Alaska Airlines and their lounge network has been point of contention for Priority Pass members in recent months as many of their club facilities began to exclude access for such memberships.
The Priority Pass has been very strongly pushed and at times over-marketed, especially through credit card products on the U.S. market where nowadays every premium credit card product appears to come with a Priority Pass.
Alaska has always been a very prominent member of the PP network and members did like their lounges but the locations in Seattle as well as in Los Angeles started to introduce the feared sign as pictured above, reading:
We’re not accepting Priority Pass or Lounge Club at this time. Apologies for the inconvenience.
While some lounges do indeed limit access for external memberships during peak hours of their own flights Alaska was never one of these as their club facilities are usually large enough.
The Seattle Times (access here) now had an article today saying that the all Alaska Clubs at Seattle-Tacoma Airport are now on the way out of the Priority Pass game effective September 1st, 2018.
Starting Sept. 1, Priority Pass holders will no longer be admitted to Alaska Airlines Lounges in the C, D and North Satellite terminals at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, according to a statement from the airline.
Overcrowding and the desire to provide a “reliable, relaxing and consistent experience for our guests” are given as reasons for the change by the airline.
The shift in protocol follows earlier reports of signs posted outside of Alaska Lounges limiting Priority Pass members’ access.
Until then it’s expected that the sign is going to be out frequently if not permanently, leaving Priority Pass members with only two alternatives:
- The Club at SEA (Concourse A)
- The Club at SEA (South Satellite)
Should one carry the American Express Platinum Card there is also the Amex Centurion Lounge at SEA.
When this started a few months ago and I heard of it I said right away that this is a bunch of nonsense. Either Alaska plays by the rules and let’s passengers in or they gotta withdraw from the Priority Pass network so people don’t rely on it and potentially acquire a PP membership or affiliated credit card product for nothing.
I wouldn’t be surprised if other locations that engage in the same conduct are going to follow the Seattle example and end the relationship. Los Angeles certainly comes to mind which would be a shame due to lack of alternative options.