My wife and I attended a wedding in Juneau, Alaska this past weekend. We ended up booking our flights rather late, which meant the only two seats together were back in Row 33 (the last row of the plane) right next to the bathroom. No thank you.
When I searched the flights and looked at the seat map, I noticed several seats in rows 6-13 that looked available. Upon further review, I noted that these seats could only be reserved by elite members. I sent a direct message to the Alaska twitter account and asked if these seats would be released.
Reserving Preferred Plus
The Alaska Airlines twitter rep confirmed what I had figured. These seats would be released to the rest of us, non-elite folks, 24 hours before the flight.
Fast forward to 24 hours before our flight, I checked in via the Alaska mobile app. However, all of the seats together were filled except the Preferred Plus seats. These seats cost $15 extra ($16 after taxes), but I figured it would probably be worth it.
Plus my AMEX Platinum credit card reimburses me for airline incidentals. I have Alaska selected as my airline reimbursement option so I would essentially get $30 back. I went ahead and reserved these seats. As you can see below, I received the credit within a few days.
Preferred Plus Experience
The Preferred Plus seats we selected were in the exit row. The seats also gave us priority boarding, which means we got to board right after all the first class and elite members.
These seats definitely had a good amount of pitch, which is the technical term for the space between the end of your chair and the chair in front of you. It is also worth noting that the seats in the exit row don’t recline. This didn’t bother us that much, but I suppose some people wouldn’t like that. The seat that I was sitting in felt like it was missing some cushion, but I got used to it.
If I could re-pick our Preferred Plus seats, I would have selected row 6, which is the first row of coach behind the first class. We initially thought these seats were bulkhead and we wouldn’t have storage under the seat in front of us. However, when we boarded the plane we noticed that these seats weren’t really bulkhead seats. You live and you learn.
You also received an alcoholic drink by paying for the Preferred Plus seats. I was given a whole can of Alaskan beer. My wife stuck with soda, but only got one cup which was half full of ice. Overall, I’d say these seats are definitely worth the $15 especially if you’re tall or typically like to have a drink on planes.