News alert: Internet connectivity

Update 11:35 p.m.

An earlier network outage has been restored. Customers are now able to book, change and check in for flights at alaskaair.com.

An Internet connectivity issue at 8 p.m. temporarily delayed 22 flights scheduled to depart between 9:45 – 11 p.m. by up to an hour. All systems were restored by 11:20 p.m. and we are working to restore our operation.

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Alaska Airlines has been known for a lot of firsts. First airline to offer booking tickets on the Internet and first airline to guarantee your bags arrive on time. But passengers today would do a double-take if they had seen one of Alaska’s early firsts—first airline certified by the FAA to take off and land a Douglas DC-3 on skis!

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By Joe Sprague, senior vice president of communications and external relations for Alaska Airlines

Raise your hand if you like beer. If your arm shot up, I’m with you. Like a lot of folks, I really enjoy a nice craft beer: an amber, a pale ale and, increasingly, an IPA. Beyond the hoppy deliciousness, enjoying a microbrew is another example of how great it is to live in this beautiful corner of the world. With Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington rating among the top 10 states in the nation for microbreweries per capita, there’s a strong argument to be made that this is the center of the craft-beer universe.

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photo of a Virgin America airbus plane above the clouds

Working for an airline, everyone always wants to know the inside scoop. “When is the best time to book? Are there sales coming up? How do I get free upgrades? Does Sir Richard Branson wear boxers or briefs?” And although I don’t really have the answers to those questions, I have learned a few tricks after almost 7 years here at Virgin America. Plus, I’ve got a few pals in the know too. So for the next few months, I’ll be passing along my Virgin America secrets.

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We get it: long flights can be boring. Enter Alaska Beyond™ Entertainment – a new service that enables you to watch hit TV shows, movies, and exclusive content from Alaska on your own device at cruising altitude.

We’ve been upgrading our Boeing 737 fleet with direct-to-your-device entertainment, and today are thrilled to announce we’re just five planes away from completion.

But how does it work?

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By Doug Branch, Captain, Alaska Airlines

Doug Branch’s interest in aviation began around the same time he could say the word “plane.” Captain Branch has deep roots in the Pacific Northwest, including growing up on Bainbridge Island and learning to fly at Eastern Washington’s Big Bend Community College. After three years flying for a commuter airline in the Midwest, Doug joined Alaska Airlines in 2001. doug-branch-ask-a-pilotAfter 14 years, he has a passion for doing things safely and efficiently and is honored to have the opportunity to educate passengers and to facilitate life’s great memories by getting them safely to where they need to go.

In the “Ask an Alaska Pilot” series, he will address common questions he gets from friends, family and travelers. Do you have a question you’ve been wanting to ask a pilot? Let us know in the comments and your question could be featured in a future post.

What was the moment when you knew you wanted to be a pilot?

The earliest recollection I have of wanting to be a pilot was when I was in third grade. From our house it was a bit of a drive to the airport, and going there was a special occasion. We were either going somewhere, or picking someone up and it was exciting. I would ask my parents to leave early so we could sit for a while and watch the planes out of the terminal windows. One thing that I remember like it was yesterday was the smell of the jet exhaust as you got close to the airport. There was always something that amazed me about airplanes and airports, and it seemed from that time I always wanted to fly.

How do I become a pilot?

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Alaska Airlines flight attendant Brandy Hollenbeck began her March 18 flight from Seattle to Juneau, Alaska like any other.

As she worked the flight, the first leg of Alaska’s ‘milk run’ through Southeast Alaska, she had no idea that behind the scenes her boyfriend and her fellow flight attendants were scheming to give her a surprise inflight proposal.

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A pirate ship, a superhero scene, a faucet with a round, glistening drop of water. These are just some of the otherworldly ice sculptures on display through the end of the month at Ice Alaska: 2015 BP World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Artists travel from all around the world for the chance to work with Fairbanks ice, some of the clearest in the world.

They use chisels, chainsaws and heat guns to sculpt massive, detailed ice sculptures. Each artist also helps construct the Kids Park – an outdoor playground complete with slides, tunnels and climbing structures, made completely out of ice.

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The Major League Soccer season kicked off this month, and Alaska Airlines is making it even easier for fans to follow their favorite team on the road. As a proud sponsor of many of these MLS teams, Alaska is offering up to 10 percent off on away game flights. Pack your colors, visit these amazing places and cheer on your favorite players with these Major League Soccer discounts.

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Bryan-Bearrs-Iditarod-ceremonial-start

Two days before the ceremonial start of the 2015 Iditarod, 78 mushers gathered for a welcome in a hotel conference room in Anchorage, Alaska.

In among the sweatshirt, bivy sack and other pre-race swag given to the mushers is a small but very important notebook: the vet book. It is in this notebook that a team of volunteer veterinarians stationed along the trail’s 18 checkpoints will document careful notes about every single dog that passes through every checkpoint.

The Iditarod is a race, so the big prize is a first-place finish. But according to most mushers and volunteers, there’s a trophy that’s even more special: the Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award, presented by Alaska Airlines.

“I believe that other than winning the Iditarod, this award means more to the mushers than any other award,” says Marilyn Romano, Alaska Airlines’ regional vice president in the state of Alaska. “I’ve only ever seen two standing ovations at the Iditarod: one is for winning the race and one is for the Leonhard Seppala award.”

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