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Scott McMurren

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Smart Alaskan travelers know that 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....

Scott McMurren

Just in time for Thanksgivakkuh, here are some tasty air fares for your consideration:

• Anchorage-Los Angeles $378 roundtrip most of the winter. Here’s the catch: You have to fly via Phoenix on USAir. Be careful and pick your flights wisely, or you could end up with a nine-hour layover. Alaska and Delta cost a bit more: $428 roundtrip.

• Anchorage-Charlotte $316 roundtrip on United Airlines. The first date I found was Dec. 31, but there are plenty of dates available in January and February — even into mid April (April 16-21)...

Scott McMurren

Miss the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend airfare sale and it's sequel, special rates from Alaska Airlines on flights to Seattle from Anchorage? The bargains may as well have been a mirage for some people who waited to snatch the deals and ended up emptyhanded.

Two suggestions:...

Scott McMurren

The Battle for Seattle is heating up again. This week, Alaska Airlines put Seattle on sale in its weekly “ Club 49 ” airfare sale. From Anchorage, the rate is as low as $360 roundtrip for travel between Dec. 3 and March 5. Don’t count on the discounted rate during the peak Christmas dates, but if you’re flexible, you can save a bundle off of the regular $544 roundtrip air fare. Just last week, Alaska was offering Anchorage-Seattle flights for $400 roundtrip as part of the Permanent Fund Dividend sale.

Discounted rates to and from Seattle are available from many Alaska cities, including:...

Scott McMurren

For travelers in Anchorage, the airfare chase always is at full throttle. We have several carriers competing for the business: USAir , Delta , United and Alaska . All the summertime carriers have gone home for the winter -- so that’s who’s left.

For the rest of the state (Fairbanks, Kodiak, Nome, Bethel, Juneau, etc.) it’s Alaska, Alaska and Alaska...

Scott McMurren

Travel surprises make me cranky. That's unfortunate, because once you step out the door on a journey, you're separated from your regular routine, and there are surprises around every corner. You're liable to eat new foods, adjust to new time zones, meet new people, hear new languages ... the works.

Many of the new-and-different travel experiences are items we plan for: After all, I'm looking forward to seeing these new people and visiting their country. But along the way, details slip through the cracks.

One of my must-have travel accessories is a pair of noise-canceling headphones. Mine are made by Bose, but there are several top-notch models from Dr. Dre ("Beats"), Sony and Sennheiser...

Scott McMurren

Now that most Alaskans are $900 richer thanks to the annual Permanent Fund Dividend payout -- which started showing up in eligible Alaskans' bank accounts Thursday -- more discount Alaska travel deals are bubbling to the surface, both in and outside of the Last Frontier.

The Alaska Airlines PFD sale still is king of the hill, with specials from their in-state destinations like Kodiak and Kotzebue, in addition to Anchorage, to almost everywhere on their system including Chicago, Las Vegas and most destinations they serve in the western U.S. They have a page on their website devoted to the sale ...

Scott McMurren

Alaska Airlines released a bumper crop of discount airfares Tuesday morning. The airline sent a note to its Club 49 subscribers touting its annual Permanent Fund dividend deals, timed with the state of Alaska's annual oil-wealth payout next month.

There is no specific tie-in with the amount of the dividend, $900. Instead, Alaska Airlines is offering a broad selection of destinations and fare levels designed to tempt travelers from around the state to pack up and go...

Scott McMurren

John "Mark" Eliason died last week, early on the morning of Sept. 12. The news was sudden and unexpected. In fact, Mark and I were supposed to have lunch on the afternoon of Sept. 11. When he didn't show up, I called Theresa Bayer, his vice president at USTravel here in Anchorage. Through her tears, she told me Mark was in the hospital.

Mark and I shared many things. We both were born in 1955. We both came to Anchorage in 1978, after being raised Outside. When I first met Mark in 1981, it was because we shared a bookkeeper. I was working with a dive operator in Hawaii and he worked with his father, Kay Eliason, at his Spenard office...

Scott McMurren

Many of the seasonal airlines that serve Anchorage during the busy summer season are packing their bags and boarding up their ticket counters. Gone are Sun Country, Air Canada and Virgin America. Frontier Airlines is packing up, with the last Anchorage-Denver flight scheduled for Sept. 16. American Airlines is here until Sept. 30. JetBlue flies through Oct. 15 this year between Anchorage and Seattle. Icelandair's last flight is this week – and Condor ends nonstop service to Frankfurt on Oct. 1...

Scott McMurren

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