Alaska Airlines continues West Coast focus with new San Luis Obispo flights

Sep 4, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Alaska Airlines’ network focus continues to shift to its West Coast map with expanded service to San Luis Obispo in California.

The Seattle-based carrier will add daily service to San Luis Obispo (SBP) from both Portland, Oregon, and San Diego in 2020, it said today. The new routes will complement Alaska’s existing service between Seattle (SEA) and San Luis Obispo that began in 2017.

Alaska will begin the San Diego (SAN) flight on Jan. 7, and the Portland (PDX) flight on June 18. Both routes will be flown with 76-seat Embraer 175s.

San Luis Obispo serves California’s growing Central Coast wine region centered around Paso Robles. It is also home to highly-ranked California Polytechnic State University, or Cal Poly, which is known for its aerospace, architecture and engineering programs.

Related: Cool California Wine Regions That Aren’t Napa or Sonoma

The San Luis Obispo announcement comes less than a week after the airline released plans to retrench somewhat to its West Coast roots. Alaska will suspend 11 routes primarily from its Los Angeles (LAX), San Diego (SAN) and San Francisco (SFO) bases to Midwest or East Coast destinations beginning this fall. At the same time, it will add eight routes from the same bases to points in the West.

The new San Luis Obispo routes fit this West Coast-centric strategy by expanding in a market that is part of Alaska’s core geography — and one where it faces little to no competition.

Related: Alaska Airlines Adds 8 Routes, Drops 11 in West Coast Shakeup

No airlines fly between the city on California’s central coast and either Portland or San Diego, according to Diio by Cirium schedules. American Airlines serves San Luis Obispo from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Phoenix (PHX), and United Airlines from Denver (DEN), Los Angeles and San Francisco.

All of Alaska’s network changes in the past week fit with the strategy defending its position in the Pacific Northwest and state of Alaska that CEO Brad Tilden outlined in July.

“The first priority would be… doing everything we need to do to sort of defend and grow markets out of the state of Washington, in the state of Alaska, the state of Oregon,” he said on the carrier’s 2020 capacity plans.

As part of this effort, Alaska has opted to retain nine De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400s slated for retirement by the end of 2020. While it has not said specifically what the aircraft will be used for, the turboprops are suited for shorter flights in the Pacific Northwest that could allow E175s to be used on longer routes along the West Coast.

Alaska will also begin to feel the impact of the Boeing 737 MAX grounding in 2020, if the aircraft is not re-certified before the end of the year. The airline had planned to take three aircraft this year, but postponed the deliveries to 2020 in the second quarter.

The airline anticipates nine 737 MAX deliveries in 2020, its latest fleet plan shows.

Featured image by Edward Russell/TPG.

Related: How to Earn Miles With the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Program


Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.