While this flight was from San Diego to Honolulu, I am sure it is typical of Alaska’s service from the Mainland to Hawaii. Alaska now averages 38 flights a day from the Mainland to four cities in Hawaii (Honolulu, Kona, Lihue, Kahului). As usual out of San Diego (and maybe all Alaska flights), boarding started 40 minutes before the flight and the doors were closed 10 minutes prior to our scheduled departure time. This 737-900 had 16 seats in First Class (they use same planes to Hawaii as the rest of their routes). I was in 3C and there was plenty of leg room. There was a menu at the seat, which I thought was a nice touch. A pre flight drink (including a Mai Tai) was offered. After a short taxi, we were airborne 10 minutes ahead of schedule.
After take-off the flight attendants came for drink orders and passed out digEplayers (free for first class, $10 in economy). There were several movie options on the digEplayer ranging from recent releases to classics as well as many TV shows and documentaries. In addition, there are also music and CD selections available. The digEplayers are a nice touch and provides a nice distraction for a 5.5 hour flight. The one drawback to a digEplayer from seat back or overhead video is it is hard to find a place to watch while the meal is being served.
After the drinks were served and digEplayer passed out the flight attendant took our orders. There was a menu on the seat when we boarded and the choice was either Teriyaki Chicken or Cod. Despite taking this flight within the last 3 weeks I somehow can not remember if there was anything served with the initial beverage serving (I think maybe cashews, but my not remembering that probably means there were no nuts served).
It was a good hour into the flight before the appetizer was finally served. A very tasty piece of cold pork with a warm Hawaiian Roll. The bread was very good and I wish they had come around with more rolls.
Shortly after the appetizer was removed the main dish was served. I had the chicken and it not only looked good, it tasted good. It came with asparagus and rice. I would have liked the rice a little more without the pineapple, but it was tasty and very moist. The other entree (Cod) also looked appealing as well. As the menu says the wines served were from California and Washington.
Following dinner a nice brownie with vanilla ice cream was served. Of all the flights I have ever taken I can never remember such a simple but tasty dessert. The photo below does not do the brownie justice. It was surprisingly fresh and moist. A very nice way to end the meal.
After finishing dessert and the movie I was watching, I asked for a blanket and pillow. I was disappointed to find out that neither were available (one of the wrong ways airlines try to save money). I started to do a puzzle and fell asleep for more than two hours. So unfortunately, I can not say if there was any additional service after dinner. The flight attendant did come by and made a comment about a Mai Tai, which makes me believe I missed something. There was still 40 minutes left in the flight, but they had already taken the digEplayers back (also a little disappointing as I could have watched a 22 minute TV show/sit-com in that time).
Before landing a nice warm towel was given which was refreshing. I always like the warm towel before landing as opposed to after take off (actually I prefer both). The flight landed 20 minutes early and after a short taxi we were at the gate 15 minutes ahead of schedule. We arrived in the area for gates 14-23 so it was a little walk to baggage claim. After the walk and a quick bathroom stop the luggage arrived within a few minutes of reaching baggage claim (made me very happy).
I had never flown Alaska Airlines to Hawaii (or any of their long haul routes) before this flight. So I did not know what to expect. I must say for the most part I was pleased and would fly them again. The service was good (although one of the flight attendants was a little snarly) and the food was excellent. Having the use of the digEplayer is also a big plus. The 737 would not be my first choice of aircraft on a 5-6 hour flight, but outside of no pillow, it was a very comfortable flight.
For a review of Alaska Airlines First Class service to Mexico, please visit; http://patstravelreviews.com/?p=490