Alaska Airlines, the wholly owned subsidiary of Alaska Air Group (ALK - Free Report) recently announced that its Premium Class offering is up for grabs. The company’s Premium section services are expected start from Jan 5, 2017 on selected routes. Passengers who choose this service can get up to four inches of extra legroom, early boarding as well as free snacks and drinks. While this service will cost around $15–$79 in addition to base fares for general passengers, Alaska Mileage Plan MVP, Gold and Gold 75K members can enjoy a complimentary upgrade while booking or up until twenty-four hours prior to travel time. The option is subject to travel, status, availability and fare of the flights and other fare terms.
The airline has been making significant efforts to improve customer experience and the Premium Class complements this business move of the carrier. Customers can purchase the upgraded seats through Alaska Airlines’ website, mobile apps or during check in at airports, subject to availability.
The company has been retrofitting its Boeing fleet, which helps in providing this service. Alaska Airlines also expects retrofitting to expand legroom in its First Class Cabins from 36 to 41 or 42 inches. Notably, this will make its First Class cabins some of the most spacious ones in domestic flights. Upgrading its flights are expected to benefit the company. In addition to legroom and more space between seats, the company’s retrofitting efforts have resulted in greater overhead cabin storage space and features like power sockets for each seat. Alaska Airlines is likely to offer Premium Class in almost half of its fleet this year with the remaining being set up by 2017 for the service. The company will announce in mid-2017 as to when 737-700s will be retrofitted.
Given that the carrier faces intense competition across various routes from peers such as Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV - Free Report) , SkyWest Inc. (SKYW - Free Report) and JetBlue Airways Corp. (JBLU - Free Report) , the aforesaid initiatives are expected to prove beneficial.
Alaska Airlines currently has a Zacks Ranks #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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