Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air Offer Holiday Travel Tips
11/23/2009 8:55 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 or at a kiosk. 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. Alaska and Horizon also provide more than 440 convenient check-in kiosks at airports and many off-site locations. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members earn 1,000 miles the first time they check in online or at an Alaska or Horizon kiosk. Passengers should leave ample time to check any luggage at the airport.
•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. Customers planning to transfer to flights on Alaska or other carriers must adhere to standard carry-on limits. Customers should always keep valuables with them on the aircraft.
•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.
•Be aware of new or increased fees.
Baggage: Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air charge $15 for a first checked bag, $25 for a second and $50 for a third. First class and Gold-level Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members, and customers flying to or from Mexico City and Guadalajara, Mexico, may check two bags free of charge. Customers on flights within the state of Alaska may check three bags free of charge. Additionally, passengers boarding in Santa Rosa, Calif., can check one properly packaged box of wine free of charge. The charge for an overweight bag (more than 50 pounds) is $50. To avoid airport congestion, passengers can pay for baggage fees with a credit card online during the Web check-in process, or at the airport through an Alaska or Horizon check-in kiosk or customer service agent.
Unaccompanied minor and pet fees: The charge for transporting pets in the cabin is $100 one way. The fee for unaccompanied minors (children traveling alone) is $75 one way. Horizon Air prohibits pets from traveling as checked baggage during peak holiday travel between Nov. 23-29, and Dec. 21-Jan. 3, 2010.
Change fees: The airlines' reservation change fee is $100 for changes made through an Alaska Airlines or Horizon Air call center or airport ticket counter. A $75 fee applies to changes made at alaskaair.com.
• 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 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 and 40 minutes before international departures. Passengers checking bags must have their luggage processed at least 40 minutes prior to domestic departures and 60 minutes before international departures.
•Plan for transportation to the airport. Passengers should allow extra time for parking, as some lots may be full. Passengers are encouraged to take a shuttle to the airport or park at a satellite parking lot nearby.
•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.
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 and 2009 North America Airline Satisfaction StudiesSM. For reservations, visit alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Newsroom at alaskaair.com/newsroom.