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When was Alaska Airlines founded?

Updated: Dec 26, 2019

HELLO, COLOR! Well, and thank you to my sister who had me contact Alaska Airlines because of a flight cancellation. I'm a frequent Alaska Airlines flyer, (MVP in fact) and they do rank as my top airline. So it was only a matter of time before they made an appearance in my Daily Doodle book!


Alaska Airlines can trace their roots back to 1932 when Linious "Mac" McGee painted "McGee Airways" on the side of a three-passenger Stinson airplane and started flying out of Anchorage, Alaska. He merged with Star Air Service in 1934, creating the largest airline in Alaska. They expanded even further in 1937 with the purchase of Alaska Interior Airlines and then McGee sold the company to a former pilot, Don Goodman later that year and the company was renamed Star Air Lines. 1938 was the year bush-flying came to an end with the introduction of the Civil Aeronautics Authority, created to regulate airlines.


In 1943, Star Air Lines (then operating as Alaska Star Airlines), purchased 4 more companies and finally changed its name to Alaska Airlines in 1944. It wasn't until 1951 the airline was able to fly outside of Alaska -- with routes to Seattle and Portland.


And get this, Alaska Airlines was the first to offer inflight movies... in the late 1950's! Big thanks to Charlie Willies, a decorated WWII pilot who came on as chairman and CEO in 1957. The 1960's saw the introduction of jets, and the 1970's saw a near collapse. Fortunately, change in management helped out and the 1980's were stable and the airline grew (also when I took my first Alaska Airlines flight). By the 1990's there was record passenger traffic, and the 2000's was a decade for expansion among the lower 48 states along with Hawaii and Mexico. This was followed by years of tremendous customer service. Alaska Airlines has won J.D. Powers Customer Satisfaction award for the 11th consecutive year among traditional carriers.


This might explain why I love the airline so much. And even though there's been rough patches in our relationship, Alaska Airlines really does excel in customer service (or at least the majority of customer service agents). So now I must ask, what's your favorite airline?




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