Alaska flyers will soon be able to pre-order, pay for meals with an app

Aug 25, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

I still remember my first flight on Virgin America, with the carrier taking me from New York-JFK to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, way back in January 2010.

At the time, U.S. airlines had yet to fully embrace technology. Virgin offered seat-back screens with the ability to order snacks and drinks without pressing the flight attendant call button — it was a posh experience, and something I never expected to disappear. In fact, thanks to digital receipts, I still have the order in my inbox — a fruit, veggie and cheese tray for $8.

Sadly, Virgin America is long gone, having been absorbed by Alaska Airlines in early 2018. But a version of that digital meal-order offering is now making its way to Alaska Airlines flights as part of the carrier’s touch-free pandemic response.

Seat-back ordering had become a mainstay on Virgin America. Photo by Eric Rosen for The Points Guy.

Alaska Airlines previously offered meal pre-ordering in first class, but suspended the option as part of its initial COVID-19 cuts. Now, first-class flyers once again have that option on flights of two hours or more. Further, meal pre-ordering will soon be available in Premium and economy, too, via Alaska’s website and mobile app.

Once full meal service returns to the economy cabin — a small snack and soft drinks are available now — passengers will also be able to use their phone to pay for their meals. That will allow customers to avoid handing over a credit card to the crew.

As airlines work to evolve their service during the pandemic, hopefully more U.S. airlines will roll out app-based meal ordering and payment — a feature we’ve come to love on carriers that offer it overseas, including Norwegian’s 787 Dreamliner fleet.

Featured photo courtesy of Ingrid Barrentine/Alaska Airlines.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases.
  • 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.