Alaska Airlines, which has been serving the Santa Rosa airport for 11 years, upgraded some of the planes flying in and out of Sonoma County to first class.
On Sunday, May 20, the carrier brought in the first Embraer 175 regional jet, according to the county of Sonoma, which operates Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport. With 76 seats, it carries the same number of passengers as the Bombardier Q-400 turboprop planes that have been backbone of the Seattle-based carrier's service to regional airports like Santa Rosa’s. But the Embraer 175 has a dozen first-class seats and as many premium-class spots.
Other new features for Alaska Airlines service from Santa Rosa are inflight WiFi, the company's video and audio entertainment system, bigger windows and larger bins for passenger items. Limited cabin space on the Q-400 leads to carry-on items having to be stored with luggage.
The airline started Entraer 175 planes on the daily flights between Santa Rosa and San Diego. The aircraft are set to be added to the Portland, Oregon, route on July 18.
The airline intends to operate both aircraft to and from Santa Rosa, according to the county.