I travel fairly frequently from Portland to Hawaii, and I am committed to Alaska Airlines for its nonstop service to all of the islands. I await fervently, however, for another carrier to start a competing service.
I term the Alaska first class service "BARELY first class." On my last flight from Honolulu to Portland, I didn't receive my roll with the first salad course, and the flight attendant told me that I couldn't receive it with the 2nd course because it was only served with the first course. When I told her that she didn't even offer it to me with the first course, she relented and offered me two rolls with my second course. As I only need one roll to satisfy my appetite, I only took one of the rolls. I told her that I hated to be begging for a roll in first class when I had paid $953 for a one way ticket. Maybe this is a 1% problem, but the service does not seem commensurate to the price paid for the class of service.
Also, when I went to the Delta first class lounge in Honolulu with my first class ticket from Alaska Airlines, they wouldn't honor the ticket because I had not booked my flight as a Delta ticket This was even though Alaska Airlines had listed the Delta lounge as one of their lounges on their wesbite.
Alaska doesn't have it's own lounge in Honolulu, even though it has a number of flights to the West Coast from Honolulu. Fortunately, I am a Delta Medallion Diamond, so I got in through that, but I feel sorry for the poor Alaska people who have paid like $1500 for a ticket to Hawaii who are denied access. Once again, this is a 1% problem, and Alaska Airlines knows that its travelers have few other options.
Alaska has me captive, at least for the time being. I can get a nonstop to Kauai, Maui and Kona on Alaska and nowhere else. Alaska knows this, but Alaska Airlines is not engendering customer lowalty. When another carrier begins to offer the same service (Hawaiian, Delta?), I will gladly change to not to have to beg for a roll. On the flight to Hawaii this time the meal didn't even have salt or pepper on the meal tray. Alaska knows they have me (for the time being, anyway).
Barely first class, but at least it is nonstop. I can't wait for Hawaiian or Delta to compete and to give me a roll and salt and pepper. I can't wait for another airline to prioritize my luggage.