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Alaska Airlines Partners with Banfield Pet Hospital for Fur-st Class Pet Care

SEATTLE — Alaska Airlines today announced an exclusive partnership with Banfield® Pet Hospital, the nation's largest general veterinary practice, to help travelers prepare their pets for takeoff. With more than 800 hospitals in 43 states, Banfield Pet Hospital is offering Alaska Airlines customers traveling with or shipping their pets a free office visit, travel consultation and $10 discount on a health certificate, which is required for all pets traveling 12in the cabin, as baggage or as air cargo.

"We know pets play an important role in our lives and we share Alaska's commitment to fostering the human-pet bond by being one of the leading airlines for pet travel," said Dr. Karen Johnson, vice president and client advocate for Banfield Pet Hospital. "When it comes to pets, there is nothing more important than ensuring their health and safety whether at home or on a trip. We're proud to partner with such a well-respected organization that has a great track record of pet safety during travel."

Alaska Airlines employees receive specialized training in safely transporting pets and follow strict guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in conjunction with the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service and the Consumer Division of the Department of Transportation. The carrier's pet-friendly practices were recognized by the website Smarter Traveler.com when it named Alaska the "Most Pet-Friendly Airline" in 2009.

In addition to allowing customers to travel with their pets in the cabin through its Fur-st Class® Care service, the airline also offers PetStreak® Animal Express service for shipping animals via air freight in a safe and caring environment when their owner isn't traveling with them. To celebrate the new partnership with Banfield Pet Hospitals, Alaska Air Cargo is offering a 10 percent discount on PetStreak Animal Express shipments through June 9, 2012.*

"Alaska is one of few airlines that still welcomes pets onboard—both in the cabin and the cargo hold—and we're committed to pet care and safety," said Torque Zubeck, managing director of Alaska Air Cargo. "We are proud to partner with Banfield Pet Hospital to provide our customers a professional resource for ensuring their pet is prepared, safe and comfortable during air travel."

To further enhance pet well-being, Alaska Airlines is implementing new kennel standards for animals traveling in the airplane hold, starting May 1, 2012. Kennels will require nut-and-bolt locks to ensure the animals remain safely in their kennel throughout their travel.

"We also believe it is very important to acclimate pets to their kennel well in advance of the travel day to help reduce stress," Dr. Johnson said. "We recommend pet owners begin by putting the carrier in a common area in the house and gradually begin giving treats and feeding their pet inside the crate so they associate it as being a safe and positive place."

Alaska Airlines' travelers with a pet reservation can learn more about the partnership offer by visiting www.banfield.com/alaskaairlines. Travelers can also find a list of pet travel tips, provided by Banfield veterinarians, and learn more about Alaska Airlines' pet travel polices, including its new kennel requirements, at www.alaskaair.com.

Alaska Airlines flew nearly 83,000 pets throughout its route system last year.

About Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together serve more than 90 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. Alaska Airlines ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Network Carriers" in the J.D. Power and Associates 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 North America Airline Satisfaction StudiesSM. For reservations, visit www.alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Newsroom at www.alaskaair.com/newsroom.

About Banfield Pet Hospital

Founded in Portland, Ore., in 1955, Banfield has become the largest general veterinary practice in the world, with more than 800 hospitals in neighborhoods across the United States. More than 2,600 veterinarians at Banfield are committed to giving pets the highest quality veterinary care. Banfield hospitals offer a full range of comprehensive medical services, computerized medical records, preventive care plans for pets and extended operating hours. Banfield Pet Hospital helps extend the lives of millions of pets each year through Optimum Wellness Plans®. For journalists seeking more information, please visit our press room at www.banfield.com/press-room or contact our 24-hour Media Hotline at (888) 355-0595.

*Alaska Air Cargo offer is a 10 percent discount off PetStreak Animal Express tariff rates. Customer must mention Banfield at the time of booking to receive discount. Contract rates do not apply and discount cannot be combined with other discounts or offers. Cargo rates are airport-to-airport and subject to taxes, fees, and fuel and security surcharges. Contact Alaska Air Cargo's Service Center at 800-2ALASKA daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific time to book PetStreak service or visit www.alaskacargo.com for more information.

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