Review: Alaska Airlines First Class – B737-800 (PDX-DCA)

Alaska Airlines, not Alaskan Airlines, is an airline based out of Seattle, Washington. Alaska Airlines is currently the 7th largest airline carrier by passenger traffic in the United States. The tail of their planes usually has an Eskimo, though some of their aircraft’s have different designs when they promote teams and organization. If you fly Alaska Airlines you can get miles on American Airlines, Delta Airlines  and a few other carriers. The miles flown on Alaska Airlines can usually count towards elite status and award redemption on the other major airlines – such as on American. IMG_3914

Boarding: Boarding for first class was smooth, not a long line and the gate agents were very nice. Upon boarding the plane the flight attendants properly greet you and ask to take your coat if you have one. Once you are settled into your seat they come and ask if you would like some water.

First Class Cabin: The first class seats were your typical B738 seats in first class, two people per side and a nice drink rest in between each person. The seats recline 5inches, making it quite comfortable. There was also more legroom space (obviously). There was no television behind each seat but you get an in-flight entertainment tablet (free) with movies and shows, it is available in the main cabin for $10. Most of their planes are equipped with on board Wi-Fi.

Premium Food & Beverage: Once we took off and were at a safe altitude, I decided to get mimosas and eventually some rum and coke. The flight attendants were very good about checking up on me and making sure I was always topped. First you get some peanuts while they prepare your food and then you get salad followed by your main course and then dessert. The food was delicious and a good portion size – or at least in my opinion it was.

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Inflight Experience: The flight was relaxing, mostly quiet and without turbulence. The Captain kept us updated and the flight attendants were always checking up on us, they really did try to accommodate us as much as possible. Alaska Airlines – or GoGo – was offering 30 minutes of free Wi-Fi by signing up to a promotion, which I did and used it to check Facebook and iMessage. I also used their in-flight entertainment tablet to watch a few shows. A few minutes before landing the flight attendants came and asked for the entertainment tablets back. Once we landed and were taxing onto our gate the flight attendants returned the coats of those they held.

How to get First Class:
You can get first class various ways. 1) You can pay for first class upon purchasing your ticket, 2) buying a first class ticket using airline miles, also known as an award ticket, 3) being upgraded if you’re an elite member -within the upgrade window-  or 4) you can pay to get upgraded if there are seats available during check-in. The price for upgrading at check-in is dependent upon the amount of miles flown during your trip, the prices are found below:

0 – 1,250 $50
1,251 – 2,500 $100
2,501 – 3,750 $150
3,751 and above $200

*Keep in mind you do not get additional miles for upgrading to first class AND you get no miles if you book first class on an award ticket.


I welcome any feedback from this article, since it’s one of the first posts on the blog.. If you have any questions or concerns please post them in the comment section below or email us at adam@thewinglet.com – Cheers!

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