Guide to Alaska Airlines First Class: Everything You Need to Know in 2024

by Jem
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Welcome to the definitive Alaska Airlines First Class guide – your passport to a world of luxury, comfort, and seamless travel. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll unravel the extraordinary experience that awaits you when you choose to fly First Class with Alaska Airlines, from the history of the airline to its in-flight amenities!

Ready for a travel experience that goes beyond the ordinary? Alaska Airlines First Class elevates your journey to new heights. Imagine being pampered above the clouds, where every detail from check-in to landing is crafted for your comfort.

From the moment you check in, to the second you step off the plane, every detail is about making your journey unforgettable. Why do travelers rave about it? Is it really the best airline in the US?

We’re about to dive deep into the world of Alaska Airlines First Class. Spoiler alert: it’s more than just comfy seats and fancy meals. Let’s find out what the buzz is all about!

#1 tip to find cheap first class tickets with Alaska Airlines

Looking to save BIG on Alaska Airlines First Class? Before jumping into the article, I first wanted to give you this insider tip to find cheap airfare on first class flights.

For years, I’ve been using this site called Going (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights), which sends you alerts on airline deals, discounts, and mistake fares. It’s a total game-changer – saving me $10,000+ on flights each year.

Their $49/year premium version is well worth it- just one discounted flight pays for the whole thing.

And if you’re into business/first class, you’ll want to sign up for their Elite version. Last year, this service saved me $2,750 on a first class flight and $1,500 on a business class flight. At just $199 year year, trust me, it’s a small price for massive savings.

Overview of Alaska Airlines First Class

Alaska Airlines, a major player in the skies, boasts a rich history and a modern fleet that connects over 100 destinations. With hubs in key cities like Anchorage, Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, they’re a go-to for travelers across the US, Canada, Mexico, and more. Their fleet? A robust 314 aircraft, making them a powerhouse in North American aviation.

Now, let’s talk First Class. Think spacious legroom, priority boarding, and a dedicated flight attendant. Believe me, it’s a journey wrapped in comfort. Their First Class offers the most legroom of any U.S. domestic airline, with custom-designed Recaro leather seats. And yes, there’s more to explore about their First Class, but let’s save the best details for later in this guide.

Ready to explore Alaska’s best airline in more detail? Let’s dive in.

Alaska Airlines First Class flight for all types of travelers.

Alaska Airlines First Class Benefits

Alaska Airlines first class, known for its exceptional service and amenities, offers a premium travel experience that stands out as the best first class in Alaska. Here’s what you can expect when flying with Alaska Airlines in 2024:

  • Spacious Legroom: Stretch out with the most legroom of any U.S. domestic airline.
  • Priority Treatment: Enjoy priority check-in, boarding, and baggage handling.
  • Complimentary Baggage: Check in two bags free of charge.
  • Exclusive Seating: Relax in custom-designed Recaro leather seats with generous recline.
  • Dedicated Flight Attendant: Personalized service for a comfortable journey.
  • Complimentary Meals and Drinks: Savor free meals and beverages, including beer, wine, and cocktails.
  • Pre-Order Meals: Choose your entree up to 20 hours before your flight.
  • Power Outlets: Stay charged with easily accessible power outlets.
  • Enhanced Mileage Earning: Earn 75% more Mileage Plan™ bonus miles.
  • Lounge Access: Access to Alaska Lounges on qualifying flights.

These perks make flying First Class with Alaska Airlines a truly elevated experience. But how does their fleet contribute to this top-tier service? Up next, we’ll dive into the Alaska Airlines fleet, comparing the different aircraft and what each offers to the First Class traveler.

Tips for Booking Alaska Airlines First Class Tickets

Diving into the world of Alaska Airlines First Class? Great choice! Here are some insider tips to help you find cheap Alaska Airlines flights.

