Flying Alaska

This blog isn't really about product or service endorsements but really, I feel like, as an Alaskan, I really need to offer up some appreciation to Alaska Airlines.

My family just got back from nine days on the Big Island of Hawaii. It was rough flying with Pea and Little Hunter. Our trip got off to a bad start when Pea pitched a fit about shoes in the airport parking lot causing us to forget the backpack full of books, crayons, stickers, movies and such in the back of the car. 

We were so busy managing her tears, a mobile and speedy Little Hunter, and our own pile of luggage that we didn't realize what happened until our flight left from Portland hours and miles later. Nothing like being stuck at 39,000 feet with two bored kids and only a diaper bag to entertain them. Trust me, we will not make that mistake again. Wipes make for miserable origami paper.

But Alaska Airlines - they're really good. They're really good.

First of all, Club 49. It's a fabulous program where Alaskans who fly on Alaskan can check two free bags. These days, that's huge. Especially when you're traveling with an infant. It's also considerate of people living up here and the requirements of bush travel.

The early days of Club 49 were pretty funny. I think we Alaskans let it go to our heads and checked two pieces no matter what. Amidst those early mountains of luggage, there were some seriously vintage cases coming down the chutes. It's like we scoured our storage places for whatever luggage we could find just because we could. Happily, we're over it and our baggage carousels seem to back to normal.

Speaking of baggage: the 20 minute guarantee on your luggage hitting the carousel? That's awesome. A few years ago, I waited two hours for my luggage to be delivered at SeaTac. It would have been horrible if I had kids. Thankfully I didn't. My cousin Sharon met me at the terminal and she makes everything fun, even a long wait for luggage. She has a gift for that.

The check-in process is seamless. You basically plug some info into a kiosk and it spits out your boarding passes and your luggage labels. You get to label your own luggage which I think is kind of a fun thing to do with a kid. Then you drop your luggage with a friendly person manning a scale and a conveyor belt and off you go. If you're lucky enough to be traveling from an airport with SkyCap then all that is done for you.

I could go on about in-flight considerations but if you're reading this, chances are you're in Alaska and you've seen it for yourself.

Before I sign off, a nod to the staff at Alaska Airlines. A company is only as good as the people working for it and Alaska Airlines seems to know that. I've put this airline through its paces. We've been late for flights, we missed connections, we encountered bad weather, we've flown home for family emergencies, we brought babies, we brought sick babies, we brought smelly babies, we brought busy toddlers, we brought cranky tired preschoolers - they've handled it all with grace knowing that we're human and we travel for a reason. 

Thank you Alaska Airlines.