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Alaska Airlines Just Got a Little Sweeter (Pun Absolutely Intended)

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By Paul Brady, Condé Nast Traveler

Alaska Airlines will start handing out ice cream on flights this weekend, in a partnership with Portland, Oregon–based Salt & Straw (the kind of ice cream shop we would happily travel for). Starting on Saturday, first-class passengers on Alaska’s long-haul flights will get single-serve packs of flavors like sea salt with caramel ribbons and Meyer lemon custard with blueberries during transcontinental trips and itineraries to and from Hawaii.

The move comes on the heels of Alaska’s merger with Virgin America, which flew its last trip in April. Alaska previously announced a major overhaul of its in-flight menu, with lots of Pacific Northwest options including “Nancy's Fancy gelatos and Sweet Lady Jane brownies from California, and Chuckanut cheesecakes and Seattle Chocolate truffles from Washington,” the airline said this spring. Last year, Alaska offered “Seattle's Fremont Interurban IPA craft beer and chardonnay from Chateau Ste. Michelle, … and pinot noir from Erath,” two well-known PNW wineries; they now have Canoe Ridge Vineyard wines aboard.

Salt & Straw co-founder Tyler Malek says he specifically selected in-flight flavors like roasted strawberry with toasted white chocolate to stand up to the rigors of air travel, which science has shown can actually dull taste buds. But while we applaud any in-air ice cream, the real question is why it’s not yet available in economy—where a little something sweet would go a long way.

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