We headed to Michigan for the Thanksgiving holiday on Alaska Airlines flying on an ex-Virgin America Airbus A320. This A320 has the original Virgin America interior configuration and it will be headed to the shop soon to get the new Alaska Airlines interior.
This A320 still had the Virgin eight first class seat configuration. These seats have multi-way, motorized seat adjustments that include leg support and foot extension along with massage. The problem with these old Virgin seats is that they are way past their useful lifespan and some of the adjustments no longer work because the motors or mechanisms are broken. This aircraft will feature 12 first class seats with the new Alaska Airlines first class interior. The interior “purple” mood lighting will be replaced by “cool blue” lighting.
When I boarded, I found my seat 2A with the leg support and foot extension fully deployed. A mechanic came on board to work on the seat which was not repairable at the gate. The mechanic forced the leg support and foot extension back into their takeoff position. These adjustments were disabled for the flight. During the flight, I reclined my seat back and that failed to power back to the upright position.
The Virgin A320 inflight entertainment (IFE) has seatback screens in economy and first class has video units that pull out from the center armrest. The new Alaska configuration will rely on streaming IFE to your device. Alaska does have entertainment tablets on long-haul flights for rent in economy and free for use in first class.
During the boarding process, we were offered tea, coffee or orange juice along with a bottle of water. Hot towels were served after we passed 10,000 feet after departure from Seattle.
This flight featured breakfast service of pumpkin cinnamon apple smoothie, fresh fruit and scone with a choice of:
- Breakfast Frittata with sausage and roasted red potatoes
- Breakfast bowl with poached egg, herb roasted potatoes with diced bacon, feta cheese and avocado (optional)
FOOD TIP: Use the Alaska app to preorder your main course selection from three weeks to 24 hours to flight time.
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan elite members receive chocolate bars from Seattle JCoCo chocolate.
Prior to Descent
Prior to decent, our flight attendant passed around the snack basket of fresh fruit and snacks.
The current Airbus IFE has route tracking with a time and distance to destination display.
This flight was typical of the first class service on Alaska Airlines. The only weakness was the tired, Virgin America first class seats which are long past their prime. The good news is that this aircraft will have a retrofit with the new Alaska first class seats with an increase of four additional seats in first class. This will certainly increase your chances of securing a first class upgrade by 50%.