The saddest first class flight on Alaska, Ever.
We’re putting this flight review out there as a PSA for those of you who are flying first class on Alaska or were considering doing so. Not all flights are created equal, so buyer beware!
Alaska operates more nonstop flights between Seattle and the Los Angeles area than anyone else. There are literally dozens of flights between Seattle and LAX, BUR, ONT, and SNA every single day. Service on these flights can vary greatly depending on the crew that you’ve been given and the time of day that you leave.
We received word that we had been upgraded to first class 5 days before the trip, as a benefit of our Gold 75k status. It’s a great perk, as no matter what class of fare you’re flying, you can get upgraded 5 days out depending on your status. To date, we haven’t missed a single upgrade.
We hung out in the lounge for a while, and headed to the gate with about 20 minutes to go before departure. Boarding was smooth and everything was getting off to a good start.
Once we took off the flight attendant came by and introduced herself and took drink orders.
This is usually the part where they let us know that they have some semblance of a chicken dish, and you can either choose to go with that or starve. Alaska offers no preordering of meals, no vegetarian options, no kosher, no diabetic meals, nothing. You get the food we give you and nothing else (much like a family dinner over Christmas with my extended family)
“Would you like a cookie?”
“Would you like a cookie”
“Sure, I suppose that’s a good dessert. I’ll have it after the meal.”
“No, that is the meal, we’re serving cookies tonight. Either that or pretzels.”
“What, no dinner?”
“Yea, we don’t serve dinner on these late flights.”
“But it’s 8 o’clock”
“Yup, so we have cookies”
It should be noted that no where (at least that I can find) on Alaska’s website does it say that they’re not going to serve meals past a certain hour, in fact, it’s quite the contrary.
Here’s a picture of the lovely pretzels and drinks
And here are the cookies that Ben was given. Honestly, it looks like the flight attendant got hungry before she gave them to Ben.
We asked if we could get a snack pack from the back, and the flight attendant told me that “if I was nice and asked nicely, then maybe the crew in the back would be so kind as to give us a snack pack to eat.”
Really? Like I’m in the 2nd grade and I have to ask to go potty? I have to ask nicely? (Stepping on my soapbox here). I’m a 75k gold member and a first class passenger, and I have to go all the way to the back to beg for some beef jerky? The least you could do is call back and ask if they could bring some forward (off soapbox).
So, I do go to the back and ask for some, mentioning that the first class flight attendant let me know that if there were some that were not purchased, that I could get one.
“Sure, which would you like?”
“I’ll take the snack pack.”
“Great, which card would you like to pay with?”
“None, the first class flight attendant told me to come back here and ask for a pack, since they aren’t serving food up front.”
“Yes, and that’ll be $6. You have to pay. What card would you like to use?”
I took the pack and headed back to my seat, where I had my credit card, obviously not thinking I would be needing it.
I’m all for the airlines making a buck, but the idea that you’re not offering first class passengers a food option, and then when there is extra food in the back, you’re still demanding that they pay? That’s some BS. I’m sorry, but it is. If I was a paying first class customer, forking upwards of $300+ for a flight in first class and you gave me a cookie? I’d be livid, and rightfully so. ESPECIALLY since every other flight, for exactly the same amount of money, serves a full meal.
If this were a red eye 3am flight, I could perhaps understand it. But this is an 8pm flight heading down one of the most competitive routes there is on the west coast. The option to not offer food in first class is not an option, and it’s ridiculous.
When the flight attendant saw that I pulled out my phone and started going to the Alaska Listens survey on the app, her attitude changed and offered to make a “one time exception” in this instance.
Conversely, when we flew the 6:45pm flight back home (once again, an upgrade to first class, thank you Alaska), we got a meal. Here’s that meal for your comparison:
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. Hey Alaska, I’m looking at you. You’ve got to stay competitive! Seattle loves its hometown airline, but in a world where Delta is offering free donuts just for showing up in a Top Pot and American/Virgin are offering competing routes with superior product, you can’t sit back idly and hope that paying first class customers are going to accept a crappy half eaten cookie.
There. Rant over. Thanks for sticking with us this long.