Alaska Airlines SkyWest First Class Review
Just a couple of weeks ago we had the opportunity to fly on Alaska Airlines service to Colorado Springs, operated by SkyWest. Almost all of our flights that we’ve taken before have been operated by Alaska’s mainline 737’s, but this one was on an Embraer RJ-175, with 12 seats in first class. Since it’s not your normal Alaska Airlines flight, it’s worth a review.
We used our Alaska Companion fare to get these tickets, as we were able to snag first class seats and get a Buy one Get one Free thanks to the Alaska Airlines Credit card. If you haven’t signed up yet, it’s a great card and on this trip helped us save $398 by giving us the second ticket for free!
We wrote a post previously about the not so secret way to get Alaska Airlines upgrades, and that’s how we moved up to first class on this flight as well.
Our flight left at 2pm, so we arrived at the airport around 1245, which gave us plenty of time to head through TSA Precheck, get to our lounge, have a drink, and then to the gate with plenty of time to spare.
As is pretty standard with Alaska’s Skywest and Horizon services out of Seattle, there aren’t any jet bridges to take you to your plane. You’ll head down this long hallway with TV’s showing your destinations, and then walk out straight onto the tarmac and up the winding staircase to your plane. While coon in theory, this posts potential issues in cities where there’s lots of rain. But it never rains in Seattle, does it?
Luckily today was a gorgeous day with no rain and barely a cloud in the sky!
We were the first to board and were treated to an empty cabin. The E75’s are seated in a 1-2 configuration in first class and a 2-2 configuration in economy. This leads to a very unique turn in the seats just after first class. 6B is probably the best economy seat in the house since you can extend your legs fully with no obstruction, other than those walking by as you’re boarding!
We took the two seats on the right while our friend took the single seat on the left.
For what it is, the seat is actually really comfortable. It’s got a decent width and plenty of cushioning. It’s one downfall, however, is that it doesn’t really come with much first class legroom. Sheesh, I would hate to see what coach class looks like. Mind you, I’m 6 foot 3, so if you’re 5’11 and under, you’re going to be just fine!
Waiting for us at our seats was our
“pre departure beverage” bottle of Dasani water.
Oh, and speaking of beverages… I’d like to ask you a question. Is there some kind of problem with refilling my glass with a beverage when I ask for a refill? On the 737’s in Alaska’s fleet, drinks are served out of glassware which on the Skywest and Horizon planes they’re served in plastic. Fine, fine, I’m not complaining about that. But what I am complaining about is the incessant need to never use the same plastic glass ever again! This seems like a huge waste, and for a company that is supposed to be “going green” not using 7 glasses in flight could be a great way to start.
When it came time for the food, we were in for a treat! Once again, the menu was “chicken” which, if you’re a fan of the blog you’ll know Ben doesn’t eat. This time it was a chicken quinoa salad something or other. Since the oven was so small, she could only service four people at a time. So, rows 1/2 were served, and then we were left waiting for about 7-8 minutes, watching everyone else eat, which the ovens slowly worked our food up. No biggie, just know that if you want to eat first, get rows 1 or 2.
There was one other problem with the meal service. Not only on my plate, but on Ben’s plate, our friend’s plate, and on a couple of other plates, the quinoa exploded all over the plate. It was as if the over was a convection oven and then fan blew the quinoa everywhere. Even into the napkins! This photo was AFTER I unrolled the napkin. Sheesh.
The service wasn’t the same as the mainline Alaska flights, and you could tell that these weren’t “true” Alaska employees. Don’t get me wrong, the service was fine for what it was. The flight attendants were polite, but not overly accommodating to where it felt fake. The food tasted OK, albeit sprinkled with quinoa everywhere, and I’d like to see them take a more proactive approach to not wasting resources. But, there is no better way to fly direct to Colorado Springs and many other destinations served by Skywest.