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Alaska, Horizon Airlines to Hit Skies by 6 p.m. PT at Earliest

Alaska Airlines Inc. Wednesday announced that, based on discussions with the Federal Aviation Administration this morning, the earliest Alaska Airlines and Horizon Airlines will begin operating flights is 6 p.m. Pacific Time.

The company said that if 6 p.m. does not become a realistic goal to implement new security directives and plans, it will cancel the rest of the day and schedule flights for Thursday. Reservations agents of the two carriers have been attempting to contact customers and reaccommodate them. Customers can call the airlines' toll free numbers, 1-800-426-0333 (Alaska) or 1-800-547-9308 (Horizon).

The airline also said customers scheduled to travel this week should check the status of their scheduled flights at either www.alaskaair.com or www.horizonair.com. It also advised passengers to check in for their flights at least two hours before departure. In addition, passengers should expect a number of security changes, including the elimination of curbside check-in of baggage. The companeis have also closed Web and wireless check-in until further notice.

Also, the companies said customers seeking to change their Alaska or Horizon flights -- or get refunds, even on nonrefundable tickets -- may do so with no fee or penalty through Saturday, Sept. 15.