Alaska Airlines Debuts First Aircraft With New Cabin Upgrades
Every new comfortable seat includes a dual 110-volt and USB power outlet
SEATTLE — Travelers flying on Alaska Airlines today will enjoy new aircraft seats that feature a personal space-enhancing design and are equipped with power outlets. The improvements are part of a $100 million investment the carrier has made to upgrade the cabins in all 737-800, -900 and -900ER aircraft. The carrier expects to finish the upgrades by the end of 2014.
"As a gadget guy and frequent flier, having real in-seat power to charge my tablet, phone and even my laptop on a long transcontinental flight means no more bulky battery packs or the scramble to charge up before a trip," said Brian M. Westbrook, an Alaska Airlines MVP Gold and Seattle-based technology reporter and consultant. "I've been eagerly awaiting this upgrade for years!"
Alaska Airlines is the only U.S. carrier to provide both 110-volt and USB power for tablets and smart phones at every seat on its equipped aircraft, which will include nearly three-quarters of its fleet. Access to the outlets is conveniently located in the seatback in front of each passenger and power is available at no additional charge.
"We've heard the request for seat power loud and clear and we're pleased to deliver ‘juice' to our customers," said Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines' vice president of marketing. "Providing easy to reach 110-volt power for laptops and USB power for smart phones and tablets is just another way Alaska Airlines is making travel easier."
Alaska Airlines is the North America launch customer for the space-saving seat, designed by innovative seat maker Recaro. The seat's slimmer design and location of the literature pocket at the top of the seatback maintain the same passenger comfort standards and personal space that are on Alaska's aircraft today. The upgraded aircraft will provide passengers with the current fleet standard seat pitch of 31 to 32 inches and 3 inches of recline.
Facts about Alaska Airlines' "powered" plane:
Power outlets are conveniently located on the back of every seat, where they are easy to find. Of those airlines that have power outlets, they are normally under the seats and difficult to find.
Each row of seats can supply enough power to run and charge three devices at the same time.
Gate displays and seatback cards will let customers know if their plane has the new upgrades.
The new configuration, when combined with the slimmer Recaro seats, maintains the standard pitch of 31 to 32 inches and 3 inches of recline.
The first retrofitted plane, tail number 548, will fly throughout most of Alaska Airlines' route network. Alaska expects to have half of its fleet upgraded by summer 2014.
Alaska Airlines, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together with its partner regional airlines, serves nearly 100 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. Alaska Airlines has ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Network Carriers" in the J.D. Power and Associates North America Airline Satisfaction StudySM for six consecutive years from 2008 to 2013. For reservations, visit www.alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines Newsroom at www.alaskaair.com/newsroom.
This story is also posted online at http://www.alaskaair.com/newsroom/ .
Posted: December 18, 2013