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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Pausing from a TV commercial shoot back in the day is Director Joe Sedelmaier (front, center). Can you guess who was Alaska’s then-CEO in this photo?

The unconventional Alaska Airlines TV ads from the 1980s and ’90s got a little fresh air at this year’s American Advertising Hall of Fame ceremony.

The commercials were directed by legendary ad man Joe Sedelmaier, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in April – and some of Alaska’s award-winning commercials were shown at the gala ceremony in New York.

Sedelmaier did hundreds of ads in his career, including classics such as Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef” and FedEx’s “Fast Talking Man.” He also directed about three-dozen Alaska Airlines spots that seized upon the humor of travel pains – such as Pay Toilet and Talking Ticket.

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Over the next two years, internationally known Seattle fashion designer Luly Yang will redesign uniforms for more than 12,000 Alaska Airlines employees. Between design sessions, Yang will share her favorite fashion-related travel tips.

As a fashion designer, I travel often for my work and inspiration. Though I work with textiles and clothing everyday, there’s something I have to confess – I prefer not to spend time ironing when I’m traveling. With how much I travel, my clothes spend a fair amount of time folded into suitcases, but over the years I’ve picked up a few tricks for arriving at my destination as wrinkle-free as possible.

More: How to pack a wedding dress

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3 p.m. June 30, 2016 update: broadcast quality b-roll and photos of Alaska’s June 30 Boeing centennial event are available for download at the bottom of this post.

By Brad Tilden, Alaska Airlines CEO

This summer, The Boeing Company celebrates its 100th anniversary. With its Commercial Airplanes division based in Seattle, the company traces its beginning to July 1916, when Bill Boeing and a few fellow engineers formed Pacific Aero Products Company, which was renamed The Boeing Airplane Company in 1917.

Boeing employees include more than 77,000 who live and work in the Pacific Northwest. Together, these folks build incredible airplanes. Boeing is our country’s leading exporter and has been a driver of economic growth in the Pacific Northwest for many decades. Houses have been bought, mortgages paid, kids sent to college and food put on the table—not only for the people who work directly for Boeing, but for untold families and communities that have benefited from the thousands of jobs created to support the manufacture and sale of Boeing airplanes.

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Just in time for Independence Day, Alaska Airlines has won the 2016 Freedom Award. The honor was announced today by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.

The Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award is the highest recognition given to employers by the U.S. government for their support of National Guard and Reserve members.

Only 15 companies – out of 2,424 nominations – received this year’s award, which will be presented in a ceremony Aug. 26 at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

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Beginning Aug. 1, 2016, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members will accrue miles at a new rate when they fly on American Airlines flights. As the AAdvantage program shifts to a revenue-based loyalty program, accruals on American for Alaska frequent fliers will change to better match American’s new program. The miles a flier accrues will be calculated using a combination of the percentage of distance flown and fare class. This means some fares will earn more or fewer miles than before.

As many other airline loyalty programs move toward revenue-based earnings, Alaska Mileage Plan remains committed to a miles-based program structure. Learn more about Alaska’s award-winning Mileage Plan.

What’s changing?

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Joshua Tree engagement

Justin Owens knew he had found the girl of his dreams when he first spotted Lauren Scranton lugging her carryon down the aisle of an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 on a flight from Palm Springs to Portland 13 years ago.

Owens, 15 at the time, had taken out his full CD folder and was getting settled in for the flight, watching everybody board.

“When I saw her walking down the aisle, I thought ‘oh please let her sit next to me.’ As she walked up to me, pointing at the empty seat next to me I thought, ‘Oh no. What do I do? Don’t say anything stupid.”

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When Alaskans celebrated 50 years of statehood in 2009, Alaska Airlines decided to honor its namesake state by painting a special Alaska-themed paint theme on a Boeing 737-400.

But with a state so vast and unique, the company had difficulty coming up with a design that was inclusive of everything from the ice in the Arctic to the tundra in the Interior to the rainforest in Southeast.

In August 2008, Alaska Airlines launched a statewide “Paint the Plane” contest, in which schoolchildren from Ketchikan to Barrow submitted their designs for the plane’s new paint job. Ultimately, a panel of Alaska artists, former governors and other prominent Alaska leaders selected a design by Hannah Hamberg, a 16-year-old student at Sitka High School.

“I remember being on the ferry to Juneau and trying to come up with symbols that represent all of Alaska,” Hamberg said. “I also wanted to illustrate this idea that although Alaska has a huge land mass, it’s really made up of small communities that take care of each other.”

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