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How to Check a Case of Oregon Wine for Free on Alaska Airlines

April 21, 2014 at 11:30 AM | by | ()

After the successful completion of a pilot program last fall, Alaska Airlines and the State of Oregon have announced they will extend the Oregon Wines Fly Free initiative for another year.

Beginning May 1st, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members will be able to check one case of wine for free on their return flight to all domestic destinations departing out of four Oregon airports (Portland, Medford, Redmond, Eugene) as well as one in Washington (Walla Walla). As someone who has routinely debated whether a bottle of booze or two is worth the extra baggage fee it would cost get them home, this writer loves the concept and cooperation the program exemplifies.

Since Alaska Airline’s policy for checked baggage recently changed and is now $25 for the first and second and $75 for the third, the Fly Free program could end up saving you up to $75 and any shipping costs you might otherwise incur. Of course, if a winery offers free shipping, that’s still your best bet.

Another perk of flying Alaska Airlines on your next trip to Oregon is that passengers can show their boarding passes within a week of arriving and get complimentary tastings at more than 300 wineries. If you plan to be sampling over the course of a couple days, you might find yourself saving anywhere from $50-$100 in tasting fees.

While this program doesn’t necessarily make something unaffordable affordable, all else being equal, it does give you a reason to fly Alaska over another airline when heading to Oregon wine country. Best case, it could end up saving a group a few hundred bucks. Worst case, you get a few free tastings. You can find a list of participating wineries here, and remember, you must be an Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan member to use the program, so be sure to sign up here for free prior to your trip.

[Photo: State of Oregon]

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