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Flying can be a stressful experience. It’s even tougher when you’re responsible for other people, especially if those people are small children. To help ease the stress of your travel day, here are a few useful tips.

Before travel

Reserve seats early

For large families or parties with small children, getting everyone together can be a challenge, so make sure you reserve your seats as soon as you book your flight. If you book through a third party or online travel agency, double-check that your seat requests are confirmed by navigating to alaskaair.com, then clicking on the “Manage” tab on the homepage.

Read more: How to snag a better seat on the airplane.

If you don’t reserve your seats in advance, they will be assigned by a computer program, taking into account the many rules surrounding where children and infants are allowed to sit. On full flights, this can result in families being split up if they haven’t reserved their seats in advance.

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Ever wonder about the white cheese featured in Alaska Airlines’ Signature Fruit and Cheese Platter, and where you can get it? This is how a Seattle shop began selling 100,000 pounds of locally-made cheese to Alaska every year.

What was Seattle missing before 2002? According to Beecher’s Handmade Cheese founder Kurt Beecher Dammeier, a hometown artisan cheese shop. Which was the void Dammeier aimed to fill when he acquired a space at Pike Place Market in 2002.

“I didn’t even know if it was legal to make cheese there when I bought the place,” Dammeier said.

About a year later, he opened Beecher’s and nearly every day since, the corner store has been full of locals and tourists enjoying everything from cheese curds to rich and comforting mac and cheese.

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FA fights childhood cancer-Gail Lopez and Kate at game

When Gail Lopez’s daughter was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (a rare aggressive bone cancer) in 2011, the flight attendant’s life changed forever. In nine short days, her 12-year-old Kate went from being an exuberant athlete sprinting down the soccer field to a helpless child in a hospital bed having the first of many rounds of chemotherapy injected into her little body.

“I wanted to do everything I could for Kate, but at the same time realized that there weren’t that many treatments available for childhood cancers,” said Lopez. For example, the chemotherapy treatment (with harmful side effects) was developed 30 years ago.

As Lopez learned during her daughter’s courageous battle, people were just not aware of the need for research and development of therapies to fight childhood cancers. The funding simply wasn’t there.

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Among the most popular benefits of the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card is the annual companion fare. This is a discounted fare of $121 ($99 plus taxes and fees from $22) that can be used on just about any Alaska Airlines itinerary. Cardholders also enjoy a free checked bag for themselves and up to six other passengers (so a total of seven) in their reservation, triple miles on Alaska purchases, and a mile for every dollar spent on every day purchases, and as of June 1, 2016, the credit card no longer has foreign transaction fees.

There are many ways to maximize the value of the companion fare and potentially save hundreds of dollars on air travel each year.

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I’m an island girl. I love the sun, sea, and sand. And I’m lucky—because I work for an airline, I can run off to Hawaii for the weekend, which I’ve done more than 20 times.

Maui is my favorite getaway. There are so many beautiful beaches within easy reach. And if I get the urge to leave the water, there’s a lot to explore. I’ve been to Maui at least six times, and I’ve done something new each time. Here are some of my favorites.

More Hawaii: 5 must-do’s on Hawaii’s Big Island | 5 must-do’s on Kauai, Hawaii’s Garden Island

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Pokemon Go at Sea-Tac Airport

By now you’ve all heard the stories (and seen the YouTube videos!). People falling into canals, driving into trees and trespassing on private property in their quest to catch that elusive Vaporeon or Porygon.

Yes, we’re talking about Pokémon Go. Sure, you’re pretty unlikely to encounter an open body of water during an airport travel day (maybe a big puddle on an extra rainy Seattle morning). And, catching a few Pokémon or stocking up at the plethora of airport PokéStops is actually a pretty brilliant way to spend a layover. But beware: overly focused Pokémon trainers are likely to cause traffic jams and annoy their fellow fliers.

Here are four tips for staying safe, keeping yourself out of trouble and scoring maximum Pokéballs the next time you travel, from Alaska Airlines’ top Pokémon trainers:

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No trail is too tough to master for professional mountain biker, Geoff Gulevich. Residing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Geoff is an outdoors enthusiast who always has his fiancé, Brianna, and Go-Pro traveling by his side. He just returned from an Instagram takeover in Bend, Oregon as part of Alaska Airlines’ Weekend Wanderer series. For more Weekend Wanderer posts, make sure you’re following Alaska Airlines on Instagram.

When Alaska Airlines reached out about a weekend adventure to Bend, Oregon, my fiancée Brianna and I leapt at the opportunity to explore. I have many friends in town who tell me constantly that I have to visit and see what Central Oregon has to offer.

We wanted to make the most of our weekend, and caught the first flight out of Vancouver, British Columbia at 6 a.m., arriving in Bend at about 9:30 a.m.

On our way to Bend, Oregon. Ready to see everything there is to offer in and outside of town!

On our way to Bend, Oregon. Ready to see everything there is to offer in and outside of town!

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Campers from the Museum of Flight's Aerospace Camp Experience arrive on the first passenger flight of Alaska Airlines' brand-new, custom painted "Celebration of Boeing" 737 on June 30, 2016.

Twenty-five fourth and fifth graders recently had the flight of their lives. They were part of a select group of people invited to be on the very first passenger flight of a brand new Alaska Airlines 737-900ER with a special paint job celebrating Boeing’s 100th birthday.

The students were part of a summer camp at the Museum of Flight that encourages youth to pursue degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (S.T.E.M.). Joining them on the flight were four former governors of Washington along with the CEOs of Alaska Airlines and Boeing Commercial Airplanes to experience a flight of a lifetime.

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There are dozens of comic book conventions around the United States each year, drawing tens of thousands of visitors from cities near and far. Later this month, an estimated 130,000 people will travel to Southern California for the long-running, iconic Comic-Con International: San Diego. In October, more than 150,000 will visit New York Comic Con, with many more in between, in cities from Vancouver, British Columbia to Raleigh, North Carolina.

Kara and Tony Moore

Kara and Tony Moore

Tony and Kara Moore are a comic book power couple who estimate they’ve traveled to more than 100 comic book conventions over the years. Tony is an Eisner Award-nominated artist and co-creator of The Walking Dead and Battle Pope. Kara is Tony’s wife and business manager. At their peak, they’ve averaged 12-15 conventions per year and today co-own and operate a “con” of their own with two partners.

In the Q&A below, the Moores talk cons and offer insider tips for attendees of all levels – from comic con “newbs” to autograph-gathering pros.

TL;DR? Download these checklists inspired by the Q&A below to ensure you navigate your next convention like a pro: Comic con tips for attendees | Comic con tips for artists

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Irv Bertram

Irv Bertram (pictured above) has handled the paperwork for Alaska’s aircraft purchases for the past four decades.


In the 50 years Alaska Airlines has been buying and flying Boeing planes, acquiring aircraft has never been easier.

First, the airline has the cash to buy jets fresh off the assembly line in Renton. Second, Alaska is close to Boeing – both in proximity and in our longtime business relationship. The Seattle Delivery Center at Boeing Field is less than 10 miles north of Alaska’s Corporate Headquarters.

It wasn’t always this simple.

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