Alaska Airlines

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Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is the seventh largest major carrier in the United States, in terms of passenger traffic. The company offered its service as Alaska Airlines for the first time in 1944, but the airline has its origins in McGee Airways, a company that was formed in 1932. Even though Alaska Airlines suggests that they only service the northernmost destination in the United States, Alaska Airways has over 100 destinations in the 48 contiguous states, Canada, Mexico, and four of the Hawaiian Islands. In fact, they have its largest hub at the Seattle-Tacoma Airport. Alaska Airlines also does well with customer satisfaction. For the seventh year in the row, JD Power and Associates ranked Alaska Airlines as the highest in customer satisfaction in 2014. While Alaska Airlines maintains independence from the major airline alliances, it does have codeshare agreements with some of the major airlines, including Delta and British Airways.

 

Rank Chart Our Score User Score
#1 8.4 8.8 Read Review
#2 7.8 5.7 Read Review
#3 7.5 8.5 Read Review
#4 7.3 8.2 Current

The Good

  • Incentive program
  • Interent
  • Pricing
  • Food and beverage
  • Entertainment
  • On-time percentage

First of all, we really liked Club 49, the incentive program for customers who were flying to and from Alaska. Every year, Club 49 members get a certificate for 30% off a one-way flight to or from Alaska. You also get two free checked bags with Alaska Airlines, as well as exclusive deals. We reviewed other major carriers, such as Hawaiian Airlines, and couldn't find a similar rewards program.

We found that the Gogo Internet service with Alaska Airlines was affordable. A similar carrier that we reviewed, Hawaiian Airlines, did not have Wi-Fi in the bulk of its planes as of this time.

We found that prices were a little high across the board with a few exceptions. A one-way ticket from Seattle to Las Vegas cost $99. Alaska Air also expedites the baggage claim process. If your luggage is not at the claim within 20 minutes, you can get a $25 voucher to use towards your next ticket.

We also felt like Alaska Airlines did a good job of providing affordable food and beverages to its coach customers. Most of the meals that we saw for coach clients were priced from $6 to $7, which is slightly cheaper than some of the other carriers we reviewed. However, we did find that Hawaiian Airlines offers free meals for flights that are longer than six hours, something that Alaska does not have. Starbucks Coffee is also available on Alaska Airlines as part of their complimentary beverage service. 

We had some questions during our phone-in about the in-flight tablet rental. Initially we weren't sure if movies cost extra, but through our conversation we found out they were included with the rental. We liked how the R-rated movies were edited for the presence of younger customers.

According to Flightstats.com, Alaska Airlines flights are on-time roughly 86%. This is above average when compared to select other top airlines.

The Bad

  • Oversized customers clause
  • Rewards plan
  • Planes

We took some offense to the "oversized customers" clause of Alaska Airlines' seating policy. We felt like some overweight or larger customers may be turned off by the tone of language on the part of their website. It also emphasized that Alaska Airlines has the right to re-seat a client or boot them from a flight if they hadn't booked a second seat. Delta made it somewhat easier for customers and even suggested that a first class seat might be better for a "larger" customer. We would like to see Alaska Airlines be a little bit more sensitive to the needs of its larger customers and make it easier for them to purchase a second seat while reminding them that they are still valued customers.

We did have some concerns with the two-year activity clause on the mileage reward plan. One customer did have a complaint about the inactivity on their account leading to its deactivation.

We also had some concerns with the lack of wide-body planes. The Boeing 737, while a comfortable plane, lacks the comfort of larger Airbuses and larger Boeing aircraft, such as the 767.

The Bottom Line

We recommend Alaska Airlines wholeheartedly. We also liked the fact that while their planes didn't have TVs on each seat, they made it possible for customers to access great movies and other options via an affordable tablet. Another great feature of this company was that they want customers to get their baggage quickly at the claim, offering a $25 voucher if the bags are not off the plane within 20 minutes.

126 Alaska Airlines Reviews

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  • User Score

    7

    June 15th, 2017

    I have been a long time Alaska Airlines customer. In the past I would have ranked them a 10. My issue is not service related, I still rank the employees as a 10. It's aircraft related, not the airframes. It's the seatting used in the new birds. I didn't know Recaro could manufacture a seat so uncomfortable.. other airlines are using the same seat with padding. I'm assuming someone in corporate had the bright idea of saving weight by opting for seats without padding.. While others in the airline industry continue to strive for customer comport, alaska seams to be doing the opposite.

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  • User Score

    7

    June 12th, 2017 Salt Lake City, UT

    Flying with them is so scary. Their planes are are so old and shake a lot while traveling. However their prices are great if you are on the budget. The customer service is usually great as well.

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  • User Score

    8

    June 5th, 2017

    I've always enjoyed the service from the friendly attendants.

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  • User Score

    8

    May 31st, 2017 Salt Lake City, UT

    If I need cheap tickets I always look on the Alaska Airlines. They are great at providing great service at low prices. However, their planes are super old and really loud.

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  • User Score

    7

    May 31st, 2017 Salt Lake City, UT

    Honestly I don't know if there is much of a difference between Alaska and Delta. I have never really had problem with them but they seem like the "not as nice" version of Delta. Typically can't go wrong with them though. I'll give them a 7 because I've never been on a plane that seemed nice and updated.

