Alaska Airlines Fleet & Seats
Alaska Airlines Rating: Reviewed by Airreview from 22 flights with 88 photos.
Alaska Airlines, as you might expect of an airline that flies out of Boeing's base in Seattle, has an all-Boeing 737 fleet. The fleet it relatively modern, with an average age of 9 years.
However this 'all 737' fleet is very much a new thing: for many years Alaska Airlines loved the McDonnell Douglas MD-80s , and it was really only the Alaska Airlines Flight 261 disaster, when an MD-83, plunged into the Pacific Ocean near Los Angeles International Airport that stopped the rise of the 'Mad Dogs' as the aircraft were known. The disaster was found to be caused by the failure of a jackscrew assembly on the tailplane, cause by Alaska Airlines extended lubrication and inspection intervals.
Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-400 & 737-800
The Boeing 737 is the mainstay - and indeed the only aircraft - of Alaska Airlines' routes, from short domestic hops to long flights over the Pacific. Make no mistake however, there are definitely good and bad 737s to take.
Alaska Airlines fly both very old 737-400, the modern 737-800 and the brand new 737-900 types. The 800 model is definitely the aircraft of choice, particularly in business, or if you are on a longer flight. Some of the 400 models are being converted to 800 models, with a new style cabin - these can be distinguished by the filled in 'eyebrow' windows above the main windscreen.
There are 24 of the 737-400 variant tends to be used for short hops, with only two rows in business class, and overhead CRT monitors. However on the 737-400, Alaska Airlines provide full sized first seats in a 2-2 layout in the front cabin with three rows - which is separated from the 3-3 formation in economy (coach) class.
The 737-800 aircraft, the newest variant, is used on the longer routes such as over the USA, to Mexico, and is also used on some routes over the Pacific. It can be distinguished from the older version by seemingly outsized wingtiplets, and is by far a better choice than taking the old 737-400. There are 61 of the 737-800 with four rows in first class. Normally row 1 is blocked except for the most frequent of flyers. If you are in the 737-800 in First, and you manage to snag the first you should sit on the right in 1DEF. Here there is a small alcove in the front wall low down, which gives an extra three inches of legroom.
The very latest of the new version of Alaska Airlines 737-900 are in effect a 'stretched' verison, and while theyu still have 16 passengers in First (with four rows) they now have 156 customers down the back in cattle class, instead of the 141 of the 737-800s. Boarding can take quite some time.
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