Alaska Airline's Captain bringing out the first Copper River Salmon that is 46lbs.

Alaska Airline's Captain bringing out the first Copper River Salmon that is 46lbs.

Today I got up quite early for a special event. Salmon. Lots and lots of salmon.

After I woke up I headed over to Alaska Airline’s cargo facility by Seattle-Tacoma International Airport for a special delivery: 22,000 pounds of Copper River Salmon! If you don’t know about Copper River Salmon, you have been missing out. It is like the king of salmon.

22,000lbs might sound like a lot, but Alaska flew about 700,000lbs of Copper River Salmon last year and more than 25 million pounds of seafood last year. Yikes! Maybe it should be called sea-air food (ok I know bad joke).

That's me (in the awesome vest) and Brad Tillman (CEO of Alaska Airlines) in front of Salmon-3-Salmon

That's me (in the awesome vest) and Alaska Airlines President Brad Tilden (he's one cool guy!) in front of Salmon-3-Salmon

“Alaska Airlines flies more Copper River salmon throughout the season than any other airline,” said Joe Sprague, Alaska’s vice president of marketing. “With enhanced food quality procedures and additional flights to support the Alaska seafood industry, we are going the extra mile to deliver fresh seafood throughout the country.”

Each year Alaska Airlines flies the season’s first catch of the fish from Cordova, AK to Seattle and beyond. Not only did I get to watch Alaska’s Boeing 737-400 Cargo land, but Alaska also had their Salmon-3-Salmon present to celebrate.

A 46lb salmon was the first one to de-plane and was filleted. Three chefs competed to make the best meal and a panel of judges, including Jay Buhner, Seattle Mariners Hall of Famer; Mike Fourtner, deckhand on the F/V Time Bandit, as featured on Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch;” Paul Wulff, Washington State University football coach (go University of Washington Huskies — my alum); and Alaska Airlines President Brad Tilden.

That is one BIG fish!

That is one BIG fish!

Follow @AlaskaAir on Twitter, to see the winning Copper River salmon recipe. The three recipes prepared for the Copper Chef Cook-off are available to download at Fish lovers are encouraged to share their own favorite salmon recipes on Twitter, using the hashtag #CRsalmon. (if none of that Twitter talk makes sense to you, don’t worry, just pretend I just wrote something in Greek).

This means you will start to be able to find the Copper River Salmon at your local grocery store or seafood restaurant. You can rest assured that the salmon flying on Alaska will be fresh, since each employee is trained on how to handle perishable cargo. The salmon is kept cool and they make sure the journey is quick.

Copper River salmon might cost a bit more and is it worth it? HECK YES!

Check out all 71 photos of this morning’s event. A special thanks for Alaska Airlines for putting on this awesome event and of course the invite!

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me:
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Yum! I can hardly wait!
Last summer I was in Cordova and got to see the Copper River Delta. Even though the run was over, I learned that the reason the salmon there are so special is that have to “bulk up” for a long journey up river.


…and nary a mention of Alaska’s most fab employee…Missy? Everyone knows Missy!

Missy? Should I know Missy? I feel out of the loop 🙂


Hey–Missy Darlin’ was there…she was handing out the prizes to the MVP Golds in attendance…sporting her “flyertalk” lapel pin!!

Oh–watch the video we made of this event:

can you believe David hasn’t met Missy Darlin yet??

Thanks mate. Awesome site you have here. Have some extra websites to link to with a bit more stuff like this?

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