Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are changing minimum check-in time for customers traveling on most domestic flights to 40 minutes — 10 minutes earlier than the past. It doesn’t matter if you are checking a bag or not.
The minimum check-in time for international flights remains at 60 minutes.
Alaska said the policy change is so passengers can expect the same minimum check-in time at almost all airports the carrier serves. The exceptions will be at airports where the check-in cutoff is already 45 minutes, such as Atlanta, Denver, Las Vegas, Newark and Philadelphia. Passengers traveling from Guadalajara have a 90-minute check-in cutoff time.
“Our previous policy sent a mixed message by having different cutoff times, depending on the airport and whether a customer is checking bags,” Jeff Butler, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of customer service in a statement. “The new policy will make check-in times the same for everyone, making it easier for passengers to remember the cutoff, regardless of how they are checking in and whether they’re checking a bag. A consistent cut-off time should make things easier for customers and employees alike.”
Beginning Wednesday passengers miss the cutoff will be offered a $25 same-day confirmed seat on the next available flight, depending on availability.
The airline reminds travelers the 40-minute rule is no guarantee of making it to their departure gate in time for boarding.
Expect more shoppers making those last-minute rounds for gifts with only four weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas, ShopperTrak, a Chicago shopper analytic firm, predicts that four of the 10 busiest shopping days will occur between Dec. 20 and Dec. 24.
ShopperTrak anticipates slightly fewer (1.4 percent) store visits in November and December than last year, but doesn’t expect a decline in spending. It sees a 2.4 percent pick up during the holiday season from 2012.
Last year’s 10 busiest shopping days accounted for 35.7 percent of sales of general merchandise, apparel and furniture. ShopperTrak said with Christmas falling on Wednesday this year, it will create its own mid-week momentum.
If you are into electric vehicles, you may want to be in Portland next Thursday when the Energize Oregon Coalition puts on a conference at the PGE World Trade Center.
If you remember the good ol’ days of Lands’ End clothing, take heart. Sears Holdings is thinking about splitting its auto centers and Lands’ End business from its Sears and K-Mart stores.
EV proponent Drive Oregon has secured a $40,000 grant from the Meyer Memorial Trust to support the Coalition and other work to increase electric vehicle usage.