Review: Alaska Airlines First Class B737-7: Las Vegas – Bellingham


There are lots of carriers that offer air service too and from Las Vegas. Today’s choice of Alaska Airlines from Las Vegas to Bellingham was more of a matter of convenience over our usual Star Alliance carriers Air Canada, which offered non stop service, or United, that offers one stop service through Los Angeles or more typically, San Francisco. The Alaska First Class is a reasonable way to get around and it was a great alternative from the more expensive Air Canada.

This post is one chapter on our trip to Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. This trip allowed us to earn through Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 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 B737-7, Las Vegas – Bellingham

“With many air carrier choices leaving Las Vegas, Alaska Airlines was a reasonable choice to get back to the Pacific Northwest

We departed the American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas and took the 10 minute schlep back to the “E” gates and to gate E14 where the “final call” for our flight was being announced on arrival.

Las Vegas McCarran E Gates
Las Vegas McCarran E Concourse
Approaching an already boarded Gate E14
First Class 
Alaska Airlines
LAS-BLI (Las Vegas McCarran – Bellingham International Airport)
AS 649 – First Class (P)
1:45 PM – 4:19 PM
August 19, 2014
Booked: Boeing 737-700
Flown: Boeing 737-700

The Alaska Airlines service from Las Vegas to Bellingham makes use of Alaska Airlines Hawaiian aircraft from their Bellingham – Honolulu routes. The aircraft transit from Hawaii, stopping in Bellingham and continue onwards to Las Vegas. They then around back to Bellingham and then onwards to the Hawaiian Islands. As a result, at the time of travel, the airframes were decorated with the Hawaiian Lei’s that decorated Chester on the tail fin.

On board Alaska Airlines First Class:

We had an older aircraft today with the vintage leather First Class Seats. Despite our late arrival, there was plenty of bin space was still available and we settled into 2A/2C.

Alaska Airlines First Class B737-7 Seats

We were offered a pre-departure beverage of water in a plastic cup. I was happy to get it after the alcohol consumed on this trip, a side effect of late evenings in Las Vegas. 

Pre-Departure Beverage: Water

As always, it is an interesting desert experience departing out of Las Vegas. There were unusual looking Air Traffic Control Towers, Las Vegas Strip views along side airplanes and United metal all about the apron and taxiways.

LAS McCarran Air Traffic Control Tower
Terminal Views on Departure
Our usual United on the taxi-way at LAS
Southwest Plane with the Las Vegas Strip in the Background

It is always interesting flying in and out of Las Vegas thanks to the views of the Las Vegas Strip and the desert surroundings of Nevada, United States. There were a few bumps on the outbound departure with some interesting photographs of Lake Mead (at its lowest water level in 30 years) and Lake Tahoe with the Heavenly Valley ski slopes visible. 

On the Climb to Altitude with the Las Vegas Strip in the Background
Lake and Reservoir Views: Lake Mead

There was some strange printing on the sickness bags today. Aside from the obvious, any Alaska regulars know what these are normally used for? 

Seat Occupied Markings?

The Meal Service: A Light Lunch

Today’s lunch serving was chicken thigh with cilantro, carrot shreds and sliced jalepeno peppers. The peppers were hot. I usually take a dose of Tabasco, Sirracha or anything else to spice things up and this really burned! I started with Washington Merlot for drink but quickly switched to water. 

Pre-Lunch Merlot
Chicken Thigh Sandwich with Jalapeños, Cilantro, Carrots and Cucumber

We had a pleasant ride up to Bellingham with friendly staff. No movie or televisions on this flight like our last one so nothing to do except stare out the window. . .  We had the same mountain spotting opportunities on the way up.

Views from the Wing: LAS-BLI
Pacific Northwest Mountain Spotting

We passed over our usual Sea Tac Airport in Seattle, Washington, with nice approach into Bellingham today. We also had some views over the Gorgeous San Juan islands.

Views of Sea-Tac
View from the Wing: San Juan Islands

Thanks to no other air traffic, we had a quick landing in Bellingham. There are no jet bridges here, just a ramp attached to some wheels, over an open air sky. 

The BLI “Gates”: a rolling ramp
The Alaska B737-7 on the ground at BLI
The Alaska B737-7 on the ground at BLI

The bags were out really quickly with only one plane on the apron needing to be un-stuffed. The last photo of this report comes complete with a baggage hall “running child”.

The Bellingham International Airport Baggage Claim

Before we knew it, we were off to Costco for a kilogram of Beecher’s cheese. After a tank of gas and 20 minutes up the road and we were back home without any problems. 

The Bottom Line: Our Experience on Alaska Airlines First Class

All in All, Alaska Airlines staff were much happier than those from the legacy carriers. I don’t know what culture the CEO is fostering, but it was starkly a better service than many other United flights and Air Canada flights that I’ve taken in the past 10 years. Using the Bellingham airport was another terrific experience that made things much easier, instead of more complicated. 

The Aria Sky Suites provided pretty good service. MrsWT73 has been talking already about headed back to Las Vegas and the Sky Suites are likely on the list. It’s not a true boutique hotel experience since you’re in such a massive hotel, but it did offer a more attentive stay than the public side. The nuances of the property were much more refined. 

Thanks for reading. Happy contrails.

Have you travelled in Alaska Airlines First Class and was your experience better than mainline carriers?

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