Alaska Airlines is holding nothing back as the airline continues its expansion plans in North America. This morning, Alaska Airlines announced plans to expand their LAX hub with new service to Baltimore and a first time ever service to Costa Rica! This announcement comes just days after Alaska announced plans to expand service to the South from Seattle.
(photo used from Alaska Air with permission)
New service from Los Angeles to San Jose, Costa Rica will begin on Halloween – happy birthday to me—and to Liberia on November 1st! Both cities will be served four days a week utilizing Boeing 737 offering Alaska Beyond food and entertainment options and offer customers 16 seats in first class and approximately 140 in economy.
Los Angeles-San Jose
Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat
San Jose-Los Angeles
Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat
Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sun
Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sun
“Alaska Airlines will chart new territory this fall when it adds new service between Los Angeles and Costa Rica’s two major international airports, further strengthening its southern California focus city. The eight weekly flights from Los Angeles to San Jose (SJO) and Liberia/Guanacaste (LIR), Costa Rica, are scheduled to begin Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 respectively, and are in addition to new daily service the carrier will add on Sept. 9 between Los Angeles and Baltimore.
Liberia is the gateway to the Guanacaste region in the western part of the country, renowned for surfing and sport fishing. While the capital city of San Jose, located about 130 miles from Liberia, boasts museums and historic Spanish colonial architecture.
“As the most popular Central American tourist destination for U.S. travelers, Costa Rica is a mecca for eco-tourism, surfing and sport fishing and has been a top request from our customers who enjoy outdoor adventure,” said John Kirby, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of capacity planning. “Our new Costa Rica flights are well timed for Los Angeles travelers and offer convenient roundtrip connections for our Anchorage and Seattle customers, while our new Baltimore service provides passengers greater access to the nation’s capital, complementing our daily nonstop service to Reagan National Airport.”
I am ecstatic to see Alaska Airlines bring Costa Rica online as it has been an aspirational destination of the airline for years! I can recall back in 2007/08 when I was in college talking with friends who worked both in management and flight operations at Alaska and the rumors were circulating then that Costa Rica would be launched. Yet things changed, Alaska pushed towards Hawaii from just about every West Coast city and Costa Rica was shelved. Now, nearly 7 years later, Costa Rica is back on the table and Alaska Airlines is pushing further south than ever before from LAX, as expected 7 years prior!
In addition to launching service to Costa Rica, the airline is also adding a daily flight to Baltimore, to expand on their daily Washington-DCA service from LAX.
Alaska will face competition on every new route from Los Angeles, but is in a great position to offer each of the new flight as LAX expands service to 21 destinations with 600 weekly flights! New service will face the least amount of competition on their new route to Liberia. Currently all competing service to Costa Rica is offered via nonstop redeye flights and Alaska Airlines will be the only airline to offer day time flights, with the exception of AA which will launch service in November.
Los Angeles – San Jose
Delta (daily), Avianca (daily), American (daily starting 11/3)
Los Angeles – Liberia
Delta (5x a week redeye service and very seasonal)
Los Angeles – Baltimore
United (daily), Spirit (daily), Southwest (2x daily)
To inaugurate the new service, Alaska Airlines is offering introductory one-way fares of $149 between Baltimore and Los Angeles and flights will be available for purchase for the new Costa Rica routes starting May 21, 2015, pending approval by Costa Rican civil aviation authorities. Sale fares for Costa Rica have not yet been announced. The airline is also offering members of its Mileage Plan double miles on flights between Los Angeles and Baltimore between Sept. 9 and Oct. 9, 2015 and I would expect a similar promotion to be launched for flights to and from Costa Rica.