Early this week Alaska Airlines launched a new marketing campaign, Alaska Beyond. The idea behind this campaign is to let you know that Alaska is revitalizing its image and is continuing to stay at the forefront of technology, comfort, and passenger experience all well providing world class customer service. Gone is the saying “North of Expected” as now the Alaska Beyond campaign goes above and beyond your expectation in three key areas: inflight entertainment, comfort, and food offerings.
Last April, Alaska announced that they would be rolling out GoGo streaming movies and inflight entertainment, in a bid to opt out of installing personal TV on every seat back. Not only does this save Alaska Airlines money in retrofitting costs, but the inflight entertainment system weighs down airplanes causing the airline to burn more fuel. Instead, Alaska recognized that just about every traveler now has a tablet, computer, or smart phone at their disposal, so it makes more sense to utilize what each passenger already has access to instead of adding heavy and expensive inflight entertainment system to the their planes. The new Beyond entertainment streaming is really no different than American’s GoGo streaming movies or Delta Studio, but it’s Alaska’s own take of the system with a few tweaks.
The system will work once above 10,000 feet and will work on over-water flights to Hawaii! The system will offer Over 70 top movies, 60+ TV shows, and roughly 100 exclusive short titles from Alaska Airlines and will be updated every 60 days. The movies will require GoGo Streaming Video player app which can be downloaded preflight, but the shorter exclusive content will work without the need of the GoGo plug in/app, making it perfect for shorter flights on Alaska.
Currently, the new service is available on 50 of Alaska’s 737 planes and will be available free of charge through Jan. 31, 2015! Alaska has promised that by April 2015, Alaska Beyond will be available on all B737-800 and -900 aircraft.
The Seattle area is a foodies heaven, and anyone who has been to Seattle has heard of Tom Douglas and his restaurant empire in Seattle and cheese-lovers glean for our famous Beechers Cheese from Pike Place Market! Alaska is going expanding their campaign of featuring Seattle spirits and cheese with the introduction of even more Seattle food fanfare.
“Alaska Beyond Delicious offers travelers locally-sourced, artisan food and beverage from iconic Northwest brands, including signature entrees designed by award-winning chef Tom Douglas. The popular Signature Fruit & Cheese Platter features Beecher’s Flagship and Tillamook cheeses are available on all flights, as well as hand-poured Canoe Ridge wines, Sun Liquor hand-crafted liquors, Alaskan Amber and other local micro-brews, and in First Class, Chateau Ste. Michelle wines. m Douglas signature entrees, my favorite Signature Fruit & Cheese Platter featuring Beecher’s and Tillamook cheeses, hand-poured Chateau Ste. Michelle and Canoe Ridge wines, Sun Liquor hand-crafted liquors and local micro-brews.”
Also don’t forget, Alaska’s economy class hot food for sale items include Beechers cheese breakfast sandwiches, Chicken Bánh Mi Sandwichs, and other delightful locally sourced food items!
Alaska Airlines is trying to make every passenger comfortable, rather they are flying first or economy. Alaska has installed fleet wide custom-design Recaro leather seats. Many passengers claim the slim line seats are not as comfortable or padded, but I will break the trend and say I like them. And yes, I have flown them and I have even experienced them on a 9+ hour flight from LAX to London. By the end of December, every single 737-800, -900 and -900ER aircraft will feature the new seats and in seat power via USB and power fly will feature improved seats with personal power.
Overall I think the Alaska Beyond campaign is a bit overreaching as Alaska isn’t really doing anything ground breaking or revolutionizing the flying experience. Virgin America has done that with their RED entertainment and on demand ordering system, not to mention other airlines have already installed new seats, power, wifi, and more across their fleets. The one thing Alaska is doing though is standardizing their fleet by offering the same standard product on all B737 aircraft that they fly and enhancing their buy on board and first class offerings. By the end of the year, only their sister carrier, regional Horizon air, will have different seats and power options—but to make up for it, Horizon flights come with free beer and wine!
Alaska Airlines might be named after the 49th state, but they are truly a Seattle airline with the Northwest culture and flare! Alaska Beyond is making sure everything they do is North of Expected and is done with their customers in mind.