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Alaska Airlines discount for everyone aims to boost tourism

FILE - The first Alaska Airlines passenger flight on a Boeing 737-9 Max airplane takes off,...
FILE - The first Alaska Airlines passenger flight on a Boeing 737-9 Max airplane takes off, Monday, March 1, 2021, on a flight to San Diego from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle. (Photo by Associated Press)(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 7:00 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - It’s being advertised as a friends and family discount, but Alaska Airlines Director of Sales and Community Marketing Scott Habberstad clarified that the company’s latest deal is available to anyone. Until Sunday, April 4, he said anyone can get up to 21% off a flight in May or June.

The code for the discount is FLY2AK21. Habberstad said the deal goes both ways, and Alaska residents can also use the code to get a cheaper flight out of the state.

Habberstad said the whole point is to help boost the tourism industry while the roughly 1.4 million cruise passengers can’t visit Alaskan ports this summer.

“People need a reason to come here,” Habberstad said. “Other than coming to work or coming to play. So we need to work with our partners in the visitor industry to help put people into their businesses.”

According to in-state travel and visitor centers, people in the Lower 48 appear to be ready to come up to Alaska. In Homer, the Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center recently said many lodging businesses in that community are booking up already.

But what to spend the extra bit of money in their pockets on? Down at the Bait Shack on Ship Creek in Anchorage, owner Dustin Slinker believes that this summer’s visitors are going to be spending it on adventures and experiences — especially fishing.

“The Alaskan way of life, you know? Getting out and exploring the great state,” he said. “So they’re going to really want to come up and immerse themselves in what Alaskans do on a regular basis. And it’s really awesome. When folks think about when coming to Alaska, one of the top things they think about — especially during the summer time the warm months — is fishing.”

Slinker said he and other members of the sport fishing industry are getting ready to cater to those desires. Right now, he said he’s already preparing for things like the Slam’n Salm’n Derby and the Get Out and Fish Youth Day, both happening in June.

Additionally, he said they’re working on the details for the Ship Creek Cleanup with the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce to happen in mid-May to get the banks nice and clean for all those tourists he’s expecting to come up.

Of course, as many that try to come up and fish, there’s no guarantee that they’ll catch any. Whether they’re catching them or not, Slinker expects tourists to spend a lot of money eating fish in the local restaurants.

Even more money to be saved and spent in Alaska comes from the completion of work on the William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game confirmed that fishing licenses are now $10 cheaper.

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