It’s remarkable how much one good experience can influence your thoughts about a brand. I once flew Alaska Airlines first class from Vancouver to Los Angeles and I enjoyed it so much I’ve been looking forward to flying with them again.

Fast forward 16 years and Alaska Airlines is finally in the oneworld alliance. I happily spent the money on my second flight with the airline, for both myself and an old friend, as I knew we would now earn points and status in our respective frequent flyer programmes.


I booked this flight 10 months in advance and it cost US$179 per person, which I thought was pretty decent all round. Naturally I snagged 1A and 1C with my status and we were good to go.

Flying day dawned and after an Uber to the airport, my friend and I arrived and headed off to check-in. There was almost no line and we were seen very quickly.

After security, it was down the escalators to the inter-terminal train which whisked us off to the North Satellite lounge to chow down and have a drink or two (Pineapple Whipped Mimosa’s anyone?), before heading back to the main terminal for boarding.

AS642 – Seattle to Denver (SEA-DEN)
30 January 2022
Boeing 737-990ER – N280AK
Seat: First Class 1A
Departure: 10:15 Arrival: 13:55

Happily we were on the aircraft very quickly which provided plenty of time to explore. Beside you in the first row is the seat pocket filled with goodies, one of which is the First Class Inflight Guide.

This handily contains the drinks menu, along with instructions on the Internet service and so on. It’s a pretty nice touch and I can’t recall having seen one anywhere else.

The Cabin

Alaska Airlines first class comprises of 16 seats set two by two over four rows. I’ve never really found them to be particularly attractive seats when seeing pictures online, but they certainly are comfortable.

I was pretty delighted the bulkhead still had the same pattern I remembered from my flight in 2006. These are gradually being removed, I believe, which is a shame as it looks pretty cool. Everyone had Boxed Water at their seat which is a nice touch, especially as it’s not a plastic bottle. Do they get recycled post flight? Let’s hope so!

Meanwhile, In The Bathroom…

Those Pineapple Whipped Mimosa’s and my Boxed Water were making themselves felt, so a pit stop was due before take-off. I combed through the boarding throng and hit the head.

I like the orange light highlighting the flush button, it really helps it stand out. The slimline sink is an interesting choice, but looks pretty slick, as do the blue mirror lights. All in all, very nice – and of course it was clean since we were still on the ground.

Safety On Board

1C and 1D – the front row aisle seats – are the worst during boarding. You have to watch the other passengers closely, as it’s too easy to get a careless backpack in the face. My friend smiled through clenched teeth as yet another wheelie bag smashed into his seat as boarding progressed. Soon enough everyone was on board and it was time for the safety demonstration.

There is nothing much to say about this as it was pretty much how you would expect it to be. Most eye catching for me was the Alaska Airlines ladies uniform boots. These navy blue babies look really nice! Once done, we headed to the runway and it was a rolling take-off for us.

Drinks, Anyone?

Once we were in the air, the crew asked if we would like something to drink. Sparkling wine for us, please, even if the Alaska Airlines first class inflight guide didn’t say what kind it was. This was duly delivered and we sat back to enjoy the service.

Everyone was offered drinks before the main event, as there is time for this on a flight of two and a half hours. Before we’d taken more than a couple of sips, it was food o’clock.

Alaska Airlines First Class Lunch

You can select your meal two weeks before departure on Alaska Airlines. I was presented with three choices online, which were a Fruit and Cheese Plate, Autumn Squash Ancient Grain Bowl or a Pho Plate. Quite frankly all the choices looked pretty great, but after choosing the ancient grains I eventually went for the pho as that’s what I really wanted.

The meal arrived on a non-slip tray, which I have only come across before in business class on Qantas many years ago. The Pho Plate was an excellent choice all round really. The meat was tender and succulent, while the noodles, salad and dressing all came together to make for a tasty meal. Would I recommend it? Absolutely!

For dessert there was a nice soft squishy cookie to savour, which I did. Quite shortly after we finished the meal, trays were collected and we had space to enjoy some more drinks and the remainder of the flight.

We landed into Denver, where it was announced that baggage would be on the carousel within 20 minutes or we could claim miles. Now that was interesting! It was roughly that amount of time before the bags started arriving, we met another friend and headed out to get an Uber home.

Overall Thoughts

Alaska Airlines first class is very good indeed. The service from check-in to the lounges to the flight attendants is friendly and efficient, which is always welcome and to an extent, expected.

The meal service was very welcome as I hate getting no on board meal in first class, and of course food quality was excellent. I liked the interesting tray design, its non-slip coating and all the rest. Seating was comfortable and overall everything was great.

Someone is taking care of the little details and these are what makes a flight. Things like the inflight guide, the font choices, the water at the seat on arrival (which is when you want it), all made me feel like someone cared and I like that. Thank goodness they joined oneworld!

What do you think of Alaska Airlines first class? Have you flown it before? If so, what are your experiences like? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia Commons.