What Is Going On With Alaska Airlines’ Premium Class?

My Executive Platinum status on American expired earlier this year. Before that happened, I status matched to Alaska Airlines, so now at least I have status with someone for a while. And I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Alaska, for the most part.

But, as with other airlines, their Twitter responses can be hit or miss. Case in point: I booked a flight recently from Baltimore to LA. It’s on a 737-800, and according to Alaska’s website, all of their 737-800s have their new “Premium Class” product (and they’re adding it to their 737-900s throughout 2017).

Premium Class offers added leg room, free alcoholic drinks, a special snack box, and priority boarding. It’s really not a huge upgrade over, say, a typical bulkhead or exit row seat…but it’s a small consolation prize if my upgrade doesn’t clear.

This is what the seat map should look like for a 737-800 with Premium Class in rows 6-10:

And this is what the seat map looks like for my flight:

My guess is that this flight does have Premium Class, but they’re still unintentionally using the old seat maps.

I went on Twitter to try to see if they had any insight. They didn’t. I messaged them and they responded almost immediately saying they’d see what they can find out. Then, two days later, I hadn’t heard anything else from them, so I asked for a follow-up, to which they responded that no Premium Class is available on that flight.

So what’s going on here? Am I nuts?

Comments

  1. This is interesting. My guess would be that it does have premium class, because it is showing only three rows of F. The pre-reconfigured planes have four rows of F, I believe. Unless they re-did the front and not the economy cabin? Either way, I would love a review of Alaska, especially if it is one of their newer F seats, which have more legroom than they used ot.

  2. did you see different color seats in the front of the main cabin? The new configuration of FC is fantastic great leg room. The legroom in the new premium class is equal to the “old” 16 seat FC section

  3. Hey Andrew, this recently happened to me on a flight from SFO-SJD on 5/27. As an AA Explat, the seatmaps at time of booking did not have Premium Class but allowed me to select any row besides the bulkhead and exit row seats. I selected row 2 and lo and behold on the day of when boarding the plane, the seats had been reconfigured to premium class. I was pleasantly surprised that the FA’s offered alcoholic drinks and that snack box to everyone in the first few rows. It appears that if the seat map itself is not labeled as premium class, in reality it is and you can snag it for free if you are an AA elite.

  4. I experienced this recently where my “upgrade” had cleared to a economy row number. I had not expected Premuim Class, but – sure enough – they was PC on the flight. The seat map did not indicate this was true.

    I wonder if it has to do with aircraft swaps?

    I LOVE Alaska with my limited experience after a status match, but this should be an easy fix.

  5. AS I understand it when they are unsure whether the route will be served by a 800 or 900 they post this hybrid seat map as it allows them to avoid overbooking F @ 16 rather than the possible 16 seats.Keeps more F passengers happy even if t annoys some who won’t make it into F

  6. Long story short, aircraft swap is the main cause for this issue.

    Now the details, there are two reasons why the seat map is showing 3 F rows and no premium class:
    – Avoid displacing F pax close to departure.
    – There is huge chance Elites get upgraded to row 6-10 (on 800s) or 6-9 (on 900s) anyways so AS lets Elites pick the seat now for free, if your booking is really far out. Non-Elite Pax can only pick row 18 and higher.

  7. Thanks, everyone! This seems like the sort of thing the Twitter team should know, don’t you think?

  8. I flew Alaska premium class from SEA-LAX and didn’t feel it was worth the price of even $20 extra per seat. The PC “snack box” was just almonds and a small nondescript chocolate truffle, and we couldn’t drink $20 each worth of alcohol due to how infrequently the FAs paid attention to us. The bulkhead seats in row 6 were extra narrow as well, due to the arm rest tray table. I would only recommend their PC if you are on a longer flight and if you’re a champ at drinking.

  9. The flight according to flighaware seems to swap between a -700 and an -800, so they are being conservative in both cabins. You want the -800.

    -David

  10. you know AS is doing all it can to make the transition why then go to Twitter? Whats the purpose?

    True AS FF’ers who actually fly for status know what’s going on we don’t need to make much of a to do. We always have. Give it a rest

  11. Andrew – how do you status match from AA to Alaska (and can it be done with just Platinum?) I have had it the past 2 years but surely won’t make it this year with the new $$ rules. Thank!

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