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

The Details

  • Flight: AS1178
  • Aircraft: B737-900ER
  • Class: Domestic First
  • Seat: 4A
  • Route: Seattle-Tacoma International (SEA)-San Diego International (SAN)
  • Distance: 1,093 miles
  • Duration: 2hrs 25min
  • Departure: 4:01PM
  • Arrival: 6:44PM

The Preflight

After arriving from Chicago, I had a few hours before my final flight to San Diego. I headed toward the flagship Alaska Lounge located in the North Terminal which I had access to thanks to my First class ticket. It was located on the second floor above the gate area.

Immediately walking in, there was a warm fireplace to the left-hand side. There was a good amount of sofa seats and individual chairs looking over the apron.

To the right on the entrance was the main dining area with a variety of tables. In the center was a barista staffed coffee counter as well as food.

Food options included prepackaged muffins, bars, baked goods, and fruit.

There were also salad kits with chicken breast as well as cheese cubes.

The hot food option was a turkey bean soup.

Other snacks included chips, pretzels, cookies, nuts, and a pancake machine.

Additional drink options included a soda mixer and coffee. The self-serve espresso machine was not working during my visit.

Further into the dining area was the bar which had a good amount of stools and additional tables.

One reason I love Alaska lounges is that the drinks are all complimentary including liquor and wine. They also had an excellent selection of local craft beers on tap.

I had a pint of the excellent hefeweizen with a bowl of warm coup and cheese cubes. Delicious.

With an hour until boarding, I made my way to the gate area. The terminal was packed and the gate area crowded.

Our B737-900ER, registration N268AK, was delivered brand new to Alaska Airlines in February 2017.

Boarding began exactly at 3:20PM.

The Flight

Each B737-900ER in the Alaska Airlines fleet features 16 First class seats arranged in a 2-2 configuration.

Seatmap of the Boeing 737-900ER

I was seated in 4A in the last row of the First class cabin. These First class seats are the most comfortable Domestic First class seats of the major US airlines such as American, Delta, or United. They have industry leading pitch as well as thick padding.

Seats have 41 inches of pitch and are 21 inches wide.

Seatbacks featured a small literature pocket but was otherwise spartan.

While pitch was generous, the legroom itself was restriced by a large box.

In between the two seats was a small counter top space. Each passanger was provisioned with a small water bottle and hand sanitizing wipe.

There was also a small tray that could be pulled out from below the surface.

Below the center console was a 110V outlet and USB port. My neighbors outlet did not look too safe…

The tray table was stowed in the left-hand armrest.

It was fairly basic but felt stable.

The boarding doors were closed 30 minutes after boarding began and we pushed back 10 minutes later at 4:01PM. The taxi to runway 16L took 15 minutes and finally we were off towards San Diego.

The ascent from Seattle was a bit bumpy due to the rain in the region. I loaded up the inflight map on my laptop once we reached cruising altitude.

Alaska Airlines had just reintroduced liquor and a more expansive drink menu on their flights during COVID-19 and a menu was provided with all the options. Our drink choices had been taken on the ground before take off by the lead flight attendant.

I had Gin & Tonic which was served a double.

Food options included either a Fruit and Cheese plate or a Turkey Sandwich. I had the turkey sandwich which was incredibly dry.

30 minutes after the main meal service, warmed chocolate chip cookies were distributed. Very tasty.

Another snack basket was passed through the cabin and options included blueberry cookies, Kind bars, Swedish Fish, popcorn, and Peatos.

We had some beautiful views of Sequoia National Forest and the California mountain ranges as we passed over Central Cali.

Once past Los Angeles, we hugged the Southern California coast.

At 6:22PM we began our initial descent into San Diego and had a stunning view of downtown as the sun was setting.

Thanks for the ride!

This flight again redemonstrated with Alaska Airlines is my favorite domestic carrier for flying in Domestic First. Great seats, excellent food, and friendly service makes them one of the best in the US.

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