Jet service is a wonderful thing for travelers.
But route planners prioritize which jet service is better. For example, nonstop jet service between two cities is much better than connecting service. Daily jet service is much better than just one or two days per week. And the best service is multiple nonstop flights throughout the day.
Here in Anchorage, we’re spoiled with nonstop flights to lots of cities outside Alaska. But much of the service is seasonal. In fact, several airlines only operate during the busy summer months.
As the days get longer, travelers are planning for the busy summer season — so it’s helpful to know who’s flying where … when.
The one exception to “more service in the summer” rule is nonstop flights to Hawaii. For the first time ever, Alaska Air operated daily nonstop flights this winter between Anchorage and Maui, Kona and Honolulu. The Anchorage-Honolulu daily nonstops will keep flying through the summer, five times per week in April, though. But the nonstops to Kona and Maui operate daily just through March 16, then drop to two or three times a week until April 1. Watch for those to return in the fall, just before Thanksgiving.
United Airlines operates a daily 737 flight year-round between Anchorage and Denver, adding a second nonstop on June 2. On April 3, the airline resumes its Anchorage-Chicago nonstop. Then, on June 2, United adds a second daily nonstop to the schedule for the summer.
June 2 is a big day for United. On that date, the airline resumes three nonstops: Anchorage-Houston, Anchorage-San Francisco and Anchorage-Newark. All of the routes are operated with Boeing 737s. Some are Max 8 and others are Max 9 models. Also, in June 2, United resumes a daily Fairbanks-Chicago nonstop.
American Airlines, an Alaska Air partner, operates two summer-only routes from Anchorage to its domestic hubs in Dallas and Chicago beginning May 5. On June 1, American adds a second daily Anchorage-Dallas nonstop, flying an Airbus A321neo aircraft.
Currently, Delta Air Lines is flying four times each day between Anchorage and Seattle. By June 5, Delta will offer six flights per day between Anchorage and Seattle. Delta also flies a daily nonstop between Fairbanks and Seattle. On May 25, Delta will add a second nonstop flight between Fairbanks and Seattle.
The airline also offers nonstop flights between Anchorage and Minneapolis. It’s not quite daily service to Minneapolis these days. But daily flights resume on March 9 through April 3. Then, it’s not-quite-daily service until May 7, when daily service resumes for the summer. By June 5, Delta will offer three daily nonstop flights between Anchorage and Minneapolis. Also on June 5, Delta will resume a daily flight between Fairbanks and Minneapolis.
On May 25, Delta resumes its daily Anchorage-Atlanta nonstop on a Boeing 757. On June 8, Delta resumes its seasonal Anchorage-Salt Lake City nonstop, five days a week (Thursday-Monday).
Delta has offered weekend-only flights this winter between Juneau and Seattle. On May 26, Delta goes back to daily flights for the summer. Daily flights from Seattle to both Ketchikan and Sitka on Delta are operated by Skywest, flying E175 jets, beginning June 5.
The first flight on Sun Country Airlines for the year is on May 20, from Anchorage to Minneapolis. But it’s not until June 1 that Sun Country starts flying five times per week on the route. Then, on June 14, Sun Country flies every day. On peak days in July, Sun Country will flight twice each day.
Air Canada, a partner with United Airlines in the “Star Alliance” group, will fly nonstop three times a week between Anchorage and Vancouver, British Columbia, on May 2. On May 20, Air Canada starts flying the route each day.
Starting May 18, Condor will resume its seasonal nonstop flight between Anchorage and Frankfurt. The flights depart on Thursdays and Saturdays. On June 15, a third flight will operate on Sundays and the Thursday departure will stop in Fairbanks to pick up passengers before continuing over the pole.
Condor is a mileage partner with Alaska Airlines, so travelers can earn and redeem miles on all Condor flights.
Another carrier, Eurowings Discover, is returning to offer two flights per week between Anchorage and Frankfurt. But the airline makes it difficult for travelers in the U.S. to purchase tickets. Plus, the flights are much more expensive than Condor.
The best deals on Eurowings flights are from Frankfurt to Anchorage, starting at $579 roundtrip, June 13-20. To fly on the same dates from Anchorage to Frankfurt roundtrip, Eurowings wants $1,720 roundtrip. This is because the flights are set up specifically for inbound Frankfurt-Anchorage passengers.
Alaska Air has more flights than all of the other airlines combined. It’s hub in Anchorage serves many of its rural Alaska routes, including Utqiagvik, Nome, Kotzebue, Bethel, Dillingham, Adak, King Salmon, Kodiak, Cordova, Fairbanks and Prudhoe Bay.
Between Anchorage and Seattle, Alaska Air currently flies 11 flights per day. By midsummer, Alaska will operate 19 flights per day to Seattle.
Additionally, Alaska Air’s subsidiary Horizon Air operates a daily Anchorage-Everett flight to Paine Field, about 30 miles north of Sea-Tac.
From Fairbanks to Seattle, Alaska Air currently flies four flights per day. That goes up to five per day during the summer. From Juneau to Seattle, Alaska Air flies six times per day in the summer. The airline flies five planes each day from Ketchikan to Seattle. In the summer, Alaska flies two nonstops per day between Sitka and Seattle.
Alaska’s crop of nonstop flights from Anchorage is ambitious. Here’s a summary:
• Anchorage-Portland: one flight per day year-round, two flights per day starting March 15.
• Anchorage-San Francisco: nonstop service resumes on May 18.
• Anchorage-Los Angeles: one nonstop per day.
• Anchorage-Las Vegas: two nonstops per week on Fridays and Sundays. There are three Saturday flights in April.
• Anchorage-Phoenix: Daily nonstop May 21. Then, 3-4 flights per week through mid-August.
• Anchorage-Salt Lake City: Saturday-only flights resume on June 17.
• Anchorage-Denver: Daily nonstop service resumes June 15.
• Anchorage-Minneapolis: Five weekly nonstops (Sunday, Monday, Thursdays, Friday, Saturday) start on June 15.
• Anchorage-Chicago: Weekend (Friday and Saturday) nonstops resume starting March 17. Daily nonstop service resumes on March 31, with a second daily flight starting June 14.
Nonstop flights aren’t always the cheapest. But if you factor in the hidden costs of lost or delayed baggage or delayed and canceled flights — it changes things. It makes nonstops a great option for hassle-averse travelers!