Alaska First Class Catering Improved

For the ~18 months I lived in Seattle I really grew to love Alaska Airlines, and in particular their Mileage Plan program.

Are they the frilliest airline out there? Nope. But:

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Not a bad reward for all those flights up and down the west coast!

Anyway, Alaska is feeling the pressure from Delta in Seattle, given the battle going on between the two airlines. So they’ve been investing in their onboard experience, which is a project they call “Alaska Beyond.”

As part of that, Alaska has improved their catering on shorthaul flights. Alaska has always been one of the better airlines when it comes to catering, as they serve some sort of food in first class on virtually all flights (exceptions being super short flights, like Seattle to Spokane, Seattle to Portland, etc.). But even for a 550 mile flight from Portland to San Francisco, you’ll get something to eat in first class.

I flew from Los Angeles to Seattle yesterday evening in Alaska first class, and experienced the new catering.

In the past on this flight you’d get a small plate with either some sort of protein or pasta, and a small salad. Then there would be a packaged chocolate on the side. It really isn’t much food at all, as you can see how small the plate is in comparison to the napkin.

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Alaska’s old first class catering between Los Angeles and Seattle

However, they’ve improved that significantly. As was the case before, you still get a drink with some snack mix before the meal (for what it’s worth, that’s a sparkling water with lime).

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Alaska’s new first class catering between Los Angeles and Seattle

And then they actually have a hot meal with a separate side salad, dinner roll, and packaged cookie. There’s not a choice between meals, though the fettuccine alfredo was actually quite good.

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Alaska’s new first class catering between Los Angeles and Seattle

Now, I’m someone who generally doesn’t eat domestic airplane food anymore, though in this case I was hungry. I had breakfast in LA, then was busy all day with work and errands, so by the time I boarded my flight at 6PM I was quite hungry and figured I might as well eat. And the food wasn’t half bad.

Bottom line

Ultimately a change in catering on a two hour flight isn’t really news-worthy, though in general it is cool to see Alaska investing in their onboard product. Their old food was quite good, though portions were tiny. That’s kind of the opposite problem American has had over the past year or so — huge portions of terrible food.

Have you experienced Alaska’s new catering? If so, what was your experience like?

Comments

  1. The last time I flew Alaska LAX/SEA the first class catering was a “french dip” which seemed to be basically a stale bread roll with something unidentifiable inside it and a pot of gravy to dip it into. So to say this change isn’t really news-worthy is kind of an understatement in my opinion 🙂

  2. I don’t think that’s alfredo style pasta, but it looks awful fine for airline food.

  3. I had the absolute worst meal of my life on Alaska two weeks ago from PDX to DCA. It’s the only direct flight to DCA so I continue taking it but man the food has been so bad. I took a picture of the “chicken” – it looks like an organ. I would post it if I could!

  4. Just flew SEA-IAD and back for the holiday weekend. The 3 course meal in both directions was definitely a huge improvement in flavor and presentation – dare I say, enjoyable? 🙂

  5. Alaska will also substitute the entree for one of the snack packages that they serve in coach, free of charge. They’ll even let you still have the salad too. Nice when you do a quick round trip and don’t want the same meal twice. Mediterranean tapas pack is a winner.

  6. I flew AS up and down SFO-SEA a few times these 2 weeks and surprised they served meals in F and the salad was pretty good etc. For transcon it might be not as good as others though.

    UA, on the other hand, improves the meal service as well. Not that I say it is that good but I notice the improvement. SEA-LAX I had salad, soup and main course with dessert!!, yesterday morning flight EWR-SEA the breakfast was better than before. There were 3 choices and I had some kinda pancake wrap in apple pie with ham and grilled pineapple and fruit plate on a side.

    Dont get me wrong, I fly a lot on all AA, UA, AS, DL, and all foreign carriers and still realize UA is still the worst service-wise but I gets better!

  7. Alaska Air is a great airline. Food in First Cl is just ok! The worst thing is they offer a menu and then tell you “we don’t have that choice!” cuz they only give them eight of each choice. WHY HAVE A CHOICE??????? Quite a customer dissatisfaction. Alaska, how about just have a classy first class dinner instead of a choice (that you don’t get) of mediocre food. Their cabin crew are professional and friendly though.

  8. Hate to say it, as I love Alaska MP and their excellent call center, but that hot dish looks enough like dog vomit for deter me from even trying it! :/

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