If the great outdoors is what you seek, Delta Air Lines wants to take you there. The carrier has announced a massive expansion of its service to Alaska this summer, including new weekend service to Anchorage from Detroit, Los Angeles, and New York, starting on May 28.
The Alaska push comes as uncertainty regarding the possibility for more international travel this year lingers despite the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination campaigns in the United States and abroad. Additionally, in February, Alaska relaxed its entry requirements for visitors and no longer requires a negative COVID-19 test from those entering the state—Alaskan authorities still advise that travelers get tested but it isn’t mandatory.
The move is part of Delta’s strategy to offer more “premier outdoor destinations this summer” for domestic travel, Joe Esposito, Delta’s SVP of network planning, said in a statement.
The new Alaska service will include:
- New weekend service to Anchorage (ANC) from Detroit (DTW), Los Angeles (LAX), and New York (JFK), starting on May 28
- New nonstop flights to Anchorage and Fairbanks (FAI) from Salt Lake City (SLC) starting May 5 (and a second summer seasonal flight from SLC beginning June 19)
- Increasing Seattle (SEA) service to Anchorage and Fairbanks, and adding new Seattle service to Juneau (JNU), Ketchikan (KTN), and Sitka (SIT) starting Memorial Day
- Resuming daily service from Atlanta (ATL) to Anchorage as of May 5
- Increasing service from Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) to Anchorage and Fairbanks starting on May 5
All flights to Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau will be operated by Delta’s larger aircraft, including the Boeing 737-900.
Delta’s decision comes after the Canadian government announced last month that most cruising in Canadian waters will be prohibited until February 28, 2022—a move that effectively put many Alaska cruises on hold as well. In order to be able to sail in Alaska, foreign-flagged vessels (which the majority of cruise lines operate) must also make port stops in Canada due to a maritime rule called the Jones Act. Some smaller operators and U.S.-flagged ships will still be able to sail.
For those with their heart set on an Alaskan summer, flying there may be among the best options for getting to experience The Last Frontier this year.
>> Next: AFAR’s Ultimate Guide to Alaska