forward to sharing the rush of the summer salmon run with the next generation.  

“It truly is one of the biggest dreams in my life to get to fish with my kids and show them Bristol Bay,” said Temple, who has 2-year-old twins named Bristol and Sam. “I had so much fun spending summers out there with my family.” 

Ure said his daughter is already toddling around the family’s fleet and setnet sites.  

“I can imagine nothing greater than getting to spend our summers together bonding on the water, solving problems, and catching beautiful salmon,” he said.  

¡Hola, Guatemala! Alaska Airlines, LAX’s largest carrier to Latin America, expands to a new destination, Guatemala City

We’ll fly nonstop daily between Los Angeles and Guatemala City starting this December;  plus, new flights to coastal getaway Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo from San Diego and Chicago

Alaska Airlines is expanding where we fly in Latin America with the addition of daily, year-round service between Los Angeles and Guatemala City, Guatemala—an all-new destination for us.

We’ve also added new flights from both San Diego and Chicago O’Hare to Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, a popular resort destination along Mexico’s Pacific Coast, as we increase our seasonal leisure routes for wintertime travel. Flights are available for purchase now at for service that begins this December.

These new flights build on our network strength across Latin America. From our hub in Los Angeles, we have the most flights to the most destinations across Latin America of any carrier – which includes up to 18 daily nonstops this winter to 12 cities throughout the region.   

“As the fifth largest carrier in the U.S., we’re a growing airline that’s expanding to more international destinations. Guatemala is a dynamic new country for us and our guests – full of outdoor adventures, history and natural beauty. Our new service will allow families, friends and businesses to better connect between the West Coast and Central America,” said Kirsten Amrine, vice president of revenue management and network planning for Alaska Airlines.

New international service

RouteStart DateEnd DateFrequencyAircraft
Los Angeles-Guatemala CityDec. 14Year-roundDaily737
San Diego-ZihuatanejoDec. 23April 6, 20241x Weekly737
Chicago- ZihuatanejoDec. 23April 6, 20241x Weekly737

Guatemala City is filled with history and architecture. Outside the capital, there’s plenty to explore. The town of Antigua boasts Baroque-style buildings, farm-to-table restaurants and a showcase of art and textiles. Lake Atitlán, formed inside a massive volcanic crater, is a popular destination with its blue waters, stunning hillsides and quaint villages that ring the lake. For adventure seekers, Guatemala is a nation of volcanoes with several that are accessible for hiking and exploring. 

“We’re very excited to welcome Alaska Airlines’ inaugural flight to our country this December,” said Francis Argueta, director general of civil aeronautics of Guatemala. “Guatemala has a lot to offer with its gastronomy, its nature and the beautiful corners of the Mayan world, which will all be a treasure trove of experiences for travelers.”

Our new service to Guatemala City increases our international destinations. We offer flights from LAX and SEA to neighboring Belize, and serve the San Jose and Liberia airports in Costa Rica. This December, we’ll fly from our West Coast gateways to Mexico, Costa Rica, Belize, Guatemala and the Bahamas.

ICYMI: We announced our new seasonal routes from LAX and SEA to Nassau in late June with service beginning on Dec. 15.

We’ve been flying to Mexico for 35 years. It’s a favorite with many of our guests for its culture, cuisine and beaches,” Amrine said. “Our new Saturday nonstops to Zihuatanejo from San Diego and Chicago add to our current Los Angeles and San Francisco service and provide guests with more choices as they plan their winter getaways.”

Lake Atitlan

Maybe Mexico will be calling you this winter. We’ll have four peak-day nonstops to Mexico from San Diego when the new service to Zihuatanejo begins, giving our Southern California flyers even more options when deciding where to catch some rest and relaxation. The weekly flight between Chicago O’Hare and Zihuatanejo is in partnership with ALG Vacations.

Alaska Airlines surprises college student who flew to class three times a week so he could avoid paying rent

It’s not every day you commute to class by plane, but that’s exactly what a University of California, Berkeley student did for an entire year to avoid paying rent in the Bay Area. 

Bill, the super-commuter, who asked for his full name not to be shared, said he flew on 238 flights—mostly with Alaska Airlines—spent a total of $5,592.66 (including parking and public transportation) compared to the estimated $20,000 he would’ve paid in rent. 

He says Alaska’s frequency and Mileage Plan made all the difference. 

“With the frequency and flexibility as well as same-day changes, that was the most valuable perk because I could switch to any flights if I wanted to stay longer and hang out with my friends,” said Bill.

“I had a lot of miles from previous mileage runs or credit card sign-up bonuses with Alaska,” he added. When I started planning this commute, I checked, and there were 850,000 miles in my account.” 

