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Scott McMurren

It’s a thrill a minute among the airlines serving Alaska. Almost all of them are busy positioning for the summer travel season with new routes and special fares. Plus, there are some good bargains for travel right now.

First, let’s review some hot springtime deals from JetBlue. The New York-based airline will return to Alaska on May 17, bringing some rock-bottom fares:

• Anchorage-Seattle as low as $196 roundtrip, starting May 17.

• Anchorage-Long Beach as low as $256 roundtrip, starting May 17.

• Anchorage-Boston as low as $383 roundtrip, starting May 19 (via Seattle).

• Anchorage-Austin, TX as low as $397 roundtrip, starting May 17 (via Long Beach).

• Anchorage-Sacramento as low as $364 roundtrip, starting May 17 (via Long Beach)...

Scott McMurren

Every day during February and March, many travelers are headed south on planes that pass over Southeast Alaska. On a clear day, they can look out the window on the left side and see Juneau.

For many Alaskans, that’s as close as they ever will get to our capital city. And that’s a shame.

If you've never visited your state capital during the legislative session -- you should. Here are some of the issues the Alaska Legislature is working on this year:...

Scott McMurren

News flash: Air fares are high in Alaska. Rates are particularly spendy if you start somewhere other than Anchorage. From Kodiak to Seattle, for example, the lowest fare is $846 round-trip. Fly from Nome to San Francisco for $875 round-trip. Just to get to Anchorage from Dutch Harbor costs $1,000 round-trip.

There are tips and tricks to trim the cost of a ticket. But if there’s just one airline -- or lots of demand for the seats -- you’re going to pay a lot for a seat on the plane...

Scott McMurren

Let’s get the New Year off to a good start with a low-fare roundup. All of our friends in the airline world are back at their stations -- and faced with the task of filling up those vacant seats on their planes. Each company has its own bag of tricks, including bonus miles and fare sales. Last week, one regional airline even changed its name: Era Alaska became Ravn Alaska ...

Scott McMurren

It’s no secret: 2013 was a great year for Alaskans when it came to travel bargains, particularly from Anchorage. For the first time in more than a decade, the fare between Anchorage and Seattle dipped below $200 roundtrip . Travelers enjoyed rock-bottom fares domestically and internationally. Early-season fares from Anchorage to Iceland, for example, were available for less than $600 roundtrip .

So what is the forecast for 2014? Well, there’s good news and bad news. Which do you want to hear first?...

Scott McMurren

No matter how you slice it, our big holidays include a generous helping of travel, two scoops of friends and family and a dollop of good cheer and gratitude. For me, that gratitude extends to the big travel machine at "The Ted" -- otherwise known as Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, in addition to a robust competitive market for travelers.

For those who celebrate Christmas, it's the “big daddy” of travel holidays. Think about it: Santa and his sleigh laying in some major tracks around the world. Or Mary and Joseph doing their best to track down a place to stay in Bethlehem. And what about those three wise men? Everybody’s on the go...

Scott McMurren
Just when you thought airfares from Alaska to San Francisco and Denver couldn't get any cheaper, Delta dropped them again overnight. Anchorage-San Francisco is now $245 roundtrip (down from $264 roundtrip), Jan. 7 through June 16, then $264 roundtrip throughout the summer and fall of 2014. The airline also reduced the Anchorage-Denver to $245 roundtrip (down from $264 roundtrip) Jan. 7-June 5. These rates also are available starting in the Lower 48 and flying north to Anchorage. It appears to me Delta is turning up the heat on Alaska Airlines following Alaska’s announcement of new service into Salt Lake City from San Diego, Los Angeles/LAX, San Francisco and Portland (plus more flights between Seattle and Salt Lake City)...Scott McMurren

If you’re a traveler on a budget, there’s one law that stands above the rest: “When airlines are mad at each other, the traveler wins.”

For a long time, Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines have had a cozy partnership . They sell space on each other’s flights through code share arrangements. The two airlines cooperate on their frequent flyer plans . And because there isn’t too much overlap on their route systems, the airlines fed traffic to each other...

Scott McMurren

As you’re picking through the last of the pumpkin pie and cranberry dressing, Cyber Monday is upon us. Get your credit card ready for some travel bargains from Alaska Airlines . After you’re done lining up your trip, though, consider some “extras” to make the trip a smoother one.

Although the airfare deals were released yesterday, you have until Dec. 9 to purchase these fares for travel through March 5, 2014. For the most part, the rates are not much different than those Alaska offered for the Permanent Fund Dividend sale or the weekly “Club 49” deals. Still, if you're hoping to travel to select destinations, the Cyber Monday deals are worth checking out. Here are some of my favorites:...

Scott McMurren

PORTLAND -- There’s lots going on in Portland these days. And that matters to Alaskan travelers because fares from Anchorage to the Rose City have dipped below those to Seattle several times this year. That means Oregon’s largest city gets a turn at being the least-expensive gateway to the Lower 48.

Portland is a great city. I grew up there, but things have changed quite a bit since I left 35 years ago...

Scott McMurren