Introduction: San Diego to Anchorage on Alaska Airlines

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01. Introduction: San Diego to Anchorage on Alaska Airlines
02. Alaska Airlines first class San Diego to Portland
03. Alaska Airlines first class Portland to Anchorage
04. Comfort Suites Anchorage Airport
05. A day and a half around Anchorage
06. Alaska Airlines Board Room Anchorage
07. Alaska Airlines first class Anchorage to Seattle
08. Alaska Airlines first class Seattle to San Diego

I like to do a trip once every 6 to 8 weeks, and back in early April I was looking at the calendar realizing that I didn’t have any travel booked between the end of April and late July. Something needed to be done about that pronto, so I immediately began thinking about doing a short trip sometime during the month of June.

But where could I go? Europe would be insanely expensive at that time, and taking time off from work to go back to Asia would be difficult – so I limited myself to the US (or Canada/Mexico). I tossed around a few options in my head: east coast, west coast, Atlantic Southeast…until finally deciding on Alaska. Why Alaska? Silly question…that’s primetime aviation photography season up there. Duh!

Seriously though, that was only part of the reason. I’ve been to Alaska once before (14 years ago) and I remember it to be one of the most beautiful places I had ever seen – and I promised myself that I would go back sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, that never happened so I’ve been quite anxious to go back.

I was hoping to fly Virgin America for this trip, as I’ve yet to try them and I really want to sample their first class product. Unfortunately, I had mistakenly assumed that they flew to Anchorage (at least seasonally). They do not. Major bummer. But that wasn’t all so bad – I’ve come to like Alaska Airlines the few times I’ve flown with them in the past, and it had been a while since my last trip with them so I thought that I would give them another shot. After all, how wrong would it be to fly to Alaska on any other airline NOT named Alaska Airlines? My first Virgin America flight would have to wait for another day.

Economy class was the plan, but just for kicks I checked to see how much the first class fare would be when I was booking my reservation. I was actually quite surprised. It wasn’t all that bad! Yes, I felt like a shmuck for actually paying out of pocket for a domestic first class airline ticket, but…I justified it as being a good opportunity for a decent trip report for this blog. I know that there is absolutely nothing special about Alaska Airlines first class, but what the heck. The slightly wider seat and a few extra inches of leg room will be nice on those longer segments up to the (un)frozen tundra.

So here’s what I booked:

6/7/14 AS573 San Diego to Portland (first class)
6/7/14 AS131 Portland to Anchorage (first class)
6/9/14 AS112 Anchorage to Seattle (first class)
6/9/14 AS490 Seattle to San Diego (first class)

Spending a lot of time at ANC taking pictures of the steady stream of cargo airlines coming and going will be a top priority for this trip, as will exploring the spectacular scenery. I’ve only got a day and a half to fit it all in but I’m going to give it my best shot…

Enjoy the trip report!

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