Alaska Airlines Lounges Rejoin The Priority Pass Network Three Years After Exodus

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Three years after a mass exodus of Alaska Airlines Lounge locations from the Priority Pass network most lounges have once again popped up on the application and appear to have rejoined.

Alaska Airlines and their lounge network has been point of contention for Priority Pass members in the months leading up to their exit as many of their clubs began to exclude access for PP memberships.

With the hard times we’re in and one would assume a severe breakdown of lounge membership revenue Alaska Airlines must have a change of heart to once again accept the “unwashed masses” of Priority Pass like myself and grant them access to their clubs.

The Priority Pass has been very strongly pushed and at times over-marketed, especially through credit card products on the U.S. market to the poin of where nowadays every premium credit card product seems 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 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.

Short after as we reported in July of 2018 most of the AS lounges started to officially leave the Priority Pass network as of September 1, 2018.

Some locations never officially dropped out and others rejoined recently so there are now a couple clubs available again on the Priority Pass app/website:

Here is the new sign as seen at Los Angeles LAX:

The picture was taken by a friend of mine who visited LAX last week but missed the opening hours by just a few minutes so he wasn’t even able to step in. Nevertheless quite a change in tone.

Here are some conditions that apply as per the Priority Pass website:

Conditions

Lounge access is permitted 3 hours prior to a scheduled flight departure – All Cardholders are required to show a physical or digital Priority Pass Card – All Cardholders and guests are required to present a valid boarding pass for same day travel – Cardholder name must match the passenger name on the boarding pass – Limited to two guests per cardholder or immediate family (spouse and children under 21 years of age) – Cardholder must be 18 years of age or older – Lounge access may be restricted due to Lounge capacity constraints and the Lounge reserves the right to reserve seating as necessary – Children under 2 years are admitted free – Alcoholic drinks are limited to three per adult.

Additional Information

Premium alcoholic drinks are subject to payment. If access is restricted, the lounge uses a waiting list.

Please add your name to the list on http://bit.ly/alaskasean. The waiting list does not guarantee access. Face masks must be worn. Please note hot food is temporarily suspended (snacks only) until further notice.

Each of these lounges as referenced above now has a waiting list that might or might not help with the access. Furthermore you can BUY a maximum of three alcoholic drinks during your three hour stay at the club.

You can find all Alaska Airlines club lounge locations on their website with the respective opening hours.

The website reveals a compelling reason for using a Priority Pass to access Alaska Airlines lounges: The cost for a club membership when purchased outright. The membership costs $450 annually for non tier members of Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan and status members get various discounts in $50 steps depending in their level. The minimum fee is $300 per year. If you can mitigate that down to zero by having a Priority Pass included with your credit card then why not?

Since Alaska doesn’t want to eat away on that revenue they came up with this “capacity control” nonsense policy that would not admit PP members at certain (most) times even when clubs were completely empty. This turned a lot of customers sour especially when they actually flew on Alaska Airlines that day.

Conclusion

Apparently someone at Alaska Airlines decided that it’s in their own best interest to start admitting Priority Pass members again and at least receive some revenue from that source. I don’t see many actual Alaska Airlines lounge members pay a full annual membership fee for the access anytime soon. Especially with the downgraded service during Covid.

I’ve generally been a big fan of Priority Pass over the years and use it multiple times a year to my advantage. It plays a large part in renewing at least one premium credit card every year and keep this option for third party lounge visits open. I’m valuing my membership with ~ $150-200 when taking it into consideration.

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