Monday, December 15, 2014

Alaska Airlines launches new in-flight entertainment program

Starting Monday, Dec. 15, many customers of Alaska Airlines will be able to enjoy free entertainment directly on their personal electronic devices.

Alaska 737 on short final to SEA
The new entertainment service, dubbed Alaska Beyond Entertainment, debuted on 50 of Alaska's 737 aircraft and will be available at no extra charge through Jan. 31, 2015. Alaska (NYSE:ALK) will equip nearly all of its all-Boeing fleet with the service by April 2015.

The launch of the in-flight entertainment marks the debut of what the airline is calling “a new flight experience that highlights what sets Seattle's hometown airline apart from other carriers.” Given the umbrella name “Alaska Beyond,” the service also features an artisan food and beverage program, and enhanced in-cabin comforts.

"At Alaska, we pride ourselves on offering unique amenities that make travel more enjoyable," Curtis Kopf, the airline's vice president of customer innovation and marketing, said in the statement.

Alaska Beyond Entertainment lets customers catch up on their favorite television shows and watch recently released movies using their own Wi-Fi-enabled tablet, smartphone or laptop. All content, including premium movies and TV shows, will be complimentary through Jan. 31, 2015. Starting Feb. 1, customers will be able to access to a wide selection of complimentary custom curated content and purchase premium movies and TV shows starting at $1.99.

Alaska Beyond Comfort provides Alaska customers with Recaro seats that offer standard and USB personal power outlets at every seat, in the seatback in front of each passenger. More than 95 percent of Alaska's fleet of Boeing 737-800s, -900s, and -900ERs already have power outlets at every seat.

The Recarro seats are custom-designed leather affairs that feature six-way adjustable headrests, three inches of recline and “enhanced personal space,” according to the airline. However, a request for more specifics about precisely what that means in terms of seat width and pitch was not responded to by press time.

Many of Alaska's aircraft also feature the Boeing Sky Interior, intended to create a lighter and more spacious cabin. Later next year, Alaska will be the launch customer of Boeing's innovative Space Bins, which provide 48 percent more overhead bin storage.Click here to read more about those bins.

The “Alaska Beyond Delicious” part of the program will offer travelers locally sourced, artisan food and beverages from iconic Northwest brands including signature entrees designed by award-winning chef Tom Douglas. The airline’s Signature Fruit & Cheese Platter features Beecher's Flagship and Tillamook cheeses, made in Washington and Oregon, respectively. The carrier also serves local libations including Canoe Ridge wines, Sun Liquor hand-crafted liquors, Alaskan Amber and other local micro-brews, and in First Class, wines by Chateau Ste. Michelle.

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Photo by Carl Dombek
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