Category Archives: Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines takes delivery of its last Boeing 737 Next-Generation aircraft

Last Boeing 737NG for Alaska Airlines, delivered on March 31, 2019

Alaska Airlines on March 31 took delivery of the pictured Boeing 737-900 ER N215AK, the last Boeing 737 Next-Generation delivery for the carrier.

N215AK was the 79th Boeing 737-900 and 165th Boeing 737NG overall.

Alaska Airlines now is getting ready for its upcoming MAX 9 chapter.

Top Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900 ER WL N215AK (msn 36347) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 946087.

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show:


Alaska Airlines celebrates its own Captain Marvels

Alaska Airlines published this on its blog:

Damsel in distress? Not today. This week’s new box office release, “Captain Marvel,” shatters the image of a weak and powerless woman who needs rescuing. Now the damsel is replaced by a strong, intelligent and conquering woman who is doing the rescuing herself.

What I love about Captain Marvel is that she isn’t partnered with or overshadowed by a male hero. She stands in the spotlight alone and wins her battles the same way. Here at Alaska Airlines, we have many of our own Captain Marvels, and I couldn’t be more proud of the incredible women in our operation, working in the sky as well as on the ground.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, I would like to highlight some of the concerted efforts we’re making in diversity and inclusion, while shining the spotlight on some of our own leading ladies.

When I joined Alaska Airlines in 1989, we had only one woman in a vice president role and one woman on our board of directors. Today, 30 percent of our officers across the company are women. Additionally, 50 percent of our board members are women — we’re the only airline and the first Fortune 500 company on the West Coast to achieve this.

Our commitment to creating an environment where all people feel valued extends throughout the company. From the flight deck to the cubicle, 56 percent of our employees across Alaska Air Group identify as female. We have two women’s employee groups with nearly 500 members. Tonight, our Women’s Interactive Network Group is hosting an event to help members build their personal brands. We’re also looking forward to our second-annual women’s summit later this month. We believe diversity is a superpower that fuels our innovation and progress.

In May 2018, we had a first at Alaska Airlines. Captain Tara Wright and First Officer Mallory Cave were the first two female African American pilots to fly together in Alaska Airlines’ history. While we celebrate moments like this, they also illuminate how far we have to go as an industry. At Alaska, we want to reflect the communities we serve, making sure the next generation has opportunities – no matter their gender or skin color.

When it comes to our pilots, we continue to hold the highest standards and hire the best of the best. Unfortunately, however, the pipeline of qualified pilots is severely lacking diversity. In hopes of changing this paradigm, we just signed a hiring pledge with Sisters of the Skies. We have plans to build up African American female role models in aviation through new support mechanisms for current employees and enhanced mentorship and development opportunities for noncertified pilots and youth in our community. It’s one of the many efforts we’re making to encourage girls and women of color to go after their dreams and break through barriers.

Charu Jain, our vice president and chief information officer, is another superhero, one who redefines the role of women in information technology. Throughout our acquisition of Virgin America, she led her team with strength and humility through the integration of more than 40 technology systems. As the executive sponsor of Alaska Women in Tech, one of our diversity and inclusion groups, she provides resources, education and networking to empower individuals to grow careers. Her deep understanding of the industry and her dedication to the community make her a perfect fit for our company and a respected leader.

Sangita Woerner, our vice president of marketing, is also a heroine with tenacity and fortitude. She breaks barriers, isn’t afraid of a little competition, and has given new life to our brand and the characteristics that make Alaska Airlines unique. As a board member for United Way, she supports the communities we serve by making substantive changes.

Jain and Woerner are among 10 women in executive leadership at Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air with whom I’m proud to be associated. It’s these women, along with so many others who are everyday superheroes in their jobs here, that set us apart from the rest. Diversity helps us be our best when we learn from each other and embrace our differences. I think that’s marvelous.

All photos by Alaska Airlines.

Alaska Airlines begins daily nonstop service between Seattle/Tacoma and Columbus, Ohio

Alaska Airlines Airbus A320-214 N625VA (msn 2800) JFK (Fred Freketic). Image: 945916.

