DALLAS – Alaska Airlines (AS) has announced the addition of a new nonstop service between San Diego (SAN) and Atlanta (ATL), starting in May 2024.
The airline will offer a total of 37 nonstop destinations from San Diego next spring, connecting cities across the Northwest, Northeast, California, Mexico, Florida, and all four major islands in Hawaii.
The airline says it offers the most nonstop destinations from San Diego compared to any other airline serving the airport. The decision to introduce this new service is based on the popularity of both cities as leisure and business travel destinations. Atlanta, in particular, is the carrier’s largest unserved transcontinental market from San Diego.
The new nonstop service will have a convenient daytime schedule, with departures from SAN in mid-morning and arrivals in ATL in the late afternoon. The return flight is scheduled for the early evening. These times also allow for seamless connections within the airline’s intra-California network.
Kimberly Becker, President & CEO of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, expressed appreciation for the carrier’s efforts to provide new travel options to destinations across the country. The CEO added that the new nonstop service to Atlanta would offer Southern Californians direct access to the capital of Georgia and its major economic center.
Alaska Airlines Service, Elite Status Update
For the SAN-ATL service, First Class and Premium Class guests will receive early boarding and enjoy the most generous legroom among all domestic carriers. First Class passengers will get complimentary hot meals based on a seasonal menu featuring a variety of fresh West Coast-inspired flavors and a selection of beverages. Premium-class passengers can also enjoy complimentary cocktails, hand-selected wines, and local beers.
Additionally, all mainline aircraft, which we believe will be used on the route, are equipped with power outlets at every seat, allowing passengers to stream hundreds of free movies and TV shows on their own devices during the flight. Satellite Wi-Fi is available for purchase, and passengers have the option to pre-order from a range of fresh meal selections to ensure they get their desired meal onboard.
Also today, the airline introduced a new status match program targeted at Delta Air Lines (DL) loyalists who may be dissatisfied with the recent changes to the SkyMiles loyalty program. AS is openly positioning this as an opportunity following the loyalty changes at its competitor.
As Sean Cudahy from The Points Guy notes, this is not a status challenge. “Lately, most status matches require some kind of flying or spending requirement. Not this one, which is a straight status match for those who have an active Alaska Airlines Visa credit card by the end of the year.”
From now until October 31, AS is allowing SkyMiles Medallion members to match their elite status within the Mileage Plan program. This includes the ability to achieve Alaska’s highest tier, MVP Gold 100K status, for the first time through a status match. Previously, it was not possible to reach this top tier through a status match.
Cudhay adds that while there are some drawbacks to transitioning from DL to AS, such as the difference in network size, particularly outside the Pacific Northwest and Alaska’s California bases, it is important to consider the benefits. Notably, AS is a member of the Oneworld alliance and has a partnership with American Airlines (AA), which provides Mileage Plan elite members with a range of advantages when flying on AA flights.
Featured image: N932AK, Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX “West Coast Wonders Livery” @KSLC. Photo: Michael Rodeback/Airways