Scott McMurren

Airfares are always changing, particularly on hotly contested routes. For Alaska travelers, that means flights headed south to Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles and a few other popular destinations.

Most of April’s travel deals have come and gone. But there still are a couple of deals on Alaska Airlines for travel in the middle of the month:

- Anchorage-Los Angeles/LAX nonstop for $319 roundtrip for travel April 8-25 (purchase by March 30)

- Anchorage-Phoenix nonstop for $383 roundtrip for travel April 10-May 4 (purchase by March 30)...

Scott McMurren

A precipitous drop in the value of the euro means that the price of going to Europe just went down. Way down.

Last year, the exchange rate between dollars and euros was close to $1.40 per euro. Earlier this week, the rate was $1.05. It’s bounced up a little since then, but analysts expect the rate to go lower. That means that hotels, rental cars, rail tickets, meals and admission tickets now are 30 percent cheaper than they were last summer. That’s great news for travelers...

Scott McMurren

Anchorage travelers, as a group, have an entirely different travel experience from residents of Bush Alaska. This doesn't just apply to the type of aircraft, availability of discounted airfares or to the number of people on the plane with you.

Travelers to and from Bush Alaska must contend with freight -- and lots of it. That's because there is no overhead bin on a Cessna 207 for you to stow your new vacuum cleaner. And the neighborhood store in Aniak may have some things you need at the spur of the moment -- but it costs much more than in Anchorage.

“I lived in Bush Alaska for 30 years,” said Jim Hickerson, president of Hageland Aviation, a unit of Ravn Alaska. “When we flew to Anchorage, we always would dedicate one day to shopping."...

Scott McMurren

It’s easy to mistake New Orleans for a Southern city. After all, it’s on the Gulf Coast.

But the Crescent City (the nickname comes from the dramatic curve in the Mississippi River as it snakes through the city) has international roots: Spanish, French, Italian, African and Irish, among others...

Scott McMurren

There’s quite a bit of buzz about Del ta ’s buildup of its international hub in Seattle. Last year, new service from Seattle to Fairbanks and Juneau led to lower fares all summer long. This year, new Delta service from Seattle to Ketchikan and Sitka is resulting in low-low fares for summer travel.

Looking beyond Seattle, though, the fares are shaping up to be nice and low to key West Coast destinations as a result of the "Battle for Seattle.” Right now, the best fares are for travel between May 15 and June 15. This will change, but if you’re planning on traveling during that time, it’s worthwhile to consider locking in these low rates...

Scott McMurren

Many Anchorage travelers think nothing of going out to the airport and boarding a big jet, headed to Hawaii, Europe or to the Lower 48.

But for many Alaskans, a journey to those vacation spots starts on a much smaller plane and just a handful of fellow travelers. The runway may be a frozen lake or a gravel strip.

Alaska’s aviation matrix is made up of one big player (Alaska Airlines) and lots of smaller airlines. There are a few big hub cities (including Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau) and many smaller, regional hubs such as Bethel and Ketchikan...

Scott McMurren

There’s good news and bad news for mushing fans this week. The bad news is that after the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race on March 7, mushers and dogs will be headed north to Fairbanks for the restart on Monday.

The good news is that the restart is in Fairbanks. Our neighbors in the “Northern Kingdom” of Fairbanks know how to do winter right. If you want to see the dogs start their gallop to Nome, you’ll have a good time...

Scott McMurren

Every now and then there is a big flock of travel deals that lands at the same time. It’s tough to take advantage of all of them at once. Some are for summer travel. Others are for immediate use. But certainly you’ll find one or two that will work for you.

-- Fairbanks-Seattle on Alaska Airlines for $360 round-trip. This is a spring special on Alaska’s nonstop, valid from Feb. 24 to March 31. It’s not available every day (only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays), but it may be worth rearranging your schedule to save some money. Purchase by Feb. 9...

Scott McMurren

Juneau is open for business during Alaska’s legislative session.

You couldn’t ask for a prettier setting for a statewide gathering. But many legislators, state employees and staffers spend most of their time scurrying between meetings, hearings and offices while the Legislature is in session. If you’re in Juneau on state business or to visit with legislators, be sure to block out some time to see the sights and enjoy some of the community’s gracious hospitality...

Scott McMurren

Take advantage of some great rates to head Outside for a romantic getaway. But don’t forget about some excellent options closer to home.

First, check out Alaska Airlines ’ deal to Seattle: just $319 round-trip from Anchorage ($419 round-trip from Fairbanks). There are plenty of available dates in February...

Scott McMurren

Pages