Roasted sunflower seeds and dried cranberries give this simple granola a special twist.

“This granola remains one of our most popular first class offerings, and we are often asked for the recipe,” says Kirsten Robinett, Alaska Airlines’ onboard food and beverage services product manager.

Custom-designed by Alaska’s executive chef, this popular granola is served in first class on shorter flights, such as Seattle-San Francisco.

Granola

Makes approximately 13, 4-ounce servings

Rolled oats, 32 ounces
Brown sugar, 8 ounces
Butter, 6 ounces
Sliced almonds or pumpkin seeds, 3 ounces
Roasted sunflower seeds, 1 ounce
Dried cranberries, 3 ounces

Melt butter and add sugar on medium heat until sugar dissolves. Mix with oats. Spread on sheet pan and bake in oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Put baked oats in bowl and toss in nuts, seeds and cranberries.

Try serving with Greek yogurt and fresh blueberries.

Enjoy!

This is the first in a multi-part series about Alaska Airlines’ new service to New Orleans.

The last time I was in New Orleans was nearly 20 years ago when I was working as a room steward on the American Queen, a sternwheeler plying the Mississippi River with passengers on a week-long cruise of Mark Twain’s South.

During our short shore leave, the boat crew was mainly interested in finding the tallest alcoholic beverage possible (20-ounce hurricanes are standard),  gawking at street performers and partiers on Bourbon Street, catching beads during the Mardi Gras parades and stumbling back to the boat before push off the next day so we wouldn’t be left behind without a job.

This time (as a passenger on Alaska Airlines’ inaugural nonstop flight from Seattle to New Orleans) I had three days – just enough time to get a small sample of all the art, food, music and culture the city has to offer. And, as a bonus, no hangover.

Passengers on Alaska Airlines' inaugural flight June 12 from Seattle to New Orleans were in a festive mood.

Passengers on Alaska Airlines’ inaugural flight June 12 from Seattle to New Orleans were in a festive mood.

My weekend visit was mostly focused on French Quarter, where architectural beauty, history, music and the lauded Louisiana Creole and Cajun cuisine mix with debauchery and excess on the famous Bourbon Street. It’s the natural place to start for anyone visiting New Orleans for the first time.

Book your flight: Seattle to New Orleans low fare finder.

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It’s a feeling every MVP knows all too well – that sudden leap of joy at the pre-flight email saying you’ve been upgraded.

“It means a lot,” says Keith Hamilton, an MVP Gold 75k who flies anywhere from 25 to 30 times per year. He estimates that he gets upgraded on about two out of every three flights.

But how and when do those upgrades happen?

Not a Mileage Plan member? Join today and start earning your way to your next adventure.

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At the Széchenyi Bath in Budapest. Photo courtesy of Allison Czarnecki.

Traveling with children can be a daunting proposition.

Strollers, car seats, nap times, milk, diapers, escalators – and, not to mention, the children themselves. Add it all up and it’s a recipe for one big headache.

But to raise good travelers, you have to start early, says Salt Lake City-area blogger Allison Czarnecki.

How?
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Sorting onboard recycling is not a clean job. It’s slimy, oozy, smelly and, sometimes, horrifyingly splattery. But believe it or not, it’s a coveted volunteer position at Alaska Air Group – so popular that there’s not always room for all of the hopeful volunteers.

About six times each year, onboard food and beverage specialist Kathy Hues sends out an email calling for volunteers. And each time, a handful of employees meet bright and early at the airline’s catering kitchen to sort about 10 flights’ worth of trash and recycling.

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A photo of Rick Russek wearing his name badge on a camera card allowed a fellow employee to identify him almost a year after his camera was dropped in Resurrection Bay.

A photo of Rick Russek wearing his name badge on a camera card allowed a fellow employee to identify him almost a year after his camera was dropped in Resurrection Bay.

When Los Angeles-based Alaska Airlines First Officer Rick Russek saw his point-and-shoot camera fall into Resurrection Bay one summer, he was certain he’d never see it, or the precious family photos that were on the memory card, again.

But an unlikely series of events combining the forces of nature, the kindness of strangers and co-workers, and simple good luck meant that Russek was eventually reunited with his photos, if not the camera that took them.

Russek, his wife, Kimberly, and their three children were on an Alaska vacation based out of Anchorage. They decided to rent a car and travel to Seward for a glacier and whale-watching cruise.

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One season in the life of an airline, filmed during the summer of 2013 in Seattle, Washington.

The smell of fish was in the air early on the morning of May 16, as Alaska Air Cargo delivered 24,100 pounds of the season’s first shipment of Copper River salmon to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

The Copper River salmon’s arrival marks the beginning of the summer salmon season and is highly anticipated by seafood lovers throughout the Pacific Northwest.

The salmon, which comes from three Alaska seafood processors:  Ocean Beauty Seafoods, Trident Seafoods and Copper River Seafoods, left Cordova just after 2 a.m. May 16 onboard an Alaska Airlines 737-400 Combi.

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Day 1

Horizon Air First Officer Bill Jacobson (@alaska737 on Instagram) snapped this photo over the Alaska Range earlier this year.

Horizon Air First Officer Bill Jacobson (@alaska737 on Instagram) snapped this photo over the Alaska Range earlier this year.

82 years ago, this is where we started.

Today we’re back in the air over the great state of Alaska to launch a new sort of journey.

Blog, day 1.

Barking dogs save fuel!

Photo of a Virgin America plane on runway.

Have you ever heard what sounds like dogs barking as your Virgin America flight taxis to the gate after landing? No, it’s not a pack of hounds loose in the cargo hold (Virgin America, by the way, does not transport pets in cargo). What you’re hearing is the sound of the aircraft equalizing hydraulic pressure as the pilots use just one engine to taxi to the gate.  Single-engine taxiing is another way Virgin America saves fuel and strives to be more environmentally friendly.

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