The Battle For Alaska: United Adds Anchorage To Los Angeles Service

We found out last week that United will have a new nonstop service between Los Angeles, California and Anchorage, Alaska. According to KTUU, tickets will be available for purchase as of today, Saturday, October 12th for travel between June 18th, 2020, through August 17th, 2020. Looking at the dates this is clearly a seasonal summer service.

United will operate the service with its Boeing 737-800 jets. Photo: United Airlines.

According to the Points Guy, United will be offering one daily round-trip flight from late June to late August. This service will be operated by United’s Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Sources also note that United is entering a market that already has a few players. In fact, Alaska Airlines flies year-around between the two cities while American Airlines already offers seasonal summer service.

Flying on United

According to United’s website, its Boeing 737-800s come in three different configurations. Differences between the three variants include the distribution of United Economy Plus and United Economy seats as well as WiFi availability and differences in the seatback entertainment experience. All three variants are similar in that they all have 16 United First seats. Unfortunately, it is unknown which variant flies the LAX to ANC route.

It’s possible once the 737 MAX jets are back in service, they will be swapped with the -800s to fly this route. In fact, the MAX jets might also include personal IFE.

The new route to Los Angeles is an addition to United’s already extensive summer offerings out of Anchorage. From the largest city in Alaska, United has two daily flights to Chicago and Denver. It also offers once-daily services to Newark, Houston and San Francisco.

What the competition offers

The Battle For Alaska: United Adds Anchorage To Los Angeles Service
A vintage photo of an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 at LAX. Photo: InSapphoWeTrust via Flickr

While we couldn’t find specifics on what American Airlines normally flies to Anchorage, Alaska Airlines usually flies the Boeing 737-900 on this route. This is what Alaska has to say about these aircraft:

“…178 leather Recaro seats, seatback power outlets for charging laptops and smartphones, Premium Class, Boeing’s award-winning Sky Interior, inflight internet service, and Alaska Beyond Entertainment Alaska Beyond Entertainment. We’re also adding Boeing’s innovative Space Bins to these aircraft. The larger overhead bins hold 48 percent more bags, allowing customers to load bags with less hassle”

The flight times between United and American are similar. Both carriers will leave within 20 minutes of each other, around 6 pm and arrive around five and a half hours later at 10:30 pm. Alaska Airlines approaches the schedule differently and offers the service as an overnight flight. It leaves just before midnight and arrives at approximately 4:30 am.

Alaska Airlines, reuse bottles, Single use plastics
Competition is heating up for the busy summer tourist season. Image: Alaska Airlines


At the moment it seems like United is trying to make a big splash and attract fill seats on this new service. A search on Skyscanner found that on a random day in late June, the United non-stop flight was roughly 30% cheaper than American or Alaska. Of course, fares will fluctuate and this information may not stay accurate.

This new service should offer better connectivity to Alaska for travelers connecting through LAX from places like Asia and South America. If you were flying between Anchorage and Los Angeles, which of the three airlines would you choose to fly on? Let us know in the comments!