After a great night’s sleep at at Inn America, it was time for my quick trip to Boise to come to an end. So I took the quick couple minute drive from the hotel to the airport and returned the rental car. Returning the car and getting through the airport was breeze; that is the great thing about small airports, everything is extremely close together and getting through security takes minutes.
My flight to Boise was straightforward and easy to book to find and to book. As Alaska was advertising $110 round trip flights from Seattle to Boise, the flights were available to book directly through the airline as well as through almost all online travel agencies. To keep all of my currently booked flights together in one place, I booked this flight through the Chase Travel Portal. As this was a regular economy flight I was able to select my desired seat ahead of time and was allowed the normal carry on allotment.
As I was on a standard economy ticket I was able to check in on my phone 24 hours before the flight was set to depart. Alaska Airlines will normally charge you extra for an exit row seat or an economy set up towards the front of the plane, but when check in opens 24 hours before the flight they unlock these seats. If you check in right away you can typically move up to an exit row seat with extra legroom. In this case I ended up moving myself up to the 3rd row for a quick exit off the plane. This plane boarded exactly as scheduled and given that this was a small propeller plane we had to walk onto the tarmac to board up the stairs. While some may consider this an inconvenience, I really enjoy this because you get same great views of the plane from the tarmac.
The Bombardier Dash 8 Q-400 is one of the smallest planes in the Alaska Airlines fleet seating 76 people in a 2-2 configuration. This seat does not have business/first so all 76 are economy seats with 31 inches of pitch and 17 inches wide. Typically these planes are used for extremely short hops, in this case the 400ish mile flight from Boise to Seattle. Personally I was excited to get on this plane as I could not remember ever flying on a turbo prop in my life (though I am sure I did when I was younger). Upon entering the plane it felt old. The seats while providing a decent amount of room were a bit torn and the padding was worn down.
The flight took off right on time, and the one hour journey was relatively without issue and we were quickly served our complementary coffee, juice, or soda. The flight was smooth and landed a few minutes early. The only real issue I had with Alaska’s Dash-8 was the worn down seat padding made for a far more uncomfortable ride than the Delta E-175 I flew to Boise on and would not have been comfortable for any longer than the 1 hour flight. That being said Alaska also operates the E-175 on its other flights to Boise which also may be a more comfortable flight.