Travel like a pro: 3 ways to fly through airport lines (no cutting!)

The busy holiday travel season is winding down, but lines are no fun at any time of year. Seize your own destiny with these three tips to get you through the airport as quickly as possible.

1. Use the mobile app


Download our award winning mobile apps for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone to book trips, check in for flights, access your mobile boarding pass, preorder food and more.

In 2014 alone, Alaska’s mobile app was rated best in the airline industry by Travel Pulse, awarded Best Airline Mobile Application and Best Travel Mobile Application by the Web Marketing Association and attained a five-star ranking – higher than any other airline app – in the Apple Store.

Customers love it for hassle-free check-in, mobile boarding pass and booking tickets.

Download the app:

2. Online self-tag

Use online self-tag so you can just drop your bag at the airport. Not only will tagging your bags at home save time, but you’ll be able to use designated Self-Tag Express™ lanes once you arrive. You can find Self-Tag Express in 60 locations throughout our system, including Seattle, Anchorage, Washington, D.C. and more. Find a location:

How it works:

  1. Book a trip at
  2. Follow instructions in your pre-trip email to request a bag tag holder in advance by mail or pick up a holder in person at the airport.
  3. Check in online up to 24 hours before your flight and follow the instructions to print a bag tag at home.
  4. Insert your printed bag tag into the tag pouch.
  5. At the airport, follow signs for Self-Tag Express™ lanes.
  6. Show the agent your boarding pass, identification and drop off your bags.

3. Print your own boarding pass


Alaska and Horizon offer check-in kiosks throughout airports and other busy locations in more than 70 cities. Using this service, travelers can check in electronically, receive a boarding pass and head straight to the gate without ever going to the ticket counter.

How do you beat the airport crowds?


  1. thank you very much for thais blog

  2. We don’t have any other airlines in Juneau, but it doesn’t matter to me because I really love to fly Alaska Airlines, their mobile app and kiosks. However, I try my best to take a carryon with me because lines are very long in Juneau to check a bag. Two reps at the counter are not enough when there are two flights leaving at the same time. That was the case on 12/27/14 at 6am when my son was leaving home, and that’s almost always the case. They should come up with a policy similar to the 20-min baggage claim pick up, but for when you go to check it.

  3. I always fly Alaska Air out of Anchorage and typically with my black lab in cargo (she’s a great traveler and I love taking her with me!). The quick and pleasant customer service is great anyway, but it is unbelievably excellent when you have a dog in tow. They take such great care of you and your animal. This attention to detail makes every aspect of travel (booking, check-ins, pet boarding notices, arrivals and even flight changes due to Chicago blizzard cancellations) more efficient. I use all the apps too, but pet service is unbeatable!

  4. Register for TSA Pre Check and use pre check line, and then enjoy time in the Alaska Boardroom.

  5. The app is great–very functional and Alaska has continually improved it. However, beware that the Self Tags are flawed in design. They are so large and flappy that they can get caught in the baggage belt and/or another suitcase. The second time I used one it got ripped off my bag, destroying the handle. Even after another passenger happened to bring it up to the baggage counter because my tag had got caught on her bag, the baggage agent refused to repair or replace my bag. I love Alaska Air, I fly almost exclusively with them and I’m even a shareholder. This flawed concept and the refusal of customer service to make it right was very disappointing. I hope Alaska rethinks the idea or fixes the flaw. Had it been torn off at a connecting airport my bag would have been lost. Thankfully I only made one flight that trip!

    1. Thank you for your comment and our apologies for the bad experience! We will continue to improve on the design and durability of the pouch. In addition, one of our customer care agents will be reaching out to you about the damage to your bag. Thank you for your comment and for flying Alaska!

      1. I also had this same experience, the Alaska agent told me that a handle is considered a cosmetic part of the bag! Never mind that it was brand new, and materially affected the use of it, they just didn’t care. Alaska is definitely not the airline it used to be.

  6. This article lines out all of the reasons why I love to fly Alaska. It doesn’t matter where I go but when I fly Alaska I never have to wait in lines to get my bag checked or anything. I also love the mobile app and how easy it is to get notifications on flight changes.
    Thank you for making traveling easy, Alaska!

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