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Alaska Airlines follows Southwest with ‘Bikes Fly Free’ promotion at PDX

Posted by on June 20th, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Last month we shared the good news that, in honor of Pedalpalooza, Southwest Airlines decided to waive all bike baggage fees for flights going out of Portland.

Now, according to reader (and Southwest employee) Tom LaBonty, Alaska Airlines is doing the same. Tom sent in the flyer below about the deal..

LaBonty said he was taking care of some business at the Alaska ticket counter when he saw the flyer.

“When I asked their customer service agent the why and how – they responded ‘We’re doing it cause you’re [Southwest] doing it.”

Just goes to show that good policy is contagious.

I’ve floated the idea to the Port of Portland and the PDC to try and encourage this idea to spread airport-wide — creating a pan-PDX policy of free bike baggage and sending a clear message that bikes are welcome at the airport.

Obviously each individual airline must make their own decision, but who knows… perhaps the idea will continue to spread and become permanent.

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  • Nick Tingey June 20, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Plllleeeease extend this an extra week! I’m flying to PDX on July 2nd & was planning to UPS ground my bike there! This will save me so much hassle & $50+!

    Santa Rosa county ships wine for free on flights, Portland should be shipping bikes for free!

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    • Nick Tingey June 20, 2011 at 3:15 pm

      I also just noticed it says “Out of Portland” Isn’t the point to get people to bring their bikes with them so they can participate in Pedalpalooza?

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      • BURR June 20, 2011 at 3:48 pm

        no, you’re supposed to arrive without a bike and buy one here to take home with you.


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      • John Landolfe June 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm

        I was thinkin the same thing. It’ a great promotion but they should add incoming flights ; )

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  • Blake Hicks June 20, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    What Really!!!!! im using Alaska to fly out of Portland this Thursday to Vegas… im taking to bikes with me!! you think they will let me check the luggage for free!?!?

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  • borgbike June 20, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Sweet! I was already in the process of boxing up some beater mountain bikes to take up to Alaska to have on hand for future trips. May take a spare kids bike now too.

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  • Bikeryak June 20, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Checkout the new bike policy from Frontier:

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    • Jack June 20, 2011 at 4:51 pm

      That’s way cooler than Alaska and Southwest’s extremely limited publicity stunts.

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  • Todd Boulanger June 20, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    [Thanks Kiran.]

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  • JF June 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    That’s funny, Because SW lets you check a bicycle for free anyway, anywhere!

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  • jason June 20, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    how do we convince them to do this for the STP?

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  • David June 20, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Shipping a bicycle on Southwest is free if you can get it within the 62″ limit…which is very hard, and almost impossible to fit it into one box. I recently traveled on Southwest and shipped my bicycle for free by putting the frame in one box and the wheelset in another box with each one being 62″ exactly. Good job Frontier!

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  • John Russell (jr98664) June 21, 2011 at 3:19 am

    If only they had posted this sooner. I’m heading down to the Bay Area this weekend with my bike, and instead of shipping my bike or paying the expensive baggage fees, I found it was just cheaper to take Amtrak and pay their $5 fee after boxing up my bike. Now it’s too late, but if I had know in advance, I could have just flown for cheaper.

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  • Bjorn June 21, 2011 at 7:19 am

    The Port of Portland has all kinds of ordinances governing airlines and enters lease agreements with airlines individually, but I see nothing preventing them from requiring all airlines to cease charging fees based on what your luggage is and move to a system that requires them to have the same fee for anything that meets their size and weight limits. They might have to wait until some of the leases are renewed, but it seems like they could do it if they wanted to, the same way they require food vendors to be cost competitive with portland area businesses rather than allowing them to gouge people like in chicago.

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  • Ken June 21, 2011 at 10:19 am

    That is so awesome and forward thinking! But who’s leaving during pedalpalooza?! Ha. The month after? Hell yes. Let’s hope to see this extended.

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  • meghan June 22, 2011 at 12:46 am

    This is great! Who wants to join Elly and me on our ride to the airport this Thursday to thank them personally? We’re leaving from the Flying Pie Pizzeria
    (7804 SE Stark St) at noon. Check out our ride at

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