We hope you can appreciate the adage “good things come to those who wait,” because we have an update to pass along about our planned flights at Paine Field.

Several key groups within the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which conduct crucial certification and oversight work required for the start of commercial air service at Paine Field, are subject to furloughs because of the government shutdown. The FAA’s work on the environmental assessment continues. However, essential work groups within the FAA are furloughed and further delays are expected if the shutdown continues.

It’s a tough decision, but we believe the responsible action is to postpone the start of service at Paine Field. Originally set for Feb. 11, 2019, we’re now scheduling service to begin on March 4 – subject to receipt of all required government approvals.

If you bought a ticket for a Paine Field flight, your first question might be: what now?
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There are a few famously great pairings in life: Mork and Mindy, ketchup and fries, movies and popcorn — and airplane flights and a beautiful glass of wine. This season, Alaska Airlines is introducing a new West Coast wine menu to complement their fresh-and-local seasonal cuisine.

Winter wine menu

  • First class: Chamisal Vineyards 2016 Stainless Chardonnay, Ranch 32 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Main cabin: Broken Earth 2014 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Canoe Ridge Exploration Chardonnay

This selection will continue to rotate, introducing new and interesting wines from the West Coast, where more than 90 percent of U.S. wine production occurs. Alaska Airlines has the most nonstop flights from the West Coast and is committed to partnering with noteworthy local winemakers. Read More

Myrcedes recently joined Alaska as a Lounge hospitality host, becoming our 10,000th employee in Washington state. Photo by Ingrid Barrentine.

New year, new job? On the heels of hiring our 10,000th employee in Washington state, we’re announcing our 2019 jobs forecast. We plan to add 3,000+ jobs, mostly frontline positions, across Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air in the next 12 months.

Three-quarters of the new jobs will reside in our home state.

We’re planning to hire a range of roles across different parts of Alaska and Horizon, including maintenance technicians, airport operations, pilots, customer service, cargo and flight attendants. A majority of the new jobs, which will be posted online at https://alaskaair.jobs and https://horizonair.jobs, do not require previous airline experience.
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People commonly associate cranberries with the sweet side dish — sometimes saucy and sometimes gelatinous — that follows turkey around a holiday table, almost as an afterthought. Yet the little red fruits have so much more to offer and can be found in a variety of recipes, including Alaska Airlines’ Cranberry-Ginger Smoothie, all winter long.

Loaded with antioxidants and naturally low in sugar, the berries pack anti-inflammatory compounds and provide a powerful immune-system boost in the form of vitamin C. They also are positively bursting with tart flavor that pairs well with many other seasonal foods.
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If there’s one thing we put above all else it’s safety. We’ve just been named among the top-20 safest airlines in the world for 2019 by AirlineRatings.com. For us, this recognition means a lot because it speaks to our commitment to keep you safe, every time you fly with us.

“Safety is our top priority and is firmly ingrained in our culture as we are personally committed to the safety of our guests and one another,” said Max Tidwell, Alaska Airlines vice president of safety and security.
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I’ve been an Alaska Airlines MVP Gold member for several years, and before that I earned status with other airline loyalty programs, too. I hope you’ll believe me when I say that earning status with Alaska Mileage Plan is one of the easier experiences I’ve had. It is different from the competition, but I consider it different it a good way.

As you set New Year’s resolutions, consider adding elite status to your list. Here are four ways to make it happen in 2019:

1. Fly the distance

You’re probably familiar with award miles already. Airlines issue them. Credit cards issue them. There are lots of ways to earn miles for future award travel redemptions. But elite status is different. You need to earn a different kind of mileage, called elite-qualifying miles.
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Before heading into the New Year, we’re pausing to celebrate.

Mileage Plan members went the distance in 2018. A whopping 19 million flights were flown on Alaska, Horizon and our Global Partner airlines – all earning miles for our members. This includes the 338,480 miles racked up by one traveler (thanks, Richard).

Whether you’re an MVP Gold or still working toward elite status, it’s fun to see where fellow members traveled using their hard-earned miles.

20190117 YIR Gen Cities r Where were the most miles spent in 2018?

This year, award travel to Phoenix, Las Vegas and San Diego led the way. Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County and Juneau rounded out the top-eight destinations.
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Buckle your seat belt, fasten your tray table and … start watching “Rampage”?

That’s right, the second most-watched movie on Alaska Beyond™ Entertainment this year features an albino gorilla who turns into a raging, enormous creature.

In fact, the top 10 movies chosen among hundreds of choices were mostly hard-hitting, action-packed releases:
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I know this trip is going to be special as soon as I step into the airport and am greeted by a reindeer.

Well, not a real reindeer, of course – though the taxidermy figure perched proudly at the baggage carousel is life-like enough to make me gasp. Flanked by a gaggle of tiny, behatted gnomes, cotton-batting snow billows under its hooves. A few plastic evergreens loom in the distance, completing the scene.

No, I’m not in the North Pole, though an elf would blend in here. I’m in Finland, which you can fly to on Finnair, an Alaska Global Partner. Mileage Plan members can earn and redeem miles flying here from several U.S. destinations, including nonstop service from San Francisco to Helsinki.

I take a deep breath and step out into the arrivals hall in Kuusamo. It feels like Christmas. I smile to myself as I hop a cab to my hotel.

I shouldn’t have been so surprised at the festive welcome. Kuusamo, a ski resort town located in the northern part of the country, is a mere 120 miles from Rovaniemi, the hometown of Santa Claus. It’s also part of Finnish Lapland, the sparsely populated cultural and geographical region known for its sub-zero temperatures and idyllic landscapes.

But I’m not here to go skiing or to visit Father Christmas. Instead, I’ve come to meet some reindeer. Real ones.
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Whether you want to worship the sun or get your cold on, taking a long-distance trip in the winter months can yield all kinds of new adventures – and help you burn all those miles you’ve racked up. Did you know Mileage Plan members can earn and redeem miles while flying internationally on Alaska’s partner airlines?

From tropical climates and snow-covered lands to magnificent cities and off-the-beaten-track cultures, here are six places to consider.
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