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In July 2014, Mike Rogers was given three months to live.

He’d been diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive tissue cancer. But Rogers and wife Betty weren’t willing to accept the prognosis.

“They told us he had three months to live,” says Betty. “We thought ‘No. No, no, no, no, no.’”

The Anchorage, Alaska, couple started to research, finding a cardiothoracic surgeon and expert on treating mesothelioma seemed to be the answer to their prayers. The only problem: he was based in Los Angeles; the Rogers, live thousands of miles north. And Mike was too sick to travel alone.

That’s when the Rogers learned of Angel Flight West – a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization that arranges free air travel for people with serious medical conditions. For patients in Alaska, all flights are on Alaska Airlines, which has contributed more than $12 million in in-kind donations to the organization since 1986.

Want to help? Donate miles today, by visiting alaskaair.com/charitymiles and selecting Angel Flight West from the drop-down menu.

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More than 1,000 high school students learned about careers in aviation from industry professionals at the seventh annual Alaska Airlines Aviation Day on Saturday in Seattle and Portland.

“Each year at Aviation Day we hope to inspire youths to pursue careers in aviation,” said Captain William Korin, Aviation Day coordinator. “With our event, we can mentor and help the next generation of pilots, technicians, flight attendants, customer service agents, accountants, maybe even the next CEO to a rewarding career with Alaska Airlines.”

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By Kurt Repanshek, NationalParksTraveler.com

Kurt Repanshek is founder and editor-in-chief of the award-winning NationalParksTraveler.com, the nation’s leading website for editorially independent coverage of the National Park System. When not writing and directing coverage, you’ll most likely find him out hiking or paddling in the national parks.

Before man stood on the moon, he christened a rolling landscape of sandstone waves near Moab, Utah, as his playground.

Well, maybe not before, but definitely that same summer. The Slickrock Trail, though laid out for dirt bikes in 1969, soon morphed into a 10.2-mile-long loop that draws mountain bikers from across the world and made “Moab” a mythical destination for those who had yet to pedal the trail.

Ready to get outside? Explore outdoor adventure deals at alaskaair.com.

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First officer Peter Michels, Capt. Larry Packer

Update: 10 a.m. local time Friday in Seattle

A 53-pound king salmon was the catch of the day for three top chefs who competed for the best salmon recipe in this year’s sixth annual Copper Chef Cook-off.

img 0920 Follow the fish: Copper River salmon season is here

Congratulations to this year’s winner Ethan Stowell of Staple & Fancy and Tavolata.

Stowell competed against defending champion John Howie of Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar and Eric Tanaka of TanakaSan.

Hungry yet? Download the chefs’ 2015 Copper River salmon recipes here.

The three culinary craftsmen will have 30 minutes to prepare and serve the freshly caught salmon to a panel of four judges including Seattle Seahawks’ first and legendary quarterback Jim Zorn; Seattle Mariners Hall of Famer Jay Buhner; Seattle Storm President and General Manager Alisha Valavanis; and Alaska Air Cargo’s Managing Director Betsy Bacon.

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There aren’t many places in this world where you can hike a volcano, paddle a river rapids, surf a breathtaking beach, trek through a rain forest and have a monkey steal your lunch—all in one day. Costa Rica, Alaska Airlines’ newest international destination, is a tropical paradise and mecca for eco-tourism, and now it’s just a nonstop flight away from Los Angeles.

Ready to book your trip? Flights will be available for purchase for the new Costa Rica routes soon, pending approval by Costa Rican civil aviation authorities.

Christian Ramirez, a former employee of Alaska’s sister carrier Horizon Air, who now lives in Costa Rica, shares a few must-do’s with adventure-seeking travelers:

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By Keegan Prosser, Guest Writer

Keegan Prosser is a full-time pop culture junkie and part-time freelance music journalist who is based in Seattle and has contributed to Seattle Weekly and RollingStone.com. When she’s not writing about Justin Bieber for radio prep service ReelWorld.com, Keegan flies Alaska to cities with good food, great people and exceptional live music.

If you’ve lived in or around Seattle for a decent amount of time, you’ve probably made yourself familiar with the music-friendly options the Rainy City has to offer. But for those looking to expand their musical tastes, Alaska Airlines has an offer you can’t refuse: Direct flights from Seattle to Nashville, Tennessee beginning this fall.

Book your flight today: Alaska is launching nonstop flights from Seattle to Charleston, South Carolina; Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina; and Nashville this fall. Find flights at alaskaair.com.

Here are some things you should plan to check out when flying from the Rainy City to the Music City:

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Members of the U.S. military frequently have to move themselves and their families all over the country. Moving can be stressful to begin with, but that stress is compounded when a family pet is involved.

Alaska Air Cargo is helping to reduce moving costs for military personnel and their four-legged family members with a new discount, allowing active military members to ship their pets for $150 plus tax, no matter where they fly. The normal price to ship a dog on Alaska can range between $250 and $350 plus tax. Sometimes it can be as high as $600 to $700.

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The mobile team at Alaska Airlines is all about saving travelers time and hassle.

So when they received the developer kit for Apple’s brand-new Apple Watch – launching tomorrow – back in November, they couldn’t wait to get started.

Four months of planning, customer interviews, field trips to the airport and many, many sticky note sketches later, they are ready to launch a simple, beautiful, wearable companion to Alaska’s award-winning mobile app when the Apple Watch store launches April 24.

Don’t have the Alaska Airlines mobile app? Download it here: iPhone | Android | Windows Phone

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By Doug Branch, Captain, Alaska Airlines

Doug Branch’s interest in aviation began around the same time he could say the word “plane.” Captain Branch has deep roots in the Pacific Northwest, including growing up on Bainbridge Island and learning to fly at Eastern Washington’s Big Bend Community College. After three years flying for a commuter airline in the Midwest, Doug joined Alaska Airlines in 2001. doug-branch-ask-a-pilotAfter 14 years, he has a passion for doing things safely and efficiently and is honored to have the opportunity to educate passengers and to facilitate life’s great memories by getting them safely to where they need to go.

In the “Ask an Alaska Pilot” series, he will address common questions he gets from friends, family and travelers. Do you have a question you’ve been wanting to ask a pilot? Let us know in the comments and your question could be featured in a future post.

What’s your favorite airport to fly into, and why?

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Flight attendants are not only experts in onboard safety, but also know how to make the most of a visit to a new city. They also know that when you are in a new and exciting city every night, you can’t spend a fortune on each layover.

So how do flight attendants explore new places without breaking the bank?

Flight attendant Rai Adair has been flying for Alaska for four years and loves the adventure and discovery that come with the job. She shares her top five tips for exploring new destinations on a budget.

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