Alaska Airlines Premium Class Review: Worth It? [2022]

If you have ever flown with Alaska Airlines you probably considered upgrading to Alaska Premium Class at some point. But what exactly could you expect when upgrading and would it actually be worth the extra cost?

In this article, I will show you everything you need to know about Alaska Premium Class. I’ll give you a breakdown of all the benefits, some photos of the cabin, and also a lot of price data points for Premium Class.

What is Alaska Premium Class?

Alaska Airlines Premium Class is the economy plus product offered by Alaska Airlines. The main benefits of flying Alaska Premium Class include: extra legroom, priority boarding, and complimentary alcoholic beverages.

Although the word “Premium” is used don’t get the seats confused with what is typically offered in a Premium Economy product as they are very different.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

Alaska Airlines Premium Class seats

How do you book Alaska Premium Class?

You can book Premium Class at several different times before your departure date.

At the time of booking

Whenever you are booking your flight, you can simply select a seat in Premium Class. You will do this after you input your personal information for your ticket.

Note that on a couple of my flights it initially did not show any seats available in Premium Class. However, whenever I checked back several days later I was able to see some availability and upgrade myself.

Also, not every aircraft will have Premium Class.

Premium class seat selection

After booking and before check-in

After you make a booking you can use the manage reservation tool to change your seat to Premium Class.

At the time of check-in

At the time of check-in you can also decide to upgrade your seat. This can be done online, on the app, or at the airport when you arrive at a kiosk or check-in desk.

Onboard?

Alaska Airlines states that you can upgrade onboard although I’m not sure exactly how that would work. And because of seats filling up quickly, I would recommend upgrading well ahead of departure.

Elite Mileage Plan upgrades

If you hold Mileage Plan elite status with Alaska Airlines you can get free upgrades to Premium Class.

You can get upgrades to Premium Class at the time of booking based on the following rules:

  • MVP: Y, B or H fares
  • MVP Gold: Y, B, H, K, M, L, V, S or N fares
  • MVP Gold 75K: All fares except Saver fares
  • MVP Gold 100K: All fares except Saver fares

If you have a non-qualifying fare you can still get upgraded close to departure based on the following rules:

  • MVP: 48 hours before departure
  • MVP Gold: 72 hours before departure
  • MVP Gold 75K: 120 hours before departure
  • MVP Gold 100K: 120 hours Highest waitlist priority

Be aware that upgrades to Premium Class will only be processed automatically if the same seat type is available to upgrade you into (e.g. window to window).

If you are currently in the middle seat, you will be eligible to be upgraded into any Premium Class seat. And if you are in an exit row seat, you will have to select a Premium Class seat yourself.

MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75K, and MVP Gold 100K can also get Premium Class upgrades with one companion on the same flight and reservation. (If a reservation includes more than one companion, it will not be eligible for complimentary upgrades.)

Note: Accepting a Premium Class upgrade will not affect your placement on the waitlist for First Class upgrades.

Read more about upgrades here.

Alaska Airlines Premium Class seats

Alaska Premium Class experience: Worth it?

To understand if flying Alaska Premium Class is worth it, let’s take a close look at all of them main benefits.

Priority boarding

One of the biggest perks of Alaska Premium Class is that you can get priority boarding. With an Alaska Premium Class ticket, you will board with Group B.

Here’s a look at all the boarding groups:

  • Pre-boarding (Military, disabilities, unaccompanied minors, etc.)
  • First class
  • Group A (Million Milers, MVP Gold, and MVP Gold 75K)
  • Group B (MVP members and guests in Premium Class seats)
  • Group C (Main cabin in the back)
  • Group D (Main cabin in the front)
  • Group E (Saver)

Boarding right after Group A means that you should not ever have to worry about overhead storage bin space.

Alaska Airlines boarding

Seats towards the front of the cabin

In addition to boarding early, you’ll be able to snag a seat toward the front of the economy cabin.

Usually, it will be the first four or five rows behind first class where your seat will be located. This is great because it means you’ll be able to be one of the first passengers to board and also get off the plane.

So if you ever have a tight connection or need to get going, Premium Class can be worth it for that reason.

On top of these rows, you should also see a special color designating overhead storage bin space for Premium Class.

