Tourism bureau, Alaska Air to jointly promote region

SANTA ROSA -- Just days after Alaska Airlines announced changes to its flights into Santa Rosa, the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau and the airline today announced a joint promotion of visits and flights to the region in the first half of 2012  -- known as the tourism off season.

Wine Flights (, as the promotion will be known, will offer travelers deals on airfare, lodging and wine for a limited time, according to the tourism bureau. Additionally, travelers will be able to check a case of wine as baggage at no additional cost when leaving from Charles M. Schulz--Sonoma County Airport.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with Alaska Airlines on this promotion,” said Ken Fischang, tourism bureau president and chief executive. “This promotion is intended to increase overnight visitors to Sonoma County during what is traditionally a slower season. In the long term, it gets our destination in front of thousands of potential travelers via Alaska Air. It also educates travelers they can book flights into Sonoma County from almost anywhere Alaska flies.”

Travelers also will be able to save 10 percent on select Alaska Airlines fares for travel to Sonoma County from anywhere except Mexico and Hawaii. Direct flights are available from Los Angeles, Portland, Ore., and Seattle. Tickets must be purchased by Feb. 6 for travel by June 9. Taxes, fees and blackout dates apply. 

The tourism bureau, along with much of the business community in Sonoma County, was a chief proponent of $84 million safety upgrade and expansion of the airport, which the Board of Supervisors approved two weeks ago. The project calls for extending the main runway by 885 feet to 6,000 feet and a second runway by 200 feet to 5,002 feet, which could allow for more frequent and larger commercial jest to land in Santa Rosa.

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