Airlines spool up holiday engines with gift certificates
Going from surf and sand to salmon and tundra or vice-versa just got a little easier with online gift certificate sales by Alaska Air Group
Right around that cliché corner lurk the holidays, a point not lost on the company, whose Alaska Airlines subsidiary inaugurated Seattle-to-Honolulu service in early October, Seattle-Lihue service on Sunday, "and then on Dec. 9 we're going to start serving Anchorage-Honolulu," said Caroline Boren, managing director of strategic and corporate communications.
The new route will also offer cargo service, but gift certificates are only for passenger travel, she said.
Alaska certificates are available in amounts between $25 and $500 from the airline's Web site and needn't be holiday-themed, as various designs are offered.
Certificates can be sent electronically, or printed to be conveyed in some old-fashioned way.
As with most things in life, some restrictions apply. They are nonrefundable and cannot be redeemed for cash, check or credit.
Unlike most things in life, however, these gift certificates do not expire.
Hawaiian Airlines also offers perpetually valid gift certificates online in whole-dollar amounts of $50 to $5,000, redeemable for air travel online.
Hawaiian Airlines gift cards are available at participating Safeway stores in island and mainland cities to which it flies -- and at Times and Foodland stores in Hawaii.
Aloha Airlines will offer gift tickets online only from Nov. 15 through Jan. 1, for travel from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2008.
"We have three kinds" that are round-trip and include taxes and fees, said Stephanie Ackerman, senior vice president for public relations and government affairs.
For $120, the interisland ticket is valid 365 days a year on all flights.
Transpacific gift tickets can be purchased in different denominations for travel between Hawaii and Orange County, Oakland, Sacramento and San Diego in California as well as Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada.
The $500 coach ticket can be used for about 70 percent of flights during the year and can be used on peak travel days, with "an additional fare collection," Ackerman said.
The $1,700 first-class ticket is valid for all Aloha transpacific flights.
Mesa Air Group's go! does not currently offer gift certificates, but hopes to before the end of the year, said Joe Bock, chief marketing officer.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: email@example.com