Ready for LIFT off: Alaska Airlines employees give back with a week of volunteering

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air announced today the launch of LIFT, the new name for the airlines' social and environmental impact programs. LIFT is inspired by the airlines' core purpose of...

SEATTLE, Oct. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air announced today the launch of LIFT, the new name for the airlines’ social and environmental impact programs. LIFT is inspired by the airlines’ core purpose of creating an airline people love, as well as the natural force behind lift-off as we carry guests’ safely to where they need to go, and by its employees’ values.

Last year, the airline announced four new pillars to characterize its sustainability focus: 1. We’re all about people; 2. We fly greener; 3. We invest for strong communities; and 4. We make flying matter. To bring these together with a unifying principle, Alaska Airlines is launching LIFT and celebrating our employees’ values with a "Week of LIFT," Oct. 11-19, where employees across the nation will volunteer in local communities, from California to New York.

"Our employees make us who we are – connecting personally and locally – on a national and even greater scale. And because of them, we’re driven to think about our impact – from fuel-efficient planes to giving back to the people and places they fly," said Diana Birkett Rakow, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of external relations. "Our employees are out there living our values, and for that, we’re in awe. This month, we celebrate that spirit. We’re focused especially on inspiring, empowering and equipping young people to reach their potential – and helping to keep our natural environment beautiful and strong."

During the week of LIFT more than 500 employees will volunteer at over 20 events in nine cities across the United States. Alaska and Horizon employees will work alongside community members in cities such as Honolulu, San Diego, New York City, Anchorage, Phoenix, the Bay Area, Portland, Seattle and Boise. Volunteer events include serving at local food banks, teaching classes and participating in outdoor cleanups through organizations like:

  • Kupu (Honolulu)
  • Barrio Logan College Institute (San Diego)
  • San Diego Food Bank (San Diego)
  • New York Cares (New York City)
  • Covenant House Alaska (Anchorage)
  • Feed My Starving Children (Phoenix)
  • Reading Partners (Bay Area)
  • Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (Portland)
  • FIRST Washington (Seattle)
  • FareStart (Seattle)
  • Mary’s Place (Seattle)
  • Bonneville Environmental Foundation (Portland and Tacoma)
  • The Idaho Food Bank (Boise)

"We are honored to collaborate with Alaska Airlines on their ‘Week of Lift’ and the volunteer efforts of their employees who will roll up their sleeves to paint the walls of Barrio Logan College Institute’s new administration offices, and donate books to BLCI’s library area in its new student center," said United Way of San Diego County President and CEO Nancy Sasaki. "These ‘days of service’ is an excellent example of how business and nonprofit partnerships can work."

In addition to employee volunteer efforts, Alaska’s LIFT program incorporates the following social and environmental impact programs:

  • LIFT Miles: Alaska gives Mileage Plan™ members the opportunity to donate their miles to help people and organizations who have an urgent or mission-driven need to travel. In 2018 alone, more than 53,000,000 miles were donated by Alaska passengers, valued at approximately $1.4 million.
  • Community Investment: Alaska is focused on investing for strong communities where our guests fly, and our employees call home. In 2018, Alaska Airlines provided over $17 million of in-kind and cash sponsorships, partnering with organizations and events across our network. Alaska also provides airline tickets for nonprofit organizations to support fundraising and other travel needs crucial to achieving their mission. In 2018, more than 6,000 airline tickets were donated to nonprofit organizations, valued at approximately $7.6 million.
  • LIFT Grants from the Alaska Airlines Foundation: As a part of Alaska Airlines Foundation initiatives, LIFT Grants provides cash grants to non-profit organizations that inspire, empower, and equip young people to connect to career opportunities and to imagine what’s possible Updated grant guidelines for the Foundation will be available online this fall. The Alaska Airlines Foundation has provided over $2 million dollars in grants.
  • Environmental Sustainability Initiatives: Alaska is focused on operating and growing in an environmentally responsible manner by flying only the most fuel-efficient and environmental-friendly fleet of planes, implementing innovative inflight recycling programs and encouraging passengers to #FillBeforeYouFly.
  • Employee Volunteer Rewards: Alaska and Horizon employees earn $10 an hour for the time they spend volunteering in their communities, which can be donated to the qualifying charitable organization of their choice. In 2018, employees volunteered more than 44,000 hours for causes of their choice.
  • Employee Matching Gifts: Alaska matches employee donations to nonprofit organizations. In 2018, employees donated $493,160, which Alaska matched for a total of $986,300.

To learn more about Alaska Airlines’ LIFT program, visit and read the 2018 Sustainability Report, at And to follow the volunteer activities, tag us @AlaskaAir with the hashtag #makingflyingmatter.

Alaska Airlines and its regional partners fly 46 million guests a year to more than 115 destinations with an average of 1,200 daily flights across the United States and to Mexico, Canada and Costa Rica. With Alaska and Alaska Global Partners, guests can earn and redeem miles on flights to more than 900 destinations worldwide. Alaska ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers in North America" in the J.D. Power North America Airline Satisfaction Study for 12 consecutive years from 2008 to 2019. Learn about Alaska’s award-winning service at and Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK)

SOURCE Alaska Airlines