Review: Alaska Airlines First Class, SEA-DCA

I’m a fan of Alaska Airlines. I think they have a well run operation, have friendly staff, and provide a good network of routes, both shorthall and longhaul. Alaska partners with both American and Delta, but complimentary upgrades are only applicable to Delta elites. If you’re an American elite, you’ll have to pay to sit in the forward cabin.

Since I am a Delta Gold, purchasing a full fare Y ticket allowed me to receive a complimentary upgrade. While purchasing a full fare ticket sounds like a crazy idea, it was actually well under the purchase price of a non-refundable First Class ticket, so I wanted to take my chances on the upgrade, and still have the flexibility to change my ticket if needed.

Alaska’s check-in is located on the main ticketing level, and there’s a special section for MVP elites, and First Class customers.

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Alaska’s Boardroom Lounge in Seattle is generally crowded, but with 2 levels, the noise is spread out. I gained access through my Priority Pass lounge access card, provided through my American Express Platinum charge card.

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Once on board, I took my seat in 2B. Legroom on Alaska is plentiful, and for a transcontinental flight is perfectly comfortable.

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One of the unique things Alaska has on their planes is this really funky looking wall carpeting. While I think it is supposed to be reminiscent of something Native American, it looks more like something out of the house the Brady Bunch lived in.

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After take-off, menus were distributed for dinner. I really do appreciate having real paper menus on flights. It’s nostalgic, but you can also keep track of what you are being served.

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Following the distribution of menus, a pre-departure beverage was served. I went with a Vodka and Ginger Ale.

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After that was a salad course. I’ve found Alaska’s salads to be generally fresh and appealing, which is great.

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After the salad was the main course. For me, I had the Blue Cheese Crusted Chicken Breast. With the meal, I was also served white wine. Off to the left, you can see the complimentary Dig-E player that’s handed out to First Class passengers (there is a charge in economy). While I had my iPad with me, I did actually find a decent selection of movies to watch, so ended up using the player for the rest of the flight instead of my own device.

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Following dinner was dessert. I really like how Alaska serves different courses, and all 3 are not just slopped onto one tray and served at once.

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Overall, a really pleasant flight. While I’d prefer a lie-flat seat for a transcend journey, I find that Alaska has great service for what’s provided, so its certainly a flight I’d take again. The lead flight attendant on this flight was great, and there was never a shortage of him handing out snacks, more beverages and keeping an eye on everyone. Since DCA has an LAX, PDX and SEA nonstop everyday, they make a great transcon partner with American, which is useful for DC based flyers.

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