Emily Thomas is an outdoor explorer with roots in both Seattle and San Diego, who loves creating stories through her adventures. She just returned from an Instagram takeover in Nashville as part of Alaska’s Weekend Wanderer series. For more Weekend Wanderer posts, make sure you’re following Alaska Airlines on Instagram.

By Emily Thomas, Seattle, Washington

Nashville, also known as “Nowville” truly is the place to be. Coming to Nashville as Alaska Airlines’ “Weekend Wanderer,” I wasn’t sure what to expect. The city remains traditionally southern, but has a young, vibrant, hip culture with a passion for pursuing a multitude of creative fields.

After visiting, if I had to choose one thing that characterizes Nashville, it would be the people. Everyone I encountered was so warm and welcoming. I even made new friends just waiting outside of the airport. When I told people I was here visiting, they instantly had a list of “must-sees” and restaurants I should try. Some even invited me to join them for dinner, which I gladly accepted. Although the Nashville metropolitan area has more than 1.7 million people, it is not uncommon to walk into a coffee shop and see someone you know. When you’re in Nashville, you’re family.

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Yes THAT Nordstrom tire story

FAI 1950s Wiki Commons

By Paul Frichtl, Alaska Airlines Magazine

As a 16-year-old Nordstrom sales associate in the late 1970s, Craig Trounce was a legend in the making. That’s when he was working in the retailer’s Fairbanks store, and an old miner walked in with a pair of dirty, worn tires. The man had purchased the tires several years earlier, and had been told that if they didn’t work out for him, he could return them.

In 1975, Nordstrom had purchased local retailer Northern Commercial, which at the time sold tires. The man had a case to make, on a promise made in that very building, never mind that the space was now filled with pleated slacks and button-down Oxford shirts.

Trounce’s priority was to do right by the customer. He called a local tire dealer, came up with a fair value for the used tires—$25 for the pair—and paid the man out of the till. A legend was born.

Decades later, Trounce is Alaska Airlines’ customer service manager based in Honolulu.

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The Seattle music scene doesn’t disappoint. After Nirvana, Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters found their success it seemed like artists flocked to the Emerald City and the music scene became one of the most cherished parts of Seattle culture.

Alaska Airlines passengers can now get a real taste of that culture while inflight. “Band in Seattle,” featuring local artists and bands, will now air on Alaska Beyond Entertainment giving passengers a look into real, local art.

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Ryan Thayne is an adventurer and photographer living outside of Salt Lake City, Utah who has a love for the outdoors. See why TIME Magazine named him one of the Top 50 Instagram accounts to follow. He just returned from an Instagram takeover in Seattle as a part of Alaska’s Weekend Wanderer series. For more Weekend Wanderer posts, make sure you’re following Alaska Airlines on Instagram.

By Ryan Thayne, Salt Lake City, Utah

No doubt, Alaska flies to some of the most beautiful places in the country which are easy to explore in a week or a weekend. As a nature photographer, I carefully select where I want to be for sunrise and sunset and then use the time in between to explore. Since the flight from Salt Lake to Seattle and drive to Mount Rainier took less than four hours, I decided to plan my three day trip wandering around two of Washington’s most noted peaks – Mount Rainier and the Space Needle.

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la jolla 2

Take a 24-hour eating tour of San Diego? Sounds like a job for an over-energized 20-something on an empty stomach.

From a morning breakfast on the beach to a night cap downtown, San Diego is the perfect place to explore and play, live like a 20-something and taste-tour the city for a day.

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By Daniel Chun, regional manager, sales & community marketing – Hawai‘i

Last night, Alaska Airlines announced gifts totaling $100,000 to two local organizations in Hawai‘i, in support of youth, education and environmental stewardship. The announcements were made during an event at the Moana Surfrider in Waikiki, which honored Alaska’s community partners throughout the state.

From day one, when Alaska first started service to Hawai‘i in October 2007, our relationship with the Islands has always been more than just business.

Our company was born in a region where air service is integral to the way of life, much like here in the Islands. We understand the importance of reliable, dependable air service for kama‘aina (local Hawai’i residents) and feel a great affinity for Hawai‘i because of our similar cultures. Our commitment to caring for our communities, our customers, our environment and each other is a fundamental part of who we are and what we do. In tight-knit communities like Alaska and Hawai‘i, this is ever more important.

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Empire State Building at night

Today Alaska Airlines launches daily nonstop service from Seattle to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, complementing Alaska’s existing twice-daily service to nearby Newark Liberty International Airport.

To celebrate the new flight, Alaska and Horizon Air employees share their favorite travel tip for visiting the Big Apple. Check out restaurant, activity and transportation suggestions and start planning your own adventure to the city that never sleeps.

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Asking the love-of-your-life to marry you is nerve-wracking enough. Add an audience of over 100 people you don’t know, a loudspeaker and an altitude of 30,000 feet and its right up there on the stress meter. But Alaska passenger Brian Connell overcame his fears last month and asked his girlfriend Cassandra to marry him—with a bit of help from some great match-making Alaska Airlines employees.

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Russell Wilson boat DSC_0823

The newest Alaska Airlines commercials featuring Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson launched today, just in time for kickoff of football season.

The theme is “Alaska Airlines Company Retreat,” a camp where employees are pushed to greatness by Wilson, who plays a role that’s part counselor, part drill sergeant, part guru.

“These are some pretty creative commercials,” Wilson said during a break from a scene that had him holding a chainsaw and a carved wooden hawk statue (which will make a lot more sense after you watch the ads).

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Alaska Airlines CEO signs a certificate initiating President Barack Obama into the "Arctic Circle Club."

When President Barack Obama announced plans to visit the state of Alaska, the entire state was buzzing with rumors and suspicions as to where he would go. Many suspected Dutch Harbor, some had heard that it would be Barrow. Others suspected Kotzebue. But when Kotzebue Station Manager Dawn Carl received a phone call from the White House, she knew that rumors of the visit were true. Those rumors became reality on Sept. 2, when Air Force One touched down in Kotzebue – the first time a current U.S. president had been north of the Arctic Circle.

Often when customers travel to a destination above the Arctic Circle, Alaska Airlines will surprise them with a certificate signifying their induction to the “Arctic Circle Club.” All of the certificates are signed by Alaska Airlines President and CEO Brad Tilden.

Although the president flew on his own plane into Kotzebue, Tilden thought it would be fitting to recognize President Obama as part of the select group that is the Arctic Circle Club. Tilden signed an Arctic Circle Club card for the president today. While there are no membership benefits to the club, other than bragging rights, the decorative certificates have been available to customers who make the long journey to the Arctic for half a century.

Alaska Airlines serves three communities above the Arctic Circle: Kotzebue, Barrow and Prudhoe Bay.

Have you joined the Arctic Circle Club?


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