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For Very Large Man: First Class or 2 Economy Seats? (Alaska)

Olympia...
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For Very Large Man: First Class or 2 Economy Seats? (Alaska)

I am flying from Seattle to Las Vegas on Alaska Airlines. I am definitely too large for a single economy seat. According to the charts, economy seats are 17" wide and first class are 21" wide. That extra 4" doesn't sound like much. I have the option of using 50,000 miles to get two economy seats or one first class seat, and I can't decide what to do. Someone told me that even though the seats in first class are only 4" wider, that there is also room BETWEEN the seats in first class, so any of my "overflow" might not impose on the person next to me.

Can anyone share some knowledge? Thank you!

NYC
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1. Re: For Very Large Man: First Class or 2 Economy Seats? (Alaska)

Well, I'm also a big guy, although everything is relative. I think, you'll have to take your measurements (seriously) in order to answer this question. It's true, that there is a lot of space between the seats in first, so if the physical dimensions allow, I would certainly pick first for a much nicer experience. On the other hand, in economy you can lift the handles and have whopping 34" width all to yourself. But then you have to remember first class recline, free booze, and food--all those little things that make flights less miserable:). Decisions, decisions...

Vancouver
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2. Re: For Very Large Man: First Class or 2 Economy Seats? (Alaska)

Go business class.

Edited: 03 July 2012, 08:21
London, United...
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3. Re: For Very Large Man: First Class or 2 Economy Seats? (Alaska)

Go business/first. Even if you purchase two economy seats, the airline is generally not obliged to allow you two seats if the flight is full. Check with the airline.

Italy
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4. Re: For Very Large Man: First Class or 2 Economy Seats? (Alaska)

Go business it will be a better experience all round.

UK
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5. Re: For Very Large Man: First Class or 2 Economy Seats? (Alaska)

Agreed,business is far better, think about what happens in economy if the people in front lean their seats back into you, you'll literally be stuck..

It also avoids a situation where a plane change lands you with two seats with hard side panels instead of two with arm rests that lift up.

Garden Bay, Canada
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6. Re: For Very Large Man: First Class or 2 Economy Seats? (Alaska)

Business class will be far more comfortable for you... and that is the primary concern.

Seattle, Washington
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7. Re: For Very Large Man: First Class or 2 Economy Seats? (Alaska)

Alaska doesn't sell business class, only first class and economy.

Legroom in Alaska's first class is standard for 737 FC in the US - around 37 - 38 inches, so not something like the 50-60" you get with international business class. Getting up to go to the loo etc. can be a shimmy for larger pax; and if the window seat needs to go, the seatmate must stand in the aisle. In terms of width, the FC seats are 21" wide, vs. 17" or 17 1/2" in economy, so 2x economy would give you 50% more width. If you decide to go that route, phone Alaska and tell them as a Passenger of Size you need to confirm two adjacent coach seats. (I'd pick center and aisle if I were you.)

There's a small console between the seats in first class that will probably prevent you from encroaching on your seatmate's space, but if you're too wide even for that, then you'd likely be very uncomfortable. The tray tables are in the armrests, and most Alaska planes don't have a swivel feature, so if your belly is too close to the front of the seat, you probably won't be able to use the tray. SEA-LAS is a short flight, and there's a little shelf you can use for drinks, so you'd survive.

For first class on the west coast, the airline to use is Virgin America. Their FC pitch is 55", so close to international business class standards, and the seats are outrageously comfortable. They also have in-seat personal video on demand, whereas on Alaska the only entertainment you'll get is your own book or ipad/laptop/phone etc. Virgin America doesn't fly nonstop between SEA and LAS; you'd have to change planes in San Francisco, their base, but it might be worth looking into. For domestic first class shorthaul, Virgin America is unbeatable - great seats and service.

Good luck (in Vegas, I mean.)

Edited: 03 July 2012, 15:23
Seattle, Washington
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8. Re: For Very Large Man: First Class or 2 Economy Seats? (Alaska)

Meant to add, the first class seats are similar in width to most movie seats (the ones with the armrests you can raise.) If you fit okay in those movie seats, you'll be fine in FC.

Edited: 03 July 2012, 15:25
Garden Bay, Canada
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9. Re: For Very Large Man: First Class or 2 Economy Seats? (Alaska)

Domestically, in North America, the terms Business Class and First Class are interchangeable. While it is appropriate to call the domestic first product "1st", most award redemption plans show it as "Business". Yes, Alaska's Super Saver First redemption was what OP was asking about.

Despite that nuance, the meaning of nephifofum's post was pretty clear. This persnicketiness adds nothing to the discussion.

Edited: 03 July 2012, 18:23
Seattle, Washington
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10. Re: For Very Large Man: First Class or 2 Economy Seats? (Alaska)

Persnickety? Moi?

Apologies to the OP as needed.