Trip Report: Alaska Airlines first class Seattle to San Diego

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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

This is it. The last segment on this trip, and so far, I’ve found Alaska Airlines first class to be inconsistent at best. I don’t mean that in a bad way (all flights have been pleasant so far) but if I didn’t know what airline I was flying, I would guess that they’ve all been different so far.

My flight from ANC arrived at the N terminal, and I was lucky that the flight down to SAN would be departing from there as well. N is actually separated from the main terminal, requiring a quick train ride to switch between the two. If there was a Boardroom in that terminal, I would have paid a visit – but I had some business voicemail/email to attend to that was a higher priority,and I needed to deal with that first before I went off exploring. By the time I wrapped up what I needed to do, there wasn’t any time to go to the main terminal to find the lounge. Not a big deal though – it’s usually at this point in my trips where I’m just tired of being in an airport anyway and my sense of adventure is low. So I just found a semi-quiet spot to wait until boarding was called (which is hard to do in the N concourse – it’s a busy place).

AS 490
Seattle, WA (SEA) – San Diego, CA (SAN)
Monday June 9 2014
Aircraft: Boeing 737-700
Seat: 3F (first)

Alaska Airlines 737-700 N627AS illustration

Alaska Airlines 737-700 N627AS

The flight down to SAN would be departing out of gate N10, and by the time they started boarding I was super-anxious to get going.

AS 737-700 parked at gate N10 at SEA

The Alaska Airlines 737-700 that would take me to San Diego

gate N10 in Seattle

Boarding at gate N10 in Seattle

I was the last person in first class to board the plane, and I could tell right away as I was walking onboard that the gentleman seated in the seat next to mine was a talker. He just had that figgity vibe to him – you know…the kind of restlessness that looks like they are just dying to talk to somebody. The introvert in me sensed this immediately, so I dug my earbuds out of my pocket and put them in even before sitting down. Problem averted!

Alaska Airlines 737-700 first class cabin

Alaska Airlines 737-700 first class cabin as seen from seat 3F

AS 737-700 first class leg room

Leg room was exactly the same as it was on the last AS 737-700 I flew. Go figure…

Pushing back from gate N10

Pushing back from gate N10

We departed on runway 34R, with a semi-decent view of the Seattle area on the climb-out. Heck, any day in Seattle where you can see the sun is a good day in my book. The funny thing about that is that it’s always been sunny every time I’ve flown through SEA in the past – I’ve never seen this place cloudy, and I’m starting to believe that everyone who says it rains a lot here is full of crap. 🙂

departure out of SEA

Looking down on the Alaska Airlines Salmon Thirty Salmon as we depart out of SEA

sunny skies around seattle

Beautiful day in Seattle!

volcanos around the pacific northwest

The great weather made for some really great views of the scenery below

Drink orders and hot towel service started out the flight, though this time there was only one flight attendant working the cabin. I guess that’s not totally shocking as this is a smaller 737-700 with only three rows of first class.

Alaska Airlines first class snack

A light snack while working on this trip report at 36,000ft

Lunch was pretty good. It was some sort of southwest style make-your-own chicken wrap thing, and it was actually quite good. And reasonably healthy too – which was exactly what I was looking for.

Lunch - quite tasty, actually!

Lunch – quite tasty, actually!

With over an hour and a half still left to go after lunch, I petty much did a repeat of my previous flight: I worked on this trip report for a bit and then put it away to catch a quick nap. I eventually woke up just as we were overflying Los Angeles, and I was bummed to see that the marine layer was quite thick along the southern California coastline. Kind of funny to think that it was sunny in Seattle when I left, but cloudy in southern California for my arrival!

Overflying Los Angeles

Overflying Los Angeles with the marine layer about to blanket the city

The approach into SAN was typical: descend along the coastline until Del Mar / La Jolla, then turn inland before making the big final right hand turn into SAN for a runway 27 arrival. The only pics I got of that approach were downright gloomy:

Just about to drop into the clouds

Just about to drop into the clouds right before making the final big right hand turn for SAN

cloudy san diego approach

Where’s the sun? It’s not often I return home to a gloomy and gray San Diego

AS 737=700

One final look at the aircraft I flew in from SEA on, just as I was walking out of the terminal

And that wraps up this short 3-day trip up to Alaska and back. It was sure nice to get away for a few days, but at the same time I wish that I could have spent some more time up there to relax and look around. I’ll get my chance again though – probably next year at about the same time. And I’ll be sure to take my wife with me…