During his eight-month graduate program, Bill flew with our crew often and spent a great deal of time in our Lounges—so much so our Lounge team in San Francisco knows his go-to order is: “ginger beer.”

“They call me ‘Ginger Beer’ because every time I go, I just ask for ginger beer,” he laughed.

After catching up on homework in the lounge, he’d then take public transportation to downtown Berkeley and catch one more ride on a bus or the school shuttle to attend his 10:10 a.m. class. He’d take an evening flight home and land in LA about 12 hours later. He detailed his commute on a now-viral post: “I survived living in LA and commuting to Cal by plane over the past academic year to save on rent.” 

Congrats, Bill—you did it!

Bill earned a graduate degree in May from Cal’s Master of Engineering in Transportation and is now in the national spotlight for his impressive commute from LA to UC Berkeley. He’s been featured in USA TodayKTLA and said he’s lined up to do even more interviews in the coming days. 

We got the chance to catch up with Bill to surprise him with a graduation gift from all of us at Alaska to show our appreciation with a unique Flight Pass Pro Subscription service for one year, which will allow him to travel within California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah so he can always lock in the best deal for when he plans his next commute or adventure ✈️

When asked if he’d ever have the chance to do it again, he says he would. And, says he’d choose Alaska over any other airline because of our frequency and Lounges at LAX and SFO—and because we have flight attendants who really care about their customers.

When we found out about Cal student and Alaska super-commuter, Bill, we couldn’t wait to talk to him about his travels and surprise him with a graduation gift of our unique Flight Pass pro subscription for one-year, which will allow him to travel within California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah.

With his new degree and skillset, Bill says he’d love to be part of the Alaska family someday.

“I’m serious; I would like to work with Alaska if I get a chance,” he said.

And we’d love to have him join our team!

Thanks again for flying with us, Bill—see you in the skies soon.

Ready, set, jet! Tips for travel this busy holiday weekend

If you’re planning to travel during the Fourth of July holiday, below are some tips to help make your trip smoother and more enjoyable.

This weekend, we expect full aircraft, busy airports and lots of guests. If you’re one of thousands of Alaska Airlines guests traveling on our flights this summer, make your trip even better by taking a few key steps to save time during one of the busiest travel seasons of the year and please remember be kind and respectful to those helping you get from point A to point B. We’re here to help you every leg of the way!

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.

Alaska Airlines’ 2022 sustainability report shares strides forward, key learnings and challenges faced 

Each year, our Care Report provides an opportunity to share progress on our sustainability journey.  Since 2009, we’ve shared our goals, what we’re doing to make progress and learnings along the way.  

Aviation brings incredible value and opportunity to global communities—connecting us all, across the land, oceans and waterways that sustain us. And we know our ability to deliver reliable performance, remarkable service and value for many years to come depends on integrating care into everything we do—continuously working to steward our impact on our people, communities and environment.  

In our 2021 Care Report, we shared ambitious goals for 2025. These include goals for workforce and talent development, culture, community engagement, carbon emissions, waste, water and more. Additionally, we outlined a five-part path to net zero emissions by 2040: operational efficiency, fleet renewal, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), new aircraft technologies and credible carbon removals where needed depending on how fast other technologies advance  

In our 2022 report, we share where we’ve made strides and lessons learned. We are also aware of where we face challenges—such as closing the significant gap to enable and scale technologies like SAF which are not currently available at the scope, scale or cost needed to reach our own or our industry’s long-term goals. We’re proud of our progress, which is driven by the teamwork of our employees, and together with strong partners.  

This work takes all of us, and we are committed to the path forward, to ensure Alaska is innovating and advancing our industry, creating jobs and connecting communities for a long time to come.  

Click to read full report >>

A few highlights from the 2022 report include: 


Hired 8,000 new employees, launched the Ascend Pilot Academy, transformed our recruiting pipeline and established multiple programs to connect more people with aviation careers and to make progress toward our goal of diverse representation in leadership.  

Held our first all-company Safety Day, a coordinated pause across our operations for teams to talk about what safety means to us personally, and the specific behaviors in each area that keep each other and our guests safe.  


Continued work to expand supply and use of SAF—including new purchase agreements to expand our use as more supply becomes available, advocacy for public policy to enable market development and establishing a new program for companies who fly with us for business travel to reduce their carbon footprint through SAF, helping to grow this important market for the future.

Expanded use of our AI-enabled route optimization software, Flyways, to more parts of our network, helping us save over 12,000 metric tons of CO2, which is equivalent to 1.3 million gallons of fuel. In 2021, we were the first airline worldwide to adopt this technology to make our flight operations more efficient and sustainable.  

