ALASKA AIR GROUP, hoping to cut costs and reduce expenses in light of higher fuel prices, will increase the charge for booking through reservations and airport sales agents from $10 to $15, effective May 21. Also on that day, Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air will raise the fee for overweight baggage from $25 to $50, increase the charge for transporting pets in the cabin from $75 to $100 one-way and raise the unaccompanied-minor fee from $30 to $75 for one-way, nonstop flights and from $60 to $75 for connecting flights.
ON THE COST-CUTTING SIDE, Horizon plans to transition from a fleet of 65 aircraft and three aircraft types to a single fleet of 76-seat Bombardier Q400s. The airline will phase out its fleet of 20 Bombardier CRJ-700 regional jets within two years. The fleet change is in addition to a previously announced phase-out of its 12 remaining 37-seat Bombardier Q200s by June 2009. Flight frequency reductions will be necessary in certain markets as will some workforce reductions as Horizon transitions to a smaller fleet. Alaska Air Group on April 24 reported a first-quarter net loss of $35.9 million.
THE ALASKA RAILROAD has added several packages this year for the adventure traveler. New packages include the Kenai Deluxe Adventure and the Alaska Fishing Sampler, programs that are geared to anglers who want to combine fishing with other activities or to anglers who might be traveling with nonfishing companions. A new Alaska Indulgence package takes visitors from the Arctic Circle to the seaport town of Seward, the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park. The 12-day package includes off-the-beaten-path experiences in Denali National Park's backcountry and remote fly-in lodges. For more information or reservations, call (800) 544-0552 or visit www.alaskarailroad.com/passenger.
MUSIC LOVERS might want to time their trips to Alaska to coincide with the Juneau Jazz & Classics festival, scheduled for May 16 to 25 in Alaska's capital city. More than 30 musicians and groups, including blues-rockers Hot Tuna, bluesman Charlie Musselwhite, jazz trio the Bad Plus and the classical Brentano String Quartet, will perform in multiple venues throughout the city during the 10-day event. Travelers flying within Alaska to Juneau during the festival will receive a 5% discount on Alaska Airlines. Visit www.alaskaair.com and input ECCMA0931 in the discount code box when searching for flights. Online ticket sales are available at www.jazzandclassics.org.
Alaska Editor: Jorge Sidron
Phone: (973) 898-0011
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