Just got back from an amazing Alaskan adventure trip. We flew Alaska Airlines First Class from the East Coast, and were very disappointed with what we got. Firstly, the seats. While soft and leathery, they barely reclined and they had no footrests. It was like sitting in an over-sized economy style seat with lots of room. The food on-board was fine, no complaints there.
Secondly, the on-board entertainment, or lack thereof. The Digibox, I think is what they call them. This a hand-held box that you can prop on your tray table, although not while you eat. I thought this was an embarrassment to the airline. Half of the features on the box didn't work, and we tried a total of 5 on 3 different flights. There was no map to tell where we were, nor was there flight information of any kind. The movie selection was adequate, but that was about all you could do with it. The games it had didn't work because they require buttons that the machine doesn't have. This is just sad first class entertainment. I would have been really upset if I was back in economy and actually paid for it.
Thirdly, the lounges. This was the biggest frustration and annoyance. We couldn't use them because we are not Board Room members. How stupid is that? We were only allowed into the lounge in Seattle, which was mediocre at best. We were told we could pay $100 for a one day board room pass for the others. Are you kidding me? I just paid $2,000 for a first class ticket!! And, now you want me to shell out another $100 to get into the board room!! Absolutely ridiculous. Arrogant and pompous, too. Not to mention disgusting. When we were in Vancouver, we were told we could also get in if we had an American Express credit card. One of us did, but it didn't do us any good. We needed to have a Canadian American Express card. Give me a break!
Fourth, the lounge in Seattle, the only one we got in. The seating areas were fine. The food was not what I expect in a first class lounge. We had a choice of animal crackers, soup crackers, or boiled eggs. I don't think the time of day should have had anything to do with it (once was in the morning before lunch; once was in the afternoon before and during dinner), because all the other first class lounges I have ever been in had a decent spread no matter what time I was there.
So, it was not a great first class experience with Alaska Airlines. Wait. Scratch that. It was not a first class experience at all with Alaska Airlines. Anybody considering purchasing a first class fare with AS, don't do it. It's not worth it.