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Have you ever been stuck in traffic and thought: “There has got to be a better way to get where I’m going”? Pilots often think the same thing up in the air. In the hours before takeoff, airline dispatchers specifically plan flights and file flight plans using the best information available at the time. But conditions change: turbulent weather moves in, the airspace suddenly becomes more congested or better flying lanes open… Read More

Good pilots are known for their technical expertise, precision, teamwork and customer service. At Alaska Air Group, pilots go beyond that to also exemplify the company’s core values: Own safety, do the right thing, be kindhearted, deliver performance and be remarkable. These professionals have a deep and unwavering commitment to outstanding flying skills. They take seriously their command responsibility and authority. At the same time, they know they’re not just flying planes,… Read More

Alaska Airlines Captain Chris Cice, left, helped mentor Todd Swenson, right. In February, Swenson became one of Alaska’s newest captains. When Alaska Airlines Captain Chris Cice started chatting with a guest on a flight from Seattle to Oakland about 20 years ago, he had no idea that he’d inspire a new captain. Fast forward to today: That guest – Todd Swenson – was promoted to captain at Alaska Airlines in February, fulfilling a dream… Read More

Scratch the surface of almost any pilot and you’ll find a kid who dreamed of flying. When Alaska Airlines First Officer Erin Recke was little, she wanted to fly jet fighters. But it wasn’t until one significant day in her mid-20s when her dream really took off. “I took a flying lesson just for fun,” she recalled. “But I fell in love the minute we left the runway. I knew right then that flying… Read More

This is a photo of a father-daughter pilot team in front of an Alaska Airlines jet

This Father’s Day, a special pair of pilots is scheduled to fly together for Alaska Airlines: Captain Nick Cosmakos and First Officer Niclina Cosmakos plan to work as a father-daughter flight crew on Sunday. They are scheduled to fly together all month. Niclina credits her love of flying to her father, and fondly remembers flying with him when she and her brother were kids. “He had us in small airplanes flying out… Read More

Photo of a Virgin America flight simulator in warehouse.

 We talked to Capt. Christopher Owens, our chief instructor pilot, about how Virgin America uses our flight simulator. For those of you not familiar with professional flight simulators, think of it like a large machine that perfectly replicates our Airbus A320-family aircraft. The avionics and flight deck controls are exactly the same as those in our A320s, and the simulator mimics the motion and sounds pilots would normally feel and hear in… Read More