A family’s beloved dog, who went on an unplanned cross-country adventure over the holidays, created quite a stir as dog lovers and Alaska Airlines helped to get her home.

Penny, a floppy-eared vizsla puppy from Royal City, Washington, went missing near her home on Dec. 19, leaving her owners, Kendra and Colt Brown, worried sick.  When Adams County Pet Rescue put Penny’s picture on Facebook, a woman called to say she recognized the dog from a truck stop. A cross-country truck driver had thought Penny was a stray and had taken the dog.

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The busy holiday travel season is winding down, but lines are no fun at any time of year. Seize your own destiny with these three tips to get you through the airport as quickly as possible.

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makalawena-beach

It’s winter and those of us in Seattle are starting to feel the weight of the grey skies. It’s the perfect time to get away, and there’s no better place than Hawaii. Beautiful beaches, delicious food, several islands to explore… what’s not to love?

Working for an airline, I’m able to travel a lot and have been to Hawaii about 20 times – three in the last  six months. Maui and Oahu are a couple of my favorites, but I have a soft spot for the Big Island of Hawaii. It’s got that wild, as-yet-untamed feel – a bit off-the-beaten-track. Here are my five must-try’s on the Big Island.

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This year saw nearly 20,000 photos tagged with #iflyalaska. We’re closing out 2014 with some of our favorites.

Join the conversation in 2015: follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram and make sure to tag your posts with #iflyalaska. We can’t wait to follow your adventures.

Happy New Year!

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medical-teams-international

By Shaunta Hyde, Managing Director of Community Relations, Alaska Airlines

As we all take time to celebrate the holiday season with friends and family, I wanted to say thank you to our Mileage Plan members who consistently donate their miles to help support the communities we serve. Your generosity, commitment and support for organizations like Angel Flight West, Children’s Hospital, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Foundation and our other charitable partners raised approximately 43 million miles in 2013, and we are well on our way to reaching this goal in 2014. This is just plain amazing!

It is with that spirit in mind that Alaska Airlines is making a donation of one million Mileage Plan miles to Medical Teams International (MTI) on behalf of our frequent fliers as a small way to say thank you and happy holidays.

If you’d like to help, you can make a donation of your own through our Charity Miles program.

MTI provides critical help to people who are suffering all over the world through humanitarian and medical aid. MTI provides medical and dental care, disaster relief and development assistance in many of the world’s most at-risk communities. Just this week, they have teams working to provide mobile dental clinics in Oregon and Washington, a community impact team working in Guatemala and medical and physical therapy teams serving in Haiti.

For 35 years, MTI has responded to disasters around the world—and here at home—by sending teams of volunteer medical professionals and medical supplies to care for the sick and injured. And sustainability is central to MTI’s mission. They mobilize long-term, health promotion initiatives and collaborate with established partners in the communities they serve to ensure their work continues to have impact.

Helping people is what the holidays are all about. That’s why we’re proud to make this gift that will increase the efficiency and expediency of MTI relief teams. One million miles will enable MTI to reduce travel costs and focus the organization’s resources on programs that directly support communities in need, like providing clean drinking water and medical services.

Supporting organizations like MTI, especially on behalf of our Mileage Plan members, is just one of the ways we are giving back to the communities we serve.

Thank you for flying with us and for helping us help those in need.

Happy holidays!

alaska-holiday-punch-cocktail

Flying this week? Try your hand at inflight bartending with our drink cart cocktail recipes and you might even make a friend or two along the way.

Erik Chapman, barman and distiller at Seattle’s Sun Liquor, which produces the premium gin, rum and vodka served onboard Alaska Airlines flights, suggests this make-your-own holiday punch.

“When you say ‘holiday cocktail,’ I immediately think rum and cranberry with ginger,” says Chapman. “And you can top it off with a squeeze of lime.”

Next time you’re onboard, ask for cranberry juice and ginger ale with your Sun Liquor Sun Rum – and don’t forget the lime garnish.

Not in the mood for rum? Chapman offers a gin- (Ginger Sunrise) or vodka-based (Moscow Mule) alternative.

Flying today? Follow these holiday travel tips for a stress-free holiday.

kendalls-gift-seattle-childrens

Sometimes big things do come in small packages. And sometimes, even bigger things come when inspired by the season of giving and a simple idea.

Take for instance the tenacity of 8-year old Kendall Wills, a Fairbanks, Alaska resident who has spent a fair amount of time in Seattle – not by choice but for medical necessities.

Kendall was diagnosed at age four with a kidney disease and has spent a good portion of her young life at Seattle Children’s Hospital. While she has never had to spend the holidays at the hospital, for a number of patients at Seattle Children’s Hospital, it’s just not possible to be home for Christmas. This sobering fact resonated with Kendall.

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gadget-the-elf-airplane-window

This month, Alaska Airlines partnered with Macy’s to help fly Gadget the Elf to the “North Pole” to deliver the world’s longest wish list to Santa, as part of a special campaign for Make-A-Wish. Saturday Gadget flew from Chicago to Anchorage, Alaska on Alaska Airlines on his  way to the North Pole, and shares this blog about his adventures.

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fantasy-flight-alaska-airlines

The skies were clear and the sun was setting Saturday as Alaska Airlines flight 1225 took off, fueled by a force more powerful than jet fuel. The magic of 64 children and Santa’s elves helped propel the Boeing 737 on its annual pilgrimage from Spokane International Airport to the “North Pole.”

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Imagine you’re at dinner in Seattle, enjoying a delicious meal at one of Tom Douglas’ landmark dining spots.  The next morning you’re booked on an Alaska Airlines flight and the idea of feasting on another  would be the perfect end to your Seattle vacation or mark the beginning of your journey to one of the more than 100 destinations Alaska serves.

Travelers can reserve their favorite meals with ease on Alaska’s iOS and Android apps, as well as its mobile website up to 12 hours before their flight and pay when the flight attendant delivers the meal onboard.

menu preorder Alaska launches mobile ordering, letting travelers reserve meals before flights

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