Re-started onboard recycling and was the first US airline to deliver plastic-free onboard water service with the addition recyclable paper cups. 


Welcomed students back to our hangars for Seattle and Portland Aviation Day, and flew students on Our Commitment airplane for learning opportunities and college visits across the country. 

Returned to more in-person volunteering, with our employees racking up a total of nearly 30,000 hours with organizations across the country. 

The Caribbean is calling! Alaska Airlines adds new flights to the Bahamas

We’ll fly nonstop to Nassau from two of our West Coast hubs starting this December along with all-new service between Las Vegas and both Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta

Your winter travel options just got a bit brighter! We’ve added our first-ever flights to the Bahamas with nonstops from both Los Angeles and Seattle. We’re also increasing our service to Mexico with new routes between Las Vegas and both Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta. All four new international routes begin flying in mid-December.

For a limited time, introductory fares for flights between Los Angeles and Nassau start at $169 one-way and flights between Seattle and Nassau start at $199 one-way. Flights from Las Vegas to Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta start at $139 one-way. Tickets are available for purchase now at

There’s a continuing strong demand by travelers who want to venture to leisure destinations – whether it’s a short plane flight along the West Coast or heading to a distant international location. Many of our guests are already planning ahead and taking the time now to book vacations for early next year. Also, with more 737-9 aircraft entering our fleet, we have planes that offer a greater range for us to fly longer distances, such as Seattle to Nassau.

“We’re excited to add a ‘new dot’ to our route map and believe our guests will appreciate the convenience of nonstop service to the Bahamas this winter,” said Kirsten Amrine, vice president of revenue management and network planning for Alaska Airlines. “Whether our guests choose to stay in Nassau, or venture to the outer islands, the pristine beaches and crystal clear waters of the Bahamas await.”

New international service

RouteStart DateEnd DateFrequencyAircraft
Los Angeles-NassauDec. 15April 9, 20244x weekly737
Seattle-NassauDec. 15April 9, 20243x weekly737
Las Vegas-Cabo San LucasDec. 15April 10, 20244x weeklyE175
Las Vegas-Puerto VallartaDec. 14April 9, 20244x weeklyE175

Los Angeles & Seattle to the Bahamas

Our new flights to the Bahamas are a first for us to the Caribbean nation. From two of our key West Coast hubs – Los Angeles and Seattle – we’ll fly our guests nonstop to the popular vacation destination off the coast of South Florida. Our convenient morning departures from both Los Angeles and Seattle allow our guests to arrive in Nassau in the late afternoon.

Our new service to Nassau will become our 101st nonstop destination from our hometown airport in Seattle.

“SEA welcomes another dynamic, sunny winter destination – the first time Nassau has been served with nonstop service from Seattle,” said Lance Lyttle, managing director at SEA Airport. “Alaska Airlines is providing that opportunity for fun and sun to go with destinations from Mexico to Hawaii – choices Seattle travelers will surely be happy to have!”

“We are thrilled to share in the anticipation of Alaska Airlines’ inaugural flight to the pristine shores of the Bahamas, opening a treasure trove of experiences for travellers,” said Bahamas Prime Minister Hon. Philip E. Davis. “For those looking to escape to our enchanting white beaches, turquoise waters and vibrant culture, this new connection provides an effortless path. We can’t wait to extend our warm Bahamian welcome to the visitors from afar, ushering in a new chapter of tourism and cultural exchange. We welcome and look forward to this new partnership.”

Las Vegas to Mexico

Las Vegas becomes a new Alaska gateway to two of Mexico’s most popular destinations from the West Coast: Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta.

Both flights depart Las Vegas late in the morning for a midday arrival. Our new seasonal flight between San Luis Obispo and Las Vegas, which also begins in mid-December, will offer an easy connection to Mexico for our guests along California’s Central Coast.

Alaska Airlines completes 5G modifications ahead of FAA deadline

June 27, 2023

5G modifications complete ahead of FAA deadline

We’re proud to share that we have completed the modifications to upgrade radio altimeters on all active Alaska and Horizon aircraft in June, ahead of the FAA’s July 1 deadline. It’s an important safety milestone for us and critical to the reliability of our summer operations. 

Concerns about 5G’s potential interference with airplane altimeters led to operational disruptions at several airlines last year, including Alaska and Horizon. Following this, the FAA created new rules that prohibit landings in low visibility conditions for aircraft that do not have updated altimeters and will take effect on July 1. Radio altimeters are crucial for landing in adverse weather conditions. Wireless telecommunications carriers agreed to delay the use of C-band signals near major airports, while airlines worked to retrofit aircraft. 

