Mystery solved: Why some of our aircraft have a windowless window seat

The view from seat 11A on Alaska’s 737-900ER.

You board your flight to Maui and head to your seat – 10A. You’re excited to have a view of the Pacific Ocean for the next five hours. However, when you get to your seat, you come to find that you’re in the only one on the aircraft without a window – the windowless window seat.

Have you ever wondered why this seat exists?

Every aircraft in Alaska’s Boeing fleet has a seat or two, on the left side forward of the wing, with either partial access to a window or no window at all.

“That’s the spot where Boeing places the air conditioning riser ducts from the belly – where the air conditioners are located – to the cabin ceiling, where the air distribution ducts are at,” said John Melvin, Alaska director of fleet engineering. “The vertical ducts are located behind the passenger compartment sidewall panels and they prevent the installation of a window in one row on the left side. This is standard on all Boeing 737 aircraft, not just ours.”

On Horizon Air’s Q400 fleet, there is also a partially blocked window at row 11.

“There is an obstruction of the view from the window due to electrical conduits that pass through that area similar to the Boeing 737,” said David White, Horizon director of fleet engineering. “It’s not a complete obstruction, but the windows are located pretty far forward and aft at that seat, so the visibility is not so good.”

So, there you have it. Mystery solved!

Here’s a breakdown of our aircraft with partial access to a window or no window at all:

• 737-700 – No window in Seat 9A
• 737-800 – No window in seat 10A
• 737-900/900ER– No window in seat 11A
• Q400 – Limited window view in row 11

16 comments on "Mystery solved: Why some of our aircraft have a windowless window seat"

  1. Please indicate windowless seats on seat maps when booking. This information is too geeky for most to know.

    • Thanks for your feedback, Karen. Our e-commerce team reports that guests booking these seats should receive a pop-up alert when they attempt to book a windowless window seat. This is what that message should look like:
      Booking message

  2. I agree it should be pointed out when you select one of those seats. If you select a Handicap Accessible seat there is a pop-up window explaining that. Why not the same if you select a window seat with no window? Seems simple…

    • Thanks for your feedback, Ivan. Our e-commerce team reports that guests booking these seats should receive a pop-up alert when they attempt to book a windowless window seat. You can see an image of what that looks like in the replies at the top and bottom of this post

  3. Other airlines make the seat map with, for example, seats that don’t recline. Doing that and flagging the windowless window seat would be great!

    • Thanks very much for your feedback, Kelle. Our e-commerce team reports that guests booking these seats should receive a pop-up alert when they attempt to book a windowless window seat. You can see an image of what that looks like in the reply to the second comment on the bottom of this post.

  4. You should discount the price of this seat as it is inferior to all others. Also, you need to make it clear when booking that this is a windowless seat. Thank you from a loyal Alaska customer.

    • We will pass along your feedback, Jim. Our e-commerce team does say that guests booking these seats should receive a pop-up alert when they attempt to book a windowless window seat. You can see an image of what that looks like in the reply to the second comment on the bottom of this post.

  5. Don’t sell it as a window seat. In fact, if you adjust your rows better that blocked window would actually be even with the seat back and the passenger would still have a window just ahead. But since you cram all the seat rows together it become a blocked window.

    • Thanks, Rachel. Our e-commerce team reports that guests booking these seats should receive a pop-up alert when they attempt to book a windowless window seat. This is an image of what that should look like. Booking pop-up message

  6. The problem is that you SELL IT as a window seat!! Make a note on the seat map when booking!!!

    • They do. You’ll get a pop-up notifying you of such if you try to select a windowless seat.

    • Thanks for your comment, David. Our e-commerce team reports that guests booking these seats should receive a pop-up alert when they attempt to book a windowless window seat. It should look like this:
      Pop-up alert when booking