Trip Report: Alaska Airlines (B737-900ER) Domestic First SAN-SEA

The Details

  • Flight: AS1133
  • Aircraft: B737-900ER
  • Class: Domestic First
  • Seat: 4A
  • Route: San Diego International (SAN)-Seattle-Tacoma International (SEA)
  • Distance: 1,105 miles
  • Duration: 2hr 31min
  • Departure: 6:06AM
  • Arrival: 9:01AM

The Preflight

I arrived at San Diego International Airport at exactly 5AM for my 6:15AM flight up to Seattle. Alaska Airlines and American Airlines both operate out of Terminal 2 East, the old part of Terminal 2 at SAN.

The Alaska check-in area was devoid of passengers while the American check-in area had quite a few. Unfortunately, due to the early hour, the TSA PreCheck lane was not open and I had to wait about 10 minutes to clear security.

I was really sad to realize that my favorite lounge at SAN, the Airspace Lounge, did not open until 6AM. Dejected, I made my way to the gate area and passed by the Alaska “Salmon Thirty Salmon II” livery B737-800.

Our B737-900ER, registration N253AK, was delivered brand new to Alaska Airlines in August 2016. She is one of 79 total B737-900ERs in the AS fleet. Alaska has two distinct B737-900ER sub-fleets, one of which is ETOPS certified and one of which is not. This B737-900ER was not one of the ETOPS ones.

Boarding began on time at 5:35AM. This flight was about 30% fill and the first class cabin was only 50% full.

The Flight

Alaska Airlines has a standardized seating configuration for their entire fleet of B737-900ERs. Each aircraft has 16 first, 24 premium/extra-legroom economy, and 138 economy seats. The 16 first class seats are arranged in a 2-2- configuration in rows 1-4. I found the seats to be very comfortable and well padded.

One thing that I do not like about the cabin is that the separation between the economy cabin is just a small plastic divider.

Each seat had a generous 41″ of pitch and was 21″ wide. Unfortunately, Alaska Airlines does not offer IFE screens on their aircraft. Behind the seatback was a literature pocket.

Despite the large box under the seat, I found the legroom to be very generous and I had more than enough room to stretch out my legs.

There was a medium-sized area perfect for storing a small carryon.

In between the two seats was a small tabletop. Below it was the recline button.

A small cocktail tray popped out from the center console as well.

Below the tray table was the in seat power. Each seat had an individual USB port and 110V outlet.

The right side armrest was non-adjustable.

The bi-fold tray table was stored in the right side armrest. I appreciated how it had a drink holder.

When fully folded out, the tray table was very large. One negative was that there was no dedicated tablet holder.

Upon taking my seat, a flight attendant passed through the cabin handing out bottles of water and sanitizing wipes.

Boarding was complete by 6AM and we pushed back nine minutes early at 6:06AM. San Diego International Airport is under a noise curfew and flights are not permitted to takeoff until 6:30AM. We were held in the number one position on runway 27 for about 20 minutes until the clock reached the half hour.

As we departed San Diego, the cabin was treated to a beautiful red sunrise.

I opened up the Alaska inflight entertainment offerings on my tablet and loaded the inflight map.

Due to COVID-19, Alaska Airlines has cutback their on board offerings. Drinks including beer and wine are available on all flights in first class.

A drink menu was provided in the seatback literature pocket.

Food choices included either a fruit and cheese plate or ham & brie breakfast wrap. Alaska is currently allowing passengers to pre-order their food beforehand starting at two weeks up until 20 hours prior to departure.

I went with the ham & brie breakfast wrap and a black coffee.

The breakfast wrap was very tasty and filled with protein. Sides included some grapes and apple slices.

There was a beautiful red glow along the California coast as we flew north.

After the breakfast service, flight attendants came through the cabin with warmed chocolate chip cookies.

The cookie was superb. Perfectly gooey and sweet.

As we passed over Oregon, the clouds thickened and had a few bumps of turbulence. The weather would remain poor for the remainder of the flight.

With 90 minutes until landing in Seattle, flight attendants came through with a snack basket. Options included Popcorners, beef jerk, Kind bars, Biscoff, chocolate, and cookies. They also handed out additional water bottles.

The rest of the journey from Oregon to Seattle was covered with clouds.

I checked out the forward lavatory which was basic.

On approach into SEA we passed over Boeing Field (aka King County International Airport). There were a lot of parked B737 MAXs.

The approach to 16L was rainy and cloudy.

We touched down at 9:01AM local time in Seattle and had a quick six minute taxi to the gate. We arrived at Concourse B which is ironically where most of the Delta Airlines flights operate out of. Thanks for the ride!

I loved this early morning flight with Alaska Airlines. The food was the best I’ve had during the COVID-19 pandemic, the seat very comfortable, and the flight attendants extremely attentive. Compared to American Airlines or United Airlines, Alaska Airlines offers a far more superior product.

2 thoughts on “Trip Report: Alaska Airlines (B737-900ER) Domestic First SAN-SEA

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s