Fog diverts Alaska Air flight to JBER

Tegan Hanlon

An Alaska Airlines jet descending into Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport Monday afternoon made an unscheduled landing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson after it encountered fog, said an airlines spokesperson.

Pilots elected to land the Boeing 737 at JBER, about 8 miles away from Ted Stevens, around 1:30 p.m., said Nancy Trott, a spokeswoman with Alaska Airlines.

"They had clear skies forecasted and suddenly this fog rolled in," she said.

The 155 passengers and six crew members on the flight from Chicago sat on the runway for more than two hours while the airline worked with the military to allow buses onto the tarmac. By 5 p.m., passengers from flight 139 were en route to the Ted Stevens, Trott said.

She said passengers were sent an apology and will be offered compensation. According to the airport, the Alaska Airlines flight was the only one diverted Monday.

Joshua Maloy, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said Ted Stevens was the only airport in Anchorage reporting fog Monday. The fog originated in the Gulf of Alaska and snuck around the Kenai Peninsula Sunday night and into the Cook Inlet, he said.

"I looks like it just hit the very, very far western tip of town," he said.

Reach Tegan Hanlon at or 257-4589.