Alaska Airlines to Offer New Premium Class from January 2017
Alaska Airlines fliers who want a little more legroom will have the option to purchase seats with up to four more inches of space between rows.
The airline will debut its Premium Class section for travel on select routes beginning Jan. 5, 2017, as it continues a significant retrofit of its all-Boeing fleet. In addition to four extra inches of legroom, passengers seated in Premium Class will enjoy early boarding, snacks and complimentary drinks.
Alaska Mileage Plan MVP, Gold and Gold 75K members will be eligible for complimentary upgrades into Premium Class at the time of booking, or up to 24 hours in advance of travel, depending on status and the fare purchased.
With the addition of Premium Class, Alaska’s most loyal customers who aren’t able to upgrade into First Class will see a significantly increased likelihood of getting a seat with more legroom near the front of the cabin.
“Premium Class is the most recent example of the on-going investment we are making to enhance the customer experience on our airplanes,” said Andrew Harrison, executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Alaska Airlines. “We will continue to reward our loyal customers by offering one of the most generous upgrade policies in the industry with an average of 60 percent of the First Class cabin being occupied by upgraded elites.”
Initial prices for Premium Class seats range from $15 to $79 in addition to base fares and are based on the length of the flight.
Premium Class seats are located in the front portion of the main cabin, allowing for faster boarding and deplaning. The new section offers an additional four inches of legroom, with 35 inches of space between rows, compared to the 31 to 32 inches between rows in the rest of the main cabin.
First Class cabin enhancements
The aircraft retrofits will also result in significantly expanded legroom in the First Class cabin, which will increase from 36 to 41 or 42 inches, and will be among the most spacious First Class cabins domestically. In addition to the increased legroom, First Class customers will continue to enjoy a seat that is four inches wider, free inflight entertainment tablets, a complimentary selection of fine wines and spirits, and chef-inspired, locally-sourced snacks and meals.
It is expected that nearly half of the fleet will feature Premium Class by the end by the end of 2016, with the balance of planes being reconfigured in 2017. A decision on when the 737-700s will be retrofitted will be announced mid-2017. Alaska will retire its fleet of 737-400s in 2017. The upgrade option will also be available on the Embraer 175s operated by SkyWest Airlines and soon, Horizon Air.
Source: Alaska Airlines