Alaska Airlines is providing a treat for their flyers this holiday season with the "Wine Flies Free" program. According to Forbes, all nonstop domestic flights to 29 cities across California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington will feature this opportunity to avoid paying a checking fee on one's wine if flying out to visit family for Thanksgiving.
Only members of the Alaska Airlines frequent flyer program, otherwise known as their mileage plan, will be able to take advantage of the Wine Flies Free program. Becoming an Alaska Airlines frequent flyer is entirely free and does include other perks year round as well. Members wishing to take advantage of the airline's Thanksgiving promotion can claim their complimentary wine "bag" check by simply adding a valid frequent flyer number to the flight reservation.
Alaska Airlines will issue a $25 fee waiver to check up to a case of 12 bottles of properly packaged wine, cites Forbes. If a flyer is lacking a proper container for their wine, the appropriate shipping containers are available at varying participating wineries or mailing services.
Members are urged to notify Alaska Airlines customer service that wine is, in fact, being checked so that the bag can be marked as fragile after TSA has a peek inside. All of the typical checked bag rules do apply to the wine being checked in the Wine Flies Free program. This, of course, means that any unexpected damage to transported wine can be reported to the Alaska Airlines customer service department.Wine regions served by the program are supportive, dangling incentives to visitors with an Alaska Airlines inbound boarding pass and frequent flyer membership, says Forbes. Over 300 of Oregon's participating tasting rooms will be offering a complimentary tasting. Washington Wine Country's Taste and Tote will be waiving rental car drop-off fees at participating wineries in the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Wine Flies Free airports include: Burbank, Fresno, Los Angeles, Monterey, Oakland, Ontario, Orange County, Palm Springs, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Santa Rosa in California; Boise, Idaho; Eugene, Medford, Portland, and Redmond in Oregon; Bellingham, Pasco, Pullman, Seattle, Spokane, Walla Walla, Wenatchee, and Yakima in Washington.
The program is meant for people who are on a vacation to a wine-heavy area, notes Lifehacker. Some may not be aware, but the Wine Flies Free program has actually been around since 2007, originally having been created as a way to encourage flyers to bring wine back from the Sonoma area in California.