Alaska Airlines Introducing Extra Legroom Coach and More Legroom in First Class

Alaska Airlines announced their version of ‘economy-plus’ seating which is an extra 3-4 inches of legroom in part of coach.

They’re locked in a battle with Delta over their Seattle hub (and doing shockingly well) and this product brings them closer in line with Delta, United, and American… and possibly brings their first class farther ahead.


“Alaska Airlines operations” credit: Tim from Seattle. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

“Premium Class” will have at least 35 inches of pitch (distance from seat back to seat back) compared to 31″ – 32″ currently.

Like Delta’s ‘Comfort+’ they plan to bundle these seats with ‘other perks’ though other than priority boarding those haven’t been fully detailed yet. Alaska elites will get these seats complimentary — “at booking or day of travel dependent on status and fare purchased.”

First class will go from a tight 36 inch pitch (standard domestic first is 38″) to a generous 41 inches. Alaska’s 61 Boeing 737-800 aircraft will go from 16 first class seats down to 12, however. (Boeing 737-900s will retain 16 first class seats.)

60 planes will be retrofitted in 2016, with the full mainline fleet done by the end of 2017. SkyWest Embraer 175s will get these seats as well.

Here’s a comparison of seating before and after these changes:

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Interesting development. This is reflective that their network is less shorthaul focused than ever, and having a new product mix to be able to better cater to the midcon and transcon market is great. Interesting that they aren’t dropping F seat count on the E-175 and keeping it to 12 – which is also how AA and DL configure theirs. I would have figured that for the mission the E-175 flies, 9 F would be fine.

  2. I wonder if the the pitch in regular economy is going to shrink. Taking into account that the total number of seats are not decreasing by much. I’m thinking 32-31 down to 31-30.

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