Airline: Alaska Airlines
*Updated Review! 11/2013
The Seat: Any seat with a “soft bulkhead” (one with no hard wall in front of you) is usually one that will earn points with modhoppers. These seats come with a few extra inches of legroom but not with the normal bulkhead restrictions as you’re able to use the seat in front of you for bag stowage or fuller leg extension. The seat itself is leather with an adjustable headrest for added comfort. Width is standard for a bulkhead with an inch or so taken off for the tray table in the armrest.
Service: Alaska Airlines ranks well with us for service, this flight was no exception. Flight Attendants were cheery and helpful. Alaska MVP Gold elite members were offered a free alcoholic beverage and along with partner elites had early access to this row and other premium seating. After passing on food at first the flight attendant was more than happy to find me a cheeseburger later in the flight.
Here’s an earlier video review of this seat from May 11, 2010 (SEA-EWR):
Food: Alaska serves up an “ok” selection of food on longer flights. Breakfast bowls and occasional morning sandwiches, like the pretty bland egg, cheese and meat offering on our flight are offered early in the day while lunch/dinner options are served later. For a current selection and to pre-order meals from select locations visit Alaska’s Food & Beverage page.
Notes: Another benefit to sitting in this row is early boarding. It seems they understand that these seats are often occupied by elite members who missed out on an upgrade. (Once, a Gold MVP member next to me let out an audible “Awww” after the last seat in first was filled.)
Summary: Any seat in this row provides a bit more legroom than most and comes with the added benefit of early boarding but you’ll lose fractions of an inch per seat due to the armrest/tray table. If you’re lucky enough to avoid crying babies or armrest hogs, your experience should be at least a tiny bit better than in a normal economy seat. Food options will differ depending on the length of your specific flight and meet expectations but nothing more.
Rating: 3 hops (of 5).
Route Flown (for this review): SEA (Seattle) – EWR (Newark)
How we got em’: Checked seat availability and changed seat at kiosk before Re-printing boarding pass. Alaska MVP Gold members and some partner elites (Delta’s partnership has reciprocal elite benefits) have first pick of these seats. It pays to check seat availability again before printing (or re-printing) your boarding pass and you don’t need to be an elite to grab these seats during check-in.