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Alaska Airlines lets (more) wine fly free

Alaska Airlines expands its Wine Flies Free program as it becomes increasingly dominant on the West Coast.

Alaska Airlines has expanded its Wine Flies Free program to include 18 airports on the West Coast, a region where it has been increasingly dominant as it integrates Virgin America.

The program allows members of its Mileage Plan to check in a case of wine – 12 bottles – free of charge on domestic flights from selected markets.

Newly added to the program are the California airports Burbank, Fresno, Los Angeles, Monterey, Oakland, Ontario, Orange County, Palm Springs, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose and Santa Barbara, as well as Washington airports Bellingham, Seattle, Pullman, Spokane and Wenatchee.

Those join the 11 other airports in California, Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Among the markets are, for example, Santa Rosa, which serves the wine-rich Sonoma area; the Washington wine destinations Yakima and Walla Walla; and Portland and Eugene airports, close to the pinot noir wineries of the Willamette Valley.

Hauling a crate home
As the online newspaper SFGate puts it, “Let’s say you come across a little-known winery on a trip and sample the best pinot noir or zin you’ve ever tasted. You’d love to haul a bunch back home, but how do you get it on the plane, and at what cost?”

As long as members’ Mileage Plan number is on their reservation, the usual $25 fee for one checked item will be waived, an offer also available on Alaska subsidiary Horizon Air and partner SkyWest.

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