New flights and (maybe) a free checked bag on Alaska Airlines

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines commenced new service from Seattle and Portland, announced new routes from Los Angeles, Seattle and Boise, Idaho and will offer holders of its credit card a free checked bag.

Alaska 737 departs SEA
On July 1, the carrier inaugurated new daily service between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and General Mitchell International Airport (MKE) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Will Rogers World Airport (OKC) Oklahoma City, as well as new service between Portland International Airport (PDX) in Oregon and Lambert-St. Louis International (STL) in St. Louis.

Outbound flights to Milwaukee will leave SEA at 9:25 a.m., and arrive at MKE at 3:25 p.m. Return flights will depart at 4:05 p.m. and land at SEA at 6:25 p.m.  Flights to OKC will leave SEA at 10:30 a.m., and arrive at 4:23 p.m. Return flights will leave at 5:05 p.m., and arrive at 7:14 p.m.

Daily flights from PDX to STL will depart at 10:10 a.m., arriving at 4:15 p.m. Return flights will push back from the gate at 4:45 p.m. and reach Seattle at 7:07 p.m.

The daily flights will be operated by SkyWest Airlines and will use 76-seat E175 jets which offer 12 First Class seats and 64 Economy seats. Cabin dimensions on par with the 737s Alaska uses widely. Onboard amenities will include Alaska Beyond Delicious, featuring food and beverages sourced with items from iconic Pacific Northwest brands, and in-flight Internet access. By mid-July the planes will also be equipped with Alaska Beyond Entertainment, which offers free and premium entertainment direct to customer devices. First Class customers will also have power outlets at each seat, the airline said.

The carrier also recently announced that, come November, it will start new daily round-trip service between Los Angeles (LAX) and Monterey Regional Airport (MRY) in northern California; and from LAX to Boise, Idaho (BOI) and Reno, Nevada (RNO). New service from LAX will begin Nov. 5. A new seasonal flight between LAX and Gunnison/Crested Butte Regional Airport (GUC) will shuttle skiers and snowboarders from California to Colorado starting in December.

“We continue to invest in our Los Angeles focus city and in expanding our regional route network,” John Kirby, Alaska’s vice president of capacity planning, said in a statement. “These new flights will connect key cities in California, Idaho and Nevada [and add a] new ski destination for our customers in Southern California.”

Daily flights will leave MRY at 6 a.m. starting Nov. 6 and reach LAX at 7:18 a.m. Flights from LAX to MRY will commence Nov. 0, departing at 740 p.m., and arriving in Monterey at 9:05 p.m.

New flights between RNO and BOI will commence Nov. 5. Flights will leave RNO at 4:35 p.m., and land in BOI at 6:55 p.m. Flights in the other direction will leave BOI at 6:15 p.m., and reach Reno at 6:44 p.m.

Seasonal flights between LAX and GUC will run from Dec. 16 through March 26, 2016 on Wednesdays and Saturdays, departing LAX at either 9:30 a.m. or 1:15 p.m., arriving in Colorado at either 12:55 p.m., or 4:40 p.m., respectively. Return flights will leave GUC at either 1:35 p.m., or 5:20 p.m., to arrive in the City of Angels at either 3:10 p.m., or 6:55 p.m.

The flights will be operated by Alaska’s sister carrier Horizon Air, using a 76-seat Bombardier Q400 aircraft. Customers flying on flights operated by Horizon are provided free soft drinks and Starbucks coffee, a la cart planeside baggage service, and complimentary Northwest wine and microbrews for passengers 21 years and older.

Alaska has also announced that it will upgrade its service from LAX Loreto, Mexico (LTO), beginning Nov. 1. The flights, which currently use 76-seat Bombardier Q400 aircraft, will use Boeing (NYSE:BA) 737 aircraft beginning in November. The frequency of those flights will also change from the current daily flights to four weekly flights operated Thursday through Sunday. Despite the reduction in frequency, the airline said the switch to 737s will add about 70 additional seats to the route each week.

Finally, the airline announced that it would waive the checked bag fee for holders of its Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card as well as family and friends traveling on the same reservation. The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card is issued by Bank of America (NYSE:BAC).

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Airlines are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group (NYSE:ALK).

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Photo by Carl Dombek
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