Changes at Alaska Airlines?
Alaska Airlines is in the news. First, they’ve reported record earnings. They must be doing something right, huh? Above, we were flying over Lake Tahoe when I snapped this shot. The airline has floated the idea of using turboprops on some of its routes here in Alaska. These “Q-400s” are the stretch version of the Dash-8s that Era Alaska uses throughout Southcentral Alaska. With a capacity of up to 70 passengers, they carry almost as many travelers as the 737-combi aircraft they fly to Nome/Kotzebue and in Southeast Alaska. Right, I’m looking back on Mt. St. Helens as we climb to altitude out of Sea-Tac. The Q400s are slower, smaller and cheaper to operate.
To defend their turf here in Anchorage, Alaska Airlines is offering double mileage in two markets: Anchorage-Los Angeles (starting May 23) and Anchorage-Denver (starting June 6). It’s not just a coincidence, mind you, that these are the same dates that jetBlue and Frontier start their seasonal service. Fare levels will drop, too.
Last week, I had an interesting flight up from Seattle on Alaska Airlines. I wrote about it in the Alaska Dispatch. Click here to read it.