Alaska Airlines has donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross and offering additional support to relief organizations to assist in helping victims of Hurricane Harvey, a devastating storm that hit the Houston region Friday night and continues to batter the city with heavy rain and floods.

Flights have been grounded at both Houston-area airports. So far, Alaska has canceled its seven scheduled flights from last Friday through Tuesday, and is planning to cancel another scheduled flight on Wednesday.

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The moment of totality as viewed from Alaska Airlines Great American Eclipse Flight out of Portland, Oregon on August 21, 2017.

There’s nothing Alaska Airlines pilots like more than a challenge. As a company that started out flying between remote airfields deep in the Alaskan “bush,” safely navigating where other airlines can’t is in Alaska’s blood.

So, for Alaska, putting a flight in the path of the Great American Eclipse wasn’t really a question of if, but how.

Total solar eclipses aren’t rare – they come around every 16 months or so. Being lucky enough to get in their path is the hard part. Diehard eclipse chasers, called “umbraphiles,” go to drastic lengths to put themselves in the moon’s shadow. They plan years in advance, strategically choosing the best places to catch each and every eclipse, whether that means scaling a mountain, chartering an Arctic voyage… or planning an incredibly complicated flight path.

The math problem goes something like this: A plane leaves Portland flying 500 mph to catch a solar eclipse as the moon’s shadow decelerates from infinity in the instant it touches the Earth to approximately 2,400 mph approaching the coast of Oregon. Where in space and time does the plane need to be to give guests the ultimate eclipse experience?

It’s the kind of equation that takes a team of astronomers and aviators to crack.

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This is a photo of the new Alaska Lounge with green and navy seats, flatscreen TVs and a glass wall.

With Alaska Mileage Plan and Alaska Global Partners, you can earn miles to more than 900 destinations worldwide. But we wouldn’t just send our loyal guests globetrotting without a place to kick back and relax along the way, and an Alaska Lounge membership can provide exactly that.

Together with our partners, Alaska Lounge members have access to over 90 airport lounges worldwide. We’ve got you covered if your travels take you to Chicago, London, Tokyo, Sydney, Paris – you get the idea.

Here are a few lounges across the globe you can access with your Alaska Lounge membership:

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This is a photo of a girl holding a coffee cup.

As a San Francisco local, Instagrammer Nanette Wong, knows how to live the sweet life. From photos of decadent treat to her favorite coffee spots in town, Nanette’s mouth-watering content is the best part of anyone’s feed. She just returned from an Instagram takeover in Mexico City, Mexico as part of Alaska’s Weekend Wanderer series. For more Weekend Wanderer posts, be sure to follow Alaska Airlines on Instagram.

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Photo of person wearing brown XTRATUF boots with the tops rolled down, featuring a red Octopus Salmon Sisters design. Person is standing on top of tree stump in front of an old, grounded fishing boat

Alaskans have always had a “unique” sense of fashion – one that combines the practical with local flair. Alaskans may not be overly concerned with the usual frills, but ruining a fishing trip due to a lack of appropriate footwear is a sin that’s not easily forgiven in the Great Land. Far removed from fancy designers and department stores, Alaskans have developed their own local brands to meet their needs in a challenging and often isolated environment.

And in many local communities, most of these Alaska fashion staples can be found at the local hardware or outdoor store.

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This is a photo of Captain Jodi Harskamp sitting in the flight deck with Flight Attendant Jenny Stansel. The two are looking at each other and holding up a "hang loose" hand gesture.

Nothing can keep these two women down. An Alaska Airlines captain with a big heart and two great kidneys gave a flight attendant a new lease on life earlier this year, and now Captain Jodi Harskamp and Flight Attendant Jenny Stansel are back to work. Read More

For decades, air traffic controllers have relied on a system that uses two-way radio to transmit instructions and route changes to planes waiting to take off. Pilots jot down these notes on paper, and then read the instructions back to the air traffic controllers.

If there’s a misunderstanding, the process must be repeated until it’s correct. Due to radio congestion at airports, this can take 10 to 15 minutes (sometimes longer) — all while passengers sit in the cabin waiting to begin their trip. It’s very old school.

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A photo of an Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card sticking out of a billfold on a restaurant table.

It’s possible to earn miles from lots of everyday activities — not just when flying with Alaska Airlines or Alaska Global Partners. In fact, these alternative methods are how my wife and I earn the majority of our miles each year. Our strategy for booking upgrades and award tickets depends on earning lots of miles in everything we do.

First, always pay attention to the credit card you use for making purchases. The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card, for example, earns 3 miles for every dollar you spend on Alaska Airlines flights or onboard purchases. You can also earn 1 mile for every dollar on other purchases. I personally value Alaska miles close to 2 cents each, so that’s comparable to a 2 percent cashback card. (The actual value depends on how you choose to redeem your miles.)

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This is a photo of an Alaska Airlines winglet, taken while flying above the clouds. A total solar eclipse is happening in the distance.

Not since 1918 has a total eclipse of the sun crossed the continental United States. But on August 21, 2017 history will again be made when a total solar eclipse is set to travel coast-to-coast for the first time in nearly 100 years.

An estimated 12 million people live in the path of totality, with millions more expected to travel to these areas for the event, which will last for a matter of minutes. But as with any natural phenomenon, a perfect view is not always a guarantee.

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Photo of sporting equipment including surf board, fishing pole, archery, bowling ball, golf clubs, bicycle, lacrosse pole, snowboard.

Alaska Airlines has been busy behind the scenes looking for ways to make the travel experience as seamless as possible for our guests. And knowing that adventures are even more fun with the right gear, we’re reducing the charge for most sporting equipment starting today.

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