“The work to get all aircraft modified with the upgraded radio altimeters was an impressive joint effort between Maintenance & Engineering, Flight Operations, and many others,” said Bret Peyton, managing director of Standards, Fleet & Ops Control, “Thank you to these teams for their attention to safety and speed at which they worked.”

Don Wright, vice president of Maintenance and Engineering, echoed similar sentiment, “The 5G radio altimeter retrofit program was well-coordinated, leading to its flawless execution. It was a total team effort that involved maintenance & engineering, material control, and planning, as well as our business partners. This is a shining example of our ‘One Team Culture’ in action delivering a key initiative for the company.” 

Feb 3, 2022

5G rollout continues to disrupt regional air travel, here’s why

As you may have heard in the news, AT&T and Verizon agreed to limit the use of 5G C-Band signals near major airports. This action was essential to avoiding a catastrophic disruption among travelers, shipping and the global supply chain and the U.S. economy. 

While we appreciate the efforts of the telecom industry and government agencies to avert the most significant impacts, the rollout of this new 5G band is still creating disruptions for regional air travel.  

In a nutshell, the new 5G C-band, when deployed within a certain distance of an airport, interferes with vital flight technology used to navigate aircraft during challenging weather and low visibility. As a result, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued flight restrictions that limit the ability of some aircraft to land in certain weather conditions.  

Since the agreement was reached, Alaska’s Boeing and Airbus aircraft have been cleared for low visibility landings by the FAA. However, some of our regional jets have not yet been cleared at certain airports and are still subject to restrictions on landing/takeoff during low visibility conditions (such as dense fog or winter weather). Until this issue is further analyzed and other solutions are provided this may cause some cancellations, delays and diversions.  

Alaska and the aviation industry as a whole has a zero risk mindset and will not fly if there are any concerns with safety. That’s why we have advocated for buffer zones near airports and continue to encourage the telecom industry, FCC and FAA to develop a long-term approach that will allow 5G and aviation to safely co-exist. 

To minimize the impact the FAA’s 5G-related restrictions may have on your travel, please follow these tips:   

  • Always check the status of your flight before leaving for the airport. You can do this online or on the Alaska mobile app.   
  • If your flight is impacted, manage your travel online.   
  • We are always here to help.  Text 82008 or call 1-800-252-7522 for assistance with your reservation.   

We know this situation is frustrating and disruptive to those impacted and we’re asking the government to ensure an effective, safe, reliable and sustainable solution to get all our aircraft back to normal operations.   

This post was originally published on Jan. 24, 2022 and updated on Feb. 3, 2022.

Timesaver! Alaska Airlines and CLEAR team up to make travel easier and more secure

With CLEAR Plus, move through airport security lines faster; Mileage Plan members can now enroll for a CLEAR Plus membership at a reduced rate and receive bonus miles 

Our commitment to care for our guests comes in all forms, including improving their travel day. To help do that, Alaska Airlines is partnering with CLEAR—the secure identity company—to provide friction-free and predictable travel experiences with CLEAR Plus.

With our new partnership, Mileage Plan members can take advantage of a discounted rate for a CLEAR Plus membership and also receive bonus miles for a limited time. This is the first step in the partnership to accelerate the adoption of digital identity and remove friction throughout the travel journey.

CLEAR Plus is an opt-in program that allows its members to travel faster through security at 52 airports nationwide by verifying their identity with their eyes or fingerprint, replacing the need to take out their wallet and driver’s license. After verification, a CLEAR Ambassador escorts members through a dedicated lane and directly to TSA physical security, saving them time waiting in line at the security checkpoint.

“We understand from our guests how important it is for them to have the best possible experience when traveling with us, and part of that is saving time when they’re at the airport,” said Shane Jones, vice president of real estate and business development at Alaska Airlines. “Our frequent flyers are already big fans of CLEAR Plus. With a discounted CLEAR Plus membership available to all of our Mileage Plan members, we believe more of our guests will appreciate this valuable travel benefit.”

All Mileage Plan members can enroll in CLEAR Plus at a discounted rate of $179 a year at Plus our elite Mileage Plan members – MVP, MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75K and MVP Gold 100K – who enroll will receive 1,500 Mileage Plan bonus miles. Elite Mileage Plan members who renew an existing CLEAR Plus membership and link it to their Mileage Plan account will receive a total of 1,250 miles every year upon renewal.

In addition, to celebrate the launch of the partnership, between now and July 16, 2023, all Mileage Plan members—elite or non-elite—who enroll in a new CLEAR Plus membership will receive 1,000 Mileage Plan bonus miles.

