[Rant] Premium Is Better than First

Old Feb 11, 2024, 7:01 pm
  #1  
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Talking [Rant] Premium Is Better than First

For the past few months, I've split my time between premium and first, mostly transcons. Currently on my 10th flight of the year.
In First, it always seems that the sole FA is overworked and/or uninterested resulting in lengthy waits for any type of service.

Few examples:

1. On a recent SFO-BOS, meals didn't hit trays until we were out of Colorado, and this was a smooth flight with the seatbelt sign off
2. Getting drink refills is crazy inefficient, I often get a glass of beer (not even the full can), and it stays empty until trays are being picked up, 2+ hours into the flight. Asking seems to stress out the FA for disturbing their flow
3. Lately I've been seeing the FA head to the back (presumably to help out?), leaving the cabin unattended for upwards of an hour or two
4. Hitting the call button sometimes leads to huffy remarks, but not sure what else to do?
5. The non-Max First seats are getting thin and not the most comfortable to sit in anymore

Now sure, you may chime in and say "well pushmyredbutton, you don't even get meals in Premium, so it's not a fair comparison.."
But here's the thing - in Premium I know what to expect. I can get doubles from the cart. There's a reliable mid-flight drink pass. Then a 2nd cart which is timed nicely.
There's no trash or empty glasses hanging around for hours on end. I can meander back to the galley where it's always staffed unlike the front.

So if I could guarantee Premium with an empty middle, I'd prefer that over First any day of the week. In fact, I've started to take myself off the waitlist on flights which don't appear to be full - you're welcome to the next person on the list

Go ahead, fight me on this
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Old Feb 11, 2024, 7:13 pm
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Just did two 5 hour segments, one premium and one exit row, both with empty middles. Perfectly inoffensive, but I’ll still take first every time.
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Old Feb 11, 2024, 7:13 pm
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Result of AS allowing newest FAs to work First with minimal training. The senior FAs dont want to do more work so pick Econ and then hang out in the back chatting or playing games on their phones for most of the flight.
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Old Feb 11, 2024, 7:36 pm
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I had six flights in a 10-day period last month (SEA-IAD, DCA-LAX, LAX-SEA, SEA-LAX, LAX-LAS, LAS-SEA), all with F staffed by older FAs (so presumably not particularly low on the seniority list) who provided very competent and attentive service

I kinda doubt that any one FTer has enough hard data to make that sort of blanket statement about either side of that opinion
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Old Feb 11, 2024, 7:55 pm
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I am staunchly an aisle seat 100ker. While I get upgraded a lot, if Im in a window seat in f/c rows 2, 3 or 4 Id rather be in Premium if its an empty row or if Im on the aisle with no one in the middle seat next to me.

This is especially true for evening east to west transcons - it gets dark and its easy to feel forgotten after meal service. I too value the consistency of the 3 Premium beverage services. If Premium is 100% full however Id always prefer to stay in first. We all have our order of preferences
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Last edited by jhawk737; Feb 11, 2024 at 8:00 pm
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Old Feb 11, 2024, 8:54 pm
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I’m with you 100%. I much prefer premium with an empty middle seat over First any day. I wish Alaska would guarantee or at least fill only if needed that B/E seat when higher elites are in A/C or D/F, it's like European business class, but with more legroom (although they usually have a much better meal).
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Old Feb 12, 2024, 12:03 am
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Originally Posted by Waitlisted
Im with you 100%. I much prefer premium with an empty middle seat over First any day. I wish Alaska would guarantee or at least fill only if needed that B/E seat when higher elites are in A/C or D/F, it's like European business class, but with more legroom (although they usually have a much better meal).
I find the F seats much better padded than Y seats, and they recline (slightly) more. But I agree middle seat blocking in Premium would change the equation a bit.
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Old Feb 12, 2024, 12:24 am
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theoretically and emotionally that’s all well and good (turning PC into “Euro Biz”), but from a practical standpoint the economics would be totally unsustainable
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Old Feb 12, 2024, 12:39 am
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I was just on a transcon this weekend. Row 4 unfortunately. No pdb on the ground. The FA came and took orders after seatbelt sign was off when the drink service in econ started. Right before my first drink along with the meal was served, the aft FA made an announcement that the drink service had concluded for econ and they would be dimming the lights but if they needed an additional drink or something else please let them know. Yes, every passenger in econ had a drink served before myself and the aisle next to me in row 4 had ours delivered.
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Old Feb 12, 2024, 1:37 am
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I had the most pathetic experience on a flight mid-January SEA-ANC. I was not going to say anything to AS but they sent me a survey about that flight. I let them have my full comments. No acknowledgement on boarding for us F PAX, or anyone else. There was no PDB. The FA took drink orders once above any turbulence, which were served with cold, stale nuts. The meal was one of the worst I have ever had on any flight. Completely inedible. AS shoud be ashamed!!! The young FA was clearly doing the least possible throughout the flight. Second drinks offered after a very late cleanup of the cabin. She made it very clear by her attitude and body language that she was only offering the bare minimum of service. No snack basket offered. AS needs to partner a new F attendant with one who clearly knows what the F experience should be.

What makes this even worse is that my flight DEN-SEA earlier that day had an FA who was exceptional at taking care of the F cabin.
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Old Feb 12, 2024, 1:58 am
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What is premium class?
Is that what normal people call business class?
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Old Feb 12, 2024, 2:10 am
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Originally Posted by Denis Carlin
What is premium class?
Is that what normal people call business class?
On domestic flights Premium class is the top level of economy. It usually includes more leg room, better snacks and free drinks. It is also the rows behind F for better boarding and exit upon arrival.
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Old Feb 12, 2024, 6:20 am
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Originally Posted by BOB W
On domestic flights Premium class is the top level of economy. It usually includes more leg room, better snacks and free drinks. It is also the rows behind F for better boarding and exit upon arrival.
And three luxurious bathrooms in the back!
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Old Feb 12, 2024, 9:55 am
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As with most scenarios, depends. In this case, depends on the FA. Has a diligent FA in F from EWR to LAX, meal service done before we flew just to the north of Detroit. Yes, the 735pm departure had something to do with it, I am sure, but she made it effortless.

That said, I don't mind economy, in particular the pax always seem nicer; certainly very little of the DYKWIA crap. On a recent flight, a F pax pushed his way through from his seat while people are still lined up awaiting to get to their seats during the boarding process, just to use the lav...not even an "excuse me", just me first because I am in First. That same pax also had both of his stinky feet on the back of the seat in front of him. Really terrible behavior.
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Old Feb 12, 2024, 10:17 am
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Originally Posted by Repooc17
Yes, the 735pm departure had something to do with it, I am sure, but she made it effortless. From there, it was nonstop drinks flowing, as most pax were fast sleep for much of the flight.
I imagine the latter was helped by the former.
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