Mention to most people that you’re traveling to Helsinki, Finland and you’re likely to receive one of three reactions: a blank stare, a confused “Where?” or a puzzled “Why Helsinki?”

It’s true that Helsinki, and Finland in general, is relatively unknown compared to its Nordic neighbors. Mention Sweden to most people, and Swedish meatballs, Abba and Ikea immediately come to mind. Meanwhile, Norway evokes images of Vikings, Norse mythology and impressive fjords. Denmark is likely to elicit at least a passing reference to Danish fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen. But Finland doesn’t seem to inspire that type of recognition, nor is Helsinki on the average tourist’s radar.

“Helsinki is the quiet capital that people often overlook for the more buzzing neighboring capitals,” says my friend, Nora, a Helsinki resident. I think of how packed the streets of central Stockholm were on my last visit and have to agree.

After a smooth flight on Finnair, an Alaska Airlines Global Partner, I’m ready to explore this hidden gem. Luckily, Helsinki doesn’t disappoint.
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With affordable, nonstop Pittsburgh flights departing Seattle daily, those from the Pacific Northwest can get a feel for why the city is becoming known as one of the country’s most livable.

Pittsburgh has reinvented itself. Gone are the days of factories and pollution; instead, the steel city is a hub of culture and innovation set amidst beautiful hills and rivers.

Whether you’re visiting for a weekend or a week, here’s how to make the most of your trip to Pittsburgh.
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Forget what the playbook says: tailgating starts at the gate.

Seattle football fans flying to the regular season opener in Denver are in for a treat this Friday. Gate C9 at Seattle Tacoma International Airport will be decked out in blue – and a new Russell Wilson plane will be waiting at the end of the jetway.

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The 737-800 features Wilson’s new tagline, “Dream Big. Fly High,” above the aircraft door. Credit: Rochelle Bergstrom

The Boeing 737-800 features Wilson’s tagline, “Dream Big. Fly High.” above the aircraft door. The tagline is a reminder of what our partnership with Seattle’s star quarterback is about – celebrating our hometown football fans and building a strong local community.

“At Alaska, we don’t just care about the laws of physics lifting a plane into the air – though that’s remarkable no matter how old you are or how often you fly. We know are all better off when we can create lift together, across communities,” says Diana Birkett Rakow, Alaska Airlines vice president of external relations. “Our guests and partners, including our Chief Football Officer, inspire us to invest in the next generation – to champion young people, to show kids a path to aviation jobs or whatever their goals and dreams may be.”
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Have you ever been stuck in traffic and thought: “There has got to be a better way to get where I’m going”? Pilots often think the same thing up in the air.

In the hours before takeoff, airline dispatchers specifically plan flights and file flight plans using the best information available at the time. But conditions change: turbulent weather moves in, the airspace suddenly becomes more congested or better flying lanes open up but go undiscovered.

What if pilots – much like drivers – could hop off a busy thoroughfare and jump on a less crowded backroad? Today, it’s not that easy. Soon, it could be.
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By Kachet Jackson-Henderson and Ruthie Ridley

We just came back from a girls’ trip to Los Cabos, and it was an adventure to remember. Both of us had gone before, but this time – as Alaska Airlines’ Weekend Wanderers – we were very intentional about experiencing new things and getting out of our comfort zones.

When we arrived at the Sheraton Grand Los Cabos Hacienda del Mar, we knew we were in for a treat. The AAA Four-Diamond resort has five pools, eight restaurants and entertainment. But, arriving at an amazing resort is just the start of an epic girls’ trip – it’s about the experience and how you spend your time. Here’s how to make the most of your visit to Los Cabos.
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Update: 1:15 p.m. on Aug. 11, 2018
View today’s press conference with our CEO, Brad Tilden, Horizon Air CEO, Gary Beck, the FBI and the Port of Seattle.

  • All of us at Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are saddened by last night’s unauthorized flight of a Horizon Q400 aircraft that resulted in the loss of life of the individual involved.
  • Our top priority is the safety of our guests and employees. Simply put there is nothing more important to us.
  • We are working closely with the FBI, the NTSB and the FAA to better understand the circumstances of this unauthorized flight. The FBI is the lead investigator for this incident.
  • Yesterday’s events will push us to learn what we can from this tragedy so that we can help prevent it from happening again at our airline or any other.

There are no further updates planned at this time.

