Last week I returned from a trip to Hawaii, while Hawaii was a lot of fun, I wanted to talk a little about Alaska Airlines. Last year I signed up for an Alaska Airlines credit card, with that card comes a companion pass. This means that for any full price economy ticket you buy, you can add a companion on with you for only $99 plus taxes and fees, which works out to around $129. Taking advantage of this, the best bang for our buck as far as places we wanted to visit, seemed to be Hawaii. What a trip it turned out to be.
The first and last part of any trip tends to be the flight. Leaving a good impression can be paramount for a company. When speaking about memorable experiences, a good impression can generate repeat business and loyalty. This was my first experience with Alaska Airlines, so I wasn't sure what to expect, lets just say I was pleasantly surprised.
Prior to the trip, I had attached my American Airlines regards number to my ticket and my girlfriend's ticket in order to credit our miles back to our American account. While arguably the EQM earning would have been better on my Alaska Airlines account, I needed the miles for Executive Platinum status, and even as such, my Platinum status gives me double earned miles on the flight, so it was probably the best plan to use the AA account, seeing as I wouldn't likely meet requirements for status on Alaska Airlines.
Since Alaska partners with American Airlines, I received any seats I wanted, naturally choosing the exit row for the leg room. Also included was priority boarding, which was much appreciated for getting our bags in the overhead with little hassle.
From flight one, I have to commend Alaska Airlines, every flight was good, every crew member was friendly. Service was amazing, the seats were decent in my opinion, my girlfriend would argue otherwise. Also, the new slimline seats that are now fleet wide, all have power outlets in them, and that is a much needed thing in today's world of smartphones and tablets. The internet was provided by Gogo, so naturally it sucked pretty hard, and while I was able to work to some extent, it was also frustrating to try to do anything significant.
Really the take away here is how great Alaska Airlines is. If I lived on the West Coast, they'd be my primary carrier most likely. As it stands, I can't fly them since their main hub is Seattle and I really can't route every flight through Seattle just to get back to the middle of the country. Also, Alaska doesn't have any long haul aircraft and subsequently no long haul routes.
It might have something to do with their smaller size, but I'd love to see Alaska rival the big boys, as the 3 main airlines could learn a lot from Alaska Airlines.