Alaska Airlines

Robert Karma / Flickr

The port of Seattle and airlines agree – improvements at the airport are needed to handle growing numbers of international passengers. But a central question remains:  who pays for the expansion? 

Traffic at Sea-Tac International Airport has been booming and is expected to keep climbing. But there’s dispute among airlines about how to pay for a new international arrivals facility, which would be a spot for people go through customs and pick up their baggage.

The steep drop in oil prices is helping to pad the bottom line of Seattle-based Alaska Airlines. But don't expect lower fares on the horizon.

Ashley Gross / KPLU

It’s been almost six months since some transportation and hospitality workers in the city of SeaTac got a raise to $15 an hour, but ground crew workers at the airport haven’t received that raise because of a county judge’s ruling.

Courtesy of Port of Seattle

Can two airlines be partners and rivals at the same time? Seattle-based Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines are long-term contractual allies. But now the relationship is being tested.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The parent company of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air announced strong earnings for the first quarter of the year on Friday.

The airline group's CEO said he expects good results for the rest of 2014 as well, notwithstanding growing competition from Delta Air Lines on Alaska's home turf. Delta is dramatically ramping up its Seattle operations to build a new hub city oriented toward the Pacific Rim. 

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air employees received an annual bonus Wednesday totaling $84 million.

Seattle-based Alaska Air Group says the incentive pay amounts to about 9 percent of annual pay or five weeks' pay for most workers.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Seattle-based Alaska Air Group, which has fought a local living-wage ordinance, concedes that low-wage workers may need a raise, but the company's CEO doesn't think SeaTac's initiative is the answer.

About 4,700 workers at Sea-Tac International Airport were hoping to get a bump to $15 an hour at the beginning of this year. But a judge has blocked that voter-passed ordinance from taking effect at the airport.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

Workers at Sea-Tac International Airport are still not sure whether they’ll get a wage bump to $15 per hour come January. With SeaTac’s Proposition 1 still passing by a narrow margin, Alaska Airlines and other business interests are challenging the measure in court.

Alaska Airlines, the Washington Restaurant Association and a small business owner at the airport have been trying since July to block the minimum wage initiative in court. They’ve tried to keep the measure off the ballot and failed.

Now the issue is which court should hear the case. The business interests would like a King County judge to rule the initiative unconstitutional. But sponsors of the initiative, who are backed by unions like the Service Employees International Union, said the case should be heard in federal court.

Tom Banse

It’s a phrase typically used to discuss a messy relationship: "It's complicated."

Those are the words the president of Alaska and Horizon airlines used Thursday to describe the state of the alliance between the Seattle-based carriers and Delta Air Lines. You might also call these airlines "frenemies."

Ashley Gross / KPLU

Hundreds of thousands of dollars have poured into both sides of a heated controversy over a proposed minimum wage hike in the city of SeaTac. 

The state Supreme Court on Wednesday denied an appeal by Alaska Airlines and other business groups seeking to keep the living-wage ordinance off the November ballot.

Frank Kovalchek

Alaska Air Group is trying to quash a ballot initiative in the city of SeaTac that would hike wages for airport ground crew and other workers. 

The initiative would set a $15 per-hour minimum wage for hospitality and transportation workers in SeaTac—people at the airport like baggage handlers and folks who push wheelchairs, as well as hotel workers and employees at rental car companies.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

In an industry known for intense labor disputes and protracted negotiations, there seems to be a departure. Alaska Airlines and its pilots agreed on a new contract on their own—with no mediation, no arbitrators.  

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

Alaska Airlines is raising its fee for checking a suitcase to $25, bringing it in line with most major airlines.

Starting Oct. 30, the Seattle-based airline will charge passengers $25 each for the first and second checked bags. Additional bags will cost $75. Alaska currently charges $20 per bag for the first three suitcases.

 (Editor's note May 23, 2013: Corrects to clarify that baggage handlers, cabin cleaners and other airport workers have signed cards to join unions but have not been recognized as unions by their employers. Until that happens, they don't have legal status as collective bargaining units.)

Dozens of protesters including flight attendants, baggage handlers, and religious leaders turned Alaska Air Group’s annual shareholders meeting into a raucous affair on Tuesday.

The protest began outside with chanting flight attendants who haven’t reached a new contract with the company after 18 months of negotiations.

Eric Prado / Flickr

Company officials say a computer problem is causing significant delays for all Alaska Airlines flights.

Alaska Airlines and its subsidiary Horizon Air continue to make money despite sharply higher fuel prices. Executives with the Seattle-based airline group Thursday reported a 12th-consecutive quarterly profit.

CEO-elect Brad Tilden says the $28 million net profit in this year's first quarter is "marginally" smaller than the same quarter last year.

After 30 years of giving passengers spiritual words to reflect on while they eat their meals, Alaska Airlines is retiring the prayer cards from meal trays.

It’s a big week for aviation biofuels.

A United flight took off Monday from Houston, for the first time burning jet fuel that was made from algae-based oil. And Alaska Air begins its demonstration flights from Seattle tomorrow (Wednesday, 2 p.m.)  – with fuel made from used cooking oil. 

Derin / Flickr

This month, some Alaska Airlines flights will be flying on used cooking oil as they travel from Seattle to Portland and Washington D.C.

Washington State University photo

A new industry is emerging in the Pacific Northwest – for development, production and distribution of aviation biofuels.

A consortium called Sustainable Aviation Fuels Northwest has just spent ten months producing an exhaustive study.  They've identified the four-state region of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana as a serious contender in the race to produce environmentally friendly jet fuels.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

 

  • Seattle Mayor Vetoes Tunnel Plan as Expected
  • Arraignment in Kent Today in 49th Green River Killing
  • Investment Firm Buys Majority Stake in Haggen Chain
  • Boeing, Alaska Air Employees Awarded Bonuses

 

McGinn Vetoes Tunnel Plan in Symbolic Move

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is staying out on a limb and keeping his election promises, using his veto power Thursday in a symbolic attempt to stop the tunnel along the Seattle waterfront from being built.

Alaska Air Group

Seattle-based Alaska Air Group is consolidating its two airlines under the same brand. Horizon Air's Bombardier Q400 turboprop planes are being repainted with the Alaska Airlines logo. Alaska and Horizon will continue to operate as separate airlines.