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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Update 6:20 p.m., April 16

The Menzies Aviation ramp agent has been permanently banned from ever working on any Alaska Airlines flights.

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You’ve got your boarding pass on your phone. You self-tagged your bags and dropped them off with the nice agent at the counter. And you’ve only been at the airport for five minutes. You’ve got this down, you’re ready to be on that plane and go. But wait, the hard part’s not over. You still have to get through security.

Sound familiar? For many people, one of the biggest pain points of flying is getting through the security screening. The lines always seem to be long, it’s a pain to take your shoes off, pull your laptop out of your bag and put everything back together again afterward, and there’s always that guy just ahead of you who’s doing this for the first time and hadn’t quite prepared for it.

Somehow there’s a select group of people who get their own, quicker line and manage to get through with a lot less fuss. How do you get into this “elite” club? The answer: apply for the TSA’s PreCheck program.

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By Ray Prentice, director of customer advocacy, Alaska Airlines

We wanted to reach out to you, our customers, to address a recent situation involving a customer whose travel was interrupted in Lihue, Hawaii.

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Phil and Jackie Pope.

As Phil Pope recovered from a stroke at a hospital near Seattle, the retired Alaska Airlines captain had a hankering for one particular thing: Chinese food from Pagoda Restaurant in North Pole, Alaska.

That’s where he and wife Jackie Pope, an Alaska Airlines flight attendant, planned to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary Feb. 11, near the rustic cabin where they live every summer.

Instead, Phil’s medical emergency grounded him in the intensive care unit at MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, Washington – more than 1,500 miles away from the famous honey-walnut shrimp that earned Pagoda chef Benny Lin a spot on Guy Fieri’s TV show “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.”

Since the Popes couldn’t travel to North Pole, their friends reasoned, why not send the food to them?

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By Ben Raker, Alaska Airlines Magazine, and Halley Knigge, Alaska Airlines

A window that harnesses solar energy and sends electricity down its edge to feed the power grid; a hair dye with gold particles that limits the need for reapplications and reduces the chemicals sent down drains; road barriers that use old tires otherwise destined to be burned or sent to landfills—these are among the many concepts developed by entrepreneurial student teams in an annual competition hosted by the University of Washington Foster School of Business.

The 7-year-old competition is operating for the first time this year as the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge, in honor of the airline’s commitment to a decade of event sponsorship. The challenge calls for each team to define an environmental problem, find a solution to the problem, and present the market opportunity and impact potential of their solution, along with a working prototype.

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News alert: Internet connectivity

Update 11:35 p.m.

An earlier network outage has been restored. Customers are now able to book, change and check in for flights at alaskaair.com.

An Internet connectivity issue at 8 p.m. temporarily delayed 22 flights scheduled to depart between 9:45 – 11 p.m. by up to an hour. All systems were restored by 11:20 p.m. and we are working to restore our operation.

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This vintage photo of a skis-equipped Alaska Airlines DC-3 is from Ron Suttell’s personal collection.

Alaska Airlines has been known for a lot of firsts. First airline to offer booking tickets on the Internet and first airline to guarantee your bags arrive on time. But passengers today would do a double-take if they had seen one of Alaska’s early firsts—first airline certified by the FAA to take off and land a Douglas DC-3 on skis!

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For the month of April, we're offering Alaskan Brewing Company's Icy Bay IPA on all flights for only $5.

By Joe Sprague, senior vice president of communications and external relations for Alaska Airlines

Raise your hand if you like beer. If your arm shot up, I’m with you. Like a lot of folks, I really enjoy a nice craft beer: an amber, a pale ale and, increasingly, an IPA. Beyond the hoppy deliciousness, enjoying a microbrew is another example of how great it is to live in this beautiful corner of the world. With Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington rating among the top 10 states in the nation for microbreweries per capita, there’s a strong argument to be made that this is the center of the craft-beer universe.

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We get it: long flights can be boring. Enter Alaska Beyond™ Entertainment – a new service that enables you to watch hit TV shows, movies, and exclusive content from Alaska on your own device at cruising altitude.

We’ve been upgrading our Boeing 737 fleet with direct-to-your-device entertainment, and today are thrilled to announce we’re just five planes away from completion.

But how does it work?

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