Evidence of the latest threat to the Canadian retail travel sector is probably right in your own wallet. It’s your Costco membership card.
ALASKA — Alaska Airlines refuses to come between people and their wine, and oenophiles around the world are rejoicing.
According to the company’s blog, the ‘Wine Flies Free’ program allows Alaska Mileage Plan members departing from 29 airports in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California wine regions to check up to 12 bottles of wine for free.
12 bottles = 1 full case = 1 very good weekend!
Even better news is that the program has just been expanded to a bunch of California airports this week, including San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, LAX, Burbank, Fresno, Monterey, Ontario, Orange County, Palm Springs, Sacramento, San Diego and Santa Barbara.
Here’s what the airline suggests: If you’re in one of the participating states and find yourself at a winery, let the proprietor know that you’ll be checking your wine at the airport and they’ll pack it safely for travel in a foam-lined box or other protective packaging. Make sure the box is left unsealed for inspection.
(Here’s a good tip: Many wineries in Washington and Oregon offer free tastings when you show your Alaska Airlines boarding pass.)
Before heading to the airport, make sure your Alaska Mileage Plan number is in your flight reservation, as you will need it when checking in your wine. When you get to the airport, go to the ticket counter and alert the Alaska Airlines service agent that you’re checking a case of wine. They will inspect the case, seal it and label it with FRAGILE stickers.
From there, you can board your flight knowing that your wine is safely stored and flying with you (for free!). When you land, simply pick up your case and be on your way. Salut!