  • Leverage Your Mileage Plan Status: If you’re a member of Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan, you’ve got a shot at a free upgrade to First Class. The chances vary based on your status level – MVP, MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75K, or MVP Gold 100K. Sometimes, you can even snag an instant upgrade at booking. So, always log in to your account when booking.
  • Keep an Eye on Paid Upgrades: Alaska Airlines opens paid upgrades 24 hours before departure. Prices can start as low as $23. Check via the app, website, or at a kiosk.
  • Use Miles for an Upgrade: Got a stash of miles? Use them for an upgrade to First Class, starting from just 15,000 miles. Remember to select ‘Mileage upgrade’ as your preference when booking your ticket. Then, give Alaska Airlines a call to finalize your upgrade.
  • Check for Oneworld Alliance Benefits: If you’re a member of certain tiers in the Oneworld alliance, you might also have access to free upgrade seat selection. It’s worth checking out if you’re part of this global airline network.
  • Consider Alaska Lounge+ Membership: If you’re a frequent flyer, think about getting the Alaska Lounge+ Membership for added benefits and lounge access, enhancing your overall travel experience.
You may improve your experience in some ways without going over budget.
You may improve your experience in some ways without going over budget. | Image Credit: Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines Fleet: A Detailed Comparison

Alaska Airlines’ fleet is a blend of comfort and modernity, ensuring a premium experience across various aircraft types. Let’s break down what each type offers in First Class.

1. Boeing 737 MAX-9, 737-700, Airbus A320 & A321

  • Routes: Ideal for longer domestic and select international flights.
  • Seat Pitch: Generous 41-inch seat pitch for extra legroom.
  • Seat Width: Widest seats at 21.3 inches.
  • Seating Configuration: 3 or 4 rows of 2-2 seating in First Class.
  • Why Choose: Opt for these on longer journeys for maximum comfort and space.

2. Boeing 737-900 and 737-900ER

  • Routes: Common on cross-country and high-demand routes.
  • Seat Width: Slightly narrower seats at 20.45 inches.
  • Seating Configuration: Four rows of 2-2 seating.
  • Seat Pitch: Maintains the 41-inch seat pitch.
  • Why Choose: Great for transcontinental trips where comfort is key.

3. Boeing 737-800

  • Routes: Serves a mix of medium to long-haul domestic routes.
  • Seat Width: 20.45-inch seats.
  • Seating Configuration: Three rows of 2-2 seating.
  • Seat Pitch: Consistent 41-inch seat pitch for a roomy feel.
  • Why Choose: A balance of comfort and efficiency for various travel distances.

Embraer 175

  • Routes: Primarily for regional and shorter routes.
  • Seat Width: Smallest in the fleet at 20 inches.
  • Seating Configuration: Unique 1-2 seating, with single seats on one side of the aisle.
  • Seat Pitch: Standard 41-inch seat pitch.
  • Why Choose: Ideal for solo travelers or those on shorter regional hops.

Each aircraft in Alaska Airlines’ fleet is designed with specific routes and passenger needs in mind. From the spacious Boeing 737 MAX-9 for your longer journeys to the convenient Embraer 175 for regional travel, there’s a perfect fit for every trip. Up next, let’s delve into the baggage allowance for Alaska Airlines First Class passengers.

Alaska Airlines offers a premium experience with its fleet, which combines comfort and innovation.
Alaska Airlines offers a premium experience with its fleet, which combines comfort and innovation. | Image Credit: Alaska Airlines

Baggage Allowance with Alaska Airlines First Class

Traveling First Class with Alaska Airlines means you can pack a bit more without the worry of extra fees. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Included Baggage: Two free checked bags, plus one carry-on and a personal item like a purse or laptop bag.
  • Size and Weight Limits: Each checked bag should be under 50 pounds and 62 linear inches. Overweight or oversized bags may incur charges.
  • Oneworld Alliance Status Perk: If you have status in the Oneworld alliance, enjoy one additional checked bag for free.
  • Special Waivers: Alaska Airlines uniquely waives baggage fees for transporting pineapples from Hawaii and wine from select West Coast destinations. Check their baggage info for specific details and restrictions.
  • Outdoor Gear and Special Items: They cater to outdoor enthusiasts, offering detailed guidelines for oversized baggage, special equipment, and transporting frozen food. These items may or may not count in your free baggage allotment.
  • Multi-Airline Travel Tip: If your journey includes different airlines or classes, always check each leg’s baggage rules.
You can bring a little more with this airline without worrying about incurring extra fees.
You can bring a little more with this airline without worrying about incurring extra fees. | Image Credit: Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines First Class Ground Experience

Stepping into Alaska Airlines’ First Class means your airport experience transforms into something quite special. You’ll benefit from exclusive access to Alaska Airlines lounges in key hubs like Anchorage, New York, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle.

