Just took a quick trip from my home in Tucson to visit family in Seattle. Itinerary:
May 2 - AS Flight 739 TUS-SEA
May 5 - AS Flight 738 TUS-SJC-SEA
Some observations on the trip and Alaska Airlines in general...
- Web check-in is great...if you don't have baggage to check, you don't need to come in contact with ANY airport personnel until you actually board the flight.
- Alaska Airlines airport staff at both TUS and SEA are very efficient and friendly. Maybe their workload is reduced by the large number of electronic check-in machines Alaska uses.
- B737-400 (used for all legs) - pretty comfortable the way AS configures it...they have a pleasant blue, grey and gold interior and above-average coach legroom. However, they don't have any entertainment, which is too bad, because TUS-SEA is over 3 hrs long. There are blank metal plates on the armrests where the stereos would be...maybe they used to have them? I know people like to rag on Alaska for maintenance, but all of the planes I flew on at least LOOKED like they were in good shape.
- Service on AS is very good. Even on our 1hr 30 min flight between San Jose and Tucson, we were served a sandwich and cookies, with 2 drink services (whole can too!) The crews were very professional and friendly. On the meal tray, there is a little card with an Old Testament verse...a neat idea!! Flights were not full, so I had a whole row coming back from SEA with all the benefits of both window AND aisle.
- San Jose was an interesting stopover--we taxiied right by a modern (pink!) terminal full of AA and Southwest planes and pulled up to a Greyhound-looking thing complete with exterior airstairs! Guess all of the "nobody" airlines are still using the old terminal. Didn't get off the plane so I can't comment on the interior. Last time I was inside San Jose airport was in 1992.
- Weather was gorgeous both ways. Got a spectacular view of Mt Rainier on the way up, and Mt Shasta, Golden Gate Bridge, and San Francisco on the way home. A little turbulence around Tuscon because of the heat, but nothing terrible.
In conclusion, another good trip on Alaska. Next week, I will be venturing down to Paraguay and back via AA. THAT should be quite a report.