I’ve been looking forward to this trip in a while now. My last long haul trip was the weekend getaway in Sao Paulo, which has been a few months. So I’m totally overdue for my next journey.
I had to take a positioning flight from Washington to Los Angeles to catch my international flight the next day. Initially, I redeemed 12500 miles on American Airlines in the economy. But when I found a pretty cheap ticket on Alaska Airlines, I canceled my AA reservation and decided to pay cash for it.
In this series:
- Alaska Airlines Economy Class A320 Washington to Los Angeles
- Crowne Plaza Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Qantas First Lounge at Los Angeles International (LAX)
- American Airlines Flagship Lounge at Los Angeles International (LAX)
- American Airlines Business Class 787-9 Los Angeles to Shanghai
- Cathay Pacific Lounge at Shanghai Pudong (PVG)
- Cathay Dragon Economy Class A321 Shanghai to Hong Kong
- Cathay Pacific The Wing First Class Lounge at Hong Kong International (HKG)
- Cathay Pacific The Pier First Class Lounge at Hong Kong International (HKG)
- Cathay Pacific Economy Class 777-300 Hong Kong to Manila
- Cebu Pacific Economy Class ATR72 Manila to Busuanga (Round-Trip)
- Al Faro Cosmio Hotel Coron
- Island Adventure: Coron, Palawan
- Turkish Airlines Business Class 777-300ER Manila to Istanbul
- Touristanbul – Free Istanbul City Tour Sponsored by Turkish Airlines
- Turkish Airlines Business Class 777-300ER Istanbul to Los Angeles
Flight Number: AS1097
Route: Washington (IAD) – Los Angelese (LAX)
Schedule: 17:00 – 19:55
Duration: 5h 55m
Aircraft Type: A320
Cabin: Economy Class
Date: November 20, 2019
Alaska’s Saver Economy is basically an economy class ticket with some basic restrictions. I paid a little bit over $100 for this flight. Not only it was a reasonable price, but I was also able to snag an aisle seat at the time of booking.
I arrived at Washington Dulles Airport (IAD) at 4 PM. With just 30 minutes to spare before boarding, I stopped by the Turkish Airlines Lounge to grab dinner, knowing I wouldn’t get fed on my flight. Two plates of grilled chicken and lamb meatballs, and two pieces of baklavas later, I dragged my full tummy to gate 65.
Right off the bat, I got a different vibe when interacting with Alaska’s agents. With my saver economy fare, I was one of the last passengers to board (Group E). The gate agent who scanned the boarding pass took her time to make eye contact and call each passenger by name.
Upon boarding, I found my self at seat 29D. The aircraft that took me to Los Angeles tonight was an Airbus A320 ex Virgin America. Surprisingly, there was still plenty of overhead space available. As soon as I sat, I noticed the difference right away. The seat is very comfortable and well padded. The legroom is pretty decent, granted I’m not a tall person. I have about 4 inches legroom between my knee and the seat in front of me.
We pushed back at 4:59 PM, taxied, and we rolled down the runway. Beyond that, it was an uneventful flight. The beverage cart was rolled out about an hour after we were airborne. The in-flight service was almost like an assembly line. The crews were okay – not exceptionally friendly, but they were not rude either. It’s just what I would expect from US airlines.
The flying time was 5 hours and 11 minutes. I spent a few hours working and catching up with some articles to post in the next couple of days. At the same time, I was trying to wear my self out so that I could sleep on my 14-hour journey to Shanghai.
Overall, I am impressed with what Alaska Airlines has to offer. I didn’t think that I would feel comfortable flying a transcontinental flight in economy. I also believe that the attitude of the employees set the tone and made a difference.
I’m sad that Alaska will eventually retrofit their ex Virgin’s A320 planes, because not only these seats are very comfortable, but also an excellent product overall. I wouldn’t hesitate flying Alaska Airlines again, even in the economy.