Personally, I hate Alaska. I fly ~2/month & avoid Alaska if I can. My wife's family is from Seattle, so sadly, they're unavoidable around the holidays.
* Ridiculous fees. Before we were married my wife booked two flights for after we were married. She changed her name & realized that would cause a problem with those tickets. Southwest made the name change without a fuss. Alaska charged us $100.
When we protested & explained she had gotten married, the agent responded: "Every airline does this." "We just did it with Southwest & they didn't charge anything." "We don't consider Southwest competition."
* Alaska’s 20 Minute Bag Guarantee felt like a sham. It's no longer running (I believe), but multiple times my bags took over 30 minutes. Each time it took nearly an hour to get someone to give a voucher. And the vouchers are very limited.
* They charge for simple modifications to tickets.
* They charge for bags.
* Consistent long lines at LAX & SEA.
* Older planes. Both coach & first are C+ compared to other airlines.
* In-flight personal aren't as bad as United, but they're certainly not nice. Southwest & Virgin set the bar here & Alaska is far from it.
At any rate, you just spoke to to someone who didn't know the company policies well enough, Alaska doesn't charge for name changes due to marriage. It's actually the only exception AFAIK. You have to present some paperwork as proof, but it can be done. You just happened to talk to someone who was not aware this exception existed. You could have asked to talk to someone else.
Also, consistent long lines at LAX & SEA? Do you have any suggestion on how the airline has any control over how quickly they can check people in?
Most airlines these days charge for bags, especially for domestic flights.
I don't come to the US often, but in my limited experience I've had a better flight on Alaska than the majority of US based airline providers.
Seems like there is a systemic failure - their food oversubscription system doesn't correct for a fact that on a six hour flight almost every passenger will buy food.
Bought 2 tickets (one for me, one for GF). She was assigned a seat, I was told they don't allot all seats for any given flight and that I would get that seat at the gate. Couldn't change through Alaska Airlines phone/web portal. At the gate they gave me a seat in the very back of the plane since all the other seats had been assigned. It's crazy to me that I couldn't choose seats on purchase - especially when buying 2 together.
I also never get the feeling the check in agents are just mailing it in. I've had bad experiences before with agents before (a tired AA agent once just through my suitcase on to the belt right after I told him I was checking in a firearm), but it seems Alaska cares a lot more and they're better trained (more consistent).
They also are a great community partner here and sponsor a lot of events and organizations including things like Pride celebrations.
Interested in working up a rough number for how much this cost to make happen. Can't imagine it was profitable.
And very cool!
Edit: Per Boeing , they quote $151 / flight hour in actual service on a 737-800. Random site  gives fuel on a 737-900ER as 0.17 km per litre / 0.40 NM per gallon.
Edit2: After some digging, here's the flight track: https://flightaware.com/live/flight/ASA9671/history/20170821...
Edit: Here are some charter prices: http://www.aircharterguide.com/Aircraft/Manufacturer/BOEING
They list the various BBJs (which are based on 737s) at $5360-$5749 per hour.
BBJ3 is based on the 737-900ER
So call it around $50k all included.
Depreciation doesn't look like it's in that number either, but I'd say that's probably ignorable when you're as heavily utilized as a major carrier plane is.
That seems like a good ballpark number for something a carrier would agree to. Not something to do every day, but arguably worth the PR and not going to torpedo the company either.
The reason they're $0 on the report you're looking at is they're trying to sell you the report with the actual figures, not that those costs haven't been included.
Crew rates for majors are published. Here's Alaska's: http://www.airlinepilotcentral.com/airlines/legacy/alaska_ai...
Call the flight crew $300/hr, and the cabin crew probably another $150/hr.
Also, a buddy who has a plane time share is handy.
Given where I live, I know a bunch of pilots. The time share plane was new to me. That's kinda need and not that expensive.
The comments clarify that "This was an invite-only charter, special for the eclipse!", and the images show members of the press, so that was probably never the goal.
If you want to run that number by your friends for a 4.75 hr flight in a 737-900ER, it'd be nice to get confirmation.
PS: You lucky dog. I've been debating going for my pilot's license.
