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If you’re looking to fly on Alaska Airlines, especially one of their longer flights, you may be considering upgrading to Alaska Airlines Premium Class. We just flew it from Los Angeles to New York JFK and figured it could be helpful to explain to you how it works, is it worth it, and what it’s like to fly it.
Here’s a look at the row we flew in from Los Angeles to New York in Alaska’s Premium Class
What do you actually get by upgrading to Alaska’s Premium Class?
Alaska Premium Class is akin to other airlines Economy Plus, Main Cabin Extra, etc. You basically get a few inches of extra room and the following perks.
- Usually one sweet, or one savory snack
- Beer, wine, spirits
- 3 inches of extra space to work
- Board Early
How do you get Premium Class?
You can pay for it when selecting seats, after purchase, or at the kiosk.
Personally, I maintain Elite status with Alaska ( Gold currently ), so I can select these seats when I book ( as long as it’s an eligible fare bucket – more on that below ), but if you don’t have status, you’ll pay for them while selecting your seat.
Additionally, and this is of particular interest to Amex cardholders with incidental fee credits, you can purchase it after your flight. This has been known to trigger the fee credit.
You can also purchase it when you check in for your flight at the kiosk
If you’re Elite then you have free access to them at the time of check in f you’re flying in an eligible fare class
- Y,S,B, or Z
- Other fare bucket…upgrade 48 hours ahead of flight
- Y, S, B, M, H, Q, L, V, N, K, or Z*
- Other fare buckets…upgrade 72 hours ahead of flight
- All fares except Saver
- 120 hours ahead you’ll be upgraded
Is it worth it?
Everyone has a different value when it comes to “worth,” but if I were on this 5 hour flight, I’d appreciate having the extra few inches to stretch out and get some work done. At 6′ tall and roughly 165 lbs I’m not a giant, but I do have back issues, and the 3 inches inches feel longer with each hour. Premium Class start start as low as just $15, if you’re seeing that on a flight of a few hours…go for it. The snacks and adult beverages recoup that, but above the $35-40…
I’m not sure I’d pay $89, but then again, it’s a long flight and could potentially mean the difference in me effectively getting work done or not. Those extra 3 inches do provide some clearance for elbows especially when the person sitting ahead of you reclines back. It made the difference in my laptop being able to be fully open vs not. Again…is that worth $89? Not if I plan on just streaming movies and sitting on the aisle, but if I want to work, then I’d probably fork it over.
One thing to note…I believe that if you buy the upgrade after you ticket the flight, it’ll trigger the Amex incidental airline fee credit.
Have you flown Alaska’s Premium Class? Do you think it’s worth the extra money?
Monkey Miles has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Monkey Miles and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers