Early morning MAX ride to the airport — despite temperatures in the teens, the roads were still dry and Lisa’s mom was able to drop us off at the MAX station without incident. Our MAX ride was cold — sitting near the door, the cold drafts made our toes freeze and our fingers go numb. However, we made it to the airport, and after a thirty minute wait to check in, we used our TSA Pre-Check to whisk through security in under five minutes and by 9:00am we were in the Alaska Airlines Board Room lounge, where we enjoyed oatmeal, hard boiled eggs, hot drinks and more.
Earlier we had requested to be put on the seat upgrade list, and though there were four people ahead of us, we were told that there were seven first class seats still free. And sure enough, while waiting at the gate, our names were called and we were upgraded to First Class for a nominal fee of only $100 each. This was great because my Ritz Carlton credit card offers an annual $300 credit for non-airline ticket purchases, such as day lounge passes, food and drink, and seat upgrades. And since this is December, my credit was due to expire in a few weeks, so Yay for us!
Onboard we had seats 1D and 1F, right in the front. I have never flown first class before, but I’ve seen plenty of movies to know what to expect. Here are just a few of the perks we had during our four-hour flight:
- hot towels
- complimentary orange juice or coffee before take off
- toasty hot nuts to snack on– cashews, almonds, hazelnuts — plus the regular bag of pretzels
- entertainment tablet with free movies and tv shows preloaded for our viewing pleasure
- complimentary lunch-type snack. In this case, it was this yummy vegetarian rice dish with asparagus, bread stick, salad and a dessert brownie
- last but not least — unlimited alcohol. I had two small bottles of Crater Lake Hazelnut Vodka, plus a screwdriver. Lisa had a coffee with Baily’s Irish Cream and two wines. Awesome!
We landed at 4:00pm, about 30 minutes later than anticipated. We went through immigration and customs, found our shuttle, and by 5:30pm we were checked into our hotel, the Hyatt Place Los Cabos. We had a great dinner at Cynthia’s Fresh, then walked around the SuperMercado, and finished with some Chips Ahoy ice cream cookies from Dairy Queen.
We left this morning in some frigid weather, and now we are enjoying the sunny beaches of San Juan Del Cabo with temperatures in the 80’s for the next several days. Ah, winter vacation! It was a relaxing day one, and we have seven more to go. Lisa and I are so lucky to be able to do this, and with the help of taking advantage of credit card perks and loyalty points, it definitely makes it easier on the wallet.