Today at its annual Investor Day, Alaska Airlines announced plans to roll-out a Premium Class section. Beginning in late 2016, the new upgrade option will provide more legroom and other perks to customers. Customers who upgrade to Premium Class will get priority boarding and enjoy three to four inches more legroom compared with a standard coach seat. In addition, Alaska Airlines plans to offer additional amenities to further enhance the Premium Class in-flight experience. This upgrade option will be available to Alaska Airlines elite Mileage Plan members on a complimentary basis at booking or day of travel dependent on status and fare purchased.
Upgrade pricing and details on the included amenities will be announced closer to customer availability.
“Premium Class will provide an opportunity for all customers to get an enhanced flight experience,” said Andrew Harrison, executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Alaska Airlines. “We are listening to our customers and they have told us that more personal space and extra perks are a priority.”
Alaska plans to retrofit up to 60 aircraft with the Premium Class section by the end of 2016 and the remainder of its 737-800, -900 and -900ER fleet by the end of 2017. The upgrade option will also be available on Embraer 175s, operated by SkyWest, which are configured with 12 seats in the Premium Class section. Preferred Plus seating, currently available for purchase at check-in for bulkhead and exit rows, will continue to be offered on Alaska 737-400s and -700s.
Seats in the Premium Class section will have at least 35″ of pitch, compared to 31″ to 32″ in the rest of the main cabin. To make room for the Premium Class while maintaining pitch in the main cabin, Alaska will reconfigure and reduce the number of seats available on some aircraft. Also, pitch in the First Class cabin will be increased from 36″ to 41″ providing a significantly enhanced experience for those customers.
Alaska Airlines has made significant investments to provide more value and improve the customer experience for everyone throughout the aircraft, which includes plans to outfit all of its 737-800s and 737-900s with larger overhead bins that increase room for carry-on baggage by 48 percent, providing personal power outlets at every seat*, as well as custom-designed slim-line leather seats.
Alaska offers all customers easy main cabin seat selection at no cost on alaskaair.com or using the Alaska Airlines mobile app. Customers may also purchase first class and Preferred Plus upgrades when available, on a first-come, first-served basis during the 24-hour check-in window.
Alaska Airlines, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together with its partner regional airlines, serves more than 100 cities through an expansive network in the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, and Mexico. Alaska Airlines ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Traditional Carriers in North America” in the J.D. Power North America Airline Satisfaction Study for eight consecutive years from 2008 to 2015. Alaska Airlines' Mileage Plan also ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Airline Loyalty Rewards Programs” in the J.D. Power 2014 and 2015 Airline Loyalty/Rewards Program Satisfaction Report. For reservations, visit www.alaskaair.com.