SFO-SNA: A Review of Alaska Airlines First Class in Seat 1A


  • Excellent Leg Space
  • Good Privacy
  • Warm and Friendly Staff


  • None

Alaska Airlines is a major domestic airline in the United States, with a large pressence on the West Coast. With my home airport being SFO(San Francisco), there are always plenty of options for a domestic trip, especially to Southern California. After having flown Alaska with Jen on our previous trip, I fell in love and decided to fly them again.


  • Comfortable Seat with Direct Aisle Access
  • Amazing Service and Friendly Staff
  • Smooth Boarding Process


  • None

Booking and Planning

When looking for a flight to SNA(Santa Ana) Alaska was far cheaper than United. I decided to book a round trip ticket, sitting in seat 1A for both segments. Since this was a short flight, I was flying on a smaller aircraft the ERJ 175. The unique thing about Alaska’s ERJ 175 is that first class comes in a 1-2 seating configuration. Seat 1A is perfect for solo travelers as you have a bit of privacy and the ability to be one of the first passengers to disembark.

The ERJ 175 Seatmap on Alaska Airline’s Site


My flight was scheduled for 6:30AM with boarding beginning at 5:50. I live pretty close to SFO and was able to make it to the airport by 5:30am even though I woke up at 5. Although I wasn’t checking in any bags, I still went to the self serve kiosks to print my boarding pass. Alaska does a wonderful job by having a small section of dedicate kiosk for printing boarding passes and making flight changes. With my Global Entry which includes TSA-Pre, I got through security in a breeze. Alaska primarily flies from terminal 2 at SFO.


Boarding was an interesting process as there is not jet bridge for gate D17 in SFO. The gate was located down a flight of stairs and led to a bus that would shuttle passengers to the plane. Out of all my times flying(over 100 trips from SFO) I have never been shuttle to a remote a gate. Luckily, the process was smooth and efficient, but that meant having priority boarding was useless. It was not a big issue since the flight was half empty with several seats in first class open.

Cabin and Flight

First class on Alaska’s ERJ 175 is situated in 4 rows of a 1-2 configuration. I had the single seat in the first row, seat 1A which offered limited storage space but had a tad more legroom due to the bulkhead. (Note: You have to put handbags and backpacks in a smaller overhead compartment for takeoff and landing) I really enjoyed the privacy offered by this seat. Legspace was standard 37 inches, but the bulkhead felt more towards 39-40 inches. The seat did not have seat back entertainment, but movies and shows could be played on your mobile device via Alaska’s system. The cabin was kept wonderfully clean.


This was a very short morning flight, but due to a short unexpected delay, I was served several cups of coffee(maybe one cup too many) and also orange juice as well. I was offered a breakfast bar right after takeoff, but I politely declined.


Alaska Airlines has some of the best service of any domestic U.S. airline. The staff was amazing and extremely friendly. We had a small delay prior to takeoff and the staff was happy to fully communicate the situation (a hotel bus ran over one of the flight attendants bags on the way to airport damaging an iPad), and continuously came back to notify passengers of any updates while sprinkling a few jokes here and there. The staff created a warm welcoming vibe that I enjoyed.

Overall: A+

Alaska Airlines First Class Aboard the ERJ 175 is one of the best quick hop flights. With a wonderful staff and a nice seating arrangement for solo travelers, the flight was a pleasant experience. With several Alaska flights under my belt, I believe the airline’s commitment to service and their treatment of employees are embodied by the joy of their staff. I will definitely be looking to flying Alaska again in the near future.

Leave a Reply