Wondering about the differences between Alaska and Hawaiian Airlines in first class? Well, yesterday, I experienced my first Alaska Airlines flight from Sacramento to Kona in Hawaii, and chose First Class. Until recently, no airlines from Sacramento flew directly to Kona. We used to have to fly Hawaiian Airlines to Honolulu and hang out there for several hours to catch a 45-minute connecting flight to Kona. Which meant travel time from Sacramento to Kona was about 8 hours minimum.
Well, not only does Alaska fly non-stop (direct), but it advertises its time at 5 hours, and we made the trip in 4 hours; blew my mind.
However, its First Class service leaves much to be desired. Here are my observations in no particular order.
The Trouble With First Class on Alaska Airlines vs Hawaiian Airlines
- The seats have one button that makes them recline. There is no foot-rest, no multiple settings for comfort.
- The inflight magazine totally sucks and presents no Hawaiian flavor.
- There is no Henry Kapono dressed in white and playing a white guitar while standing in the waves on the beach, in fact, no video at all.
- The bulkhead is adorned in a woolly Alaska blanket and there are no hibiscus or Hawaiian flavors, which makes the First Class cabin seem cold and isolated, much like Alaska.
- We were not offered a Mai Tai or any other kind of beverage upon boarding. Instead, our between-seat console held a small (not even a full size) bottle of water.
- There were no blankets and no pillow.
- Our tray tables were small and did not contain a connection to hold an iPad like Hawaiian.
- The headphones were not the comfy pillowy type that cover your ears, but instead we were handed disposable earplugs, which provided inferior sound and were uncomfortable to boot.
- There were no tablecloths to cover the ugly metal of our tray table.
- In fact, when dinner was served, we were handed a tray without embellishments, no separate salt and pepper shakers, and it made me feel like I was dining at a high school cafeteria.
- The Diet Coke did not arrive in a can accompanied by a glass filled with ice; instead, I was served a Diet Coke in a small glass with ice -- just like I had been sitting in Coach.
- Dessert was served with our meal instead of as a separate course.
- And most egregious of all, there were zero macadamia nuts.
But despite all of these horrors, we made it to Kona in 4 hours from Sacramento.
With that, I give you my partner's personal blog about a few wild things that recently happened while selling probates at this link (and there is no connection between my story about flying First Class on Alaska vs. Hawaiian Airlines and this blog link on my personal website, which I realize can confuse people, but you get choices when you read my blog):