Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air Offer Holiday Travel Tips
11/24/2008 8:31 a.m.
SEATTLE — In anticipation of the busy holiday travel season, Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air offer the following tips for stress-free travel:
•Check in online. Alaska and Horizon passengers can check in online for domestic and international flights up to 24 hours before departure at alaskaair.com or horizonair.com. International passengers also can enter passport information online. Passengers should leave ample time to check any luggage at the airport. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members earn 1,000 miles the first time they check in online.
•Know the carry-on limits. All airlines allow one carry-on bag and one personal item, such as a briefcase, laptop or purse. Details on size limitations for carry-on items are available at alaskaair.com. Horizon's planeside Ala Cart service allows slightly larger carry-on items. Customers using this service planning to transfer to flights on Alaska or other carriers must adhere to standard carry-on limits. Customers using the Ala Cart service should keep valuables with them on the aircraft.
•Be aware of new or increased fees.
Baggage: Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air charge $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. The charge for an overweight bag (more than 50 pounds) has increased to $50. 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.
Unaccompanied minor and pet fees: The charge for transporting pets in the cabin is $100 one way, and the fee for unaccompanied minors (children traveling alone) is $75 one way.
Booking and change fees: Our reservation change fee is $100 for changes made through an Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air call center or an airport ticket counter. Changes made at alaskaair.com will be charged a discounted $75 fee. The charge for booking a reservation at the ticket counter or through a call center is $15.
•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.
•Prepare to line up at security checkpoints. Passengers should avoid bringing prohibited items through the security line. A list of prohibited items is available at tsa.gov. Passengers can pass through security more quickly by limiting the number of electronic devices they carry and by removing shoes, metal objects and laptop computers before entering the screening area.
•Be familiar with rules for liquids. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has strict rules for packing 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 or on the conveyor belt for X-ray screening. TSA rules do permit some exceptions for breastfeeding mothers and people traveling with infants. Full TSA rules are available at tsa.gov.
•Carry on valuables, fragile items and medication. Passengers should carry prescription medications, passports, cameras, film, electronics, cash, jewelry, business papers and other valuables in carry-on luggage to keep control of these items. TSA rules permit prescription medications through security checkpoints and require them to be declared.
•Leave gifts unwrapped. Wrapped packages are subject to inspection regardless of whether passengers carry them through security or in checked luggage
•Take the express line. MVP Gold Mileage Plan members can use express lines at security checkpoints in Seattle; Spokane, Wash.; Anchorage, Alaska; and Portland, Ore. Express lines also are available for Horizon Shuttle passengers traveling between Seattle, Portland and Spokane.
•Properly label all luggage. Passengers should provide a clearly printed label on the outside and inside of each piece of luggage. Tags should include name, address, e-mail address, permanent phone number and a phone number at the passenger's destination.
•Know when to go. In general, passengers should arrive at the airport at least two hours before domestic departures and three hours before international departures. Specific information for each airport is available at alaskaair.com. Regardless of the size of the airport, passengers must be checked in, at the gate and ready to board at least 30 minutes prior to domestic departures, or 40 minutes before international departures.
•Check in at the Alaska Airlines Airport of the Future facility in Seattle. Alaska and Horizon customers checking in for flights at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport are encouraged to use the airlines' new Airport of the Future check-in facility. The facility allows customers to print boarding passes at check-in kiosks and check bags at 16 bag-check points. Customers with questions about how the new facility works can request assistance from Alaska Airlines' Lobby Coordinators, who wear red vests/jackets.
•Use a check-in kiosk. Alaska and Horizon provide more than 400 convenient check-in kiosks at airports and many off-site locations. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members earn 1,000 Mileage Plan miles the first time they check in at a kiosk.
•Plan for transportation to the airport. Passengers should allow extra time for parking as some lots might be full. Passengers are encouraged to take a shuttle to the airport or park at a satellite parking lot nearby.
Alaska Airlines and sister carrier Horizon Air 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 (tie)" in the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 North America Airline Satisfaction StudySM. For reservations, visit alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Newsroom at alaskaair.com/newsroom.