I have returned from my Alaska trip. I had trouble getting out of RIC on 12/25 because planes couldn't get in the night before due to icing. There were all kinds of planes there Christmas Day to get people out of there, including a Delta Shuttle 727 to Atlanta. I also had trouble getting from LAX to ORD because of heavy winds at ORD. We were 4 hours late getting in, causing me to miss my connection to RIC and having to spend the night at ORD. Thank goodness for the O'Hare Hilton.
Here are the aircraft I flew, and below that, my impressions of the service and aircraft.
12/25 RIC-IAD UA 6487 Jetstream 41 N327UE
12/25 IAD-LAX UA 57 DC-10-10 N1834U
12/26 LAX-SEA AS 513 MD-83 N958AS
12/26 SEA-ANC-FAI AS 97 MD-83 N982AS
12/27 FAI-ANC AS 144 B737-210C N743AS
12/28 ANC-SEA AS 98 B737-4Q8 N782AS
12/28 SEA-LAS AS 634 MD-83 N979AS
12/29 LAS-LAX HA 3 DC-10-10 N125AA
12/29 LAX-ORD UA 952 DC-10-30CF N1858U
12/30 ORD-ORF-RIC UA 1198 B737-291 N993UA
Overall, service was excellent on all flights. I noticed on Alaska 737-400s, there were 3 flight attendants on a meal flight, and on United 737-200s, there were 4 flight attendants for a meal flight.
The Hawaiian DC-10 had 10 flight attendants, while the United DC-10s had 8.
Nicest aircraft interior: The Hawaiian DC-10. The seats had a pattern which made them look like a royal blue or a violet mist, with lavender trim on the overhead bins and royal blue carpet on bulkheads with the Hawaiian logo embossed on them.
Most comfortable seats: Hawaiian DC-10 and Alaska MD-80 and B737-400.
Most Uncomfortable seats: The J41. They were so narrow they couldn't have armrests, or people wouldn't be able to fit in them. Also, the pallatized seating in the Alaska 737-200C made the seats too high. My eyes were above the level of the windows, making me have to scrunch way down to see out.
Funniest flight attendant: Wally on Alaska Airlines. I had him twice and his announcements were hilarious. For example, on deploying spoilers and brakes on landing at Fairbanks, he let out on the intercom with a loud "Whoa, big fella!"
Interesting tidbit: It was announced that our captain on UA 952 was flying his last flight.
Another interesting tidbit. I saw my first 777. It was a Continental, parked next to my United DC-10 at LAX.