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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A team of experts plate and sample every single dish before it is added to the menu. In this photo, Alaska Airlines onboard food and beverage product manager Kirsten Robinett examines a first class meal in a recent menu quality check. Pictured here: Cucina Fresca penne with herb-roasted chicken breast and broccoli florets.


Let’s be frank. Meals don’t always taste so great at 35,000 feet.

Why does airplane food taste so bad?

Taste buds are dulled and even the most carefully prepared dishes are, at best, reheated leftovers. It’s no wonder that airline food has a bum rap.

But Alaska Airlines’ chef and a team of onboard food and beverage experts have spent the past few years working to change that.

“We don’t want to just have good airline food – we want to have good food, period,” says Lisa Luchau, director of Alaska Airlines’ onboard food and beverage services.

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Aiming to improve onboard storage and make flying easier for customers, Alaska Airlines will be the first carrier to get Boeing’s innovative Space Bins. The larger overhead bins have a similar look and feel to Alaska’s current Boeing Sky Interior pivot bins yet hold more bags.

Space Bins on an Alaska Airlines 737-900ER will hold as many as 174 standard carry-on bags, a 48 percent increase compared to current bins that hold up to 117 bags. Space Bins are deep enough to store nonstandard items, such as a guitar. Space Bins will arrive on all Next-Generation 737 and 737 MAX airplanes delivered to Alaska Airlines starting in late 2015.

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