In Seattle’s SeaTac Airport, you’re spoiled for choice with three lounges in Concourses C, D, and N. Get ready for some exciting changes, too. Both Portland and Seattle lounges are gearing up for major upgrades through 2026, though this might mean occasional closings.

Imagine unwinding in these lounges, where all-day fresh snacks and buffet-style meals await. Sip on complimentary local beer, wine, and house spirits, or indulge in the unique “print your own pancake” machines. While the food offerings might not match the extensive menus of larger international airline lounges, they’re sure to delight. Plus, with free Wi-Fi and access to PressReader online, you’re always connected. Whether you’re catching up on work at a business workstation or relaxing by a window with runway views, these lounges are designed for comfort.

But remember, your First Class ticket doesn’t automatically open doors to partner lounges. And if you’re upgraded from a lower class due to airline status, lounge access isn’t included. For those who want it all, consider the Alaska Lounge+ Membership for unlimited access to Alaska Airlines and partner lounges.

Now, let’s talk about check-in. As a First Class passenger, breeze through the airport with priority check-in lines. Flying out of Seattle? Try the new Seattle Spot Saver program for quicker security screening. But if you’re a TSA Precheck member, stick with that for the fastest experience, as Spot Saver still involves the usual security steps.

When you travel in First Class on Alaska Airlines, the airport experience turns into something special.
When you travel in First Class on Alaska Airlines, the airport experience turns into something special. | Image Credit: Alaska Airlines

In-Flight Comfort & Amenities on Alaska Airlines First Class

Once you’re comfortably seated in Alaska Airlines’ First Class, the real magic begins. Picture yourself sinking into those spacious, custom-designed Recaro leather seats. With up to a 41″ seat pitch, you’re in for a roomy ride. The generous recline and thoughtful additions like footrests and tablet holders make it feel like your own cozy nook in the skies.

The ambiance in First Class is a blend of tranquility and attentive service. Each passenger gets a dedicated flight attendant, ensuring your experience is personalized and top-notch. Need an extra pillow or a quick answer about your flight? Help is just a button press away.

As you settle in, you’ll notice the power outlets conveniently located at your seat. If you need to charge your phone or plug in your laptop, staying powered up is effortless.

For those who love to stay connected, Alaska Airlines is upgrading their aircraft with satellite Wi-Fi. It’s about 20 times faster than the basic Wi-Fi, so streaming, browsing, or chatting from takeoff to landing is smoother than ever.

Looking out the window, you’ll see the world passing by while you’re wrapped in comfort. It’s the little things that make a big difference here. The cabin’s mood lighting adjusts to create the perfect atmosphere, whether it’s time to relax or wake up refreshed.

The real magic starts when you're settled into an Alaska Airlines First Class seat.
The real magic starts when you’re settled into an Alaska Airlines First Class seat. | Image Credit: Alaska Airlines

On-board Dining with Alaska Airlines First Class

When you fly First Class with Alaska Airlines, the dining experience is a delightful journey in itself. On flights over 670 miles, departing between 5:00 am and 21:00 pm, a world of delicious food awaits.

For shorter flights, you can choose from cold entrées like the ever-popular fruit and cheese platter or a protein-packed plate. On longer routes, over 1,100 miles, the menu heats up with options like cheeseburgers or jerk chicken. Missed out on the sought-after fruit and cheese platter? No worries, their fresh and substantial salad options are a great alternative. Let’s not forget the appetizers and snacks, like a warm bowl of salted mixed nuts, adding a touch of indulgence to your flight.

For those coast-to-coast or Hawaii bound flights, get ready for a regional twist. Imagine savoring Kalbi Short Ribs with Pacific Island vegetables or a Guajillo Chile-Lime Salad, bringing a taste of the destination to your seat.

