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Alaska Airlines’ New Premium Class section available for purchase today

November 12, 2016 Aviation No Comments Email Email

Starting today 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.437730

“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.”

For more information around upgrades for elites see the Alaska Airlines blog: Treat yourself: Alaska Airlines launches new Premium Class

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. Seats in the new section can be purchased at the time of booking through alaskaair.com or Alaska’s mobile apps, during check-in, and at the airport.

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.

“As a businessman who flies at least 75,000 miles every year, the extra room allowed me to work more comfortably with my laptop and is almost like having a mini office in the air,” said Frank Albano, an Alaska frequent flier who has logged more than a million miles and was recently seated in the new section on one of the reconfigured planes.

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.

Plane Type

Fleet
count*

Current Cabin

(First Class/ Main Cabin)

Reconfigured Cabin

(First Class/Premium Class/Main Cabin)

737-800

61

16/147

12/30/117

737-900/900ER

77

16/165

16/24/138

737-700

11

12/112

More detail to come in 2017

E175

15

12/64

12/12/52

Premium Class is replacing Preferred Plus, which was only available in exit rows and bulkhead seats. Customers on flights that have yet to be retrofitted, can still can purchase extra legroom starting at $15, during booking, check-in, at the airport, or through the Alaska Airlines mobile app. Once an aircraft is upgraded, exit row seats will no longer be available for purchase.

In the past two years, Alaska has made significant investments to improve the customer experience throughout the aircraft providing customers more of what they love, which includes outfitting nearly half of its fleet with larger overhead bins that increase room for carry-on baggage by 48 percent and providing personal power outlets at every seat. Also, customers can enjoy Pacific Northwest-inspired food from iconic Seattle chef Tom Douglas, local wine and spirits, custom-designed leather seats, and free and premium streaming entertainment on every flight.**

To purchase a Premium Class upgrade, visit alaskaair.com, or call 1-800-ALASKAAIR (800-252-7522 or Hearing & Speech Impaired (TTY): Dial 711 for Relay Services).

Supporting assets including a video, still images, and a graphic are available at the Alaska Airlines newsroom.

*Alaska Air Group fleet count through the end of 2016.

**On E175s aircraft, power at each seat is available only in First Class. Power at every seat is not available on 737-400 and 700 aircraft.

Alaska Airlines, together with its regional partners, flies 32 million customers a year to more than 110 cities with an average of 970 daily flights throughout the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico and soon Cuba. With Alaska’s global airline partners, customers can earn and redeem miles to more than 800 destinations worldwide. Onboard, customers are invited to make the most of their flight with amenities like power outlets at every seat, streaming entertainment direct to your device, Wi-Fi and an inspired food and beverage selection featured on most flights. Alaska Airlines ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers in North America” in the J.D. Power North American Airline Satisfaction Study for nine consecutive years from 2008 to 2016. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan also ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Airline Loyalty Rewards Programs” in the J.D. Power Airline Loyalty/Rewards Program Satisfaction Report for the last three consecutive years. Alaska Airlines is a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK). Learn more on the airline’s newsroom, blog, alaskaair.com, @AlaskaAir, facebook.com/alaskaairlines and linkedin.com/company/alaska-airlines.

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