Alaska Airlines Now Charging for Premium Seats

May 15, 2015

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Earlier this week, Alaska Airlines announced the launch of a new Preferred Plus seating option. Set in bulkhead and exit rows, these seats, which were previously available only to elite members, can now be purchased at the 24-hour check-in window, starting at $15 plus tax.

Alaska Airlines announced their new Preferred Plus seats this week.
Alaska Airlines announced their new Preferred Plus seats this week.

Here’s what Alaska has to say about these new seats:

Upgrades for rows 6, 16 and 17 can be purchased within 24 hours before check-in at www.alaskaair.com, through the Alaska Airlines mobile apps and at the airport, when available. Previously, only Mileage Plan elite-level customers had access to reserve these seats. Upgrades for elites are, and will continue to be, complimentary from the time of booking through departure.

So basically, Preferred Plus seats will be available to all customers as paid upgrades after Mileage Plan MVP, MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K members have had an opportunity to reserve them. Elites on Alaska-partner American Airlines will receive complimentary access to Preferred Plus seats, but in what appears to the latest gauntlet thrown in the Battle for Seattle, Medallions on partner/foe Delta will not.

Non-elite members will be able to purchase Preferred Plus seats, which include priority boarding, up to eight inches of extra legroom and a complimentary cocktail, glass of wine or beer, for a starting cost of $15 plus tax. Note that most elite members (e.g., Alaska MVP’s and AAdvantage elites) who receive complimentary upgrades to Preferred Plus won’t get a free drink, but as always, MVP Golds and Gold 75Ks will receive a complimentary drink in the main cabin.

What are your thoughts on Alaska’s new Preferred Plus Seating — think you’ll give it a try?

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