An employee deices an airplane at Portland International Airport.  Photo courtesy of Portland International Airport.

Noon Update: Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are making progress today getting flight operations back on track in Seattle and Portland. Wintry weather conditions triggered cancellations yesterday into this morning.

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The process of merging two beloved airlines known for innovation and customer service just moved one step closer to completion. Today, the Department of Justice cleared Alaska Air Group’s acquisition of Virgin America, an important hurdle on the way to closing the deal.

While a specific close date for the acquisition of Virgin America has not been set, Alaska Airlines plans to close the deal in the very near future. Until then, it’s business as usual this month for fliers traveling on Alaska Airlines and Virgin America. You should interact with either airline as you normally would.

After the merger closes, and Alaska and Virgin America officially join forces, we’ll share more information on why this deal is good news for West Coast travelers.

To stay up-to-date on the latest merger news be sure to follow @AlaskaAir on Twitter or subscribe to this blog.

Read more about today’s news at https://newsroom.alaskaair.com/2016-12-06-Justice-Department-Clears-Alaska-Air-Groups-Acquisition-of-Virgin-America.

Update: 10:42 p.m., Monday, Dec. 5, 2016: Wintry weather conditions are still impacting flight operations at Sea-Tac International Airport. Additional precipitation is forecasted tonight with cold temperatures settling in, creating the potential for ice at the airport and on aircraft. That requires deicing of planes before they can takeoff.

As a precaution, Alaska Airlines is cancelling roughly 35 flights from 6 a.m. to noon on Tuesday. That’s the busiest time for departures at the Sea-Tac. The number of available gates at the airport is already at capacity, so a notable weather event puts even more pressure on airport operations. Pre-cancelling flights prevents congestion and allows our crews to keep up with the workload, especially when deicing is required.

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A wintry forecast for the Seattle area is prompting Alaska Airlines to cancel 20 flights into and out of the Emerald City tomorrow morning.

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Planning a vacation is great fun. Packing for that vacation? Not so much – especially if, like many frequent travelers, you prefer to travel light. Next time you pull out that trusty roller bag, streamline your day of travel with these four tips for wrangling your carry-on.

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Born in Taiwan and currently living in Vancouver, Sophia Hsin takes her worldly experiences and weaves them into her amazing photography. Covering everything from scenic adventures to her beloved Hedgehog, Amelia, it’s no wonder she was Alaska’s choice for this Weekend Wanderer trip. She just returned from an Instagram takeover in Charleston, South Carolina as part of Alaska Airlines’ Weekend Wanderer series. For more Weekend Wanderer posts, make sure you’re following Alaska Airlines on Instagram. 

I just returned from an amazing weekend with my dad in Charleston, a colorful gem of a city in South Carolina.

My dad and I spent our weekend exploring historical sites, trying out all kinds of amazing dishes and cruising around the historical areas on our bikes. My favorite part of this trip will definitely be the warm and welcoming Southern hospitality we experienced while visiting the city. Everyone has been super friendly and helpful and that is always a wonderful thing to experience while travelling.

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It’s mid-November and Cyber Monday is just around the corner. It is not only one of the country’s biggest shopping days of the year, but is Alaska Airlines’ biggest fare sale of the year.

Forbes reports 40 percent of Americans say they will shop online on Cyber Monday. So what are they shopping for? In advance of this year’s Cyber Monday deals, Alaska’s data analysts crunched the 2015 numbers to figure out what kinds of trips last year’s shoppers were most interested in.

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Twenty-five years ago, Alaska Airlines Flight Attendant Elizabeth Kiteley was on a layover at a hotel in Boise, Idaho when she heard screaming and ran out into the hallway. There, she found a woman with a baby that had stopped breathing. Kiteley’s training immediately kicked in and she began giving CPR, breathing for the infant and administering chest compressions. The manager of the hotel, who didn’t know CPR, called 911 and a maid tried to help calm the mother.

The 9-month-old baby girl was blue, had no pulse and wasn’t breathing, recalled Kiteley.  After what seemed like an eternity, but was only minutes, the baby began to cough and Kiteley cleared her airway. She continued rescue breathing until the infant was able to breathe for herself. Then, Kiteley wrapped her in a towel and soothed her, until medics arrived to take them to the hospital.

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As turkeys are basted and gifts are wrapped, airline employees are making holiday preparations of a different sort.

Every year, the week of Thanksgiving and the last two weeks of December are typically airlines’ busiest travel periods. At Alaska, the Sunday and Monday after Thanksgiving are the busiest travel days of the year. According to Airlines for America, 27.3 million people will be traveling on U.S. airlines during the holiday travel period, which begins today and ends on Sunday, Nov. 27. That’s up 2.5 percent, or 55,000 passengers per day, over last year.

To kick off the busy holiday season, Alaska’s airport employees have five rules they say you’ve probably heard before, but that you’ll definitely want to follow.

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Swissport fuel manager Jarid Svraka fuels an Alaska Airlines flight powered with a 20 percent blend of biofuel made from forest residuals in Sea-Tac Washington on Nov. 14, 2016.

Alaska Airlines made history today flying the world’s first commercial flight using a new sustainable alternative jet fuel made from forest residuals from the Pacific Northwest – the limbs, stumps and branches that are left over after a timber harvest or forest thinning of managed forests on private land.

The flight departed this morning from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., powered by a 20 percent blend of the new, sustainable biofuel sourced directly from the Pacific Northwest.

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