Alaska Airlines is preparing to phase out their Crj-700s in preparation of acquiring larger and nicer E-175 aircrafts. The new aircrafts will be an improvement in customer comfort, but the new planes also means a decrease in passenger’s incentives as currently routes served by the E-175 do not enjoy the same inflight free benefits of those flights served by Horizon’s Q400s and Skywest Crj-700s.
The new E-175s will be phased in at the end of 2016 and will be operated by Horizon Air, a change from the currently eight E-175s which are operated by Skywest for Alaska Airlines. Currently Alaska Airlines E-175s serve long and thin routes such as Seattle to smaller Midwestern cities such as Omaha and Oklahama City along with shorter routes such as Salt Lake City to Boise. The new E-175s will boast 3 classes of service: First, Premium, and Economy. The planes will also have the largest windows on any plane, even larger than 787s, power at every seat, inflight wifi, and Alaska Beyond entertainment. The 2×2 seating in economy and 1×2 seats in first make ever seat feel like a first class seat. The only problem with the new planes, the roll-out of the E175s means an end to free booze in economy on Horizon flights.
Under the current system, Alaska Airline flights operated by Horizon and Crj700s operated by Skywest feature Horizon’s signature free beer and wine. On Skywest CRJ-700 flights, a red and white wine are both offered free of charge, along with a complimentary local microbrew. On Horizon Air, each flight features either a red or a white and a microbrew served to those 21 and older. This is a fantastic treat for customers, and the free beer and wine program means that Elite flyers can enjoy both a complimentary drink and a Jco Chocolate on each flight! But flyer beware, currently on Skywest E-175s NO free alcohol is offered.
Routes currently operated by a CRJ-700
If Alaska Airline rolls out their current limitation of free alcohol on E-175 regional flights, the airline will be taking a step backwards. Routes such as those shown above will lose out on service perks. The new planes will be nice, the added first class will be warmly welcomed, but for those stuck in the back of the plane, the absent of free booze will be missed.
PLEASE Alaska, do not follow you current policy and please leave free beer and wine on ALL Horizon flights!