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23 Nov, 2011

Airline Offers Tips To Facilitate Passenger Flow During Peak Holiday Travel

SEATTLE, Nov. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — To prevent anticipation of the busy holiday travel season, Alaska Airlines offers the following tips, all very useful for other airlines to copy in communicating with passengers during peak travel seasons worldwide:

(+) Check in online or at a kiosk. Passengers can check in online for domestic and international flights up to 24 hours before departure at www.alaskaair.com. International passengers also can enter passport information online. Alaska also provides check-in kiosks at airports and many off-site locations. 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. Passengers may bring shopping bags containing 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 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, street address, e-mail address, permanent phone number and a phone number at the passenger’s destination.

Be aware of fees

Baggage: 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, 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. Club 49 members are allowed to check two bags at no charge when traveling to or from Alaska. All customers traveling solely 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 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 $25 one way.

(+) Change fees: The airline’s reservation change fee is $75 for changes online at alaskaair.com. A $100 fee applies to changes made through an Alaska Airlines call center.

(+) Bring proper identification. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires all passengers to present government-issued identification at the security checkpoint.

(+) 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 website 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 www.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. Travelers are encouraged to take public transportation or a shuttle to the airport, or park at a nearby satellite lot.

Getting through security

(+) Prepare to line up at security checkpoints. Travelers are advised to allow additional time for the TSA’s enhanced passenger security screening procedures. Passengers should avoid bringing prohibited items through the security line. A list of prohibited items and tips for expediting the screening process are available at www.tsa.gov. Passengers 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.

(+) Be familiar with rules for liquids. The 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.

(+) 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 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 Studies(SM). For more information:  www.alaskaair.com.