Alaska Summer Showcase touts $20,000 in travel prizes

An Alaska Airlines jet takes off at the Nome airport. (Photo courtesy of David Dodman.)

Even though there’s still lots of snow and cold temps across much of the state, the Alaska Summer Showcase travel fair is coming to Anchorage.

And the Alaska Native Heritage Center on Saturday will be chock-full of all sorts of travel deals and prizes.

Scott McMurren organizes the annual event, and, as the man behind Alaska TravelGram, is an all-around travel guru. He said there will be more than $20,000 in travel prizes.

Among the prizes is a trip for two to Frankfurt, Germany on Condor Airlines.

Condor is Alaska Airlines’ newest mileage partner – which McMurren said is particularly good for Alaskans.

“Because that’s our over the top, non-stop service to Frankfurt,” McMurren said. “It starts on May 15, and people can earn, if your flying in back, you can earn between 50-75 percent of the actual flight miles, so from Anchorage to Frankfurt, that’s 4,166 miles, but who’s counting?”

McMurren said it’s even more miles if you’re up in first class. He also said Alaska Airlines miles are also redeemable on Condor for destinations beyond Frankfurt.

“But also to the Middle East, to Africa, and some kind of weird destinations like the Seychelles, the Maldives, it’s pretty exotic,” McMurren said.

Alaska Airlines’ partnership with Condor comes as Alaska’s relationship with Delta Airlines nears its end.

Alaska is also offering a trip for two as an Alaska Summer Showcase prize.

But, McMurren said the prize he’s most excited about is the trip to Kennicott.

“You have to drive there, so it’s 8 hours,” McMurren said. “From here it’s five hours to Chitina, then go ahead and budget two and a half, three hours for that Chitina road. Don’t drive too fast, it’s an old rail bed, there are still spikes in the road.”

Once you get to McCarthy, though, McMurren said you get a two-night stay at the lodge – including meals, but that’s not all.

“And then Wrangell Mountain Air is throwing in a flight-seeing trip for two, plus St. Elias Alpine Guides is offering a half-day glacier hike, where you can actually walk from the lodge up to the glacier – which is about a mile, mile and a half – and they’ve got the crampons,” McMurren said.

Some of the other prizes include a trip to Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, a bear viewing trip in Katmai National Park, and a flight seeing tours in Denali National Park.

The Alaska Summer Showcase is Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. at the Alaska Native Heritage Center.

Josh is the Statewide Morning News Reporter/Producer for Alaska Public Media | jedge (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.550.8455 | About Josh

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