Review of Alaska Airlines flight Seattle San Francisco in Premium Eco

Airline Alaska Airlines
Flight AS1742
Class Premium Eco
Seat 3F
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 01:40
Take-off 10 Jul 18, 07:05
Arrival at 10 Jul 18, 08:45
AS   #56 out of 94 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 85 reviews
jetcitytraveller
Published on 14th August 2018

Introduction:


This past fall my parents decided to rent an Airbnb in Kona for 30 days this summer, and to invite various relatives of ours over while we were staying there. My grandfather and great-aunt were flying United because of price, on a BWI-SFO-KOA-SFO-BWI itinerary, my other grandparents flew Hawaiian on points with a SEA-HNL-KOA-OGG-SEA routing, and my parents and I took Alaska because my dad had a companion fare, with a SEA-SFO-KOA-SEA routing. I was particularly excited for this SEA-SFO flight as it was on an ex-Virgin America A320, I was flying in their extra legroom section, it was my first time visiting California, and I had never gotten to fly VX when they were around but I had always wanted to. But anyways, enough about me. Let's get to the part you really came here for-the flight.

Sea-Tac Airport:


Since we were staying in Kona for 30 days and thus airport parking would be obscenely expensive, we took an airporter to SEA. This necessitated waking up at 1:30 am, so I was really tired for most of the day. We arrived at about 4:10 am, and the airport was already humming but not too busy.
The Alaska check-in area.
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By 5 am, we had cleared security and gotten seated at our gate, which was D2. I grabbed something from Starbucks for breakfast in Concourse B, then headed back over.
The interior of Concourse D at SEA. The ceilings are kind of low, but it wasn't that crowded when I was there so it wasn't too bad.
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This terminal is the home of a few AS flights, AA, and a lone NK gate. Admittedly, the dining options in this terminal are pretty bad. But to be fair, with most of the restaurants in the Central Terminal closed down due to renovation, it's pretty slim pickings everywhere.
Here's some plane spotting that I did while waiting for my flight to board.
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This is our airplane, N638VA "San Francisco Pride", built in 2009.
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Flight 1742: SEA-SFO


At about 6:20 am, boarding commenced. Once I got onboard, I was pleased to notice that there was still mood lighting on the plane, and there might have been music playing too, I don't remember. I took seat 3F, behind the bulkhead between first and economy.
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This was the empty row of seats across me, to better show the legroom. (I got this shot while disembarking at SFO.)
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The seat was comfortable, and had great legroom. Once I got settled though, I started to realize that although this onboard hard product was elegant, it was starting to get a little bit long in the tooth. For example, there was a shared storage pocket near my feet, but it was ripped in the middle, so it was basically unusable. Plus, my remote had some signs of wear and tear and my tray table got stuck halfway for a few minutes when I tried to remove it.
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That being said, the rest of the cabin was tidy, and I liked it overall.
Obligatory legroom and window shot.
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We pushed back on time, and the safety video was played, with the flight attendants standing in the aisle doing a manual demonstration. I found it inconsistent on Alaska's part that the flight attendants were wearing their VX uniforms and that the video showed no mention to AS, even 2 1/2 months after the merger was completed. I hear that the safety video is going away soon though, so at least that consistency issue will be resolved. There was a small line for takeoff, after which we took off into the cloudy skies of SeaTac. The cloud cover was so heavy today that it took a minute or two just to clear through them.
Here's a view of that from above, just to emphasize what I was saying.
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The climb was uneventful, during which I explored Red, Virgin America's entertainment system.
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I set out to explore as much of the system as I could, as I hear that it's going away soon. I was impressed by the flight map, but disappointed by almost everything else, since it appears that Alaska has "pared down" the content, and gotten rid of the shop, live TV, chat, and possibly more. All that was left was some generic episodes of some TV shows, some movies, info on AS, and onboard ordering for snacks and drinks.
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Around the Washington-Oregon border, the flight attendants took drink orders. I ordered cran-apple juice, and it was delivered to me with a Virgin America napkin. This was another inconsistency that I noticed, although I understand that if these were spare napkins that they'd want them used rather than thrown away.
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Packs of trail mix was served shortly afterwards, which were good and appropriate for a flight of this length and at this hour.
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After this, I took a peek into First Class to see what was going on there, then I explored the contents of the seatback pocket. I would have talked to the FAs, but unfortunately my aisle seatmate was asleep, so I decided to not mess with that.
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Even though it's normally blocked at about 2 hours, the flight from Seattle to San Francisco only takes about an hour and a half on most days. Thus, between taking photos and videos, eating and drinking, listening to music, and watching an episode of The Big Bang Theory, the flight passes by quickly. All too soon, the nose pointed down ever so slightly, signifying that descent had begun, and that my experience with Virg-*COUGH* Alaska Airlines was coming to an end. During the descent, there was a view of San Francisco for those on the left side of the aircraft, which the crew kindly pointed out.
We made a parallel approach with a UA 752, which was fun to watch.
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The plane made a smooth landing at about 8:40, then we started to taxi towards our gate, only it was still being used since we had arrived early, so we waited for a little while between teminals 1 and 2 and watched various planes taxi by.
United 738 and the distinctive SFO tower.
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Interjet A320! I definitely don't see that at home.
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United Express CR7. Apologies for the glare, the sun's position was kind of awkward so it was unavoidable.
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After a few minutes, our gate, 51A, opened up, then started taxiing to the gate. On the way I saw the Alaska A320 and A321neo, which look quite smart in Alaska's livery.
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When I stepped off the jet bridge, I saw this sign. I really like that Alaska has these, even though it's such a small thing.
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One last glimpse of N638VA.
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The interior of Terminal 2 at SFO, where Alaska and some American flights are located at, and where I would spend 2 hours at before my next flight to KOA.
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Verdict

Alaska Airlines

7.1/10
Cabin6.5
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Meal/catering7.0

Seattle - SEA

7.4/10
Efficiency7.0
Access7.5
Services6.5
Cleanliness8.5

San Francisco - SFO

7.6/10
Efficiency7.0
Access8.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

I had a good experience with Alaska on this leg of my trip. While the cabin was slightly beat up and there was some brand inconsistencies, I think that they are usually a tad bit better than the Big 3. With a robust network in the PNW, a decent presence in California, and a great frequent flyer program, I would recommend Alaska Airlines to anyone travelling in those areas.

Information on the route Seattle (SEA) San Francisco (SFO)

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 8 avis concernant 5 compagnies sur la ligne Seattle (SEA) → San Francisco (SFO).


Useful

La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est Virgin America avec 7.9/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 2 heures et 1 minutes.

  More information

2 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 459822 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6829 Comments
    Hi JetCityTraveller, thanks for sharing your first report here! It's great that you got to fly on a VX A320 as part of your itinerary. It's harder to fly AS/VX here on the East coast, but I hope to get one last time on a VX plane to the West coast before they're all reconfigured to the boring Alaska cabins. It's a shame that AS has taken content out of the VX IFE, though I honestly find your IFE grade a bit harsh considering there are still PTVs, with some content and a good moving map, which is still way better than 99% of other U.S. carriers on similar length flights.

    Wow, a month on the big Island, that's awesome. Love Hawaii, enjoy!

    Welcome to Flight-Report!

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