I recommend using the Alaska Airlines app or their website to pre-order your meals up to 20 hours before your flight. It’s a smart move, especially if you’re eyeing the coveted Fruit & Cheese Platter, featuring Beecher’s Flagship Handmade Cheese and Tillamook’s Sharp Cheddar, paired with crackers, fruit, and chocolate.

Remember, on some super short flights, the hustle and bustle might mean no food service. But don’t hesitate to ask your dedicated First Class flight attendant what’s available. They often have a few surprises up their sleeve, like off-menu snacks or a pre-service beverage.

The meal service on an Alaska Airlines First Class flight is a lovely experience in and of itself.
The meal service on an Alaska Airlines First Class flight is a lovely experience in and of itself. | Image Credit: Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines First Class vs. Premium Class

Choosing between Alaska Airlines First Class and Premium Class? Both offer distinct experiences tailored to different needs and preferences. Let’s compare:

First Class:

  • Seating: Luxurious and spacious with a 41-inch seat pitch in custom-designed Recaro leather seats.
  • Service: Dedicated flight attendant for personalized service.
  • Dining: Complimentary meals and drinks, including beer, wine, and cocktails. Hot entrées on flights over 1,100 miles and the popular fruit and cheese platter.
  • Amenities: Power outlets, satellite Wi-Fi, mood lighting, and priority boarding.
  • Lounge Access: Included at select airports.

Premium Class:

  • Seating: More space than the Main Cabin with an additional 4 inches of legroom in Recaro leather seats.
  • Service: Standard service with early boarding and quick deplaning.
  • Dining: Complimentary beer, wine, and cocktails on most flights over 350 miles. Meals available for purchase.
  • Amenities: Upgraded to satellite Wi-Fi, practical cup holders, and overhead bin space.
  • Lounge Access: Not included.

First Class offers a more luxurious and comprehensive experience with enhanced comfort, exclusive service, and additional perks. Premium Class, on the other hand, provides a comfortable upgrade from the Main Cabin with added legroom and complimentary beverages.

As one of the best airlines in America, both options are fantastic choices. It’s truly a go-to choice when flying to Alaska.

Both provide unique experiences catered to various requirements and tastes.
Both provide unique experiences catered to various requirements and tastes. | Image Credit: Alaska Airlines

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Alaska Airlines First Class

Are you still curious about which airline is best in Alaska? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help decide whether Alaska Airlines first class is the right option for you.

Is Alaska Airlines first class worth it?

Absolutely, in my opinion! If you value comfort, personalized service, and added perks, Alaska Airlines First Class is definitely worth considering. The spacious seating, dedicated service, and enhanced dining options elevate your travel experience. Plus, the added benefits like lounge access and priority boarding make your journey smoother and more enjoyable.

Does Alaska first class lay flat?

Currently, Alaska Airlines First Class seats do not offer a lay-flat option. However, they are designed for maximum comfort with generous recline, ample legroom, and thoughtful amenities like footrests and power outlets. While not fully flat, these seats are a significant upgrade in terms of comfort and space compared to standard economy seats.

Traveling in First Class on Alaska Airlines takes your experience to new levels.
Traveling in First Class on Alaska Airlines takes your experience to new levels. | Image Credit: Alaska Airlines

Is alcohol free in first class Alaska Airlines?

Yes, indeed! As a First Class passenger with Alaska Airlines, you can enjoy complimentary alcoholic beverages. This includes a selection of beer, wine, and spirits. It’s a nice touch that adds to the overall luxury of your First Class experience.

Does first class on Alaska get lounge access?

Yes, when you fly First Class with Alaska Airlines, you gain access to their lounges at select airports. These lounges offer a peaceful and comfortable space to relax before your flight, with amenities like complimentary snacks, beverages, and Wi-Fi. It’s a great way to start your journey on a high note.

Is there a dress code for first class on Alaska Airlines?

Alaska Airlines doesn’t enforce a strict dress code for First Class passengers. The key is to dress comfortably yet appropriately for air travel. Most passengers opt for smart-casual attire. It’s always a good idea to avoid overly casual or offensive clothing to maintain the comfortable and respectful atmosphere that First Class offers.

Alaska Airlines First Class to try right now.
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