737 flight simulator at night
Learning how to fly an aircraft like the Boeing 737 is no simple task. By the time that most pilots make it through the doors of Alaska Airlines, they already have extensive experience either flying with other airlines or in the military. No matter their background, every pilot will need to go through Alaska Airlines’ three months of additional training.

Part of that training includes time in a flight simulator. The simulators allow pilots to experience different scenarios so that, if anything ever goes wrong during a real flight, they are prepared to handle the situation.

Besides being a very important safety and training tool, flight simulators can be quite entertaining for outsiders.

This week, I was invited to check out Alaska Airlines’ brand-new CAE 7000 Boeing 737-800 flight simulator. It is so new that pilots have not started training on it and it had a “new car” smell. The new simulator joins three others (one 737-400, one 737-700, and another 737-800) that are already at the facility. But this one is different, with the newest simulator technology, making it more real than its predecessors.

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Russell Wilson training camp - Champions Never Rest

One hot summer day not long ago, 40 production crew members, 13 Alaska Airlines employees and one star quarterback gathered on a middle school football field in Seattle for an elite training camp.

Champions never rest, after all, which is why we enlisted the support of our Chief Football Officer Russell Wilson to design a camp that only he could imagine.

Wilson, the starting quarterback for the champion Seattle Seahawks, led Alaska employees through a high-stepping obstacle course, a lost teddy bear running drill, snack delivery accuracy training – #snackuracy – and more.

This is an exclusive sneak peek at the first of three brand-new Alaska Airlines TV commercials featuring Wilson, shot on location in Seattle over the course of a 12-hour day. It will air on TV stations from Bellingham to Vancouver, Washington beginning Aug. 7.

New: see the outtakes.

Denali, Fairbanks in the autumn

Autumn is near and people are getting ready for an explosion of color that will light up the country. However, if you talk to a “leaf peeper,” (someone who travels to see the changing colors of fall foliage) you’ll learn that sight is only one part of the story. The crunch of leaves underfoot, the perfume of an apple orchard or the comforting smell of a wood fire are all parts of a true autumnal trip.

To really immerse yourself in leaf-peeping you have to stand among the trees and there’s no better way to get there than Alaska Airlines. Join us to experience some of the nation’s greatest sights with our top seven destinations for leaf-peepin’ this fall.

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When a recently promoted minor-league baseball player mistakenly got off the airplane in the wrong city, a Horizon Air employee stepped up to the plate to deliver him to his final destination 90 miles away.

Customer service agent Andrew Joshu drove from Great Falls, Montana, to Helena to help Sthervin Matos make it to the ballpark just in time for the first pitch.

Moments later, in his first game with his new team, Matos hit a home run.

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Joanne_birthday_1

Joanne Mambretti had been to every state in the country, save one – Alaska. She had planned a birthday trip to finally check it off her bucket list when a breast cancer recurrence made her too ill to go.

That’s when a group of Alaska and Menzies Aviation (Alaska’s ramp, passenger and cargo handling service) employees decided to take Alaska to Mambretti in Minneapolis.

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For those not familiar with the heart and history behind Horizon Air, the nation’s seventh-largest regional airline, here are five things you might not know.

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You don’t have to be at cruising altitude on “#TravelTuesday” to enjoy one of our favorite onboard cocktails.

This refreshing take on a classic gin-orange buck (an old name for a cocktail with ginger) is shared by Erik Chapman, barman at Seattle’s Sun Liquor Distillery, a small, local business which produces the premium gin, rum and vodka served onboard Alaska Airlines flights.

Flying today? Ask for orange juice and ginger ale with your Sun Liquor Hedge Trimmer Gin – and don’t forget the lemon garnish.

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How many breakfast chefs does it take to make 180 pancakes in an hour?

None, if you have a pancake machine.

For those of you who’ve spent any time in an Alaska Airlines Board Room, you know what we’re talking about.

If you haven’t, imagine an office printer. But instead of paper, it prints fluffy, delicious pancakes.

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One hot night in the early 1960s in a tiny music hall in New Orleans, a group of jazz musicians got together to pay tribute to Sam Morgan’s Jazz Band, some three decades after Morgan’s death. New Orleans jazz scene regulars Kid Howard and Kid Sheik were there, on the trumpet and cornet, respectively. Ken Mills of Preservation Hall fame was there to facilitate.

The band had been playing for a little while when they were interrupted by a frantic pounding on the door. It was an elderly man who’d heard the music wafting through the streets and come running.

“Sam Morgan’s back! Sam Morgan’s back!”

My grandfather cries when he tells this story.

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Mmm, Mazatlán.

karen e1404238864252 A locals guide to Mazatlán

Alaska Airlines customer service agent Karen Solis says she likes to joke with her customers. “The first step they see is immigration and I get to make their first smile in Mazatlan.”

Between its golden beaches, local seafood and renowned nightlife, it’s easy to see why this resort town on the Pacific Ocean is such a popular vacation destination.

But for those who crave an experience that’s a little more off the beaten path, it’s worth a round of “what do the locals do?”
Alaska Airlines customer service agent Karen Solis has lived most of her life in the “Pearl of the Pacific,” and offers these hyper-local tips.

She says most people probably have no idea that the world’s tallest natural working lighthouse is in Mazatlán, that 30 percent of all vegetables eaten in Mexico are grown in Sinaloa, or that the people of Sinaloa are known throughout the country for their beauty.

Book your flight: destination Mazatlán.

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