Alaska Airlines to introduce Premium Class

By the end of 2016, Alaska Airlines plans to have retrofitted up to 60 aircraft with a Premium Class section, allowing the carrier to offer perks including priority boarding and three to four inches more legroom (35”) compared with a standard economy seat (31/32”).Alaska plans to retrofit the remainder of its 737-800, -900 and -900ER fleet with Premium Class by the end of 2017. To make room for the product while maintaining pitch in the main cabin, the airline will reconfigure and reduce the number of seats available on some aircraft.The upgrade option will also be available on Embraer 175s operated by SkyWest, which are configured with 12 seats in the Premium Class section. Preferred Plus seating, currently available for purchase at check-in for bulkhead and exit rows, will continue to be offered on Alaska’s 737-400s and -700s.“Premium Class will provide an opportunity for all customers to get an enhanced flight experience,” averred Andrew Harrison, executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Alaska Airlines. “We are listening to our customers and they have told us that more personal space and extra perks are a priority.”The upgrade option will be available to Alaska Airlines elite Mileage Plan members on a complimentary basis at booking or day of travel dependent on status and fare purchased.Also, the airline has confirmed that seat pitch in the First Class cabin will be increased from 36” to 41”.

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