“CLEAR is obsessed with delivering the best customer experience, so we’re excited to provide Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan members with the confidence and predictability of CLEAR Plus,” said Kasra Moshkani, executive vice president of operations at CLEAR. “We look forward to expanding our partnership with Alaska to continue unlocking seamless experiences for their frequent flyers from home to gate and beyond.” 

CLEAR Plus is available at Alaska’s key hub airports in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Mileage Plan members who join CLEAR Plus can add up to three family members or friends to their account for just $70 each. Family members under 18 years old can always join CLEAR members in the CLEAR Lane for free. CLEAR has more than 16 million members.

While CLEAR Plus and TSA PreCheck are independent of each other, many passengers use CLEAR Plus and TSA PreCheck together for the fastest way through airport security. 

Alaska Airlines reopens renovated D Concourse Lounge in Seattle as part of an overall $30 million investment in upgrading our Lounges 

We welcome back members and guests to our popular D Concourse Lounge on June 21 with 50% more seating and improved amenities; other major projects on the horizon 

We keep showing our Lounges lots of love because we know our members and guests love them so much.  

And we’ve been busy. Alaska Airlines has doubled the footprint of our Lounges and invested $30 million in improvements in the past five years. We remain focused on fresh upgrades and new amenities to make the spaces bigger and better than ever. 

At our hometown airport in Seattle, our well-loved and historically most popular D Concourse Lounge is set to reopen after a massive makeover lasting more than five months – the site’s first full renovation in nearly 20 years. It’s now on par with our terrific N Concourse and C Concourse Lounges. It’s sure to unleash a few ooohs and ahhhs when service resumes on Wednesday, June 21, such as: 

The newly revamped space has 50% more seating including our popular loungers on the mezzanine level for sitting back, relaxing and taking in terrific views. 

A new barista station is conveniently located on the first level so members and guests can grab a quick, hand-crafted espresso beverage or brewed coffee to go (a big request by travelers on their way to their gate), or they can simply hang out for a bit. 

There’s a better layout that’s easier to move through with a proper bar space to order complimentary craft brews, and West Coast wines and spirits. We’re also expanding our hot food options that are served throughout the day. 

We take tremendous pride in making sure each of our Lounges is a relaxed, calm escape for our members and guests – an oasis of good food and drink presented with the care we’re known for along with amazing views.”

– Sangita Woerner, senior vice president of marketing and guest experience at Alaska Airlines.

“The revamped D Concourse Lounge in Seattle will be a huge hit with all those travelers who visit. We added thoughtful touches – from being able to quickly grab a delicious hand-crafted espresso beverage to more comfy chairs to relax in,” said Woerner.  

Our redesigned D Concourse Lounge features artwork by the influential Coast Salish artist Louie Gong (Nooksack). His unique style merges traditional Native art with influences from his mixed heritage and urban environment to create work that resonates widely across communities and cultures. We’re honored to showcase one of his paintings, “Internal Affairs.”  

Coast Salish artist Louie Gong (Nooksack)

Gong says this artwork carries a poignant message for travelers who might be contemplating challenges that are either ahead of them or behind them in their travels. This piece is a scuffle between three hummingbirds, symbolizing the human tendency to simplify interpersonal challenges by assigning blunt archetypes like the hero, victim and bully.  

Gong hopes the image reminds people that the pathway to peace usually resists this natural tendency: “It made me happy to know that my art might be the first impression made on travelers in Seattle and sometimes the last visual impression they take with them as they leave the Lounge,” he said. 

In addition to making substantial improvements at the D Concourse Lounge, we also expanded our C Concourse Lounge in Seattle by 3,000 square feet and added 60 more seats. In Portland, we opened a new patio space at Concourse C Lounge along with an ‘express lounge’ at the newly renovated Concourse B. That’s a 60% increase in Lounge seating at both airports. 

There’s still more for us to do in the years ahead. In San Francisco, we’re finalizing plans for a new lounge at Harvey Milk Terminal 1 as we move our operations to that part of the airport in 2024. The all-new Flagship Lounge for Portland – in the spirit of our award-winning Flagship Lounge at the N Concourse in Seattle – is currently scheduled to open in the 2025-26 timeframe with more than 10,000 square feet of space.  

The Alaska Lounge Membership Program offers two options for guests to choose from: a standard Alaska Lounge membership includes access to all our Lounge locations, and an Alaska Lounge+ membership includes access to all our Lounges plus more than 90 partner lounges around the world. Alaska operates nine Lounges at six airports: Anchorage; Los Angeles; New York JFK; Portland (two locations); San Francisco; and Seattle (three locations).  

