Trip Report: Alaska Airlines first class Portland to Anchorage

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01. Introduction: San Diego to Anchorage on Alaska Airlines
02. Alaska Airlines first class San Diego to Portland
03. Alaska Airlines first class Portland to Anchorage
04. Comfort Suites Anchorage Airport
05. A day and a half around Anchorage
06. Alaska Airlines Board Room Anchorage
07. Alaska Airlines first class Anchorage to Seattle
08. Alaska Airlines first class Seattle to San Diego

As far as connections go, this one couldn’t have been any better. It was quick and easy, and I literally went from one plane to another (with a quick bathroom break on the way). No lines, no excessive walking, and no waiting. Woo hoo!

alaska airlines terminal at PDX

Inside concourse C at PDX

The flight up to ANC was departing out of gate C4, and boarding was already underway once I arrived.

Gate C4 at PDX

Gate C4 at PDX

AS 131
Portland, OR (PDX) – Anchorage, AK (ANC)
Saturday June 7 2014
Aircraft: Boeing 737-700
Seat: 3A (first)

Alaska Airlines 737-700 N618AS illustration

Alaska Airlines 737-700 N618AS

Alaska Airlines 737-700 N618AS

This is the Alaska Airlines 737-700 that will be taking me up to ANC today

Walking down the jetway

Walking down the jetway to board AS 131 to ANC

I had seat 3A once again, but this time it was on a 737-700. And once again, this was a last-minute equipment swap. This flight was scheduled to be be a 737-400, which I admit I was looking forward to due to the fact that those are the next to be retired from the Alaska fleet. But just like the -400, this -700 was equipped with 3 rows of first class seats – one less row than the -800 I just came off of.

first class seats

Alaska Airlines 737-700 first class seats

seat 3a

A closer look at seat 3A (my seat for this flight)

My first impression upon sitting down was how run-down this aircraft was. Seriously – the first class cabin looked old and worn out with scratched surfaces, and nearly-ripped seats. This plane had put some miles behind her, that’s for sure.

alaska 737-700 first class leg room

Leg room in first class on the Alaska Airlines 737-700 – with seats in terrible condition.

First class was full (as expected), and a 16-person wedding party group boarded right before the doors closed. Of course they would be sitting in the first few rows of economy, so let’s just say that I wasn’t expecting any peace and quiet on this flight. It wasn’t obnoxious, but all the talking and laughing was distracting even before we pushed back from the gate.

full first class cabin

First class cabin

alaska airlines 737 at PDX

The view out the window right before we pushed back. PDX is AS country!

We departed gloomy Portland right on schedule, and sorry – I didn’t take pics of the departure for three reasons: first, it was a really dull and gray day so there wasn’t much to look at. Second, there was a huge condensation spot right in the center of my window. And third, the teen kid sitting next to me in 3B was glued to the window as well so I felt a bit awkward taking pics. Trust me – there wasn’t much to see anyway.

climbing out of PDX

Climbing out of the Portland area right before the beverage service began

The beverage service began within 10 minutes of departure, and not once was I addressed by name. That’s not a big deal to me or anything, but I just noticed it as an inconsistency from the last flight. And somehow, that group of 16 got the pilot to mention them in his welcome announcement as soon as we leveled off.

beverage service

Beverage service started while I was working on this trip report (notice the iPad)

Lunch was chicken with penne pasta in some sort of tomato-based sauce, and I couldn’t help but to be reminded of cafeteria food as I ate it. It wasn’t terrible, but the pictures of Alaska Airlines first class food I’ve seen in other trip reports must have somehow elevated my expectations a wee bit unrealistically. It was certainly good enough as a mid-day meal, but nothing I would pay more than $5 for.

first class lunch

Alaska Airlines first class pasta and chicken lunch

I spent the rest of the flight trying to nap as best as I could, but it was difficult with all the conversation going on around me. There aren’t any dividers between economy and first class besides a curtain, and those people in the first few rows of economy were quite lively. The two guys ahead of me also struck up a conversation at about this time, so my nap was not very satisfying. To make things just a touch more frustrating, all that condensation in my window had frozen solid so the view was fuzzy as we descended into the Anchorage area.

window covered in frozen condensation

A frosted window ruined my chances of getting any nice pics in-flight

clouds over alaska

The ice on the window eventually thawed out as we descended into ANC, but it was pretty gloomy out there…

Last but not least, the teen boy sitting next to me was trying as best he could to get a view out of the other (good) window in our row so taking pics was difficult. Oh well – I was happy to be arriving in Alaska!

approaching Anchorage

Dirty aircraft windows and an overcast arrival didn’t give me much of an opportunity for nice arrival pics.

We touched down on 7L about 10 minutes ahead of schedule concluding what was a noisy (but otherwise good) flight up from PDX.

ANC gates

I made it to Alaska! This was the view out the window as I waited to get off the aircraft.

alaska 737-700 at ANC

Love the cargo birds off in the distance here in ANC. This is a shot of the AS 737-700 that brought me up from PDX.

ANC C concourse

Walking through the C concourse upon arrival at ANC

How the heck am I able to fly in business class all the time?

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