Alaska Airlines

Put your name on Helsinki Airport. Plus more airport & airline news.

Want an airport named after you? It’s easy. In Finland

Dulles International Airport. John F. Kennedy International Airport. Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport.

It’s a big deal to have an airport named for you.

In Finland, though, anyone can have Helsinkin Airport named for them. At least for a few moments.

Finavia Corporation, which manages Finland’s airport network has created a way for anyone to have their name put on the front of the Helsinki Airport terminal buildl long enough to snap a selfie or two.

Here’s how to make it happen for you.

Go to www.myhelsinkiairport.fi, put your name in the form, and hit submit.

Your entry will be reviewed to make sure it’s not off-color or inappropriate. And then, depending on how many requests are in ahead of you, your name will appear over the Helsinki Airport sign on the front of the terminal.

We tested it out and filled out the form early morning Finland time from Seattle. Then we watched on the website as our name popped up on the airport sign within seconds.

Unfortunately, of course, we couldn’t get a selfie with our sign because were weren’t standing out in front of the airport in person. But we’re determined to get there so we can get that snap.

In the meatime, we’re declaring this Airport Amenity of the Week. Agree?

Holidays at Airports and in the Air

We’re gathering up news of holiday events and amenities being rolled out by airports and airlines.

Here are a few to round out the week.

Let us know what we’re missing at your airport.

Shopping at Alaska Airlines’ Company Store

The newest location of Alaska Airlines’ Company Store is in “The Hub,” a 6-story office building the carrier opened near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) in July 2020, just as the world was going into lockdown due to the pandemic.

That’s why there’s been little publicity about this great avgeek shopping destination.

Until now.

The store is filled with all manner of branded gear for fans of Alaska Airlines and its sister regional carrier, Horizon Air.

During our visit before Thanksgiving, we found lots of great gifts at very reasonable prices.

Here are some snaps of just some of our purchases, which are also available online.

Shopping for someone who’s a fan of another airline? America Airlines, Frontier Airlines,  Southwest, JetBlue, Hawaiian Airlines, and United Airlines, and Delta Air Lines also have branded online shops.

(Read more about our visit to Alaska Airlines’ company store in a piece we wrote for The Points Guy.)

Stuck at the Airport: Travel Tidbits

Clyde Pangborn’s Uneaten Sandwich

An old, stale sandwich locked away in a Washington state museum is drawing fresh attention to an aviation daredevil and the 90th anniversary of a record-setting flight.

The sandwich is said to have traveled with Clyde “Upside-Down” Pangborn. But when? It could have been in 1926, when he was wowing spectators as a stuntman in a flying circus, doing aerial stunts such as loops, flying upside down, changing planes in midair, and completing auto-to-airplane transfers. Or it could have been in October 1931, when Pangborn and co-pilot Hugh Herndon, Jr. set a transpacific record by flying nonstop from Misawa, Japan, to East Wenatchee, Washington, in 41 hours and 13 minutes (some say 15 minutes).

Either way, the sandwich that is tucked away a the Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center is really, really old and gaining new attention because this month is the anniversary of Pangborn’s record-setting flight. Read more about Pangborn and the sandwich in the story we wrote for The Points Guy.

(Photos courtesy of the Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center).

Alaska Airlines unleashes the Kraken plane

In Seattle, the home base of Stuck at The Airport, we have a new hockey professional ice hockey team, called the Kraken.

The city is pretty darn excited. And so is Seattle-based Alaska Airlines, which is the Kraken’s official airline.

To celebrate, the airline is flying a custom Kraken-themed plane on routes to the team’s away games in cities Alaska Airline serves.

And here’s a nice perk: now through the end of the hockey season, Kraken fans who wear the teams’ jersey can board early on all Alaska flights departing from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and Paine Field (PAE).

Phoenix Sky Harbor Int’l Airport Moves a Mural

A large 3-part mural by Paul Coze that has been greeting travelers inside Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport for decades has a new home in the airport’s Rental Car Center.

Here’s a time-lapse video of the move.

“The Phoenix,” is a triptych 75 feet wide and 16 feet high and is believed to be the first piece of public art commissioned by the city that was chosen through a public process. The mural debuted when Terminal 2 opened in 1962.

