Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air Offer Summer Travel Tips
5/21/2008 8:11 a.m.
SEATTLE —With the Memorial Day holiday comes the beginning of the summer travel season. Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air offer the following tips for stress-free travel. More information is available in the "Know Before You Go" section of the airlines' Web sites — alaskaair.com and horizonair.com.
· Be aware of new fees. In order to align with the rest of the industry and in response to increasing costs, Horizon and Alaska recently changed their fee structure. Starting today, the charge for an overweight bag (more than 50 pounds) will increase to $50, the charge for transporting pets in the cabin increases to $100 one-way, the charge for booking a reservation at the ticket counter or through reservations increases to $15, and the unaccompanied minor fee will be $75 for one-way nonstop or connecting flights. Additionally, beginning July 1, Alaska and Horizon will begin charging $25 for a second and $100 for a third checked bag. First class and Gold-level Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members, and customers flying to or from Mexico City may check two bags free of charge, and customers on flights within the state of Alaska may check three bags free of charge, before excess fees apply. Passengers can pay for additional bags with a credit card at the airport through Alaska and Horizon check-in kiosks or at the ticket counter.
· Be prepared for security procedures. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has specific rules for carrying liquids and gels in carry-on luggage, in addition to procedures related to electronics. Become familiar with all their procedures, as well as prohibited items, by checking the TSA Web site, www.tsa.gov.
· Be aware of passport requirements for international travel. 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 Web site at www.travel.state.gov.
· Know when to arrive at the airport and gate. Passengers should arrive at the airport at least two hours before a domestic departure and three hours before an international flight. Travelers should contact individual airports for specific recommended arrival times. Alaska and Horizon customers must be at the gate at least 30 minutes before a domestic departure and 40 minutes before an international flight. These guidelines apply to all airports, regardless of size.
· Allow extra time to get to the airport. Parking lots may be full during peak travel periods. Alaska and Horizon encourage passengers to take alternative transportation to the airport or park at a nearby satellite parking lot.
· Check in online. Alaska and Horizon passengers can check in online up to 24 hours before a domestic or international flight at alaskaair.com or horizonair.com. International passengers can enter passport information online. Passengers who check in online should leave ample time to check any luggage at the airport. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members earn 1,000 Mileage Plan miles the first time they check in online.
· Use a check-in kiosk. Alaska and Horizon provide more than 400 convenient check-in kiosks at airports and many off-site locations. Kiosks allow passengers to check in for flights, print boarding passes, pay to check additional pieces of luggage, and change seat assignments. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members earn 1,000 Mileage Plan miles the first time they check in at a kiosk.
· Know the carry-on and checked luggage limits. Federal rules allow each customer to carry only one standard–sized carry-on bag and one personal item, such as a purse or laptop computer. Baggage fees will apply to items beyond the carry-on limits. Detailed information is available at alaskaair.com and horizonair.com.
· Keep valuables in your carry-on luggage. Passengers should carry prescription medication, passports, cash, jewelry, business papers, laptops, cameras and other valuables in their carry-on luggage to keep control of these items.
· Properly label luggage. Passengers should provide their name, address, phone number, destination phone number and e-mail address on a label inside and outside each piece of luggage.
· Know the rules for large or unusual items. Passengers with excess luggage, pets or oversized items, such as golf clubs, should check airline policies ahead of time.
· Take the express security line. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan MVP Gold members and passengers with no carry-on items can use express lines at security checkpoints in Anchorage, Alaska; Portland, Ore.; Seattle; and Spokane, Wash. Express lines also are available for Horizon Shuttle passengers flying between Seattle or Portland and Spokane.
Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air together serve 93 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. For reservations, visit alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Newsroom at alaskaair.com/newsroom.