Airlines are not always very strict about these dedicated storage bin areas so don’t be surprised if regular economy passengers place their bags in these bins.

Alaska Airlines Premium Class cabin overhead storage bin

Extra legroom

On average, you will have 3 to 4 inches of extra legroom than Main Cabin although the exact amount of extra legroom you get with Premium Class is going to depend on the aircraft you’re flying. For example, on an Airbus A319, you could have six extra inches of legroom!

Here’s a look at both of the pitch (legroom) and the seat width you can expect on different Alaska Airlines aircraft with Premium Class. Keep in mind that the normal pitch for Alaska Main Cabin seats is about 30 to 32 inches.

AircraftPitchWidth
Airbus A319 V137″ – 38″18″
Airbus A320 V137″ – 38″17.7″
Airbus A32137″ – 38″18″
Boeing 737-70035″17″
Boeing 737-80035″17″
Boeing 737-90035″17″
Embraer 17534″18.25″
Alaska Airlines Premium Class legroom

I’ve flown Premium Class a few times and I really enjoyed the bulkhead seats. You get a lot of extra legroom and you can still slide your baggage underneath the first class seats in front of you.

It’s an extremely comfortable way to fly, although there are hard partitions between the armrests which can be a bit more confining for some people.

Alaska Airlines Premium Class legroom bulkhead
Premium Class legroom on a 737-700.

If you don’t get the bulkhead, here’s a look at the legroom you would have in a normal Premium Class seat.

Alaska Airlines  Premium Class legroom on a 737-900.
Premium Class legroom on a 737-900.

Now compare that to a normal economy seat on Alaska Airlines.

Related: Alaska Premium Class vs Main Cabin vs First Class: Which Is for You?

Main Cabin legroom on a 737-900 alaska Airlines.
Main Cabin legroom on a 737-900.

And just in case you were wondering, here is the legroom in a first class seat on Alaska Airlines.

First Class legroom on a 737-900.

Free alcoholic beverages

One perk that people really love about premium class is that you can get free alcoholic beverages, including complimentary beer, wine, and cocktails.

In order to get these free drinks, the flight needs to be at least 350 miles.

The normal prices for these would be: Beer $8, Wine & Spirits $9. So if you can down a couple of drinks you would be saving nearly $20. Not bad.

They have a good drink selection which includes:

  • Anchor Brewing West Coast IPA
  • Full Sail Brewing Sesión Cerveza Lager
  • Broken Earth Winery El Pasado Red Blend
  • Canoe Ridge Vineyards Chardonnay
  • Domaine St. Vincent Sparkling Wine
  • Jack Daniel’s Whiskey
  • Woodford Reserve Bourbon
  • Scotch Whisky
  • Cruzan Rum
  • Gin
  • Tito’s Vodka
  • Five Farms Irish Cream
Alaska Airlines Premium Class alcoholic drink

You can also order soda water and other beverages like seltzer for free although main cabin also gets them for free.

Alaska Airlines Premium Class drink

They also provide complimentary snacks. If your trip is over 1,100 miles you can pre-order $10 meals like the Signature Fruit & Cheese Platter, Chicken & Mango Salsa Wrap, or Sunrise Breakfast Sandwich.

And if your trip is only over 783 miles, you can order snacks like potato chips, chocolate covered almonds, or Northwest Deli Picnic Pack.

Related: Alaska Airlines 737-9 MAX First Class Review (SEA-PHX)

Alaska Airlines Premium Class snack

Seatback TVs

Alaska Airlines is one of the US airlines that do not provide seatback screens, so even when flying you will not have a screen in front of you.

The good thing is that in premium class you can still get power outlets and USB ports. (Other cabins also offer outlets and USB ports.) This makes it very easy to keep your device charged while you enjoy entertainment on your device.

Remember, you can always stream movies and TV shows for free when flying on Alaska by connecting your device to their Wi-Fi.

Which Airlines Have Power Outlets & USB Ports?

Alaska Airlines Premium Class USB power outlet

How much does it cost to upgrade to Premium Class?

Premium Class upgrades start as low as $15 a flight but the exact price is going to depend on your specific route. For example, upgrading to Premium Class on a flight to Hawaii could cost you $150.

Below, we have provided data points for 30 different routes to give you a sense of what it would cost to upgrade to Premium Class on Alaska Airlines.

