By now you’ve all seen the new commercials featuring Russell Wilson, starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks and Chief Football Officer for Alaska Airlines.

But what really went on behind the scenes of the 12-hour shoot? Seattle’s Evening Magazine has the story.

“It was a glimpse into the mind of a champion,” says Alaska Capt. Mike Swanigan.

See the commercials again, and learn more about our Chief Football Officer – as well as some special perks for fans – at

precept wine blending

Hal Landvoigt doesn’t care what flavors you can identify in a Walla Walla merlot. He just wants you to enjoy it.

“I don’t really care what wine you want to put with food or how you want to drink it. I just want you to drink wine,” says Landvoigt, director of winemaking at Seattle’s Precept Wine.

That’s why he focused not on the flavors but on the overall experience when he started experimenting with a special blend designed to retain its flavor at cruising altitude on airplanes.

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Anyone who flies should open an account with their airline’s loyalty program; it’s free, and even infrequent travelers might someday accumulate enough credit for an award flight, especially if they take advantage of the many ways to earn miles besides flying, such as staying at hotels, renting cars, using a credit card, or even sending flowers. But how do you go from earning the miles to booking that award? I’ve made this my life’s mission and want to share how to find good value from your frequent flier miles and get the most out of your membership.

Kauai visa signature card companion fare

My wife Megan and I on a trip to Kauai, Hawaii, booked using a companion fare from our Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card.

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Utah's Bryce Canyon

We’ve all been there. You’ve planned every detail: where you’ll stay, where you’ll eat, what you’ll do. Now you want to capture those amazing moments to show friends back home. But once you start uploading pictures to share with friends and family, you realize that the photos fall short of capturing your amazing experience. They are a little blah.

Northwest travel photographers Tim Boyer and Lee Hendrickson say they hear this concern frequently.

“As travelers, one of the first things we pack is the camera,” Hendrickson said.

You don’t need to be a professional photographer to take great travel photos. To take better photos now, Hendrickson has developed an easy-to-remember acronym to break down key skills fittingly named: TRAVELS.

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By Brad Tilden, Alaska Airlines CEO

Good morning.

I’ve been challenged by a number of my colleagues at Alaska and Horizon to do the ALS ice bucket challenge, to raise funds and awareness for Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Thanks to Horizon ground service agent Kipp Jarrell, and Alaska flight attendants Sarah Edwards, Sandra Morrow, Catherine Gwynn and Laura Masserant for challenging me. I’ve also made a personal donation to the ALS Association.

Next, I’d like to challenge my brother, Kevin Tilden; my good friend Kelly Lang, CFO at Tripwire; and my former boss Bill Ayer, former chairman, president and CEO of Alaska Airlines.

Special thanks to my wife, Danielle, and my niece, Ryan, for helping me film this video while on family vacation in Central Oregon.


Updated May 22, 2017

Alone on the airfield, one cart is reserved for heroes.

With blue paint, red carpet and American flag curtains, the customized cart carries the remains of fallen service members along their journey home to their final resting place.

It’s the most visible component of the Alaska Airlines Fallen Soldier Program, which ensures the remains are treated with respect and dignity upon arrival.

“I respect people who risk their lives for our freedoms, and I feel like this is a small thing I can do for them in return,” said John Van Dyke, a line aircraft technician in Seattle who volunteered his sheet-metal skills to help customize the cart.

In August 2014, the cart was delivered to Los Angeles International Airport.

Today, Alaska Airlines has dedicated carts in Anchorage, Seattle, Portland, San Diego, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Washington, D.C. and Dallas. While the carts remain under Alaska’s care at each of these locations, they are available for any airline to use when transporting soldiers’ remains.

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alaskan amber beer onboard alaska airlines

#iflyalaska because …

Today is National Relaxation Day – a unique holiday that pays respect to everything that makes summer so special. From lounging on the beach to grilling burgers in your backyard (or enjoying a complimentary inflight cocktail on Alaska Airlines), there are countless ways to enjoy the day your own way.

To celebrate, we’re offering all passengers 21 and older a complimentary beer, wine or cocktail on all Alaska Airlines flights Friday, Aug. 15, as well as partnering with Tommy Bahama to give away some amazing prizes.

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Itty Bitty Kitty at Kitty Harbor

They say cats have nine lives. Thanks to Alaska Airlines employee Robin Yong, a cat from West Seattle has all nine intact.

Yong heard the tale of Itty Bitty Kitty, a lost cat from West Seattle, via Facebook. Kitty, an older, orange and white tabby, ran away from home as his owners prepared to move from Seattle to Ohio. He missed the trip, slipping away as the car was being loaded. When his owner, Beth Lewis, realized that Itty Bitty was missing, the road trip was postponed as she searched high and low for her beloved pet.

But it was during the Fourth of July weekend, and the noise of fireworks likely kept him away. After a two-week delay, and no Kitty, the family made the painful decision to make the trip without him.

Several weeks later, a neighbor found the cat and called Kitty Harbor, a Seattle shelter and adoption facility for homeless cats and kittens. Itty Bitty Kitty arrived, looking like a mere shadow of his former self. Before, a plump 14 pounds, he had shrunk to only five pounds, had a gash in his throat, missing teeth and was full of fleas. Kitty Harbor provided medical care and a safe respite, nursing Kitty back to health.

Yet, while Lewis was thrilled that their beloved cat was found, she couldn’t drive or fly back to Seattle to get him. And Kitty couldn’t fly as cargo, due to his health.

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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.

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