Starbucks Coffee Co. recently announced the expansion of its massive caffeine-fueled empire to Norway, Morocco and the even in the skies over North America.
Starting this month, Alaska Airlines, based in Seattle, began serving Starbucks coffee to passengers free of charge.
For years the low-fare airline had served fliers hot joe from Seattle’s Best Coffee, a smaller coffee brewer also owned by Starbucks’ parent company, Starbucks Corp. in Seattle.
As Alaska Airlines has grown — now serving 61 destinations, including new service this summer to Santa Barbara and Bozeman, Mont. — the carrier decided it was time to switch to a coffee with national name recognition.
“We made a decision to go with the brand that is well known to our customers,” Alaska Airlines spokeswoman Bobbie Egan said.
The move also was made to offer a consistent coffee experience for passengers who fly Horizon Air, a subsidiary owned by Alaska’s parent company, Alaska Air Group. Horizon has been serving Starbucks for 22 years.
Alaska is not the first airline to offer Starbucks. United Air Lines has been serving Starbucks since 1995. Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways started carrying the brew in 2010.