Last week, domestic airline Era Alaska, whose regional flights consist of quick hops between cities with names like Eek and Kwigillingok, discontinued its free beer program. Yep, you read that right. The Alaska-based airline that takes customers all over the Alaskan terrain was having a free beer promotion during its Dash 8 routes between Anchorage and Fairbanks, Deadhorse, Homer and Kodiak. According to Era's original statement, they would be partnering with local brew masters Denali Brewing Company to offer free samples of the company's Single Engine Red Brew for the month of June.
Allegedly, the airline has discontinued the program because state law doesn't allow using alcohol as a marketing tool. What country is Alaska in again? Not being able to use alcohol as a marketing tool is like saying you can't use shoes to cover your feet. Incidentally, the law becomes fuzzy once a plane is airborne, but Era airlines is stopping the program as a "courtesy" to the state. Stopping your marketing plan to be a nice company is as crazy as a Macy's salesman telling his customers to go buy Christmas presents at Gimbels instead.
For your reference, flying from Anchorage to Fairbanks takes just about an hour, more or less a trip from here to Dallas. If you've ever taken the quick flight to the Big D, you know that there is barely enough time to power up your laptop, let alone chug a free beer.
The promotion makes sense, though, if you think about it in terms of the flight from Houston to Dallas. When faced with the trek, most people opt to drive. It's cheaper, and the time in the car is not all that bad. But consider the notion that instead of driving the long four hours, you could fly and have free beer. Sounds pretty good.
What else can you do in an hour that would be better with free beer? Oh, just about everything, but here are our top five.