Alaska Airlines’ First Class isn’t industry leading. Yes, there are power ports and WiFi, but the food is often the same for months. Chicken anyone? The one improvement Alaska has made over the years is to remove one row of First Class (reducing four to three rows) in order to enhance legroom for First Class passengers. While all major airlines are installing flat-bed seats on select aircraft for transcontinental flights, Alaska has never even thought about the idea of having lie-flat seating in First Class… instead they’ve absorbed (and are discontinuing) Virgin America and their awesome First Class.
Alaska has promised to install a new, fresh First Class seat on both Alaska Boeing aircraft and Virgin Airbus aircraft in the near future, since both airlines will soon officially be 100% one, single airline. The new First Class seat is nothing special and just an enhancement to your standard domestic First Class recliner seat. Alaska does promise, however, to include a tablet holder, footrest, and plenty of personal space in the new “custom seat”.
Along with new seats, Alaska is enhancing First Class in the following ways:
- Seasonal Menus
- examples include: smoothie shots and handcrafted gelato
- fresh, local, and “west coast” food items
- Pre-selection of meal
- First Class passengers can pre-order their meal
- Alcohol upgrades, including Wine
- More inflight amenities
- larger entertainment tablet on longer flights
- cozy quilted throw
- upgraded lounge in New York JFK
- paid First Class tickets (not upgrades) receive lounge access
All in all, these enhancements are positive and I’m glad the airline is investing in their First Class a bit more. I think Alaska has been too focused on Economy and Premium Class over the past few years, that they’ve made no changes to First Class. My biggest complaint is that the same food is often being served for months, so I’m hoping they really introduce a variety of new options.
Now, if they could only allow you to mix partners on award tickets…
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