Alaska Airlines’ wholly-owned subsidiary, Horizon Air, and regional carrier SkyWest Airlines fly the Embraer E175. The aircraft, flying mostly regional routes and select longer and thinner routes, are the predominant regional jet that flies under the Alaska banner. Here’s an inside look at the aircraft and where to sit.
Inside Alaska’s Embraer E175s
Alaska’s Embraer E175s have room for 76 passengers. This includes room for 12 passengers in first class, 12 in extra-legroom economy (dubbed “Premium” class), and 52 in economy. This is a fairly standard E175 configuration in the United States and positions the aircraft well to conduct various missions.
Alaska Airlines advertises the range of the aircraft at 1,800 nautical miles. There are two flight attendants who work on the aircraft. The US Federal Aviation Administration requires two flight attendants to work on aircraft having between 50 and 100 passengers for safety purposes.
The first class cabin
First class is located at the front of the cabin on Alaska’s Embraer E175s. This class is outfitted in a 1-2 configuration and is laid out in four rows.
If you are traveling as a solo passenger, your best bet is to take one of the four “A” seats, which are window seats featuring direct aisle access. This gives passengers the best of both worlds.
If you are traveling as a couple, consider taking the two seats designated as “C” or “D” seats in rows one through four. There is a wider armrest between these two seats, which means no fighting over the armest if you sit with someone you do not know.
As far as amenities go, there is no inflight entertainment provided via seatback screens onboard the E175s. However, the planes feature WiFi, so passengers can stream Alaska’s library of content on their personal devices.
It is not uncommon for regional jets to operate without seatback entertainment in the United States. The benefit of flying in first class on this aircraft is that there are power outlets.
The pitch in this aircraft is pretty standard at roughly 37 inches. This sets it on par with most domestic narrowbody regional first class products, though other mainline products may offer a little more room.
Economy class is laid out in a comfortable 2-2 configuration. The first three rows, rows six through eight, on the aircraft are the carrier’s extra-legroom product.
The extra-legroom economy seats offer roughly 34 inches of pitch. Note that in row six, the first row of extra-legroom economy, the aisle shifts. With first class in a 1-2 configuration and economy in a 2-2 configuration, the passenger in seat 6B may get some bags to the knees or feet with the slight shift.
With economy class outfitted in a 2-2 configuration, there are few bad seats. With no middle seats, this makes for a less cramped experience. However, the E175s are narrower and overall smaller than the mainline Boeing 737 or Airbus A320.
Like first class, economy class passengers do not have access to inflight entertainment via a seatback screen. Alaska Airlines offers complimentary streaming entertainment options to your personal device.
Do make sure, however, to bring your devices charged up before stepping onboard. Economy class (including extra-legroom economy) passengers do not have access to power outlets.
Generally, the Embraer E175 is a short-haul regional workhorse. Flying routes ranging from Seattle to Portland to Seattle to Jackson Hole, and all of Alaska’s routes out of Paine Field, the aircraft traditionally flies routes that are under two hours. For those missions, the aircraft performs very well.
However, Alaska Airlines also uses the aircraft on some longer routes. For example, it flies the jet from Seattle to Wichita, San Diego to Bozeman, and will soon fly from Austin to Palm Springs.
This highlights all the various missions the aircraft can fly. The plane is small enough to adequately serve smaller communities but large enough to fly longer distances than the Q400 turboprops.
Ultimately, the E175 is a competitive and comfortable aircraft for shorter flights and is competitive in the overall regional jet landscape. Depending on your flight, either Horizon or SkyWest will be operating your flight under the Alaska banner.
Are you a fan of Alaska’s E175s? Let us know in the comments!