Alaska Airlines Announces Havana Flights From 2017

Some links to products and travel providers on this website will earn Traveling For Miles a commission which helps contribute to the running of the site – I’m very grateful to anyone who uses these links but their use is entirely optional. The compensation does not impact how and where products appear on this site and does not impact reviews that are published.

Alaska Airlines is the only US airline to have been, provisionally, awarded the right to fly from the West Coast to Havana and the airline has now announced when it expects to begin that service (subject to Cuban government approval). Both American and Delta have already announced that they will be serving Havana from late November and the beginning of December respectively, but it looks like Alaska’s operations won’t be starting until early next year.

Alaska Airlines’ Los Angeles – Havana Service

Alaska has opened up reservations on its Los Angeles – Havana service which it is scheduled to start on 5 January 2017.

The airline plans to operate its daily non-stop service using 737-900 aircraft on the following schedule:

AS286 LAX 08:50 – 16:55 HAV
AS287 HAV 17:55 – 20:45 LAX

That puts the route at a little over 5 hours eastbound and a little under 6 hours westbound.

Alaska Airlines 737-900

Alaska Airlines flys its new 737-900 aircraft in a 2-cabin layout with 16 First Class seats….

alaska-airlines-737-900-first-class…and 165 regular Economy Class seats (click to enlarge):

alaska-airlines-737-900-economy-class

The first class seats are pretty standard recliner seats but it’s the Economy Class cabin that I think is worth a closer look.screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-08-49-03

If passengers are going to be on an aircraft for up to 6 hours than it’s pretty important that there is as much comfort as possible…and things don’t start out too well with 17″ wide seats.

But then things get better.

32″ of seat pitch is more than you get in a lot of transatlantic wide-body aircraft and is up to 2″ more than you get on Delta and United’s 737-900s.

737_900er_cabinAlaska Airlines 737-900 Economy Class Cabin

All seats come equipped with AC power:

cabin_exp3

And, although Alaska Airlines doesn’t provide setback entertainment screens, all the 737-900 come equipped with WiFi and Alaska provides some excellent entertainment options for travelers with their own devices.

cabin_exp4

Fares

Alaska has priced its Economy fares from $229 one-way from Los Angeles but it looks as if the return fare has been set slightly higher at $261.

I checked out a few months on Alaska’s website and, more often than not, the Economy Class fares were coming in at between $490 and $566 (round trip)

January

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-08-57-31

Marchscreen-shot-2016-09-28-at-08-58-08

Julyscreen-shot-2016-09-28-at-08-58-27

Business Class fares are, at the moment, stable at around $1,056 roundtrip:

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-08-57-44

All of these fares may well come down given a little time. American and Delta had some pretty horrific prices on their new Havana routes and, while the prices are still no bargain, they’re lower than when the routes were first announced.

Award Flights

Cost:

  • Economy Class 17,500 Miles one-way
  • Business Class 35,000 Miles one-way

At the time of writing Alaska doesn’t appear to have loaded any award inventory for its os Angeles – Havana route. You can always use ExpertFlyer to set up a few alerts so you’re one of the first to know when awards become available.

Find Airline Award & Upgrade availability

Bottom Line

As someone who spends a good deal of time on the west coast I’m going to be watching the fares on this route with interest. There’s no competition for Alaska on direct flights and limited competition for connecting flights so there isn’t much pressure on the airline to be generous with pricing…but we’ll just have to wait and see how things play out.

In the long run, if prices don’t change too much, 35,000 miles for a roundtrip economy class award may come to look like reasonable value. At current pricing passengers would be getting a return of between 1.4 cents and 1.6 cents per mile and, while that’s not exactly fantastic, it may be a more palatable option than opening up your wallet…especially if you’re travelling as a family.

Featured image courtesy of Bryan Ledgard via Flickr

1 COMMENT

Comments are closed.