HomeAirlinesAlaska AirlinesAlaska Airlines announces two new coast-to-coast routes

Alaska Airlines announces two new coast-to-coast routes

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Alaska Airlines is probably best known for being a West Coast carrier specializing in flights out of the Pacific Northwest, but it has some transcontinental routes too and starting this winter, two new coast to coast routes will be added to the airline’s schedules.

Today, 15 June 2023, Alaska Airlines has announced that the Winter 2023/24 season will see it operating two new routes between the coasts as well as a new shorter, more local route as well.

Alaska’s new transcon flights

Portland – Miami

On 17 November 2023, Alaska Airlines will offer its second service to Miami when it launches its Portland – Miami route using Boeing 737 aircraft (the airline has served Miami from Seattle for almost exactly a year).

The currently published schedules show that this will be a daily service and that the flight times (for winter season) look like this:

AS441 PDX 22:00 – 06:40+1 day MIA (Daily)
AS440 MIA 08:00 – 11:45 PDX (Daily)

Alaska Airlines will be using a Boeing 737-900 aircraft to operate this route and details of what seating this aircraft offers can be found later in this article.

Palm Springs – New York JFK

This winter will also see Alaska Airlines launch a seasonal service between Palm Springs and New York JFK, and while the airline’s email announcement didn’t bother to furnish us with the dates that the new route will operate, and ExpertFlyer sears suggests that it will launch on 14 December 2023 and will end on 22 April 2024.

As things stand, this is what the published schedule looks like:

AS462 PSP 14:25 – 23:05 JFK (Daily)
AS461 JFK 09:00 – 12:20 PSP (Daily)

Alaska Airlines will be using a Boeing 737-900 aircraft to operate this route and details of what seating this aircraft offers can be found below.

The aircraft

The seat maps currently loaded in the booking systems show that the 737-900s that will be operating these two route will offer the following cabin configuration:

  • First Class – 12 seats
  • Premium Cabin – 24 seats
  • Economy Cabin – up to 135 seats

This configuration doesn’t appear to match any of the cabin configurations published by Alaska Airlines, but based on what we know about the airlines regular 737-900s, it’s probably relatively safe to assume the following seat dimensions:

  • First Class – Pitch 41″/Width 21″
  • Premium Cabin – Pitch 35″/Width 17″
  • Economy Cabin – Pitch 31″/Width 17″

That makes the First Class cabin nice and spacious, the Premium Cabin acceptable (for those of us who aren’t overly wide), and the Economy Class cabin (with just 31″ of pitch) incredibly tight for flights that could take way over 5 or even 6 hours (Miami – Portland is blocked at 6 hours 45 minutes and JFK – Palm Springs is blocked at 6 hours 20 minutes).

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to spend over 5 hours on a red-eye flight (PDX-MIA) stuck in a seat that has 31″ of pitch and 17″ of width unless I absolutely had no other choice.

Alaska’s new route to Vegas

As well as announcing two new transcontinental routes today, Alaska Airlines has also said that it plans to launch a daily route between San Luis Obispo and Las Vegas later this year.

Once again, the information provided by the airline didn’t include details about when the route would launch and when it would end, but assuming ExpertFlyer is right, the first flights will depart on 14 December 2023 and the last flights will depart on 10 April 2024.

AS3362 SBP 09:00 – 10:14 LAS (Daily)*
AS3479 LAS 19:55 – 21:18 SBP (Daily)

*At some point in the schedule, this flight number changes to AS3361

These flights will be operated by SkyWest Airlines as AlaskaSkyWest using Embraer ERJ 175.

Per the seat maps on the Alaska Airlines website, the ERJ175 offers 12 First Class seats in a 1-2 layout, 12 Premium Class seats in a 2-2 layout, and 52 regular Economy Class seats.

According to SeatGuru.com these are the seat dimensions on this aircraft:

  • First Class – Pitch 37″/Width 21″
  • Premium Cabin – Pitch 34″/Width 18.25″
  • Economy Cabin – Pitch 30″/Width 18.25″

The truth is that the seat dimensions probably don’t really matter very much here as the flight time is unlikely to ever be longer than ~70 minutes, so while the 30″ pitch in the Economy Class cabin would me tantamount to torture on a lot of other flights, unless you’re well over 6ft, have mobility issues or are “large”, you should be able to survive in any of the seats on this aircraft.

Bottom line

Alaska Airlines will launch a new year-round service between Portland and Miami this winter season and will also add seasonal routes between Palm Springs and New York JFK and San Luis Obispo and Las Vegas.

Fares for all three routes appear to be loaded in the Alaska Airlines systems and at the time of writing, award seats are available too.

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