The imagery in the mural includes depictions and symbols that relate to the area’s first inhabitants, the Hohokam, as well as modern tribes and Latino heritage. Also represented are wagon trains, railroads, cattle ranching, mining, and technology. Besides paint media, 52 different materials, including glass and ceramic mosaic tiles, soil and sand from around the state, plastics, aluminum, and gemstones, are used in the mural construction.

So you can imagine that moving this mural was a delicate undertaking. But it looks like it worked out just fine.

A look at Alaska Airline’s new lounge at SFO

We stopped by the new Alaska Airlines lounge in Terminal 2 at San Fransico International Airport (SFO) to see for ourselves what the space was like.

Sadly, the sourdough toast cart wasn’t open for business during our visit. Instead, we indulged in a made-for-us Americano and treats from the serve-yourself candy bar. There are jars filled with Ghirardelli chocolate, Jelly Belly beans, and fortune cookies from the Oakland Fortune Cookie Factory. We tried them all.   

Besides the great airfield views, the best part of this lounge may be the San Francisco Giants-themed children’s play area. This space has adorable, kid-sized baseball-inspired furniture. There’s a wall of baseball bobbleheads. And an interactive display of different types of pitches.

Airlines offering heat waivers & banning pets from cargo

A heatwave in the Pacific Northwest and some other parts of the country is adding another challenge to air travel as we head into a holiday weekend.

As a result, some airlines, including American Airlines and United Airlines, are offering fee-free travel waivers. And Alaska Airlines has put a ban on pets traveling as cargo to and from more than a dozen cities until at least after the July 4th weekend.

Here are some of the details, and useful links to policies as of Monday evening, June 28:

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines is ‘pre-canceling’ some flights and has travel advisories posted for many cities experiencing heatwaves, including BurbankFresnoNew OrleansOntarioPalm SpringsPhoenixPortlandRedmondSacramentoSeattleSpokaneTexas, and Tucson.

And while Alaska Airlines isn’t offering change fee waivers as of Monday evening, it is pre-canceling some flights.

“While we never want to let our guests down, only a small fraction of our flights have been pre-canceled and we are doing our best to re-accommodate those guests,” the airline said on its website, “

And, because of the heat, through July 7, Alaska Airlines is not accepting animals for travel in the baggage departments to or from most of the affected airports listed above. Ticketed pets are still permitted to travel in the cabin with their owners.

Waivers offered by American and United Airlines

American Airlines’ change fee waiver offer is in effect for ticketed travelers through June 29 for trips to, through, or from the cities below. The airlines’ website notes that this information was current as of June 25, 2021, so if record-breaking heat continues in these areas, the waiver could be updated or extended. Check the website for details.

  • Billings, Montana (BIL)
  • Boise, Idaho (BOI)
  • Bozeman, Montana (BZN)
  • Eugene, Oregon (EUG)
  • Eureka Arcata, California (ACV)
  • Idaho Falls (IDA)
  • Jackson Hole, Wyoming (JAC)
  • Kalispell, Montana (FCA)
  • Medford, Oregon (MFR)
  • Missoula, Montana (MSO)
  • Portland, Oregon (PDX)
  • Redmond / Bend, Oregon (RDM)
  • Reno, Nevada (RNO)
  • Sacramento, California (SMF)
  • Salt Lake City, Utah (SLC)
  • Seattle, Washington (SEA)
  • Spokane, Washington (GEG)

The heat-related travel waiver on United Airlines also currently covers travel booked through June 29 and includes this long list of cities:

  • McKinleyville, CA (ACV)
  • Boise, ID (BOI)
  • Bozeman, MT (BZN)
  • Cody, WY (COD)
  • Eugene, OR (EUG)
  • Everett, WA (PAE)
  • Great Falls, MT (GTF)
  • Helena, MT (HLN)
  • Idaho Falls, ID (IDA)
  • Jackson, WY (JAC)
  • Kalispell, MT (FCA)
  • Medford, OR (MFR)
  • Missoula, MT (MSO)
  • Moab, UT (CNY)
  • North Bend, OR (OTH)
  • Pasco, WA (PSC)
  • Portland, OR (PDX)
  • Redding, CA (RDD)
  • Redmond, OR (RDM)
  • Reno, NV (RNO)
  • Sacramento, CA (SMF)
  • Salt Lake City, UT (SLC)
  • Seattle, WA (SEA)
  • Spokane, WA (GEG)
  • Twin Falls, ID (TWF)
  • Vernal, UT (VEL)
  • West Yellowstone, MT (WYS)