Another airline has just announced a price increase for lounge memberships.
Alaska Lounge membership fees increasing
Alaska’s new lounge membership costs are as follows:
- Standard membership — $450
- Mileage Plan MVP membership — $400
- Mileage Plan MVP Gold membership — $350
- Mileage Plan MVP Gold 75K membership — $300
Here’s their current pricing (through August 29, 2019):
- Standard membership — $450
- Mileage Plan MVP membership — $375
- Mileage Plan MVP Gold & MVP Gold 75K membership — $295
So, how are Alaska Lounge membership fees increasing?
- The standard membership cost is staying the same
- The cost for MVP members is increasing by $25
- The cost for MVP Gold members is increasing by $55
- The cost for MVP Gold 75K members is increasing by $5
While I assume most people buying memberships are elite members, it’s still interesting to see the standard membership cost not increase, but rather only to see the elite membership price increase.
Alaska Lounge Seattle
Alternatives for Alaska Lounge access
If you’re looking to access Alaska Lounges, there are a few other options available to you.
Fly paid first class
Alaska is the only US airline that lets paid first class passengers traveling on all routes into lounges. So as long as you’re redeeming miles or paying cash you get access, while those upgrading don’t.
Alaska first class
Citi AAdvantage Executive Card
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® (review) has a $450 annual fee, and comes with an Admirals Club membership. Admirals Club members get access to most Alaska Lounges when flying Alaska or American same day.
The benefit of this over buying a membership directly is that you can add 10 authorized users at no extra cost, and they all get Admirals Club access as well. The authorized users don’t get Alaska Lounge access, but to me this makes it easier to justify the card.
Priority Pass membership
Priority Pass is the world’s largest network of independent lounges, and several premium credit cards come with a membership.
Alaska Lounges in Anchorage, Los Angeles, New York, and Portland belong to Priority Pass, though the ones in Seattle don’t.
This can be a great way to access Alaska Lounges, though note that there are sometimes capacity controls where Priority Pass members aren’t allowed in.
Alaska Lounge New York JFK
In the grand scheme of things the price increase for Alaska Lounges seems reasonable enough, as it’s a trend we’ve seen from other airlines.
Furthermore, unlike other airlines, Alaska lets members use their lounges even when flying other airlines. The major US carriers are all otherwise in the process of adding restrictions about that.
Personally, I don’t have an Alaska Lounge membership, but rather I access their lounges either through Priority Pass or through my Citi AAdvantage Executive Elite Card.