When a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal April 25, Alaska Airlines flight attendant Sil Wong-Underwood knew it was time to get packed.

She’s been a rescue operations volunteer with disaster response nonprofit EMPACT Northwest for the past five years, and when the United Nations asked for search and rescue teams to gather in Kathmandu, Wong-Underwood and team answered the call.

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Petersburg Harbor

Tucked beneath the clouds that often cover Southeast Alaska is the small fishing town of Petersburg, located on Mitkof Island. With a population of 3,209 year-round residents, there are three canneries that bring in an additional 800 people during the summer months. And at first glance, there appears to be more boats in the harbor than people in the town.

Not only is Petersburg home to one of the largest fisheries in Southeast Alaska, but it is also known as Alaska’s “Little Norway,” with many of its residents tracing their roots to Norwegian heritage.

Although local Tlingit Native tribes had been fishing off the beaches of Mitkof Island for thousands of years, it was during the 19th Century that Peter Buschmann, a Norwegian, set his sights on Mitkof Island and deemed it the perfect place for a salmon cannery, using the icebergs from the nearby LeConte Glacier to keep the fish cool.

Today, many descendants of Buschmann and those who followed him from Norway to Alaska still reside in Petersburg, and the celebration of Norwegian Constitution Day has turned into Petersburg’s largest celebration of the year.

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A note to graduates


(John Froschauer/PLU)

By Brad Tilden, Alaska Airlines CEO

This speech was originally given by Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden this spring at the University of Alaska Southeast commencement in Juneau, Alaska.

As seniors from my own alma mater Pacific Lutheran University prepare to line up for graduation today (Go Lutes!), I wanted to share with all of this year’s graduates three lessons I’ve learned from others through my own travels in life.

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AF Pauline 1

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 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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mountain biking 3

By Kurt Repanshek,

Kurt Repanshek is founder and editor-in-chief of the award-winning, 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

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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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acme feed and seed

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 When she’s not writing about Justin Bieber for radio prep service, 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

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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