We offer a generous access policy. Lounge members are welcome to bring their immediate family members or up to two guests into the Lounge at no additional charge. Alaska MVP Gold, Gold 75K and Gold 100K members can enjoy Lounge access when they travel on a oneworld member airline to a destination outside of the U.S., Canada or Mexico. 

We also offer access to our Lounges for First Class guests that other airlines do not. Those guests traveling on a paid or award First Class ticket on long-haul and coast-to-coast flights have same-day access to our Lounges.  

Alaska Airlines employees have special bond with Opal Lee, the “Grandmother of Juneteenth”

Family members working together at Alaska is more common than you think. But what’s rare is being related to someone who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and helped make Juneteenth a federal holiday.

Teria B., a customer service agent in Austin, Texas and Erica B., a flight attendant based in Portland, Oregon, are cousins and part of a large family—consisting of about 500-600 people—including Dr. Opal Lee, a retired teacher, counselor and activist, and is often regarded as the “Grandmother of Juneteenth” for her help in making it a federal holiday.

Opal is also Teria and Erica’s oldest cousin at 96 years old and still attends family reunions, but she doesn’t expect a red carpet to roll out for her.

“She [Opal] is such a family person – she’s down to earth and that’s what I love about her,” says Teria.

For Opal, it’s never been about recognition or fame. She comes from a family of humanitarians so giving back and making the world a better place for future generations is in her blood.

“She was always very passionate about helping others,” said Erica. “People kind of look at her as like a celebrity, but she is a humanitarian first and foremost before anything else. Her purpose and what drives her is being of service to others, and that’s in our blood.”

What is Juneteenth?
Today marks the 158th year since Juneteenth’s inception, commemorating the day when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free. Many may not know that while the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on January 1, 1863, the South did not comply with the law as the Civil War was still going on. Finally, on June 19, two months after the war ended on April 9, 1865, Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced that slaves were free.

With a large family, it can be hard to get all the cousins in one place. On the photo at left, Erica (L) poses with Opal. Cousin Teria is pictured at far right in uniform, also with Opal.

The journey to make Juneteenth a national holiday

For more than 40 years, Opal worked to push leaders to commemorate Juneteenth as a national holiday. In 1999, Opal had the idea to start an annual Juneteenth walk – 2.5 miles long – to represent the two and half years it took for the news of the Emancipation Proclamation to reach Texas. Teria and Erica remember Opal’s perseverance in the early days of launching these walks.

She didn’t let anything stop her, even when she kept bringing it up to us and we thought, ‘oh here we go again, this Juneteenth thing,’ she would keep going. Nothing was going to stop her from meeting her goal,” said Teria.  

Year after year, the walk’s attendance grew. In 2016 — 17 years after the first event — Opal embarked on her biggest challenge yet. At 89 years young, she started a four-month 1,400-mile walking campaign from Fort Worth, Texas to Washington, D.C. to gain support from Congress to make Juneteenth a national holiday and launched an online petition that garnered 1.6 million signatures.

Dr. Opal Lee, center, walks with supporters on her walk to DC in 2016.

The recognition of Juneteenth as a holiday is seen as an opportunity to recognize and educate people about the history of slavery and the ongoing struggle for racial equality. It also serves as a reminder of the progress made and the work that still needs to be done to address the legacy of racism and ensure a more just and inclusive society.

“What opened my eyes was the time during Covid and the George Floyd incident happened. I think for a lot of Americans, it was the time to sit down and see what’s really going on,” said Teria. “I believe that time was kind of the catalyst for Juneteenth to be really recognized and what it was that Opal has been saying all these years. I think her voice was louder and more heard during that time in our nation.”

In 2021, at the age of 94, Opal’s resilience and determination paid off. On June 17, 2021, she stood alongside President Joe Biden as he signed the Juneteenth Independence Day Act into law, making Juneteenth an official federal holiday.

It was a jubilant day, and while they couldn’t be with Opal in D.C., the family hopped on a conference call and watched the voting results.

“It was a wonderful experience to have the whole family connected, even across different cities and countries, at the same time as she’s in D.C. getting a pen that was signed for Juneteenth to become a federal holiday,” said Teria.

After the signing of the Juneteenth Independence Day Act, Opal Lee, seated, shows President Biden and others her book Juneteenth: A Children’s Story.

A painful memory from the past becomes a full-circle moment

There are many stories Opal has shared with Erica and Teria over the years, but one in particular impacted both of them. On June 19, 1939—yes, Juneteenth—a racist mob vandalized and burned down Opal’s family house in Fort Worth, Texas.

“She was 12 years old at the time, so that had to have been a very traumatic experience for a young child and life-impacting,” said Erica.

Opal could have come away from that terrible day with a different outlook on life, but it stoked a fire within her to educate people and change things for the better.

