So have you taken an Alaska (AS) flight yet?

Old Jan 25, 17, 5:33 pm
  #1  
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So have you taken an Alaska (AS) flight yet?

So I finally did, even upgraded to first (using my coupons). Here what I thought compared to Virgin America:

1) No IFE -- you watch stuff on your phone or PDA. Not a fan of this.

2) Seats seemed smaller and didn't recline as much. However, I was really pleased that on the smaller jet had a first class. My seat didn't recline on the small jets operated by Skywest

3) Food on the real shorter flight BUR/PDX was for breakfast a fruit and cheese plate. For PDX/SLC was a hummus/tomato bread slices thingy. Really tough bread. It was the same on the return SLC/SEA flight. However, the SEA/BUR were better, a pasta dish, salad, and lemon bar. Still nothing as good as Virgin America.

4) Service: Really good, especially the SEA/BUR flight. I've noticed that a few of the VA FAs had attitude or just hid after food service.

5) No PDB (water on the seats)

I have to travel to NYC, but really confused about the miles earning process on Virgin to Alaska.
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Old Jan 26, 17, 3:46 pm
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Originally Posted by cryan71 View Post
So I finally did, even upgraded to first (using my coupons). Here what I thought compared to Virgin America:

1) No IFE -- you watch stuff on your phone or PDA. Not a fan of this.
All TV shows and movies are free on your own device through March. Hopefully will become permanent as has occurred with previous "trial run" experiments AS has done. On flights over 3 hours, they also give you a tablet in F that has movies, games and TV pre-loaded.

The seatback screen is nice on VX, but I also get annoyed with people constantly poking my headrest while using the IFE screen.
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Old Jan 26, 17, 5:47 pm
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Originally Posted by cryan71 View Post
So I finally did, even upgraded to first (using my coupons). Here what I thought compared to Virgin America:

1) No IFE -- you watch stuff on your phone or PDA. Not a fan of this.

2) Seats seemed smaller and didn't recline as much. However, I was really pleased that on the smaller jet had a first class. My seat didn't recline on the small jets operated by Skywest

3) Food on the real shorter flight BUR/PDX was for breakfast a fruit and cheese plate. For PDX/SLC was a hummus/tomato bread slices thingy. Really tough bread. It was the same on the return SLC/SEA flight. However, the SEA/BUR were better, a pasta dish, salad, and lemon bar. Still nothing as good as Virgin America.

4) Service: Really good, especially the SEA/BUR flight. I've noticed that a few of the VA FAs had attitude or just hid after food service.

5) No PDB (water on the seats)

I have to travel to NYC, but really confused about the miles earning process on Virgin to Alaska.
Miles earning will be determined on actual miles plus fare class bonus (full coach or non refundable first etc.)

Final thought....it is Alaska airlines not Alaskan (Also AS and VX is Virgin America, not VA)
pcoll is offline  
Old Jan 27, 17, 6:33 am
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BOS based...no intention of ever flying AS. Already gave away my upgrades to F and $100 coupon.
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Old Jan 27, 17, 9:00 pm
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Originally Posted by bevnetcraven View Post
BOS based...no intention of ever flying AS. Already gave away my upgrades to F and $100 coupon.
We all know VX has a limited route network, but I am hoping with this merger AS expands more on the East Coast.
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Old Jan 28, 17, 5:11 pm
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I actually status-matched from VX to AS in late 2015. But despite getting a free companion ticket and 4 upgrade certs, I didn't end up flying AS a single time last year.

I'm now matched (again) to Gold 75k on AS, with all the same freebies. But again there is little likelihood I will end up flying it this year. They just don't fly direct from SFO or OAK to anywhere I need to go. (In the past couple of years, that has meant largely NY, LA, Dallas, STL, LAS, and DEN). The last time I flew AS was several years ago when I had a bachelor party to attend in Portland. I'm rarely in the Pacific NW for business and I think I just flew VX the last time I was.

On the IFEs: in general I don't mind the stream-to-tablet approach. I've had that on several W9, UA, and AA flights recently. The big drawback is that I like to watch a movie or TV while eating, and that's a lot easier with an IFE that you don't have to hold or put on your tray.
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Old Jan 29, 17, 12:19 am
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After 20+ flights on AS.

Originally Posted by cryan71 View Post
So I finally did, even upgraded to first (using my coupons). Here what I thought compared to Virgin America:

1) No IFE -- you watch stuff on your phone or PDA. Not a fan of this.

2) Seats seemed smaller and didn't recline as much. However, I was really pleased that on the smaller jet had a first class. My seat didn't recline on the small jets operated by Skywest

3) Food on the real shorter flight BUR/PDX was for breakfast a fruit and cheese plate. For PDX/SLC was a hummus/tomato bread slices thingy. Really tough bread. It was the same on the return SLC/SEA flight. However, the SEA/BUR were better, a pasta dish, salad, and lemon bar. Still nothing as good as Virgin America.

4) Service: Really good, especially the SEA/BUR flight. I've noticed that a few of the VA FAs had attitude or just hid after food service.

5) No PDB (water on the seats)

I have to travel to NYC, but really confused about the miles earning process on Virgin to Alaska.
1. AS IFE is pretty awful. I would rate the domestic carriers in this order: VX > B6 > DL >WS > AA > AC > AS. (I don't ever fly LCC or UA, by choice. ) Twice in F on AS I've gotten the IFE tablet free and after 5 minutes I'm bored with the very limited choices, which are probably 10 % of what is offered on VX.

2. This is the big one. AS seats are almost uniformly awful. The newest 737-900 coach seats are "slimline" Recaros. Stiff and completely lacking padding and a too short bottom. VX MCS seats are better for a transcon than any AS seat. Also, count on the AS birds to be uniformly louder than the VX Airbus planes.

