Alaska Airlines Upgrades Its First Class Menu & Will Upgrade Onboard Amenities Too

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I the last ten days we’ve heard United announce some changes to its domestic buy onboard menu, we’ve heard Delta saying that it’s improving its international Main Cabin meals (and Delta One meals on one route) and we’ve heard American Airlines say that it’s going to try to be more like JAL on its transpacific routes. Now it’s Alaska’s turn to tell us about its menu upgrades.

Alaska Airlines is rolling out changes to its First Class menus starting this week and the airline says that “thoughtful extras” (onboard upgrades) will also be added throughout the rest of the year.

The headline details that Alaska has provided certainly sound promising as the airline mentions strawberry-lime smoothie shots, avocado bacon omelets and a flank steak salad with green papaya, mint and lime wedges.

a pan of food with a slice cut outImage Alaska Airlines

Vegetarians need not worry as Alaska says that all menus will still come with a vegetarian option.

Apparently the thinking behind the new menus is to introduce “fresh local ingredients” combined with “seasonal favorites” to create a “West Coast vibe”.

The Fresh, Local Menu Selections

Per Alaska:

  • Seasonal menus. Dig into all new meals on flights over 675 miles. Guests will pick from fresh, healthy options including salads and protein plates. Taking inspiration from our Signature Fruit & Cheese Platter, on most flights under 675 miles, guests will be offered a fresh snack – like a chipotle or edamame hummus plate with whole wheat pita and veggies. To ensure preferred choices are available and to reduce waste, meals can now be reserved on the Alaska app before travel on many of our longest flights, with more on the way.

a plate of food with fork and knifeImage Alaska Airlines

  • Local delights. Relish in West Coast treats including Nancy’s Fancy gelatos and Sweet Lady Jane brownies from California, and Chuckanut cheesecakes and Seattle Chocolate truffles from Washington.
  • Wine, brews and specialty beverages. Sip the best from up-and-coming West Coast wineries and microbreweries. Wake up to smoothie shots and a variety of full-leaf teas. Starting this summer, a new winemaker program will introduce guests to unique selections that rotate on a regular basis.
  • Signature service. Guests can look forward to continuing to receive Alaska’s genuine caring service throughout their journey. On board, a refreshed dining concept will launch later this year with a focus on meeting individual guest preferences around rest, relaxation and productivity.

a bowl of fruit on a tableImage Alaska Airlines

As I mentioned earlier, Alaska is upgrading some of the amenities it offers onboard and, while we haven’t been given a specific roll out date, the airline say that these will be rolled out throughout 2018 and into 2019.

Alaska’s “Thoughtful Product Extras”

Here’s what Alaska flyers can look forward to in 2018:

New Inflight Amenities

These include “a cozy quilted throw” and inflight entertainment tablet (on longer flights). The quilted throw will roll out during spring while new larger tablets will arrive later this year.

a blue blanket on a chairImage Alaska Airlines

New Serviceware

Here’s what Alaska has had to say:

To complement our new menus, guests can look forward to dining on one-of-a-kind Schönwald serving pieces inspired by Virgin America. The stylish and functional collection brings to life the fresh ingredients on offer. Alaska will continue to individually plate each meal on board to better accommodate guest preferences and dietary restrictions.

New Seats & Interiors

Alaska Airlines will introduce “custom seats and interiors” which will include the addition of a footrest (as often found in international Premium Economy cabins), a tablet holder and “increased cushioning” for the seats.

The refreshed cabin interiors will start appearing on routes this fall with the airline aiming to have at least half of its mainline fleet refitted by the end of 2019.

a phone and a cup in a tray

Improved Lounges

Airport lounges have become the latest battlefront where airlines compete to woo customers from each other. American Airlines has been upgrading its lounges around the country, Delta has been announcing new lounges seemingly every few weeks and United is…well….United is doing something but we don’t really know what or when they’ll have it done.

Alaska has mentioned that it will be improving its lounges before so this is more of a reminder than a new announcement…but here’s what the airline has had to say anyway:

Picture a living room with a barista. We’re unveiling upgrades soon at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The JFK Lounge opens in April and a new flagship 15,000-square-foot Seattle lounge is scheduled to open in 2019. Alaska continues to be the only domestic airline providing all paid First Class guests with complimentary access to airport lounges.

As someone who’d quite like a barista in his living room I like the sound of this 🙂

Bottom Line

It’s good to see one of the country’s favorite airlines continue to try to improve the products it offers and, as it attempts to make peace with the Virgin America loyalists it has seriously ticked off, at least this shows that the airline isn’t sitting back and relying on the West Coast’s hatred of the big legacy carriers to support its operations.