AirbusGeek
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Alaska Airlines Question!

Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:05 pm

Why is Alaska Airlines called Alaska when they are based in Seattle? Last time I checked, Seattle wasn't in Alaska!

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BoeingGuy
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RE: Alaska Airlines Question!

Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:20 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 1):
http://www.alaskaair.com/content/about-us/history/overview.aspx

I was just looking at exactly the same thing and didn't find a single reference on AS's History page on their web site. The OP asks an excellent question. Good link to post, but doesn't answer the question.

I haven't found the answer yet either as to when they moved HQ from Alaska to Seattle (city of Sea-Tac, actually).

Of course now days you can fly Alaska Airlines from SAN-PVR or SJC-LIH or LAX-DCA which is obviously not in the state in which their name reflects. So far, AS has not tried to change their name to reflect their current route structure, which is wise in my personal opinion. The have great brand recognition all over so if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
 
L-188
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RE: Alaska Airlines Question!

Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:24 pm

I hate the fact it is headquartered in that awful city too. Seattle for decades have made their money ripping off Alaska.mbut I don't think we at ever going to see that happen especially with their now extensive lower forty eight route map.

Working from memory here so correct me if I am wrong.

The story is that the airline was started here and the a New York based junk salesman by the name Raymond Marshall bought the company and moved the headquarters to Seattle so it would be closer to his headquarters. That was late thirties I believe.

Eventually the CAA got so fed up with the management of Alaska that i the 1950's they ordered Marshall to not have anyone to do with the airline and hired a guy named David Nelson who then got the company on the straight and narrow,

Marshall did try on several occasions to wield influence with the airline since he still owned stock. I believe he was the one that bought Charles Wills on to run it in the 1960's before he was outed for Cosgrove.
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steex
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RE: Alaska Airlines Question!

Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:27 pm

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 2):
I was just looking at exactly the same thing and didn't find a single reference on AS's History page on their web site. The OP asks an excellent question. Good link to post, but doesn't answer the question.

I would say that it does answer that question:

Quote:
A merger with Star Air Service in 1934 created the largest airline in Alaska. After several more mergers, the name was changed a couple of times—until they found one that stuck: Alaska Airlines.

If being the largest airline in Alaska isn't enough reason for the choice in name, I don't know what it is.

A change in focus to their flying (and a move in HQ) over time doesn't suggest that they should change their name anymore than any of the directional airlines should have, and indeed Southwest still stands prominently today.
 
LH707330
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RE: Alaska Airlines Question!

Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:27 pm

It's the classic Seattle "gateway to Alaska" pitch, just like with the Klondike Gold Rush 100ish years ago. To an extent their route map reflects this concept, with flights to a bunch of the small places in Alaska down to Seattle and then radiating out the rest of the 48.
 
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airportugal310
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RE: Alaska Airlines Question!

Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:43 pm

Quoting steex (Reply 4):

How does that quote answer the question?

Quoting steex (Reply 4):
If being the largest airline in Alaska isn't enough reason for the choice in name, I don't know what it is.

...doesn't answer the question of why it's based in Seattle
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Tomassjc
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RE: Alaska Airlines Question!

Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:54 pm

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 6):
...doesn't answer the question of why it's based in Seattle


I thought the question was "Why is it called Alaska....when it's based in Seattle?" Alaska Airlines was called Alaska long before it was based in Seattle. The name stayed the same. Didn't change. Isn't it that simple? Or do we need pages and pages of discussion?

 
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AeroWesty
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RE: Alaska Airlines Question!

Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:57 pm

Quoting tomassjc (Reply 7):
we need pages and pages of discussion?

We need pages and pages of discussion, with significant analysis of all potential merger partners.
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ghifty
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RE: Alaska Airlines Question!

Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:01 pm

McGee Airways, one of the two airlines which formed AS was formed in 1932. It was hq'd in Anchorage, AS. McGee later merged with Star Air Service (inc'd in ANC as well) and they formed the AS we have now.

Alaska Airlines, though it no longer calls Alaska home, still owes it's heritage to Alaska.

On that note:

-Delta doesn't service the original delta river airport it started operations in.. that airport even has a huge widget in front of it! Regardless, Delta's name is still Delta.
-Southwest doesn't service just the Southwest.
-NWA didn't service just the Northwest.
-And UA isn't really "United."
  
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mtnwest1979
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RE: Alaska Airlines Question!

Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:02 pm

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 6):
why it's based in Seattle

...I'll say because it may be cheaper to be hq'd in Seattle, or the management team at the time thought that Seattle would be more appealing to any hq folks working for them. Or they get better tax rates, or whatever reason.

Whatever the reasoning, I am glad they are doing well in servicing their namesake state, save the change to QX ANC-FAI/ADQ coming up.
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BoeingGuy
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RE: Alaska Airlines Question!

Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:03 pm

Quoting steex (Reply 4):
ly 4, posted Wed Jun 26 2013 13:27:08 your local time (35 minutes 15 secs ago) and read 181 times:

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 2):
I was just looking at exactly the same thing and didn't find a single reference on AS's History page on their web site. The OP asks an excellent question. Good link to post, but doesn't answer the question.

I would say that it does answer that question:

Quote:
A merger with Star Air Service in 1934 created the largest airline in Alaska. After several more mergers, the name was changed a couple of times—until they found one that stuck: Alaska Airlines.

They question is why it's based in Seattle, not why it's called Alaska Airlines.
 
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RE: Alaska Airlines Question!

Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:05 pm

Quoting ghifty (Reply 9):
Delta doesn't service the original delta river airport it started operations in.. that airport even has a huge widget in front of it! Regardless, Delta's name is still Delta.

