— Dane Creek

Trip Report: SEA-MKE Inaugural Alaska Airlines Flight

I took the SEA-MKE inaugural this morning, my first ever inaugural Alaska flight. I expected some festivities and Alaska didn’t disappoint. Here’s some pics and blahblahblah about the flight and the new plane.

We departed from C9. Seems like everyone who was someone from Alaska and Horizon was there (everyone doing ramp service on the plane was wearing Horizon polos). They had a band playing and cheese curds were served, along with a cheese-shaped cake and cupcakes:

The flight was, of course, on the brand new “Boeing” E175:

The gate crew dressed for the occasion (as did the ground and flight crews):

The ground crew brought out a classic for the fun as well, and there was a LOT of ground crew hanging around for photos with the plane:

Before boarding there was a ribbon cutting ceremony, cut by an Alaska MVPG 75K member:

Everyone who boarded got a little certificate to commemorate the event. If you had a paper boarding card they stamped it, otherwise (like us) you could have them stamp the certificate:

Onboard it was definitely a brand new plane. Everything in great shape and still smelling fresh. We were in row 6, which felt like it had more leg room than business class on most domestic flights!

Service was pretty good, although it’s just a two person cabin crew which means service takes a loooong time in economy. For the first service pass it was just the back FA doing all the work, and there was no recognition of elite status that I could see (although I did not get charged for my drink). Sadly the Alaska Beyond in-flight services weren’t available yet, which meant no wifi. According to the FA this will be up and running on July 13th.

Meal options included the fruit and cheese plate, or a hot Cuban sandwich. I opted to try the Cuban sandwich. For passengers in first class they had the same Cuban sandwich and a side salad. I can’t say I’d recommend the sandwich to anyone. Get the fruit and cheese plate instead.

We arrived in MKE 40 minutes early and they had some trouble getting the jetbridge working. After about 5 mins they figured it out and we were in the terminal, greeted by a ton of local media and random official looking people. They gave us all local coffee (Colectivo Blue Heeler, pre-ground) and “leather” luggage tags embossed with the Alaska and MKE airport logos.

They had a fancy cake for the MKE-SEA departure, as well as lots of signage throughout the airport announcing the new flight. There was a band pre-security as well. They didn’t seem to be playing grunge though. Weird.

Anyway, it was fun being on an inaugural, and I’m looking forward to doing it again in September to Nashville!