Virgin America check-in counter

Alaska Airlines and Virgin America have been busy behind the scenes looking for ways to make the travel experience as seamless as possible for guests flying across the airlines’ combined route network. As part of this, some of Virgin America’s travel policies related to boarding and check-in times, bags, pets and unaccompanied minors have been updated. The changes, which are outlined below, and which match policies already in place at Alaska are now in effect on all flights operated by Virgin America.

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People traveling to and from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport today can expect delays due to low ceilings and a temporary Air Traffic Control equipment outage, which has significantly reduced the hourly rate of planes arriving and taking off at Sea-Tac.

Some 90 Alaska Airlines and Virgin America flights scheduled to depart Seattle through noon have been delayed by up to two hours, affecting approximately 10,000 guests.

“Guests traveling through Seattle today should check the status of their flights before they leave for the airport,” said Todd Sproul, Alaska Airlines’ managing director of system operations control. “In the meantime, we’re working with the Port of Seattle and the FAA to restore normal operations as soon as possible.”

For more information about the Federal Aviation Administration and ATC delay, visit http://www.fly.faa.gov/flyfaa/usmap.jsp.

This is a photo of a Virgin America woman flight attendant and woman pilot standing in front of a Rosie the Riveter poster.

This Memorial Day weekend, we flew one of the original Rosie the Riveters,  95-year-old Phyllis Gould who worked at the Bay Area’s local Kaiser Shipyard during World War II, in our First Class cabin to Washington, D.C. to participate in the City’s parade to celebrate this important national holiday.  Our airport and in-flight teams will be giving this hero of the WWII effort the VIP treatment on her journey to our nation’s capital.

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Brad Tilden testifies on ATC reform

Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden testified before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Aviation earlier this year


As airlines head into the busiest travel season of the year, one big worry looms: the nation’s antiquated Air Traffic Control (ATC) system.

The ATC system is a critical part of the U.S. economy and air travel infrastructure, but hasn’t been modernized at a pace that can keep up with current air traffic levels. In fact, very little upgrades have been made to the system over the last few decades. Today, 27,000 flights land in the United States every single day using essentially the same paper strips and ground-based radar system that have been in use since World War II.

This outdated system while extremely safe leads to delays, cancellations and needlessly long flight paths for the two million travelers who fly every single day. In fact, half of all flight delays are now a result of Air Traffic Control issues.

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After patiently enduring questionable rumors and countless fake line-up posters during the wait for your favorite music festival to announce their bands, the on-sale day has finally arrived: victory – and festival tickets – are yours!  Now, what’s next?

Whether you’re a complete newbie or a seasoned music festival veteran, smart packing choices are key in avoiding frustrations that can distract you from the very thing you’re traveling to enjoy: the music. Here are some tips on planning and packing for your trip to a music festival.

Plan ahead

Before you begin packing, take a long look at your festival’s list of items not allowed (the Riot Fest list is a great example). Then, be sure to recheck this list again before getting in line to enter the festival. Doing so will save you time, money and suitcase space, with no need throw out prohibited items (selfie sticks, metal containers, etc.) before security lets you enter the festival, or getting out of line to run things back to your car.

Flying to a festival that involves camping takes some advance planning. If you pack carefully, you can take along a good portion of your equipment as checked baggage; learn about what camping gear is allowed in checked baggage when flying. For the items you need but can’t check or carry on, do a little research before you fly to discover the best places near your destination to rent/buy gear.

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Full harbor in Cordova, Alaska

Nestled in the thick of the Chugach National Forest, Cordova is quintessential small-town Alaska. It’s a place where everyone knows everyone, and like many coastal areas in Alaska, Cordova is only accessible by boat or plane. It’s a place where neighbors take care of one another, all united by passion for their community and the land they call home.

This humble town is home to a world-class fishery: the Copper River. Like most things in Cordova, the salmon fishery is largely independent, and the operation is as local as the shops and restaurants that line Main Street.

More than 540 independent boats fish for Copper River salmon each year. These boats, known as bow pickers, are manned by one to two fishermen who cast their nets over the bow and then hand-pick the salmon off as they reel the net in. Nets stretch 900 feet long and are mended by hand. And, many of those boats are owned by increasingly younger generations of fishermen and women.

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For most Seattle-area guests of Alaska Airlines, getting to the airport is relatively painless. But for the more than one million residents of northern King County, Snohomish County and surrounding communities, the extra distance and city congestion mean the drive can be longer than the flight itself.

That all changes by fall 2018, when Alaska begins regularly scheduled commercial flights from Snohomish County Airport, Paine Field.

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Adventure seeker, designer, and mom to two, Emmy Jones knows just how to bring her fabulous family life to our Instagram feeds. She and her husband are taking the world by storm with plenty of laughs along the way! She just returned from an Instagram takeover in Victoria, British Columbia as part of Alaska’s Weekend Wanderer series. For more Weekend Wanderer posts, be sure to follow Alaska Airlines on Instagram.

Canada had been on my travel list, but I had never actually been before this trip. Wow, I had no idea what I was missing. While approaching Victoria, I noticed the green, pine-covered islands divided by bright blue water. I knew I was in for something great and was giddy to start my adventure in the island’s biggest city and the capitol of British Columbia — Victoria!

1 Weekend Wanderer: Salt Lake City to Victoria, B.C.

Hi everyone! @ameliahannah here! My family & I are exploring the incredibly beautiful Victoria, BC this weekend, starting with the Fisgard Lighthouse. Excited to document our time here. Hope you enjoy!

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Ask any new parent and they’ll tell you – the newborn period is rough. You’re tired, you’re stressed, and you probably have a mountain of paperwork to complete. If you’re a new parent who’s a frequent flyer, you may also find yourself a tad nervous about what’s going to happen to your elite status while you’re grounded.

That’s where Elite Leave comes in – a brand-new program enabling Alaska Mileage Plan elite members to extend status for an additional year when they go on parental leave. That means members who have taken or will take a parental leave that ends this year can extend their status through the end of 2018.  In future years, status will be extended through the calendar year following the end of leave.

“This is just one less thing for new parents to worry about,” says Natalie Bowman, Alaska’s managing director of brand marketing and a parent of three young children. “It’s such a high stress, high emotion, low sleep time in your life that the last thing you want to be worrying about is losing your status.”

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Having a baby disrupts almost every aspect of your life. Things that were once easy are now mind-bogglingly difficult and even a simple trip to the grocery store can feel like a logistical nightmare. Something bigger, like traveling with an infant, can seem impossible. Trust me, it’s not.

My husband and I are veteran world travelers, so we were so excited about the idea of traveling with our new baby.  Once she arrived though, a tiny screaming tyrant with few interests outside eating and pooping, my resolve started to waver. We pressed on and at less than 5 months old my daughter has been across the country twice, and made several shorter trips around the Pacific Northwest. It hasn’t been as bad as I feared, in fact we actually have fun.

When traveling with a baby, preparation is absolutely essential. Here is what you need to know:

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