I had hoped we could go through an entire thread on AS and not mention a certain other airline. Darn.  
 
hh65man
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RE: Alaska Airlines Question!

Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:06 pm

.....er.....because if .... well Seattle Airlines with a Starbucks logo next to the main cabin door would look terrible.....
 
L-188
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RE: Alaska Airlines Question!

Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:08 pm

Add Sig Hansens ugly mug to the tail HH65MAN
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AeroWesty
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RE: Alaska Airlines Question!

Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:20 pm

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 11):
They question is why it's based in Seattle, not why it's called Alaska Airlines.

The question is why is it called Alaska Airlines if it's based in Seattle.

Simple answer, it's because before the move to Seattle, it was based in Alaska, and named Alaska Airlines back then. Why the HQ was moved to Seattle wasn't asked.
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rgreenftm
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RE: Alaska Airlines Question!

Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:25 pm

Perhaps it has to do with the fact that -

Seattle is the 13th largest MSA with a population estimate of 4,399,332.
Anchorage is the 124th largest MSA with a population estimate of 392,535.

When you have 11 times the population of the largest city in the state, it becomes much easier to attract top/qualified talent and fill positions with those people allowing you to remain competitive and strategic.
 
L-188
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RE: Alaska Airlines Question!

Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:34 pm

Welty see my reply#4

Raymond w Marshall wanted the headquarters closer to his NYC offices, so he moved the headquarters from Merill Field to Paine Field.
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AeroWesty
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RE: Alaska Airlines Question!

Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:39 pm

Quoting L-188 (Reply 17):
Welty see my reply#4

Yeah, I saw that, I was just clarifying what the question was and wasn't.  
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Polot
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RE: Alaska Airlines Question!

Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:56 pm

Quoting L-188 (Reply 3):
The story is that the airline was started here and the a New York based junk salesman by the name Raymond Marshall bought the company and moved the headquarters to Seattle so it would be closer to his headquarters. That was late thirties I believe.

AS didn't officially move their headquarters until 1953, and Marshall owned the airline since 1941. I'm not sure how big a role he played in moving the headquarters versus the president of the company. The whole Marshall moved it to be closer to his NY headquarters sounds like one of those urban legends started by people who didn't like him, but it could be true.

Incidentally there is a whole chapter available online on Marshall's leadership from the book Character & Characters: The Spirit of Alaska Airlines. (Looking at it the whole book may be available online). It doesn't really give any insight as to why the headquarters were moved however.
 
L-188
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RE: Alaska Airlines Question!

Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:08 pm

My source is what I remember readin in the book, "The Alaska Airlines Story". It came out about 1980ish.

Since I don't have access to the book at the moment I am working for memory, so I fully encourage you to take any dates I give with a grain of salt and I concede it is open to correction.
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wedgetail737
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RE: Alaska Airlines Question!

Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:02 am

Quoting AirbusGeek (Thread starter):
Why is Alaska Airlines called Alaska when they are based in Seattle?

Is that like asking why is Southwest Airlines named "Southwest" when it's based in Dallas? Nobody is going to convince me that Dallas is in the Southwest. Why was Northwest Airlines called "Northwest" when it was based at MSP?

Alaska may not have a whole lot of brand recognition out East compared to the West Coast, Alaska, Hawaii and even Mexico. But to change the Alaska name would be a bad decision.
 
citationjet
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RE: Alaska Airlines Question!

Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:34 am

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 6):
...doesn't answer the question of why it's based in Seattle

 
Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 11):
They question is why it's based in Seattle, not why it's called Alaska Airlines.

 
Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 15):
The question is why is it called Alaska Airlines if it's based in Seattle.

     

The OP:

Quoting AirbusGeek (Thread starter):
Why is Alaska Airlines called Alaska when they are based in Seattle?
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CdnCactus
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RE: Alaska Airlines Question!

Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:45 am

Quoting HH65MAN (Reply 13):

.....er.....because if .... well Seattle Airlines with a Starbucks logo next to the main cabin door would look terrible.....

With the way Starbucks is taking over the world, maybe one day there will be a Starbucks Airlines with green and white livery plus the logo on the tail of Boeing planes, of course, based in Seattle. Never say never.
 
citationjet
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RE: Alaska Airlines Question!

Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:50 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 15):
The question is why is it called Alaska Airlines if it's based in Seattle.

Simple answer, it's because before the move to Seattle, it was based in Alaska, and named Alaska Airlines back then.

I agree. Alaska Airlines only flew to one US city outside of Alaska (SEA) as late as 1975. See their 1975 route map:
http://www.departedflights.com/AS020175.html

They added PDX and SFO in the early 1980's following deregulation. Alaska Airlines flew exclusively within Alaska (except for SEA) for 50 years, from 1932 to 1982. They have only flown to US cities outside of Alaska (other than SEA) for the past 30 years. They obviously believe that the name they have had since 1943 works well for them, and is consistent with their heritage.
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BoeingGuy
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RE: Alaska Airlines Question!

Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:19 pm

Quoting CitationJet (Reply 24):
I agree. Alaska Airlines only flew to one US city outside of Alaska (SEA) as late as 1975. See their 1975 route map:
http://www.departedflights.com/AS020....html

On a side note, I didn't know that AS once flew to Valdez. Now it's prop-jets only. What type of equipment did AS fly there, 727s?
 
citationjet
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RE: Alaska Airlines Question!

Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:53 pm

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 25):
I didn't know that AS once flew to Valdez. Now it's prop-jets only. What type of equipment did AS fly there, 727s?

This 1970 timetable shows Valdez service was with "light aircraft".
http://home.comcast.net/~damiross/AlaskaAirlines70-09-14.pdf
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