Review: Alaska Airlines First Class B737-8, Los Angeles – Seattle


There are many carriers that operate from the mega airport of Los Angeles International Airport. While many carriers operate smaller regional jets up and down the coast, Alaska Airlines exclusively offers a Boeing 737 in it’s fleet, with the occasional Airbus 320 that is left over from it’s Virgin Australia acquisition. In Alaska Airlines First Class, this affords a little extra room over its competitors that usually use an smaller Embraer aircraft. We’d have the opportunity to test out of their First Class product for our short flight up the West Coast today.

This post is one chapter on our trip to South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and the United Arab Emirates. This trip was redeemed through American Airlines AAdvantage & Alaska 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 B737-8, Los Angeles International Airport Terminal Six – Seattle Tacoma International Airport

“With cheerful service, Alaska Airlines offers more space in First Class in their Boeing 737 product that most of the competitors do in their Embraer First Class Products”

We ended up departing the Alaska Lounge Los Angeles Terminal Six and we headed down to our flight. Coming off a wonderful Emirates First Class Dubai – Los Angeles flight, we were getting pretty tired by this point as with a 12 hour time change, as it was about the equivalent of 4 AM our time. We dragged ourselves the short distance to the gate and onto the plane.

Alaska Airlines
First Class
LAX-SEA (Los Angeles Terminal 6 – SeaTac Airport)
AS 479
May 5, 2016
Booked: Boeing 737-400
Flown: Boeing 737-800
Departure: 4:35 PM
Arrival: 7:20 PM

On Board Alaska Airlines First Class:

The Alaska Airlines First Class seat is a large deep blue puffy wonder of a seat. It’s deeply padded and plush. It’s exceptionally comfortable for short distances such as this two hour Los Angeles – Seattle hop. Whereas it’s less exciting for those longer Alaska Airlines Bellingham – Honolulu flights or Alaska Airlines Seattle – Los Cabos Mexico runs.

Alaska Airlines B737-8 First Class Cabin
Alaska Airlines First Class Cabin
Rows 2 – 4
Our Seat

Pre-Departure Services:

In my experience, Alaska Airlines doesn’t typically offer a pre-departure beverage. Instead, we found a small Dasani water waiting for us on our seat.

Dasani Bottled Water substituting in for a pre-departure beverage

We had a smog free departure from Los Angeles today, with coastal views to the south.

Departing from Los Angeles with Southern Views
Coastal Views Departing Los Angeles International Airport

In flight Entertainment:

Alaska Airlines doesn’t offer in seat back video monitors in First or Economy. While some longer cross continental and Hawaii flights offer tablets for rent, this short flight was not one of them. Instead, entertainment was available through to GoGo entertainment app. A few free movies were offered.

The Alaska Airlines in flight magazine was promoting the recent Alaska / Virgin airlines merger.

Alaska Beyond – In Flight Magazine

The Meal: A Two Course Meal

Alaska Airlines offers a pre-dinner drink as part of their regular meal service. Meals in First Class are complimentary, consistent with most competitors in this class.

For the dinner beverage service, I went with the jet lag standby. A Gin and Tonic and a coffee. These two don’t necessarily pair together, but a drink and a coffee was meeting the tired need.

Brewed Coffee and a Gin and Tonic

We were served a scrumptious green salad as a starter. The green salad featured romaine, cherry tomatoes and jullienne carrots with creamy italian dressing. This was a welcome treat after all the cooked food we’d had in Africa and the Middle East.

A Fresh Green Salad

The main was a very strange looking Chicken Breast with a white sauce on top of it. Alaska has some pretty strange mains that don’t get many awards for visual presentation. They also don’t print menu cards so there is nothing more specific that I can offer other than it was served with cubed carrots, kale and a large onion slice.

Sauced Chicken Breast, Cubed Carrots, Onion Ring and Kale
An Interesting Looking Chicken Breast

I napped for the balance of the flight until we touched down in a partly cloudy Seattle. Since Alaska doesn’t offer screens in its headrests, the entertainment offerings were minimal. It was pretty tired anyway thanks to our earlier international flight.

Landing in Seattle:

We arrived at the gate next to an Alaska Hawaii aircraft, which you can tell by the lei around the Alaska Eskimo head.

Arriving to the “N” Concourse in Seattle
Arriving next to Alaska’s Airlines Hawaiian Livery

My Thoughts on the short hop with Alaska Airlines :

I haven’t been disappointed with my Alaska flights. They’re a quirky airlines with some strange food on offer. Aside from that, the service levels are really good with a great positive attitude by their staffers. They are a reasonable option for those preferring a larger aircraft over the regional Embraer style aircraft typically offered by their competitors.

If you had the choice of carriers on the West Coast of America, has Alaska been your first choice?

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