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    Alaska Airlines
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Coming off of one of Alaska Airline’s best years yet, CEO Brad Tilden has spent almost $1 billion to purchase 10 Boeing jets. While relations with partner Delta have soured on the back of the major carrier’s expansion into some of Alaska’s key bases, the sky is still the limit for Tilden, whose firm reported a 27% increase in third quarter profits to a record $200 million. Besides capitalizing on lower gas prices, increased fuel efficiency, and growing demand, the 82-year-old airline is putting itself at the forefront of air travel innovation: Tilden is currently mulling the institution of an “e-thumb” system at Alaska Air, using passengers’ fingerprints to replace tickets, credit cards, and IDs. —J.A.