Maui, Hawaii

Blog: A taste of what you may find on Maui

Alaska Airline’s cool seats

Alaska Airlines…. this airline has the past few years rated one of the top airlines in the US. So when I was booking a recent mainland trip, I thought – sure, let’s give them a try.

I booked the flights five months prior to our trip and got a great rate. As we got closer to our travel date, I realized I really didn’t want to suffer through a red-eye flight in economy and looked to upgrade to economy plus. I’ve done this when flying with Hawaiian Airlines, and the up-charge isn’t that much. Oh no! There was no upgrade option!
Okay, I scrunched up my face and thought, I will just look what the up-charge to first class seats would be. Not that I’ll spring for it, but I’ll ‘just look.’ The website didn’t give me the option to upgrade! What?? Was first class just sold out, or did I need to wait until check-in to upgrade? When I looked, it seemed there were still seats available for purchase in first class. I gave up – with the whole family flying, that wasn’t a viable option anyway. 
Is there really no economy plus? While the airline says some flights have Preferred Plus Seating, apparently mine did not. Can you really not upgrade to first class once you have purchased your regular economy tickets? I don’t know. I swallowed. First class wasn’t feasible anyway. 
When we boarded the plane we were in for a pleasant surprise. No, not a surprise upgrade – even my husband Sig has stopped dreaming about that! But instead it was the seats themselves. I have not seen these on an airplane before. 
Skinny seats! The seat back was no more than 2 inches thick. The magazines were stored up high in the seat behind the tray table (instead of where my knees are). And each seat had an electrical outlet to charge phones/gadgets! Although the seat pitch (airline speak for distance between seat backs) seemed similar to other planes I’ve been on, you gain space with the narrower seat backs and not having the magazines at knee height.
Yes, I still hate red-eyes (what was I thinking??), but given the circumstances, this flight was a pleasant surprise. 
Curious about seat pitch? Here’s an article and infographic comparing seat pitch between various airlines. Apparently Alaska Airlines has some of the narrowest seats in the business. I didn’t notice that. I was too busy enjoying the space between my knees and the seat in front of me.
Disclaimer – I don’t know if Alaska Airlines has these seats on all their planes. I also obviously don’t know much about upgrading seats – if you know more, let me know.