This weekend, our annual Fantasy Flight arrived at the “North Pole” to bring smiles and Christmas cheer to 66 children, many of whom live in shelters or transitional housing.

For most of the kids, it was their first time on an airplane. But Flight 1225 (as in “Dec. 25”), which departed Spokane, Washington for Santa’s hometown at 4:45 p.m. this Saturday, was just the opening act; the kids finished their special day at an elaborately decorated party – a true winter wonderland.

For kids who don’t have much, the special treatment provides a momentary lift this time of year – and memories to last a lifetime.

While happy spirits fill the air, there are many poignant reminders of the difficulty each child faces. Last year, after visiting a booth to select pajamas, one girl put on her purple PJs as fast as she could, near tears, because she’d never owned pajamas before.

Since 2008, Alaska Airlines has sponsored the annual Fantasy Flight, with many Alaska and Horizon employees volunteering as “elves” ready to make magic happen.
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By Bri Emory

If you have the chance to go to Ireland in the off-season, do it. I’d never been and loved so much about my recent trip: the beautiful scenery, the kind people, the food and cocktails, the pubs – and going in early November. Alaska Airlines has a program called #worldwidewanderer, where they send people all over the world to experience a new city and share their journey along the way. I truly love traveling and seeing new parts of the world, so it was an honor to be able to take this trip and share my travels.

dublin 2 Castles with charm, cocktails by candlelight: Ireland in the off season

Bri Emory (@designlovefest) visited Ireland this November.

My travel companion, Joanie, and I got to fly first class on Aer Lingus, which was a real treat! It felt like we started our Ireland experience as soon as we got on the plane in San Francisco, California. All of the staff was really friendly and served us scones, tea and delicious food. We were able to curl up in our seats, watch movies, drink wine and relax before hitting the ground running. Aer Lingus is also an Alaska Global Partner, which means you can earn miles as you travel!

Once we landed, we decided to drive around the country, so we could experience as much as possible in four days. I am happy we did because we saw so much.
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Update: 3:31 p.m. on Nov. 30, 2018

If you are traveling to and from Anchorage, Alaska, between Nov. 30, 2018 and Dec. 2, 2018, we are now offering a waiver if you would like to change or cancel your flight. More information can be found here.
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With turkey leftovers crammed in the fridge, we dash into the holiday season with bells on.

Or not.
shutterstock 1094945555 350px Holiday Lift Guide: Ideas for lifting people up
While some manage to finish their holiday shopping on Black Friday, many of us struggle to find the perfect gift for the people we love.

At Alaska, we talk a lot about lift – that gravity-defying moment when an airplane takes flight, and those small acts of kindness that turn a stressful travel experience around. This year, instead of a traditional gift guide, we’ve identified ways we can lift people up for the holidays.

The Alaska Airlines Holiday Lift Guide inspires uplifting experiences you can offer to those in your life who make yours a little easier. We believe small gestures have the power to make a big difference.
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I’d only been to the Tahoe House Bakery two times before, but the women behind the counter addressed me by my first name when I ordered a bacon cheddar scone and a decaf latte.

“Good morning, Jo.”

I smiled honestly, but nervously, caught off-guard by the familiarity and the friendliness. As I waited for my drink, I noticed she called everyone by their first names and I decided she must be a genius or a savant of some sort. Why was it so hard for me to believe someone was just friendly? Had I lived in New York and San Francisco for so long that I had forgotten what genuinely friendly people acted like?
tahoesign Tahoe City: Come for the world class skiing, stay for the small town vibe
It’s a vibe I’ve felt over and over since moving to Tahoe City, California for the winter. For years, my husband and I had visited for the skiing, but we recently moved for six months to enjoy the small town feel and slower pace of life. Maybe I did want strangers to call me by my first name.

When you think of iconic ski towns, you typically envision Park City, Aspen or Jackson Hole. That’s fair. But Tahoe City should be on the list too. In fact, it should be high up on the list and congratulated for its more low-key sensibilities. Despite the town’s modesty, there are few places in the world where you can ski 10 very different resorts within an hour of where you’re staying. And with a growing population, Tahoe City is home to a vibrant local community that offers so much more than just skiing and snowboarding.
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Alaska Air Group’s female independent board directors. From left: Phyllis Campbell, Patricia (Patty) Bedient (seated), Helvi Sandvik, Susan Li and Marion Blakey (seated).

‘It starts at the top’

Alaska Airlines Lead Director Patty Bedient is proud to serve on our board with 50 percent women, arguing diversity and inclusion starts at the top of an organization. We couldn’t agree more.

“It means we ‘walk the talk’ on diversity at the board level,” she says.

Today, Women Inc. Magazine recognized Bedient as well as Phyllis Campbell, Marion Blakey, Helvi Sandvik and Susan Li as five of the Most Influential Corporate Board Directors in 2018. At Alaska, we’re proud to be the only airline – and only West Coast Fortune 500 company – to achieve gender parity among independent board directors.
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If you live north of Seattle and throughout Snohomish County, we’re ready to make your day with some news you’ve probably been waiting to hear: We’re now selling tickets for 18 daily nonstop flights between Paine Field in Everett, Washington, and eight West Coast cities.

Say hello to Alaska flights at a more convenient, brand new airport terminal, and goodbye to a potentially much farther drive south to Sea-Tac Airport.

The first day of scheduled service is Feb. 11, 2019, subject to government approval. The all-jet service from Paine Field will be provided by Horizon Air flying the Embraer 175 aircraft featuring first class and premium class cabins. Read More

The week of Thanksgiving and the last two weeks of December. These are typically the busiest and most stressful times to travel. To prepare for another holiday season and deflect some of that stress, here’s eight tips to make your journey as smooth as possible.

1. Buy gifts for them, earn miles for you

20181114 ccspend hero 8 tips to keep the nice in your holiday travel

Comfort, joy, and a 10,000,000 mile giveaway. Your Alaska Airlines Visa® card gives you an automatic entry into our holiday giveaway with every purchase you make from November 14 through December 24. Grand prize: 1 Million Mileage Plan miles.

Plus, maximize your miles with Mileage Plan Shopping and earn up to 10 miles for every dollar spent at any of our 850+ retailers. Earn even more using your Alaska Visa® card. For complete details including Non-Purchase Entries, see Official Rules.*
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Whether I’m traveling for business or pleasure, I look for ways to relax and enjoy my time in the air, which typically involves enjoying a cold craft beer and a snack. Lucky for me, Alaska Airlines’ beer menu offers nothing but craft beer. The company’s rotating West Coast brews – along with a new line of feel-good retail snacks – pleases a variety of palates with a range of choices.

When considering beer and snack options, I approach my decisions the same way whether on the ground or in the air. I peruse the beer menu, make my decision and then look for a snack to accompany the flavor attributes of my beer. As I whiz across the sky at cruising altitude, I want to feel like I’m relaxing at the local pub.
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As an officer and Black Hawk pilot in the U.S. Army, Constance von Muehlen commanded an Apache Air Cavalry Troop. Today she leads the Horizon Air team as Chief Operating Officer. Constance is a fantastic leader, focused on safety, service, respect and providing opportunities for others, especially veterans.

By Constance von Muehlen, Horizon Air COO

At 7 years old, I saw a helicopter take off and decided I wanted to pilot those amazing machines! I am grateful that, with a lot of determination, support, and luck – including an ROTC scholarship – my dream came true. Flying for the U.S. Army taught me the power of working together, that serving is as essential as leading and – perhaps most importantly – that each person brings a unique value to the team. I am extremely proud to be among those at Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air who have served our country.
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