Alaska Airlines issued this statement:

Alaska Airlines launched daily nonstop service today between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and John Glenn Columbus International Airport. It’s the only nonstop flight between the two cities.

Columbus becomes the 91st nonstop destination served from Alaska’s largest hub in Seattle. Columbus is the largest city in Ohio and the 14th largest city in the nation. It’s also home to The Ohio State University, one of the largest universities in the country and home of the Buckeyes. Recently, technology companies have made sizeable investments in the Columbus area.

Effective Date City Pair Departs Arrives Frequency Aircraft
March 7, 2019 Seattle – Columbus 9:45 a.m. 5:10 p.m. Daily A320
March 7, 2019 Columbus – Seattle 6:15 p.m. 8:15 p.m. Daily A320
Flight times based on local time zones.

Top Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines Airbus A320-214 N625VA (msn 2800) JFK (Fred Freketic). Image: 945916.

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show (Airbus):


Alaska Airlines launches a new era at Paine Field

Alaska Airlines issued this story on their blog:

At 10 a.m. today, Alaska Airlines Flight 2878, with service provided by Horizon Air, made history when it departed from Everett to Portland.

“This is a huge moment for Horizon, and being here you can see what a big deal it is for the local area. This is what we’re all about,” said La’Princia Miller, a Horizon Air flight attendant.

The aircraft – with 76 guests and four crew members onboard – became the first flight from the new commercial air terminal at Paine Field-Snohomish County airport, unleashing a wave of pride, excitement and so many possibilities.

“This is a game changer. From where I live, the traffic is very predictable coming to Paine Field, like 20 minutes to get here. That’s really nice,” said Joan Carstons, who lives in Kirkland. “Going to Sea-Tac, there can be a wreck or something else happening that day that could cause a longer drive.”

“This is history in the making. I’m just so excited to be a part of it and serve the community I come from,” said Michelle Tagalog, Horizon Air customer service agent who lives in nearby Lynnwood. “Our goal is to give our guests a great travel experience that gets them through the main door and into the terminal in just a few minutes.”

When Paine Field was first planned during the 1930s, it was supposed to be a commercial airport. Instead, it became a different economic engine tied to the aerospace industry in Snohomish County. But now that original goal is a reality: Paine Field is home to the nation’s newest passenger air terminal – and Alaska is helping lead the way.

Today, just three flights departed from Paine Field. By mid-March, we’ll have our full schedule of 18 daily nonstop departures to 8 West Coast destinations that are most popular with our guests. Horizon Air is providing the all-jet service on the Embraer 175 aircraft, which features first class and premium class seating.

Paine Field makes catching a flight easier for more than one million people living in North Puget Sound. Many will enjoy shorter commutes to the airport: more time in the air and less time on the roads, which will ease traffic congestion.

From Everett, our guests can to fly to eight West Coast cities: Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Orange County, California; Phoenix; Portland, Oregon; San Diego; San Francisco; and San Jose, California. Some destinations have several departures a day, such as Los Angeles with 4 daily roundtrips.

All photos by Alaska Airlines.

Alaska Airlines launches service from Paine Field today

The Paine Field Passenger Terminal from the parking lot.

Operator Propellor Airports issued this statement:

The much anticipated and newest commercial passenger service airport in the United States will open its doors today, as Alaska Airlines’ first flight departs Paine Field for Portland, Oregon. The airport ushers in a new era of air travel for the northern Seattle metro area, giving residents added choice and ease for their business and leisure travel while boosting the local economy.

The passenger terminal was designed and built through a partnership between Propeller Airports and Snohomish County. In addition to developing, financing and building the new terminal, Propeller will also operate it. United Airlines will begin service on March 31, bringing 24 total daily departures to nine destinations on the West Coast, and as far east as Denver.

