Alaska Airlines through their acquisition of Virgin America is now serving Dallas Love Field. Virgin America is still flying flights to San Francisco and Los Angeles from DAL, but Alaska Airlines serves most other routes. New York – LaGuardia and Washington – Regan have been transferred to Alaska Airlines from Virgin. Las Vegas – Dallas has been discontinued. However, Alaska has grown in Dallas and now flys to Seattle and Portland. New service to San Diego and San Jose beings in 2018. The new service to Seattle is split between Alaska and Virgin America. All Alaska Airlines flights from Dallas are actually Skywest flights on new E-175. Alaska Airlines does not serve Dallas Love with their fleet of 737s. Virgin flys A320s into DAL.
I flew to Dallas Love form Seattle in October of 2017 and enjoyed first class service on the wonderful Embraer 175. The E-175 regional jet is perfect for long and thin routes. Unlike the CRJ, The E-175 offers all the amenities of a larger jet including large overhead bins which fits carryon bags and power in first class. The plane is also large enough that a normal size human can walk down the aisle without crouching!
The E-175 is by far one of my favorite planes for domestic flights for several reasons. First, it’s strictly because of the cabin design. First class is 1×2 and economy is 2×2. No matter where I sit on this plane, I never fight for an armrest! Furthermore, upgrades are plentiful. The plane has 76 seats and 12 are in First class! There are as many First Class seats on the E-175 as Alaska’s 737-800! Nearly 15% of the seats are premium! Whenever I can, I opt for this jet.
Boarding & Pre-Departure
Leaving from Seattle the E-175s usually use Horizon Air central gates in the C concourse. These gates are fantastic as they are near two of Alaska Lounges and security. I prefer the Alaska Lounge C gates, but the older D gate lounge is also just a few steps away. To board the E-175, passengers must walk outside. Thankfully in Seattle the walkway is about 95% cover, so weather is not much of an issue.
All Alaska Airlines planes board in the a similar fashion. First there is pre-boarding for the disabled and children, followed by Military personal. First class boards second and then Alaska allows elites, premium economy and then the rest of the plane in order, starting with the rear of the aircraft.
Ground service on Alaska Airlines is not overly exciting. They are the only US airlines I know of with a first class product which does not offer pre-departure beverages. A bottle of water is on each seat, but there is not a choice of drinks available. On some early morning flights, Flight attendants offer coffee or Orange juice. However, as Seattle-Dallas departs at 9:45am, nothing was offered.
Seattle to Dallas Love Field Inflight
Service from Seattle to Dallas Love field was top notch. I honestly find that Alaska Airlines has some of the friendliest and positive flight attendants in the industry. Seattle – Dallas Love is actually Skywest, yet on all my E-175 Skywest “Alaska” flights, I have had nothing but positive experiences! I swear Alaska must pay these FAs a bonus to perform like real Alaska employees!
Shortly after take-off, Ty, our flight attendant provided us with a warm towel. He then took drink and meal orders. As this flight was only a mid-continental flight, only one meal choice was available. Our choice this morning was a broccoli and potato quiche, sausage, and with a side of fruit. Initial drink service was quick and our breakfast began within an hour into the flight.
When breakfast was served, I was pleasantly surprised with a personalized note from Ty. He took the time to write each passenger a welcome note! This service was truly North of Expected! Most US airlines do not offer warm meals on the E-175, but Alaska’s configuration has food warmers!
Ty was a godsend throughout the flight. He never sat down! Drinks remained filled at each time and he was very proactive! Is this Singapore Airlines or an American carrier?! Halfway through the flight, he even found the hidden chocolate bars reserved for elites who were not upgraded and delighted the entire first class cabin with a sweet treat! Finally, about an hour before landing warm nuts are available for snacking.
For a regional flight attendant, Ty was killing it! Every passenger was singing his joys! Chocolates, mix nuts, and drinks that never went empty! What more could we ask for?!
Although Ty is not an Alaska employee, the Seattle to Dallas-Love flight fantAStic! Alaska competes between Seattle and Dallas with American at DFW and Southwest at DAL, but I must say, despite the smaller planes, Alaska is soaring high!
Alaska also offers premium economy on the e-175 between Seattle and Dallas. The first three rows of Economy offer additional leg room, free booze and a snack box. With 42” pitch in first class and 1×2 seat cabin and 2×2 cabin in premium and economy, everyone can be happy. After all, no one flying Alaska to Dallas will suffer from middle seat syndrome! Make the better choice, Fly Alaska.