Alaska Airlines will offer free wine shipping for passengers from SLO to Seattle

The San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport
The San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport

When Alaska Airlines starts offering direct flights between San Luis Obispo and Seattle on April 13, it will also offer something else: Passengers will be able to ship one case of wine back to Seattle for free.

The offer will be a part of Alaska Airline’s “Wine Flies Free” program that has already seen success in flights out of Sonoma County. The program is designed to boost tourism around the state while offering travelers a chance to bring a piece of wine country back with them free of charge.

The cost of the shipping is covered by Alaska Airlines, which is the only airline offering such a deal on shipping.

“Normally, the cost of checking a case of wine would be about the same as checking a bag, $35 to $65,” said Chuck Davison, president and CEO of Visit SLO CAL, a nonprofit marketing organization. “This program will offer an extra incentive to fly to SLO.”

Alaska Airline’s decision to offer the “Wine Flies Free” program on flights from SLO County to Seattle may have been a result of Visit SLO CAL’s media campaign directed at the greater Seattle region.

“Back in June, we launched a $300,000 media campaign in Seattle to promote tourism to San Luis Obispo,” Davison said.

The daily flight to and from Seattle will start April 13, according to the Alaska Airlines website. A flight will leave Seattle at 8 a.m., arriving in San Luis Obispo at 10:28 a.m. A flight will then depart San Luis Obispo at noon, arriving in Seattle at 2:35 p.m. The lowest airfare on the website was $144 each way for flights in mid-April, as of Tuesday afternoon.

The San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport has been in talks with other airlines to increase its number of daily flights. Airport officials said they would like to offer services to Denver, Salt Lake City and Dallas within the next few years.

Clarification: This story has been changed to include the new name of the countywide marketing organization, now called Visit SLO CAL.

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Robert Shutt: 805-781-7902, @roshu42

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