“The first commercial flight from Paine Field is the realization of five years of hard work and more than a decade of commitment by Propeller to the idea of privately developing a commercial airport in a major metro area with a hub that is at capacity,” said Brett Smith, CEO of Propeller. “For the flying public this is about more options with tremendous convenience and less headaches, and equally important to us – it represents a restoration of civility to the airport experience. We’re excited to share that vision with passengers starting today.”

“We are so proud to be part of such a strong partnership that delivered a vital new resource to the Puget Sound region: a state-of-the-art passenger terminal that will benefit our economy as much as passengers,” said Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers.

“The direct connection to major gateways in the western United States marks a new chapter for the City of Everett. Paine Field will continue to bring jobs and prosperity to the entire region,” said Mayor of Everett Cassie Franklin. “We’re delighted to be part of this historic day and to welcome the first passengers.”

The passenger terminal recently received the National Council on Public Private Partnership’s Innovation Award and has been called “the best airport in the United States” by CNN Travel, thanks to the terminal’s automated ticketing kiosks, upscale lounge-style waiting areas, higher end design and bespoke food options.

“Alaska Airlines greatly appreciates the tremendous partnership with Propeller Airports to bring commercial air service to Paine Field. This is a historic moment,” said Andrew Harrison, Alaska Airlines’ chief commercial officer. “We’re very excited to be able to offer our guests 18 daily nonstop flights between Everett and eight highly popular West Coast destination. Also, from our international gateway airports in San Francisco and Los Angeles, we can connect travelers from North Puget Sound both domestically and internationally with nearly all of our 15 Global Partners to 900 destinations worldwide.”

Monday also marks the start of operations for Propeller’s operations partners: McGee Air Services (baggage handling), Republic Parking (parking & valet services), and Enterprise Holdings (car rentals), Avis Rent A Car, Uber, Lyft, as well as Beecher’s Cheese, the legendary Seattle-based restaurant that will serve as the terminal’s exclusive concessions partner. Upper Case, a new restaurant and bar, will open with a special menu Monday and Beecher’s will additionally open a grab and go restaurant and Caffe Vita later this month.

“We love being a part of a traveler’s special experience as they pass through an airport, and Paine Field is an upscale terminal that represents an exciting new opportunity to do just that here in Everett,” said Kurt Beecher Dammeier, the founder of Beecher’s Handmade Cheese.

Alaska Airlines unveils its new Airbus cabins


Alaska Airlines made this announcement on its blog:

Today, we’re excited to take you inside our retrofitted Airbus aircraft. Months of research, focus groups and iteration went into the new cabin, but we started by asking a single question: What makes you comfortable on a plane?

Turns out, your comfort is about a lot more than ergonomics, though that’s part of it. You want to feel more in control – control of your space, your belongings and, ultimately, your flight experience.

“Our goal is not to be different for different’s sake,” explained Sangita Woerner, Alaska Airlines vice president of marketing. “We want to be different for our guests – and we believe the details matter.”

We continued to iterate with our partners until we got it right. The new design takes your comfort to heart – with custom memory foam seats, tablet holders to fit your mobile device of choice, headrests with six adjustable settings and more.

“Comfort is about the seamlessness of all interactions you have on board,” said Johannes Lampela, BMW Designworks director of design, who worked on the cabin retrofit. “The modern traveler wants to be in control, not dictated by their space. This means they need to have freedom to put things in different places.”

Here’s a closer look at the thoughtful touches throughout the new cabin:

Calming colors 

first class Inside our new cabin: Thoughtful touches for the modern traveler

uniforms Inside our new cabin: Thoughtful touches for the modern traveler

“We wanted a calming environment because travel can be so stressful,” Woerner said. “You should feel comfortable and welcome the moment you step on board.”

For this reason, we opted for neutral colors, blending warm and cool grays and blues. When you walk from the front to the back of the plane, the colors transition from lighter to darker shades, creating a spacious first impression and a sense of depth. The goal was to produce a space that’s pleasing on the eye no matter where you’re seated.

To infuse our brand personality into the space, brighter brand colors are used as accents. Pops of fun blues can be found in elements such as the seat-back literature, mood lighting and flight attendants’ uniforms, working together to create a cohesive look. 

