Alaska Airlines Captain Chris Cice, left, helped mentor Todd Swenson, right. In February, Swenson became one of Alaska’s newest captains.
When Alaska Airlines Captain Chris Cice started chatting with a guest on a flight from Seattle to Oakland about 20 years ago, he had no idea that he’d inspire a new captain.
Fast forward to today: That guest – Todd Swenson – was promoted to captain at Alaska Airlines in February, fulfilling a dream that Cice helped him visualize.
It all started 20 years ago. Cice was a newly hired first officer with Alaska and was dead-heading in the main cabin from Seattle to Oakland. When Cice boarded the flight, he noticed a guest in his assigned seat. So he took the middle seat, next to a man in the window seat deeply ensconced in his book.
“I noticed that the man was reading a book by aviation author John Nance,” Cice said. “About halfway through the flight, my curiosity got the better of me and I asked him if he liked flying.”
The guest was Swenson. And that question from the friendly Alaska pilot changed the course of his life.
Flying from Los Angeles to Sydney is not a short distance, and normally when I complete this 15-hour journey I can’t wait to get off the plane. But not this time …
And I honestly didn’t want to get off that plane! In fact, I could have easily done another 15-hour journey back to Los Angeles in that comfortable lay-flat bed.
The top-notch customer service, unbelievably delicious meals and endless hours of entertainment were truly outstanding, and made this international journey completely enjoyable.
Here are some of the highlights of flying with Qantas:
Boeing employees in the Seattle area recently shared their thoughts about flying the hometown airline. What’s your Alaska Airlines story?
Archie the Jack Russell terrier greets wine tasters who visit winemaker Paul Bridgeman, right, and Levantine Hill Vineyard in Australia’s Yarra Valley.
“Would you like some more wine, Mr. Anderson?”
That’s a question I heard several times on my business class flight from Los Angeles to Sydney on Qantas, an Alaska Airlines Global Partner. (My first time flying business, actually, and hands down the best 15 hours I’ve ever spent on a plane!)
“Yes, please” I quickly responded to the sommelier in the sky, after she gave me several recommendations, and told me all about the wines and where in Australia they’re from.
I nodded along in agreement, and expressed my extreme appreciation for the wine she recommended. The truth is: I literally didn’t know anything about wine. Absolutely nothing. I can’t emphasize that enough.
But after flying with Qantas and spending the most incredible day wine-tasting in Australia’s Yarra Valley — I’ve definitely become a beginner wine connoisseur.
But my absolute favorite day was wine-tasting in the Yarra Valley! Sometimes the best moments on trips are the unexpected ones.
Few things are as frustrating as sitting on an airplane waiting out an “ATC delay.”
ATC is airline-speak for Air Traffic Control, a program governed by the Federal Aviation Administration. It manages the flow of planes as they arrive and depart airports. ATC’s top priority: safety. That includes maintaining a safe amount of separation between aircraft.
In perfect conditions, planes can fly closer together. When airport conditions deteriorate – wind, snow, poor visibility, or even too many flights scheduled in the same time period – controllers ensure the highest levels of safety by requiring more space between planes as they arrive or depart. Instead of 60 airplanes arriving every hour, for instance, ATC might restrict the flow to 30 airplanes. Of course, that slower rate creates a backlog.
Airplanes must wait their turn in the air, at the departure gate or on the taxiway. Other times, airlines cancel flights to help minimize the snowball effect of delays, and passengers are rebooked on the next available flight.
Alaska Airlines has expanded our popular Wine Flies Free program to include wineries throughout the state of California.
That means Alaska Mileage Plan members departing from 29 airports in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California wine regions can check up to a case of wine – 12 bottles – for free!
Not a Mileage Plan member? Join for free.
Wondering how your Wine Flies Free from the West Coast? It’s easier than you think.
Here’s a step-by-step guide.
Keep an eye out for our big heart the next time you fly through Terminal 2 at San Francisco International Airport.
The sculpture was unveiled on Valentine’s Day and signifies Alaska Airlines’ ongoing commitment to delivering kind-hearted service to the Bay Area community.
It sounds like a Hallmark movie: Two people “meet cute” in Alaska Airlines flight attendant training, fall head over heels for each other, covertly find ways to spend time together, are separated by their jobs for a time and then come back together and become engaged exactly one year after they met.
Oh, and one other thing: Both sets of their parents met working at Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, and still work there today.
But it’s not the latest Hollywood rom-com starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. It’s the real-life story of Portland-based flight attendants Benjamin Cripps and Carline Kintigh.
In a nod to Alaska Airlines for bringing them together and their deep roots with the company, they recently had all of their engagement photos taken on and around the Portland Timbers-themed airplane and Portland International Airport. The photos were taken by Victoria Fitch, also a Portland-based flight attendant. Their wedding date is set for Sept. 6, 2018.
My alarm clock started loudly chiming at 7 a.m. and I sprang out of bed with excitement.
While I normally loathe the idea of waking up that early, the day I had been impatiently waiting for had finally arrived.
Today … I’m finally exploring the idyllic Rottnest Island!
Now if you’ve never heard of this place before — prepare to add it to your bucket list! I’ll never forget the first time I saw pictures of Rottnest Island off Australia’s west coast near Perth, and I immediately knew that I had to visit this place someday. It’s been at the top of my “dream destinations” list for years now, and I was ecstatic to experience its beauty for myself.
I could barely contain my excitement while on board my business class flight from Sydney to Perth with Qantas, an Alaska Airlines Global Partner. During the flight, I definitely enjoyed some Rottnest Island dreams in my comfy lie-flat bed.
Aiming to improve onboard storage and make flying easier for customers, Alaska Airlines is the first carrier to get Boeing’s innovative Space Bins. The larger overhead bins have a similar look and feel to Alaska’s Boeing Sky Interior pivot bins yet hold more bags.
All 79 of Alaska’s 737-900ER aircraft have Space Bins, which hold as many as 174 standard carry-on bags, a 48 percent increase compared to traditional overhead bins that hold up to 117 bags. Space Bins are deep enough to store nonstandard items, such as a guitar.