Alaska Airlines Offers Holiday Travel Tips
SEATTLE — Alaska Airlines offers the following tips for passengers to help ensure their travel is as stress-free as possible during the busy holiday season. Learn more about Alaska Airlines' "Top Five Tips for Holiday Travel" at http://www.youtube.com/AlaskaAirVids.
Use technology to save time. Passengers can check in and pay baggage fees online for domestic and international flights up to 24 hours before departure at www.alaskaair.com. International passengers can also enter passport information online. Alaska Airlines provides kiosks at airports and many off-site locations, which allow customers to check in and pay baggage fees. Alaska also has a new mobile website and mobile apps that allow customers to check in, display an electronic boarding pass and keep track of flight information all via a smart phone.
Plan for transportation to the airport. Passengers should allow extra time for parking, as some lots may be full. Travelers are encouraged to take public transportation or a shuttle to the airport, or park at a nearby satellite lot. At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, travelers are encouraged to take advantage of off-peak times at drop-off areas. When picking up passengers in the evening, meet them at the less congested "Departures" level. Likewise, passengers traveling outbound in the busy morning hours will find less congestion by using the lower "Arrivals" level for drop-off and accessing the ticketing level via the elevators and escalators inside.
Know when to go — the earlier the better. Passengers should arrive at the airport at least two hours before domestic departures and three hours before international departures to allow additional time to check in and pass through security. Specific information for each airport is available at www.alaskaair.com. Passengers must be checked in, at the gate and ready to board at least 30 minutes prior to domestic departures and 40 minutes before international departures. Travelers checking bags must have their luggage processed at least 40 minutes prior to domestic departures and 60 minutes before international departures.
Know the baggage and carry-on limits. Alaska Airlines charges $20 for each of the first three bags. Additional fees apply to check more than three bags and for overweight or oversized items. First class and Gold-level Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members may check two bags free of charge. Club 49 members are allowed to check two bags at no charge when traveling to or from Alaska and all customers traveling solely within the state of Alaska may check three bags free of charge. Customers flying to or from Mexico City and Guadalajara, Mexico may check one bag free of charge. Travelers are strongly advised to provide a clear label on each piece of luggage. Tags should be placed outside and inside each piece of luggage and include the passenger's name, street address, e-mail address, permanent phone number and a phone number at the destination.
All airlines allow each traveler to carry onboard one bag and one personal item, such as a briefcase, laptop or purse. Bags should fit in the overhead bin and personal items under the seat. Passengers may bring shopping bags containing unwrapped gifts with them onto the plane in lieu of a carry-on suitcase. Details on size limitations for carry-on items are available at www.alaskaair.com. Travelers planning to transfer to flights on Alaska or other carriers must adhere to standard carry-on limits. Passengers should always carry prescription medications, passports, cameras, film, electronics, cash, jewelry, business papers and other valuables in their carry-ons.
Be savvy of security screening: Travelers are advised to allow additional time for passenger security screening procedures. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires all passengers to present government-issued identification at the security checkpoint. Passengers traveling between the United States, Canada and Mexico are required to have a passport. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of State website at www. travel.state.gov.
Travelers can pass through security faster by limiting the number of electronic devices they carry and by removing shoes, metal objects and laptop computers before entering the screening area. The TSA has strict rules for liquids, gels and aerosols in carry-on bags. Each passenger is permitted to bring these items in three-ounce or smaller containers, and all containers must be packed in one quart-sized, clear plastic zip-top bag. The TSA requires each passenger to place this bag in a bin on the conveyor belt for X-ray screening. TSA rules permit prescription medications through security checkpoints and require them to be declared. More information, including a list of prohibited items and tips for expediting the screening process, is available at www.tsa.gov.
Fee information: Alaska Airlines' charge for transporting pets in the cabin is $100 one way. The pet carrier is considered one of the traveler's two carry-ons. The fee for unaccompanied minors (children traveling alone) is $25 one way. The airline's reservation change fee is $75, plus any change in fare. For a complete list of Alaska Airlines' optional services and fees, visit http://bit.ly/UPlpze .
Alaska Airlines, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together with its partner regional airlines, serves 95 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. Alaska Airlines has ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Network Carriers" in the J.D. Power and Associates North America Airline Satisfaction StudySM for five consecutive years from 2008 to 2012. For reservations, visit www.alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines newsroom at www.alaskaair.com/newsroom.