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  • User Score

    10

    May 31st, 2017 Draper, UT

    Was flying Alaska with my wife a couple of months ago and we just had coach tickets. We were standing in line at the gate waiting to board the plane and one of the Alaska employees working at the desk randomly pulled us over and upgrades us to first class right there! It was awesome.

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  • User Score

    0

    May 15th, 2017 Tampa, FL

    First delays and overbooking and requesting volunteers to give up their seats for $200 and a hotel stay!! then no AC while waiting inside the plane ... then engine issue while we were about to fly so we had to return back to the gate which took forever also .... then wait again in airplane with no AC while they figure out the issue ... then reboard and more delays .... reached home by 2am instead of original plan of 10pm

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  • User Score

    10

    May 10th, 2017

    Alaska Airlines is the class of the skies in North America. The staff are friendly and work very hard to make sure you are comfortable and cared for during flights. Checkin is easy and luggage is seldom lost. The mileage plan is fabulous and easy to use. Alaska Airlines has recently upgraded in flight service and there are several food options on every flight. With nonstop flights to virtually ever major U.S. city, I will not fly any other airline in North America. This gold level member LOVES Alaska Airlines.

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  • User Score

    10

    May 8th, 2017 Grover Beach, CA

    I love Alaska Airlines. There customer service on the ground and in the air is polite, kind, considerate, and professional. They are on time and even early occasionally. Baggage was delivered to the baggage area within twenty minutes after arrival, both in Seattle and San Luis Obispo. Anytime I have flown on Alaska Airlines their customer service has been great . Alaska Airlines is rated#1 in customer service, safety, and maintenence. I enjoy travelling with them and will use them as my carrier when ever possible!

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  • User Score

    2

    April 5th, 2017 Anchorage, AK

    Joined alaska club 49 and called customer service. They said everything is set and I will get 2 free checked bag. When it was time to fly, I was charge 100 dollar for 4 bag because they couldn't verify my address. I am flying in 1 hour and they wanted me to call customer service again to fix this???? I am not even happy at all.

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  • User Score

    10

    August 26th, 2015 Anchorage, AK

    I think Alaska Airlines helps a lot of customer in and out of Alaska. For me I am Alaskan and at times I can get reasonable travel deals so I can take a break from my job. Than helps me see how a company really works to benefit the people Customer service is fast and friendly

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  • User Score

    10

    August 26th, 2015 Othello, WA

    We use Alaska Airlines whenever we can because the experience is always good and everyone is friendly. We fly to Alaska every summer and feel that the price is better with Alaska Airlines. We also like the 20 minute baggage claim guarantee.

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  • User Score

    10

    August 26th, 2015 North Port, FL

    We just got home from Seattle. That was our first time being on Alaska Airlines from Tampa. In all we were up and down 4 times because we also took a short flight to Alaska. Not one time in any airport or plane did we have a bad experience. On the contrary, the flight attendants and CSA's were all wonderful, smiling, attentive and just plain nice. There were a few that were fabulous! We cannot wait to get back to Seattle. There was only one thing I didn't care for and that was so many passengers stowing large bags overhead and coming on with way over what they were supposed to have and then taking other people's spots in the overhead.

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  • User Score

    10

    August 24th, 2015 Federal Way, WA

    when possible I always use Alaska, they are on time and the people are very friendly

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  • User Score

    3

    August 23rd, 2015 Walla Walla, WA

    Personally, I will never fly Alaska again. It was too hot in the cabin, the seats are too small and too close together for any leg room at all. It was a 5 1/2 hr. flight to Maui from WA state. My friend and I were miserable the entire trip.

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  • User Score

    0

    August 23rd, 2015 Kalispell, MT

    I purchased the tickets first class so we could get seats and they did not even seat my husband and I beside each other and wouldn't change them. We had to ask the passengers if they would be kind enough to trade places.

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  • User Score

    10

    August 22nd, 2015 Scotts Valley, CA

    I got a Alaskan Airlines Visa and receive a lot of benefits such as first bag free, mileage and an annual companion ticket. We have homes in Hawaii and travel with a small toy poodle. I love it that I can bring poodle Pele on board with me. Alaskan is the only airline that allows pets onboard to Hawaii. All other airlines make you check your animal into cargo with high fees. There is a perfect flight for us from San Jose to Kona. Yay ALaskan.

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  • User Score

    4

    August 22nd, 2015 Wasilla, AK

    Alaska has been my airlines for 49 years, but they need to stop making less room for the passengers to sit in. They also should not have so many special classes of passengers when it comes to seating folks. If you are just a regular, paying passenger you must wait for one special group after another to board. Jet Blue and others are getting away from this method of boarding. I can understand boarding those with special needs and perhaps even first class, that pay extra for this classification, but all the other groups makes no sense to those of us who just fly when we can and pay the price to do so, but must wait and wait while these other "special" folks board and take the luggage space up.

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  • User Score

    10

    August 22nd, 2015 Lakewood, WA

    Love Alaska Airlines. They have the best service from Seattle to San Diego and back of anyone. Wouldn't travel another airline for that trip!

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  • User Score

    1

    August 21st, 2015 Gloucester, MA

    This is the worst airlines that I've flown. they give you nothing and the seats are crowded. They pack you in like sardines. take my world for it THIS AIRLINES SUCKS

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