***This is part 2 of my “Hawaii Six-O” trip report detailing a recent trip to Oahu, Hawaii to celebrate my parents’ 60th birthdays and retirements***
1. The Club Lounge at SJC
2. Alaska Airlines Economy San Jose to Honolulu + Review of Alaska Beyond
3. Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk
4. Eating Our Way Through Honolulu
5. Alaska Airlines First Class Honolulu to San Jose
We made our way from The Club Lounge which is located near gate 14 to gate 24 and arrived just as the First Class boarding was wrapping-up. My MVP Gold status allowed us to jump into the priority line before general boarding started, and we quickly settled into our bulkhead seats. The first 2 rows of economy, including the bulkhead, are reserved for Alaska Airlines elites, and I was able to get our entire party of 6 into those seats even though nobody but myself had status.
While one drawback of the bulkhead seats are immovable armrests, they more than make-up for that with legroom. Alaska’s bulkheads don’t have a physical wall separating the cabins, which means that the legroom extends into the last row of First Class. Also, since there’s no wall you are able to utilize the space in front of you to store personal items rather than having to put them in the overhead bins during takeoff and landing.
Since it was a relatively uneventful flight and I won’t bore you with pictures of my pizza or Oreo’s, I’ll focus next on the new Alaska Beyond entertainment system. At the beginning of the flight, “Flight Amenities” cards were distributed which highlighted some of the new features, including:
- Streaming in-flight entertainment to your own device
- In-flight Wifi
- Comfort seating
- In-flight power
To access the streaming in-flight entertainment, you’ll need the Gogo Video Player which for the most part is available in-flight (except for Apple users to/from Hawaii), but I’d recommend downloading it ahead of time just to be safe.
I loaded the Gogo Video Player on 4 different devices just to make sure I had back-ups, and there were easy-to-follow instructions to get started. That’s not to say that I didn’t run into a few snags along the way.
The system wasn’t available until about 30 minutes after takeoff, and in the end I was only able to get it working on 2 out of the 4 devices. There was a pretty good selection of movies and TV shows available, but every 30 minutes or so there would be a momentary lag in the streaming, but would start working again after a few seconds.
It seems like most domestic airlines are moving toward a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) type of streaming in-flight entertainment, and with the Alaska Beyond IFE system, Wifi, and in-seat power, I’d say that Alaska is more than competitive, if not ahead of the curve among its competitors.
Next thing I knew, 6 hours had passed and we were touching down in beautiful Honolulu, Hawaii.