In an interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 2020, Opal said, “The fact that it happened on the 19th day of June has spurred me to make people understand that Juneteenth is not just a festival.”

What she has taught us and passed down to the family—to us—is you take lemons, and you make lemonade,” said Teria. “You don’t let it make you bitter. You let it make you better, and that’s what she did.”

What Juneteenth means to our employees

Juneteenth reminds us of the progress made and work that remains to ensure a more just and inclusive society where everyone belongs and has opportunity. Hear a poem written and narrated by Poet Jamaar Smiley, who worked with Alaska Air Group Black Employees, Allies and Advocates, or ABEA, an employee-led business resource group for Black employees.

Cultivating a culture of belonging and connection is a prime focus at Alaska Airlines. Whether it’s safely connecting people across the world or within our company through BRGs, we are committed to creating an equitable workplace for all. Our BRGs provide spaces for employees to connect and champion the diverse workforce and cultures represented here at Alaska and Horizon.

Alaska Airlines adds new coast-to-coast routes this winter linking sunny destinations

New nonstops connecting popular vacation getaways include Portland-Miami, Palm Springs-New York JFK and San Luis Obispo-Las Vegas

Summer is here but it’s never too early to start thinking about escaping to warm, sun-filled days this winter. Alaska Airlines is ready to help make those travel plans with the addition of three new routes just in time for the holidays: Portland-Miami begins service on Nov. 17, and Palm Springs-New York JFK and San Luis Obispo-Las Vegas flights start on Dec. 14. Tickets can be purchased now at

We believe our guests are going to love these new nonstops. We continue to see strong demand by travelers who want to go to leisure destinations and are already planning trips for next year,” said Kirsten Amrine, vice president of revenue management and network planning for Alaska Airlines. “We’re especially excited to launch a new coast-to-coast route in Portland, which is a key hub for us. Miami is the largest underserved city from Portland and vice versa, so plenty of flyers are ready to travel between the Rose City and South Florida.”


Our flight connecting the West Coast to the East Coast will fly daily, year-round, beginning Nov. 17. When service starts, we’ll fly to 42 nonstop destinations from Portland with 96 peak-daily flights. Miami becomes the fourth Florida city we serve nonstop from Portland joining Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Tampa. This new flight becomes our second nonstop to Miami; we began our Seattle-Miami route in June 2022.

“We are excited to add Miami to our list of nonstop destinations,” said David Zielke, director of air service development at the Port of Portland. “Alaska has been a great partner and we’re looking forward to continuing to seek opportunities to bring more options to travelers.”

Palm Springs-New York JFK

Our guests in Southern California are eager for more nonstops to the East Coast, and we’re ready to take them there. This seasonal flight connects the Big Apple with sunny deserts. Our convenient morning departure from New York allows flyers to arrive in Palm Springs refreshed and ready to get out and soak in the sun. Alaska has more flights to Palm Springs than any other airline.

The introduction of Alaska Airlines’ nonstop service from Palm Springs to New York’s JFK airport is a welcome addition for Palm Springs International Airport,” said Harry Barrett, executive director of aviation at Palm Springs International Airport. “This new service not only strengthens our ties with one of the world’s most influential cities but also contributes to the economic growth and vitality of our region. We extend our sincere gratitude to Alaska Airlines for their commitment to enhancing travel options and for choosing Palm Springs International Airport as a key part of their expanding network.”

San Luis Obispo-Las Vegas

We love connecting our California guests in new ways. This daily route will link San Luis Obispo in California’s Central Coast region with Las Vegas, allowing for connectivity with additional routes in our network. From San Luis Obispo, we also fly nonstop to San Diego, Portland and Seattle.

“The decision to introduce this service was driven by the growing demand for travel between these two destinations,” said Courtney Johnson, director of airports for San Luis Obispo County. “We anticipate that the Las Vegas-San Luis Obispo route will contribute to increased passenger traffic, benefiting our airport and the region as a whole.” 

As we announce these new routes, we begin new daily nonstop service today, June 15, between San Diego and both Washington, D.C. (IAD) and Eugene, Oregon. We’ll also start new daily nonstop service between San Diego and Tampa on Oct. 5, when we’ll fly to 35 nonstop destinations from San Diego.

Our flights on mainline aircraft and regional jets offer a three-class cabin. Guests in First Class and Premium Class enjoy early boarding and the most generous legroom of all domestic carriers. With our award-winning service, our First Class offers complimentary hot meals based on a seasonal menu with a range of fresh, bright West Coast-inspired flavors along with a variety of beverages. Flyers in Premium Class can also take advantage of complimentary cocktails, hand-selected wines and local beers. 

