Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
We’re living in peculiar times when airlines seem to be taking away more than they’re offering.
Sometimes, though, thoughtful people lurk within airline managements.
Their cogitations can bring fruit.
In Alaska Airlines’ case, that fruit is the grape.
Or, rather, the result of the grape’s manipulation.
The airline has a program called Wines Fly Free.
Created in 2007, the idea was to allow Mileage Plan members to check their wine purchases for free, as they drifted back from Sonoma to their homes in places far less attractive than Sonoma.
Regulations, you see, made it arduous and expensive for smaller wineries to dispatch wine to grateful customers.
It seems that many Alaska customers were grateful for its viticultural appreciation and foresight.
Now, Alaska is expanding the program from 11 to 29 airports, all toward the west of the U.S. These include smaller airports like Bellingham in Washington state.
The program allows you to check one whole case of wine — suitably packed for shipping, of course — for free to any U.S. destination.
Which is marvelously timed for February 18.
This happens to be National Wine Day.
I thought National Wine Day was every day. (Disclosure: I’m a Wine Ambassador for Honig Winery in Napa.)
Alaska, though, decided to celebrate this even further.
On this very February 18, the airline is even giving passengers — those who are old enough, of course — a free glass wine on certain flights.
This is rare civilization.
It might even serve as inspiration.
You can now choose to save money on fares by flying Economy Class.
If you’re you’re a Mileage Plan member, you can fly to some fine wine region, spend some of the money you’ve saved on the gracious grape infusion and not worry about how much it will cost to get onto the plane.
You could choose Dry Creek, Russian River, Napa, Anderson Valley or Paso Robles.
To name just a few of my favorite Californian wine regions.
Surely more airlines should consider such perks to life the spirits of their customers.
Of course, one way would be to abolish baggage fees altogether.
No, I haven’t had a drink today at all.