One-of-a-kind seats

main cabin seat Inside our new cabin: Thoughtful touches for the modern traveler

headrest Inside our new cabin: Thoughtful touches for the modern traveler

To ensure optimal comfort, our seats were tested by people sitting on them for hours at a time, mimicking a long-haul flight.

The cushions are hand-cut out of several memory foam parts, creating a design unique to Alaska Airlines.

You’ll also find a six-way adjustable headrest, accommodating more body types and giving you more control.

First class luxuries

first class luxuries Inside our new cabin: Thoughtful touches for the modern traveler

We took great care to ensure our first class guests get a remarkable experience as soon as they walk on the plane.

When you think of a premium vehicle seat, chances are you think of a car, not a plane. To bring in a feeling of luxury, we looked to the automotive industry for inspiration.

“For our first class seats, we wanted a sports car, performance-driven look,” Woerner said. “We’re a performance-driven, on-time airline, so this was important to us.”

first class seat Inside our new cabin: Thoughtful touches for the modern traveler

We carefully considered the materials and shape of the memory-foam cushion. A mix of textiles and quilting techniques were used for the seat covers to create a richer look, much like you’d find in a luxury car.

“Alaska wanted the first class seats to feel like a seamless transition from your premium vehicle,” said Martin Rehmet, regional sales director of German seat manufacturer Recaro. “The sculpted seat hugs more of your body and back.”

In their ergonomic and sleeping studies, Recaro looked at the first class seat cushion from all angles to figure out the best way to support a passenger’s feet and bring them into a relaxed position.

foot rest Inside our new cabin: Thoughtful touches for the modern traveler

“A footrest is the best option to support people of varying heights,” said Rehmet. “It’s also more supportive, visible and intuitive to use than a leg rest.”

In addition to a foot rest, the first class seat features cup holders – conveniently placed in the arm rest – and a side pocket for storing your reading material.

Every seat in the aircraft also has a custom tablet holder (see below) and a stretchy mesh seatback pocket to give you more flexibility to use the space as you see fit.

A multitasker’s seatback 

There’s no question: the modern traveler wants to be able to multitask. Whether watching a show while texting a friend, or sending emails while charging your phone – you want to be able to utilize more than one screen or device at a time.

tablet holder Inside our new cabin: Thoughtful touches for the modern traveler

To make our seats more conducive to multitasking, we built a custom tablet holder at eye level that can adjust to fit most mobile devices. A clip slides up and down, allowing you to find the right fit, and a non-slip shelf folds down to keep your device secure.

“It’s not a question of whether people want to bring their own device – they do,” said Recaro’s Rehmet. “We made the tablet holder more accommodating than you’ll find on other major domestic carriers.”

To enable easy charging of your device while it’s in use, the new seatbacks also feature a USB port next to the tablet holder. A power outlet remains under the tray table.

By keeping your mobile device in a hands-free position at optimal viewing height, the tray table is left open for food and other essentials. In premium class, you’ll find an additional cup holder in a more protected spot.

The seatback pocket is also bigger and more forgiving, made with a stretchy, see-through fabric. Taken together, these elements give you more freedom and control to use the space as you please.

Starting this month, guests flying on Alaska Airlines will experience a comfortable and modern new cabin, as the West Coast airline shifts into high gear retrofitting its Airbus fleet. The upgraded cabin is the result of two years of customer research and combines the best features of Alaska Airlines and Virgin America, along with many thoughtful enhancements to make the travel journey comfortable, hassle-free and productive.

“Just two years after acquiring Virgin America, we’re thrilled to introduce a modern cabin that aligns the onboard experience across our fleet,” said Ben Minicucci, president and COO at Alaska Airlines. “After extensive feedback from our guests and in collaboration with our partners, we’ve infused the Alaska Airlines cabin with key brand elements from Virgin America – the result is a premium experience at an affordable price.”

