My husband, daughter, and I recently returned from a long weekend jaunt to Hawaii, choosing to fly on Alaska Airlines. We booked the tickets fairly last minute (for Hawaii at least — 3 weeks out). When we booked, we were unable to secure three seats together on our return flight because it was already fairly full. I didn’t select seats at the time, but when my confirmation email arrived after booking, I noticed that Alaska’s system had randomly assigned us three seats scattered throughout the plane, meaning my almost 4 year old daughter would be separated from us. After my woes with American’s kid-unfriendly seating policy (and my ultimately-successful but nevertheless stressful experience with Delta), I was not thrilled at the prospect of having to monitor these reservations continuously in the hopes of getting at least two of three seats together.
So, a few days later, I called up Alaska’s customer service to see if they could do anything to help. I was polite to the representative, explained the issue, and asked if she could do anything to assist us in getting at least two seats together so that my daughter would be next to at least one of us for the trip. Without missing a beat, she sprung into action and offered us three seats together in Row 8 of the plane! Alaska tends to hold seats in the front of cabin back for elites, so I suppose they were mostly open on an off-season flight. I was impressed how she offered more than what I requested (I certainly wasn’t expecting or asking for three front-of-the-cabin seats) and how she was empowered to make things easier on families with small children. I remembered how some of my family members had an unexpected seating change due to some equipment changes on our last Alaska flight, and how the Alaska phone representative we dealt with then was similarly excellent in moving us all around so our large group could stay together.
Takeaway message? Getting seats with your children on Alaska may be as easy as calling and asking! If you are used to flying the majors like American, Delta, or United without any of the perks of elite status, Alaska Airlines is a dream for casual flyers. Customer service agents are US-based and actually empowered to help you. What a concept in modern air travel…
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Monday 12th of May 2014
[…] different alliances, customer-service agents are US based and empowered to help (meaning they can accommodate families […]
Don’t Forget About Alaska Airlines Partnerships | Trips with Tykes
Saturday 25th of January 2014
[…] Finally, I stumbled across evidence that Cathay actually has a partnership with Alaska Airlines. Alaska is one of the few major airlines that is not in an airline alliance. Instead, it partners with a variety of domestic and international airlines for earning miles and redeeming award travel. Alaska has also recently expanded its presence in my favorite hometown airport, Oakland, and my family likes flying Alaska’s flights from OAK to Hawaii. It is also one of my favorite airlines to fly with kids. […]
Friday 12th of April 2013
Glad it was so easy! I wish we had more of those kinds of carriers but out of Atlanta it is pretty much Delta :)
Thursday 3rd of September 2015
Have you flown Alaska out of OAK to Hawaii lately? My family just booked with them, leaving from OAK to HNL and I am hoping they are still just as great as you said. It will be my boys first plane flight (8 & 6) and my parents first plane flight (they are 60!). Thank you!