Trip Report: Alaska Airlines (A320) Main Cabin SEA-ORD

The Details

  • Flight: AS1122
  • Aircraft: A320
  • Class: Main Cabin
  • Seat: 29E and 29F
  • Route: Seattle-Tacoma International (SEA)-Chicago O’Hare (ORD)
  • Distance: 1,713 miles
  • Duration: 4hr 13min
  • Departure: 12:52PM
  • Arrival: 5:57PM

The Preflight

This flight was the return on an itinerary I booked with my Alaska Airlines companion pass. My SO and I had spent a weekend being tourists in Seattle despite the rain and were making our way home to Chicago.

We arrived at SEA 10:20AM roughly two hours before our scheduled boarding time at 11:40AM. Thanks to my AMEX Platinum charge card, we had access to the excellent AMEX Centurion Lounge at SEA. There were amazing views of the taxiway and quiet a few widebodies passed by during our time in the lounge

Our aircraft was a 13.5 year old A320, registration N626VA, originally delivered to Virgin America in 2006. In Nov 2018, N626VA was formally transferred over to Alaska Airlines as part of their purchase of Virgin America.


The Flight

Alaska Airlines recently completed retrofitting all of the ex-Virgin America A320s in their fleet to feature Alaskan’s newest seats which was introduced in Feb 2019. There are a total of 12 first, 25 Premium, and 114 economy seats on each A320.

The new slimline seats are similar to the Recaro BL3530 seats with 31-32″ of pitch. Each seat is 17.7″ wide and has the new memory foam seat padding.


Alaska’s refreshed A320 cabin also featured ambient blue mood lighting.

Mood Lighting

Since the new slim line seats had a thinner back, there was more room for my knees. There was enough leg room for me to stretch my legs out comfortably.

Each seat featured a 110V power outlet under the tray table.


One unfortunate causality of the Alaska retrofit of the A320s was the seatback screens. Alaska opted to remove all seatback screens and install a tablet holder at each seat instead. Next to the tablet holder was a nicely placed USB port

Below the tablet holder was a generic tray table. I appreciated how they opted for two cup holders instead of just one.

Boarding began on time at 11:40AM and was uneventful. Since we had purchased saver fares (basic economy), we boarded last in Group E. Luckily, there was still overhead bin space.

We spent quiet some time taxiing to the runway but it was a great opportunity to do some plane spotting.

AS B737
AS A320
FI B767
Firefighter Training Plane

Once in the air, we had some beautiful views of Mt. Rainier just as the sun was setting.

Mt. Rainier
Mt. Rainier

Flight attendants came through the cabin once the seat belt sign was turned off with cups of water first. After making one pass, they came by with a beverage service. I love the onboard coffee that Alaska serves.

Beverage Service

One thing my SO and I did in Seattle was visit Beecher’s Handmade cheese at Pike’s Place (typical tourists =)…). We both loved the grilled cheese and Mac n Cheese and funny enough, Alaskan serves Beecher’s cheese from the buy on board menu. I used my Alaska Airlines visa credit card for 20% off the fruit and cheese plate.

The cheese was delicious and the fruit was fresh. It was fairly loaded and there was enough for both my SO and I to snack on.

Signature Cheese Plate

The flight was smooth for the remainder of the way to Chicago.

We landed 20 minutes ahead of schedule at O’Hare and taxied for another 20 minutes.

Thanks for the ride!

I really enjoyed flying on Alaska Airlines in their main cabin. Like the previous flight the seat was comfortable, the coffee strong, and the cheese plate delicious.

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