Review: Alaska Airlines B737-9, Fort Lauderdale – Seattle


My return flight from Florida to the Pacific Northwest on another direct transcontinental from Florida to Seattle. It was among the second longest domestic flights in the United States as a result of the diagonal trans continental distance from city to city. Like on my way down, I’d experience the pleasant Alaska Airlines service in an Emergency Exit row seat.

This post is one chapter on our trip to Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States of America. This trip was enhanced through Alaska Mileage Plan and through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status. 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 B737-9, Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport – Seattle Tacoma International Airport

We left the wonderful stay at The St Regis Bal Harbour. We drove to the airport and filled up the rental car. We returned the car to Avis without any issue. From the rental car center, it was a quick 5 minute walk to Terminal 1.

We had completed on line check in via the Alaska Airlines App. The App seems to be a little clunky at times and it usually takes us a few tries to get it to work. I suspect this is because we are almost always on international flights with Alaska which may cause some challenges. It frequently seems to forget all our entered information causing us to re-enter everything again. Luck was on our side because the check in worked on the third try.

Call me old fashioned, but at the time of this flight, I still liked to have a paper boarding card. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps for collectables sake, even though most are the same old thing. We stopped by the Alaska desks to get one from the kiosk. Unfortunately, there was a long line even in the First Class line and no kiosks to be found. With that, we just abandoned the thought of the paper boarding pass and headed straight for the TSA Pre-Check line.

The Alaska Airlines Check In Zone at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport
A Few Queues Today at the First Class and Elite Line

We were through security in about 10 minutes. The Fort Lauderdale airport seems to be undergoing a bit of a refresh since many of the concourse shops after security were boarded up behind construction panels.

With breakfast wearing off, we went to Chili’s for a late lunch. MrsWT73 proclaimed her joy “Oh great, I finally get to eat at a Chili’s”; an airport staple around the America’s. The service was prompt and cheery, like most of our experiences in Florida. Today’s serving was a turkey avocado bacon sandwich with fries. Nothing like a light meal before a long flight!!

Locating Chili’s at FLL
A Turkey Avocado Sandwich of Goodness

After lunch and over at the gate, MrsWT73 was called up to the podium for an “important message”, which was a cleared upgrade on the Alaska Mileage Plan MVP Unlimited Domestic Upgrade list. As an Alaska Mileage Plan MVP Gold, she was #2 on the list at the flight closing time. As an MVP, I ended up as #15 on the list again and would have to settle for the comforts of 17F as the exit row.

A Score on the Upgrade List
Waiting at the Gate
A Mostly SouthWest Oriented Flight Display Board

We were delayed getting out by 15 minutes due to some last-minute seat changes and re-accommodation of a family with infants that required some seat swapping. There was an announcement from the captain that the flight was a long one at 6 hours and 40 minutes. Nevertheless, it was a nice sunset at the gate… including some great over wing views.

Sunset Views at FLL
Alaska Airlines
AS 35 – Economy Class (T)
FLL-SEA (Fort Lauderdale Hollywood Airport – Seattle Tacoma International Airport)
Feb 3, 2018
06:30 PM – 10:22 PM
Booked: Boeing 737-900
Flown: Boeing 737-900

On Board Alaska Airlines:

My seat was in row 17F in the usual economy class row of 3 – 3 configuration on the Boeing 737-8. The emergency exit row featured a little extra leg room, although no storage underneath the seat in front of you.

Emergency Exit Row Seating
Sunset Skies in Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport

The Meal: Buy on Board

featuring Tom Douglas

Once airborne, it was a mostly smooth flight. Despite having the sandwich, I opted for buy on board again and had the Sonoran Chicken Skillet with chili roasted chicken, served with brown rice, roasted corn, red peppers and savoury black beans. It was almost all that but otherwise different than the usual buy on board offerings.

The Alaska Airlines Buy on Board Menu
Sonoran Chicken Skillet
“chili roasted chicken, served with brown rice, roasted corn, red peppers and savoury black beans”

I had a major cougher behind me in Seat 18E but the flight time of 6 hours and forty minutes when by pretty quickly considering the long distances travelled.

My Thoughts on Alaska Airlines Seattle – Florida Service:

In summary, it was a great flight up to Seattle without any major incidents. Although there is no upgrades from the middle rows, having the extra room was beneficial for such a long trans continental journey.

If you regularly travel long distances with Alaska, is it comfortable enough for your needs ?

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