We have also provided the price for an economy ticket and first class ticket so that you can compare the prices.

One interesting thing to note is that they don’t charge more for aisle or window seats when upgrading.

Seattle (SEA) to Juneau (JNU)

  • Economy: $110
  • Premium: +$34
  • First: $260

Seattle (SEA) to Fairbanks (FAI)

  • Economy: $149
  • Premium: +$55
  • First: $579

Seattle (SEA) to Honolulu (HNL)

  • Economy: $299
  • Premium: +$149
  • First: $1,009

Seattle (SEA) to Fort Lauderdale (FLL)

  • Economy: $259
  • Premium: +$149
  • First: $939

Seattle (SEA) to New Orleans (MSY)

  • Economy: $369
  • Premium: +$149
  • First: $770

Los Angeles (LAX) to Anchorage (ANC)

  • Economy: $201
  • Premium: +$79
  • First: $601

Los Angeles (LAX) to Puerto Vallarta (PVR)

  • Economy: $391
  • Premium: +$89
  • First: $941

Los Angeles (LAX) to Salt Lake City (SLC)

  • Economy: $219
  • Premium: +$9
  • First: $279

Los Angeles (LAX) to Washington, DC – Dulles (IAD)

  • Economy: $203
  • Premium: +$149
  • First: $669

Los Angeles (LAX) to Newark (EWR)

  • Economy: $209
  • Premium: +$119
  • First: $669

San Francisco (SFO) to New York-Kennedy (JFK)

  • Economy: $182
  • Premium: +$124
  • First: $890

San Francisco (SFO) to Chicago-O’Hare (ORD)

  • Economy: $161
  • Premium: +$69
  • First: $479

San Francisco (SFO) to Las Vegas (LAS)

  • Economy: $69
  • Premium: +$29
  • First: $139

San Francisco (SFO) to Phoenix (PHX)

  • Economy: $159
  • Premium: +$25
  • First: $249

San Francisco (SFO) to Austin (AUS)

  • Economy: $179
  • Premium: +$44
  • First: $369

Portland (PDX) to Anchorage (ANC)

  • Economy: $209
  • Premium: +$49
  • First: $471

Portland (PDX) to Maui (OGG)

  • Economy: $359
  • Premium: +$149
  • First: $1,499

Portland (PDX) to Reno (RNO)

  • Economy: $129
  • Premium: +$25
  • First: $189

Portland (PDX) to Albuquerque (ABQ)

  • Economy: $129
  • Premium: +$49
  • First: $319

Portland (PDX) to Boise (BOI)

  • Economy: $89
  • Premium: +$15
  • First: $169

San Diego (SAN) to Kona (KOA)

  • Econom: $199
  • Premium: +$149
  • First: $1,269

San Diego (SAN) to Boston (BOS)

  • Economy: $229
  • Premium: +$129
  • First: $939

San Diego (SAN) to Orlando (MCO)

  • Economy: $211
  • Premium: +$149
  • First: $619

San Diego (SAN) to Sacramento (SMF)

  • Economy: $69
  • Premium: +$15
  • First: $109

San Diego (SAN) to Cabo San Lucas (SJD)

  • Economy: $611
  • Premium: +$59
  • First: $941

Anchorage (ANC) to Nome (OME)

  • Economy: $174
  • Premium: +$16
  • First: $204

Anchorage (ANC) to Adak Island (ADK)

  • Economy: $568
  • Premium: +$26
  • First: $598

Anchorage (ANC) to Chicago-O’Hare (ORD)

  • Economy: $189
  • Premium: +$89
  • First: $779

Anchorage (ANC) to Phoenix (PHX)

  • Economy: $211
  • Premium: +$84
  • First: $729

Anchorage (ANC) to Juneau (JNU)

  • Economy: $182
  • Premium: +$16
  • First: $252

Final word

I really enjoyed my flights in Alaska Airlines Premium Class.

Because I am a little bit over 6 foot, I value the extra legroom quite a bit and it always helps to make the ride more comfortable.

It’s also really nice to not have to worry about boarding late and potentially not having overhead storage bin space.

The only area where there is questionable value for me is when it comes to alcoholic beverages because I don’t drink. However, if I did drink that would add about $10-$20 in value for a short to medium flight. More for longer flights.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.