We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Alaska Airlines Business Class - Worth It?

New Jersey, USA
Level Contributor
7 posts
41 reviews
Save Topic
Alaska Airlines Business Class - Worth It?

I'm planning my latest trip to Maui and Kauai in May 2012 from NJ. Alaska Airlines appears to have the lowest business class fares, half that of any other airline. I'll deal with the long layovers on the west coast, perhaps with an overnight stay since they are half the price of United/Continental. I see they fly smaller 737 jets too. Can anyone vouch for the quality of their business class service (food, seat room, general quality) vs. the United/Contl non-stops with their larger (767) planes from Newark? There's a lot of money to be saved here, but I don't want the get-what-you-pay-for disappointment I had with Open Skies from Newark to Paris last May, which also was half the price of competitors, but you didn't get half the service, food quality and amenities that Continental offered in business class. Thanks.

california
Level Contributor
144 posts
1 review
Save Reply
1. Re: Alaska Airlines Business Class - Worth It?

Alaska as far as I know doesnt have Business class....It's First Class. I have used the first class from Oakland, Ca. to Maui last year with miles. It was okay but this year I'm going back to Hawaiian with miles to Maui. I think that Hawaiian first class service is way above alaska but I was using miles and not paying for it. Just a few things I noticed. With Hawaiian as soon as you are in your sit they offer you a drink Alaska didn't the sits I feel are better on Hawaiian they have foot rests Alaska didn't and I think the food was better on Hawaiian. I hope this helps. I have been on first class with United to and I think United was a little better then Alaska...

Seattle
Level Contributor
361 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Alaska Airlines Business Class - Worth It?

The Hawaiian Airlines first class seats are the most comfortable airline seats I've ever sat in. I'm thinking of asking them if I can buy one the next time I go.

Chicagoland
Level Contributor
21,201 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Alaska Airlines Business Class - Worth It?

You might ask at seatguru.com

I know the 757's have uncomfortable seats in first and coach. We aim for 767's or 330's. Most lines have only two classes to Hawaii. What they call "first" is more like "business". AFAIK none approach the king of "first" you get on intercontinental flights.

Orange County, CA
Level Contributor
870 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Alaska Airlines Business Class - Worth It?

You're generally going to be disappointed with anything domestically if Open Skies was disappointing. I'm not sure what went wrong to make it seem to pale in comparison to Continental (now United, for better/worse). There are a handful of widebody domestic "First" class cabins that may match United's "Business" transatlantic product, as ChiSue says. To Maui airport OGG, look at AA out of DFW and UA out of LAX/SFO off the top of my head. You could connect in HNL, but I find that to be a hassle, especially since you'll have already connected at least once from EWR. I'm hearing that Hawaiian's direct service from JFK is commanding quite a premium after the startup sales went away. Kauai's airport LIH is too small for widebodies, only standard domestic F seats. Hardly worth the premium. Also keep in mind that equipment can and will change, so even if you book based on a high quality seat, it can be subbed for the standard product and you have no recourse.

If you're considering buying Alaska First seats, you need to immediately sign up for the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa. In addition to the bonus miles (20-40K) you get a $99 companion cert, which is valid on any Alaska fare (only flights operated by Alaska/Horizon). So you buy one F ticket, the second is $99.

California
Level Contributor
6,464 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Alaska Airlines Business Class - Worth It?

With Alaska only flying 737's to Hawaii, first class wouldn't be worth the money. Using miles to upgrade would make more sence.

Petaluma, CA
Level Contributor
208 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Alaska Airlines Business Class - Worth It?

We flew on Alaska out of Oakland to Maui last October. The plane was so small, it was really awful. The "first class" section was about 10 rows with 2 seats on each side. Not sure what people paid for them. We were in Coach. 3 seats on each side of the aisle. Smallest plane I have ever flown to Maui. Very uncomfortable. We're back to United out of SFO this year. Worth the extra money for the extra room, in my opinion.

California
Level Contributor
6,464 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Alaska Airlines Business Class - Worth It?

United's 757's aren't much better! I can remember flying 747's from SFO to HNL and KOA!

Orange County, CA
Level Contributor
870 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Alaska Airlines Business Class - Worth It?

If you just want a comfy seat with extra leg room/seat width, free meals, and free drinks then AS will do the job. Otherwise the DFW-OGG is the only one that offers real improvement (angled lie-flat seat, duvet). UA only flies standard domestic business class, as far as I can tell.

I see AS as low as $1560 in May, add the companion certificate and it's only $1660 for two to fly First. It's over $3000 EACH for AA/UA. AS would require an overnight in Seattle, which can be seen as a plus or a deal breaker. Keep in mind it's $1.50 and super easy to get downtown from the airport via light rail. It also breaks up ~11 hours of flying.

United States
Level Contributor
2,750 posts
131 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Alaska Airlines Business Class - Worth It?

Half price would do it for me, but I'm cheap. It's up to you. First class on AK Air was sufficient on our trip last month. coach is hideous.

md
1 post
Save Reply
10. Re: Alaska Airlines Business Class - Worth It?

I don''t care for the 737s. I'd rather have an extra legroom seat on a 767 or 777.