Alaska’s new cabin features include:

  • Refreshed color palette from the updated bulkhead design to the carpet, bringing in neutral tones that are associated with relaxing environments against pops of Alaska’s signature blue.
  • Ambient mood lighting with calming, cool blue hues developed by lighting and color experts to complement the human body’s natural circadian rhythm. The result is lighting that changes throughout the flight to promote an uplifting energy during the day and calming energy into the evening.
  • Advanced high-speed satellite Wi-Fi by Gogo will deliver faster connection speeds, including the ability to stream content from popular services like Netflix or HBOGo.
  • Redesigned first class Recaro seats that evoke the feeling of both performance and comfort, like a luxury car. The sculpted design features memory foam and a 40″ pitch, along with footrests to support guests of varying heights.
  • Ergonomically-friendly tablet holders at each seat that accommodate most tablets and smartphones. The holders free up tray table space and an added shelf keeps devices in prime viewing position. Flexible mesh pockets also allow for easy access to essentials during the flight.
  • Upgraded premium and main cabin seats now feature memory foam for added comfort.
  • Conveniently-placed and tilted power outlets at every seat (USB & 110V) that allow guests to easily locate and charge two devices at once. The electrical boxes under the middle seat have been relocated to provide more personal space for guests.
  • Curated, onboard music program with a cool West Coast vibe that complements the relaxing and modern ambiance.
  • Cup holders throughout first class and premium class, so that guests can multi-task while they savor a craft beer, wine, or cocktail and have full use of the tray table.

Alaska’s Airbus fleet of A319, A320 and A321 aircraft are being updated in phases this year and by early 2020, 36 percent of the mainline fleet will feature the new cabin interior – including the entire Airbus fleet, Boeing 737-700s and three new Boeing MAX 9 planes. The retrofitted planes will bring consistency to the guest experience across the Alaska fleet, and expand the First Class and Premium Class sections with 12-seats and 24-seats respectively, offering more guests the option of an elevated experience. Alaska will take delivery of its first MAX 9 this summer, which will feature the new cabin interiors.

Alaska is adding this decal on its aircraft by the front door:

Photos: Mark Durbin.

“Our guests are at the center of everything we do,” said Andrew Harrison, Alaska Airlines’ executive vice president and chief commercial officer. “From relaxing in our lounges to being in the air, we know travelers want more control and comfort, while also enjoying the same low fares and great service. So that’s exactly what we did – we created a relaxing travel experience, so that our guests can focus on where they’re going and leave the rest to us.”

The new cabin is part of a series of investments Alaska has made to its onboard offering over the last 12 months, which includes advanced, high-speed satellite Wi-Fi, free chat, free movies and entertainment, and a new rotating seasonal menu. The menu offerings feature fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and feel-good snack and beverage options from beloved West Coast brands including Salt & Straw, Luke’s Organic and Fremont Brewing. By 2020, the majority of the mainline fleet will have the new satellite Wi-Fi installed.

The unveiling of the new cabin interior comes on the heels of Alaska Airlines’ plans for a new 8,500-square-foot rooftop lounge at San Francisco International Airport’s Terminal 2. Featuring stunning views of the San Francisco Bay, the lounge will feature warm finishes and a modern and welcoming vibe, along with generous amenities such as hand-crafted Starbucks beverages, made-to-order meals for purchase and an expansive bar program featuring local Bay Area draught beers and West Coast wines. The Lounge is expected to open in 2020.

In addition, as part of Alaska’s multi-year investment to refresh and expand its Lounge portfolio, the new flagship 15,800-square-foot lounge at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport will open in the next few months. Alaska is also renovating its Lounges in Anchorage, Alaska, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon. These renovations are expected to be completed in the next few months and will include a new barista station, made-to-order meals and additional seating, as well as an updated look-and-feel.

Alaska Airlines’ new advertising campaign

Alaska Airlines has unveiled a new advertising campaign. The airline unleashed a series of 15-second ads in the brand’s new “Fly smart. Land happy.” campaign. The new advertising campaign stresses getting more with the airline.