With power outlets at every seat on our mainline aircraft, you can enjoy hundreds of free movies and TV shows that can be streamed inflight to your own devices. Our flights are also enabled with streaming-fast satellite Wi-Fi available for purchase, as well as the option to pre-order from a range of fresh meal selections. 

Alaska’s Aviation Day lands in San Francisco for the first time

Each year, Aviation Day draws thousands of young people to explore careers at Alaska and Horizon Air, Alaska’s regional airline. At Aviation Day, youth have the opportunity to meet pilots, flight attendants, engineers, technicians, air traffic controllers and first responders and see an up close view of different types of aircraft. 

This year, which marked our 15th year of hosting Aviation Day, nearly 3,000 teens attended events in Seattle, Portland and San Francisco—for the very first time. Jaxon Dingel, who is deaf, was part of a group of students from the California School for the Deaf who had never considered a career in aviation until meeting some of our employees and realizing there is a place for him in the industry.

“Some of the Deaf can feel limited in their job choices, but Aviation Day really shows them they can have a high-paying job with great benefits,” said Dingel’s mother Heidi. “It doesn’t matter if you have a disability, there’s all kinds of opportunities.”

All of our Aviation Day events give students a unique & up-close opportunity to meet with our employees to hear about real-world experiences. Students get to sit in the flight deck of aircraft, inspect wheel wells and landing gear and speak with other industry professionals, including military and aerobatic aircraft pilots.

Captain Kim Gabrelcik, Alaska’s Chief Pilot in San Francisco and leader of this year’s Aviation Day at SFO, said if the event piqued the interest of at least one student, it was a success in her book.

Dingel left Aviation Day with plans to learn more about an aircraft mechanic career and had a profound experience meeting Alaska employees Ryan Di Giovanni and Darren Holness.

Captain Kim Gabrelcik

Ryan, a pilot crew scheduling duty manager, was also born deaf. Holness is hard of hearing and wears a hearing aid and cochlear implant. He has a hands-on job as an aircraft technician trainer and has been with Alaska since 2017. He says that even though having a disability can sometimes be challenging, he never gave up and hopes he can inspire others to do the same.

Darren Holness

The most important thing is do not be discouraged, believe in yourself,” said Holness. “If you have a passion, pursue it.”

“The students who come to these events realize they can really do whatever they set their minds to,” Di Giovanni said. “It’s part of our culture at Alaska to be inclusive of people with all kinds of disabilities and backgrounds and I love that we get to do things like this for people in our communities.”

Dingel says he sees Ryan as a role model because he proves that the aviation industry is not just for the hearing and that the Deaf can do it as well.

Hiring the next generation of aviators

Building a strong aviation workforce is what enables safe and reliable operations. As we continue to grow and bring dozens of new airplanes into our fleet, we need thousands of people to join our team. This year, we plan to hire more than 3,500 new employees in a variety of roles and functions. From maintenance technicians to contact center agents, flight attendants to pilots, customer service agents to software engineers, we will have jobs available for anyone who wants to be part of our team.

Long-term demand for aviation jobs remains strong as Boeing estimates that 602,000 new pilots, 610,000 new maintenance technicians and 899,000 new cabin crew members will be needed to fly and maintain the global commercial fleet over the next 20 years.

“Diversity is also a priority for us,” said Neil Thwaites, Alaska Airlines regional vice president of California. “In 2022, women made up less than 10% of commercial pilots nationwide. That number is even more dire for Black female pilots, who make up only .5% of all pilots across the industry. We’re working to change that through programs like Aviation Day and our Ascend Pilot Program Academy.”

Last March, Alaska and Horizon teamed up with Hillsboro Aero Academy, a premier flight school in the Pacific Northwest, to launch the Ascend Pilot Academy (APA). This new development program, designed for aspiring pilots, provides a simpler, more financially accessible path to becoming a commercial pilot at Horizon and, eventually, Alaska. The program is part of a larger effort to address a growing pilot shortage and increased travel demand. 

In partnership with Hillsboro Aero, we expect to register and train up to 250 students a year. Additionally, our Ascend Pilot Academy aims to provide aspiring pilots with a more accessible path to becoming student pilots. Enrolled cadets will be eligible for access to financial aid and a stipend of up to $26,463 upon signing on to work for Horizon Air. 

“That’s why we’re here; to show that there’s another face to aviation and anyone can do this,” said Seattle Base Chief Pilot Ron Limes. “I’m sure some of these kids have never seen a female pilot and they see Kim today—or they’ve never seen a Black pilot and they see me today and they go, ‘Well, I can do that too.’ It sparks a dream.”