3. AS catering can go from decent in F to an F full meal which could be beat by a mile on AF in coach internationally. Just an example. It will never exceed VX F - ever.

4. AS service can be quite good, but I have never seen a VX crew hide, with the exception of three or four flights in 4+ years on VX. All AS crew will take a break, just like all other domestic legacy carriers.

5. Water on the seats is the max. VX/AA/DL offer PDB in F. I have to say AA on my last 4 flights has definitely stepped up their game in F domestic. The crews were from St. Louis, not other AA hubs. Maybe the difference ?

Last edited by ptownca; Jan 29, 17 at 12:19 am Reason: Typo
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Old Jan 29, 17, 9:13 am
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Originally Posted by ptownca View Post
5. Water on the seats is the max. VX/AA/DL offer PDB in F. I have to say AA on my last 4 flights has definitely stepped up their game in F domestic. The crews were from St. Louis, not other AA hubs. Maybe the difference ?
Water on seats is standard, but not the max. I had pog mimosas from OAK-OGG last year and coffee or beer on other flights. There's a long thread in the AS forum on PDB offerings. It's usually just water but not always.
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Old Jan 31, 17, 5:03 pm
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On the flip side, you guys need to realize what Gold gives you on American and Delta (for now).

American:
-> Main Cabin Extra seats at time of booking + anyone in your reservation
-> No baggage fees
-> Priority Access
-> You get handled better than others during IRROPS. I've even been put up at the Hyatt in DFW when others on my flight were at a Holiday Inn Express.
-> Admirals Club Access if you are a Boardroom member
-> oh yes, EQMs and nice COS bonuses for F/C.

Delta->
-> Free upgrades
-> Access to premium seating (NOT Delta Comfort)

Emirates has a few goodies, as does Hainan.

and, don't forget you NEVER, EVER pay a change fee as an Alaska MVP Gold. Including on award tickets. I do this *all* the time when wanting to fly First Class - as most of those seats don't open up until a few days prior to departure.

You should also get a free drink in Y if you don't get upgraded, and if you are a 75K a free digeplayer.

And while the Digeplayers could use some additional comment, you are paying $10 all at once, not like the $8 per movie I'm seeing on my MCO/LAX flight right now.
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Old Jan 31, 17, 11:17 pm
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Ok, to compare apples to apples, I've always bought a First fare (if available/relevant), which generally comes with all the associated baggage included (pun intended). I also have the lounge access card which comes with the Chase Sapphire Reserve. So, what would I be looking at in terms of status benefits on AS versus the others (aside from the potential benefit of earnings being based on mileage versus fare)?
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Old Feb 3, 17, 12:17 pm
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Originally Posted by GrayAnderson View Post
Ok, to compare apples to apples, I've always bought a First fare (if available/relevant), which generally comes with all the associated baggage included (pun intended). I also have the lounge access card which comes with the Chase Sapphire Reserve. So, what would I be looking at in terms of status benefits on AS versus the others (aside from the potential benefit of earnings being based on mileage versus fare)?
Bonus redeemable miles--50% for MVP, 100% for Gold, and 125% for 75K, with 75Ks getting an additional 50k miles whenever they hit the qualifying mileage. That's almost 220k RDMs every year if you're qualifying for the top tier solely from flying AS and VX.
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Old Feb 3, 17, 4:39 pm
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I flew AS BOS-PDX-YVR mid-January with my new AS MVP Gold status. I was pleasantly surprised. VX F is better than AS F, but a free upgrade to AS F beats VX MCS. The food was decent for domestic.

Biggest annoyance: the crew (both cabin and flight) talk on the P/A endlessly, usually about completely and utterly meaningless things. I usually try to pay some attention in case it is a safety or security announcement -- on Alaska from now on I'll just keep my headphones on regardless.

(I moved from SF to Seattle late last year, so the merger has worked out well for me.)
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Old Feb 9, 17, 8:53 pm
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Anybody get an AS flight successfully posted to Elevate yet? A co-worker took a flight from SFO to SEA two weeks ago. VX is saying it will take 6-8 weeks to post the AS segment and points credit to Elevate--even after e-mailing the ticket and boarding pass.
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Old Feb 10, 17, 2:42 am
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Originally Posted by rdlmitedu View Post
I flew AS BOS-PDX-YVR mid-January with my new AS MVP Gold status. I was pleasantly surprised. VX F is better than AS F, but a free upgrade to AS F beats VX MCS. The food was decent for domestic.

Biggest annoyance: the crew (both cabin and flight) talk on the P/A endlessly, usually about completely and utterly meaningless things. I usually try to pay some attention in case it is a safety or security announcement -- on Alaska from now on I'll just keep my headphones on regardless.

(I moved from SF to Seattle late last year, so the merger has worked out well for me.)
I am in the same boat. I moved from the Bay Area to Seattle this summer.

Yes, too much chatter on the PA. No, I don't want the CC or anything else. You also need the headphones on AS as the VX Airbus is uniformly quieter than any AS in their fleet.

Free F on AS is a crap shoot. I'm 2/22 so far.

Where at least on my routings, MCS was almost a guarantee and I did probably > 90% of my flights on VX in F on paid upgrades. I'm happy to pay to be assured of the upgrade.
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Old Feb 10, 17, 2:45 am
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Originally Posted by sfozrhfco View Post
Anybody get an AS flight successfully posted to Elevate yet? A co-worker took a flight from SFO to SEA two weeks ago. VX is saying it will take 6-8 weeks to post the AS segment and points credit to Elevate--even after e-mailing the ticket and boarding pass.
Blame this on AS IT.

They still rely on some really ancient IT platforms. I can't name in a public forum what they are, but yes ancient. I'll just say google Burroughs mainframes.
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