By the way, flying small planes is more fun. With the larger planes, I've been expected to mostly keep it going the right direction. In the smaller prop jobs, my friends don't much care so long as I don't bump into anything.
You don't need a license to pilot the plane. A licensed pilot can let you take the controls. Just hit up your nearest regional and pay the fuel costs and a few extra bucks. Someone will take you up. It does help to have friends with planes and live where that is pretty common.
And noted. I may see if I can get a flight. My long term dream is to acquire float plane.
Most pilots I've met are happy to encourage a love of flying. Planes are pretty common here (outside Rangeley, Maine) and I've been encouraged to get one. I probably won't, but I do consider getting my license.
I'd like to see what you can come up with doing this on the original file!
Nice shot, btw.
There was also some idiot's drone buzzing above us, with red lights on two of its opposite arms and green lights on the other two arms.
 or rather, I assume it was the same planet you saw.
I'm glad Alaska Air did this flight over the Pacific and not where they would distract hundreds of thousands of people with their flight. Anyone know how to find out what flight (or private jet) was the one I saw was? Would be an interesting fact to add to my memory of the event.
Please forgive the many artifacts from this smartphone camera.
 Before totality (https://njarboe.com/eclipse/beforeTotality.jpg)
 During totality (https://njarboe.com/eclipse/totality.jpg). This photo was right at the beginning of totality and in no way captures what I saw, but does show where the contrail ended up. I was more interested in experiencing the eclipse than trying to get a photo.
That's pretty ridiculous. For all you know, it was on some kind of humanitarian mission. Statistically, of course, it was probably just a routine commercial jet full of average people.
What's crazy to me is someone on the ground in a small town thinking that the global ATC system should route around them (and apparently all small towns and random gatherings of people) so that they won't miss seeing an eclipse.
Try fr24.com, you can go back one month without an account I think. Convert your local date and time to UTC.
Here you go, jiggle the time slider around a bit. This is for 17:00 UTC, 09:00 PDT, on 21 August 2017:
You can pause and click on an aircraft icon for more information. Some will have their registrations blocked on request but usually have their type indicated ( so you can determine bizjet or airliner ).
I have a couple of friends who flew on one over the Faroes during the 2015 eclipse, there were more than a dozen chartered aircraft circling for that one.
More shots of the contrail
And I did see that plane and the contrail.
If anyone is curious what it looked like when recording with a iPhone6 propped against a Snapple bottle on the roof of my mom's car. Here you go.
edit.. It looks like you can see the contrail on the right in the video.
We put on Dark Side of the Moon as thematic music. By pure accident, the climactic finish of the album, “Eclipse”, just happened to start playing as totality hit, and ended as the “diamond ring” appeared. I’ll never forget those two minutes as long as I live.
It amazes me how inadequate every photo ever taken is compared to actually seeing the eclipse. They just don't capture the beauty of the corona.
For reference, here's the chart: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SE2017Aug21T.png
Such as the fact that that word refers to the USA and not the whole of the Americas :)
It is a little tongue-in-cheek, but I find it amusing that the history of the word itself is an example of what it describes.
History is overflowing with perpetual name changes for countries, regions, cities, etc. There's nothing unusual about it other than that in this case it applies to the US, which as the sole superpower is a magnet for over-inflating such ridiculous non-issues.
America is on the down-slide of greatness. You can tell this by taking an honest look around, but also just by listening to the widespread shrill insistence on how great it still is. So "Great American This" and "Great American That" is not only played-out as I said, but probably inaccurate as there become fewer and fewer great things to be found in America.
Anyway. The phrase "Great American Eclipse" also sounds just a tiny bit like America is taking credit for the eclipse, when of course the eclipse didn't need any help from America. America just happened to be underneath it this time around.
Finally it reeks of the same old American self-congratulation (for things that are not at all unique to America) that you can see almost anywhere in America, including your comment, patronizingly reminding me of my rights.
That is rather egocentric to be honest. It is just a solar eclipse that happened to be visible in the U.S. this time.
That's pretty neat.
I am not opposed to calling things American when, like I am not opposed to calling the 20th Century the American Century but there is something deeply annoying in claiming an astronomical thing as one's country.
It's like a form of possession and maybe its the Sun but for some reason it really really annoys me to give the event an American adjective.