Review: Alaska Airlines First Class B737-9: Seattle – San Jose del Cabo

This post is one chapter on our trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico on Alaska Airlines. This trip was booked and credited to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan using a two for one Companion Fare courtesy of the Alaska Airlines credit card. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: Alaska Airlines First Class Boeing 737-900: Seattle – San Jose Del Cabo

At the time of booking, Alaska had three seasonal flights a day from Seattle to San Jose del Cabo. There was lots of upgrade space available (U fare class) at the time of our booking, and we were able to secure a First Class Seat thanks to MVP Gold Guest upgrades, without much difficulty.

We arrived to the airport at about 4:50 AM and located the TSA Pre-Check security screening. The screening was remarkably efficient today at this hour and we were through in less than 5 minutes.

We headed to the American Express Centurion Lounge in Seattle. We arrived at a few minutes past 5 AM. For the first time at this location, we were able to get straight in without a wait.

Breakfast was reasonable and consisted of Mushroom and Leek baked pastry turnovers, sliced salami and tomatoes and sourdough bread toasted with fresh coffee and orange juice. Admittedly, it was one of the better breakfasts’ I’d had in a lounge in quite a while. The bar was closed and shuttered so we didn’t have the opportunity to have any pre-departure celebratory cocktails.

At about T-50, we left the lounge to head over to the N Gates. We stopped by Dufry Duty Free in the C gates area to collect duty free for Mexico. To my knowledge, thanks to the renovation and expansion at the N Gates, there are no Duty Free outlets in the N terminal (only C and S terminals) so we made sure to take advantage.

Alaska Airlines
AS 210 – First Class
SEA – SJD (Seattle Tacoma International – Los Cabos International)
April 17, 2019
6:45 AM – 12:05 PM
Booked: Boeing 737-800
Flown: Boeing 737-900

We took the train over to the N Gates which is in a separate building and terminal all together. It’s also the site of Alaska’s major expansion into 5 new gates and the location of their new Flagship lounge on the second floor which remains under construction. Hopefully, it will be worth it when its all done, as it’s a pain in the tail to get out there.

The boarding process was quite disorganized for today’s flight. They eliminated the elite lane in favor of a passport check at boarding which caused quite a bit of confusion. Dozens of children and families boarded first, along with several people needing “assistance” that appeared perfectly able, to walk down the jet bridge. This was then followed by first class.

On Board Alaska Airlines First Class:

On board, we settled into the usual Alaska 2-2 configuration featuring the old first class barca lounger seats and the old cabin decor. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing as the newer Recaro seats appear to be much tighter on the leg room than the old configuration.

The usual bottle of Dasani Water was available on the seat. A pre-departure of orange juice or coffee was offered. I ended up with the coffee which was served in a paper cup.

We ended up underway about twenty minutes behind schedule. We taxied out and were up into the Seattle rain and clouds quickly. It wasn’t long before we were passing through the clouds and had a great view of Mt Rainer and Mt St Helens completely surrounded by low cloud cover.

A drink order was offered as we got to altitude. The glasses were quite tiny. Landing cards for Mexico were also passed out.

There’s no in flight entertainment other than what is offered through the GoGo Inflight Entertainment App. There is a generic printed menu in the outback pocket that highlights drinks and features which wasn’t too interesting.

Food and Beverage: A Full Breakfast

I took the opportunity earlier to pre-order the entrée on the Alaska Flight via the Alaska App. The choices were an Gruyere omelet or a cheese plate. At about 40 minutes into the flight, the omelet was served. In true Alaska (and other US carrier traditions) the Omelet was pretty thin in size and thin on substance. I was happy that I had eaten earlier in the lounge. Alaska Airlines is usually very light on meals up front and today was no exception.

Since a light meal doesn’t last very long, the rest of the food and beverage for the flight included a Gin and Tonic and packaged nuts.

There was great scenery on the way down, transitioning from mountains down to some interesting desert like scenery as we approached the runway.

We touched down in Mexico and parked at a non gate position. There was lots of heat when we stepped out onto the apron.

There were lots of vendors for rental cars, including the Hertz desk inside the secure baggage area pre-customs. I went over to inquire while we were waiting for checked bags, but they only had my name on a printed list; told to go outside. There was also a small duty free on arrival.

Alaska Airlines First Class Bottom Line:

After collecting our bags, we went through Customs. Mexico still has the system (green or red). Thankfully green today and we were outside before we knew it. The Alaska Airlines First Class service is stuck in a bit of a time warp. Although it’s a more comfortable way to get around, no one will ever mistake it for international first class on a wide body carrier.

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