The toll-free number for anyone who believes they may know the person involved in the incident is 1-888-283-2153.
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When we heard Seattle’s Sub Pop Records was celebrating 30 years and had always dreamt of having their own plane, we figured it was the least we could do. They gave us Nirvana and The Shins after all.

The independent record label got its start in 1988 and is known for signing central players in the grunge movement. They’ve since put several independent artists (and a store at SeaTac) on the map. We love them so much, we offer their music for free on our flights.

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Sub Pop Executive Vice President Megan Jasper

“It means so much for Alaska to say yes, music is important – music does make people’s lives better and brings us together as people,” said Megan Jasper, the label’s executive vice president.

We spoke with Jasper, who started as Sub Pop’s punk receptionist years ago, about our partnership and the iconic label’s anniversary concert in West Seattle this weekend.

Alaska: Wow, 30 years. What does it mean for Sub Pop to hit this milestone?

Jasper: It’s kind of crazy. When Bruce and Jonathan started Sub Pop, they weren’t thinking 30 years from that point. For an independent label to last 30 years is something special. It’s not lost on us that we wouldn’t have lasted this long without great artists and community support. We’re very fortunate.
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pj 2018 seattle admat 11x17 11 Alaska Airlines and Pearl Jam band together to fight homelessnessPearl Jam is home for the first time in five years. To say Seattleites are excited is an understatement. The Rock & Roll Hall of Famers are playing two sold-out concerts at Safeco Field tonight and Friday. Fans are already waiting hours in line to get merch, and Pearl Jam-branded wine sold out in 12 minutes.

But seeing what many believe to be the most influential band of the ‘90s isn’t the only reason people are flocking to “The Home Shows.” As part of their homecoming, the band is dedicating proceeds to fight homelessness in Seattle – and we’re joining that effort.

On any one night, more than 12,000 people are living without shelter in Seattle. The region’s homelessness population is now the third largest in the country.

“It’s something the city is clearly struggling with,” says Pearl Jam guitarist and co-founder Stone Gossard in Alaska’s Beyond Magazine. “And if we can play a role in spotlighting the issue or bringing more resources to it, it’s something we all feel is very important.”
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By Jess Dales

Based on the West Coast, I grew up flying Alaska Airlines. As a frequent traveler, the Mileage Plan had come in handy on more than one occasion. I used miles in college to fly between school and home, and more recently for last-minute work trips. I never imagined that through Alaska’s Global Partner program, I would be able to fly all the way to Iceland.

Forged by fire and honed by ice, Iceland is home to some of the greatest wilderness areas in Europe. The country has a small population and the vast majority of people live in Reykjavik, leaving huge expanses of land undeveloped and relatively free from human impact. The result is a visually stunning landscape with points of natural interest around every bend in the road. (And there are a lot of bends!)

But it’s not just the lack of people that makes Iceland a nature lover’s paradise. As one of the youngest landmasses on earth, it is unique among the many destinations known for their natural beauty. Alive with volcanic activity – from hot springs to steaming lava fields – Iceland has a raw elemental appeal that sticks with you long after you’ve returned home.

For all those reasons and more, Iceland has become an increasingly popular destination for outdoor lovers, adventure seekers and landscape photographers. Needless to say, Quin and I were eager to see what all the fuss was about.
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When Kevin Durant traveled to basketball tournaments in high school, everyone piled in a van. There was no smoothie bar, sneaker-lacing station or All-Star guest appearances. And definitely no airplanes.

“Playing AAU basketball as a kid was a grind,” Durant recalled. “Most of the teams, mine included, usually don’t have a lot of financial support, so you’re doing everything you can on a dime.”

Today was a different story. With music pumping through speakers and Durant’s photo stretching from nose to tail, 46 aspiring athletes boarded Alaska Airlines “Flight 35.” The KD-branded Boeing 737-900ER made its first appearance during the Western Conference Finals and will be in fleet for two years. Today, the plane made a special trip, bringing four top teams from Los Angeles and Oakland to the Bigfoot Hoops Las Vegas Classic.

“Every achievement in youth basketball is a really big one,” Durant explained. “Some of the top teams in the country compete every year at Bigfoot, so to make it this far is a huge accomplishment.”

From the minute he got on the airplane’s PA system, it was clear Durant was here for one reason: surprise these players and have some fun.
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