Alaska Lounges In Portland & Anchorage Leaving Priority Pass

Filed Under: Alaska
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The partnership between Alaska Airlines and Priority Pass has been inconsistent over the years:

  • Back in the day all Alaska Lounges belonged to Priority Pass
  • As of September 1, 2018, all Alaska Lounges in Seattle left Priority Pass
  • As it stands, the Alaska Lounges in Anchorage, Los Angeles, New York JFK, and Portland, belong to Priority Pass; however, these lounges often have capacity restrictions where they’ll turn away Priority Pass members due to crowding

Well, unfortunately it looks like another Alaska Lounge will soon be leaving Priority Pass.

Alaska Lounge Portland Leaving Priority Pass

Per a notice on the Priority Pass website, the Alaska Lounges in Anchorage and Portland will be leaving the Priority Pass network as of November 1, 2019.

That’s of course a loss. In Anchorage the Alaska Lounge is the only Priority Pass option. Meanwhile in Portland, the Alaska Lounge is the only “traditional” Priority Pass lounge, though:

  • The lounge already often denied Priority Pass members due to crowding
  • The airport has some great non-traditional Priority Pass locations, including Capers Cafe Le Bar, where members receive a $28 food & beverage credit, and Westward Whiskey, where members receive a $28 beverage credit (note that these experiences aren’t available to those who have a Priority Pass membership through Amex)

Capers Cafe Le Bar Portland

I’m told that Priority Pass will continue to be accepted at the two other Alaska Lounge locations, in Los Angeles and New York JFK. They do sometimes have capacity restrictions, but in general will still accept Priority Pass.

As Alaska describes these changes:

Over the years, the Alaska Lounge program has continued to grow. Due to our growth, we consistently have space constraints that impact Priority Pass members at our Portland and Anchorage locations. So, after careful consideration, we’ve decided to discontinue access at these two lounges.

We believe these changes will help us ensure we provide our guests with a great travel experience, whether on a flight or in one of our lounges.

Best Ways To Access Alaska Lounges

Aside from Priority Pass, there are quite a few other ways to access Alaska Lounges, including:

The new flagship Alaska Lounge Seattle

Bottom Line

The Alaska Lounges in Anchorage and Portland are leaving Priority Pass as of November 1, 2019. This is apparently due to consistent crowding issues. Fortunately there are plenty of other ways to access these lounges.

Will you miss the Alaska Lounges in Anchorage and Portland being part of Priority Pass?

(Tip of the hat to Joe)

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Comments
  1. That Alaska lounge had a sign Almost permanently affixed at the front door announcing PP holders would be declined due to capacity. Almost never available. This just makes it official.

  2. My bets are that LAX will be next. That location is consistently overcrowded (often more so than PDX), and you can almost never get in with priority pass anyway

  3. @JW it wasn’t permanently affixed, but usually removed in the evening at 9:00 or so. This is yet another city that I travel to regularly where I can’t get into a lounge with my Amex Platinum – and they raised the price of the card. My last year.

  4. “That Alaska lounge had a sign Almost permanently affixed at the front door announcing PP holders would be declined due to capacity. Almost never available. This just makes it official.”

    UP!

    P.P.L.I.N.O. = Priority Pass Lounge In Name Only

  5. Not sure why everyone is so in love with Alaska beyond their mileage program. I decided to try them again last week as I was considering switching out Exec Plat and move my flying towards them. That idea ended fast at check-in. I have to carry samples and work items in my checked bag so it tends to be always around 55lbs. I was in paid First and they still got me for $100.00. American and Delta allow me up to 70lbs free.

    As well, I found nothing in the way of lounges or onboard service to be anything different than the others.

  6. Priority Pass seems like it has increasingly limited utility. I rarely use them. Cards that provide access to UA, AA or Delta clubs are much more worthwhile.

  7. Stuart – Alaska was well liked on the blogs when you could become an elite and get value out of their mileage program without ever stepping foot on Alaska metal (AA and Delta partnerships, BofA credit card, etc). They have gutted most of that and have retrenched since buying VA. It’s not that useful outside of SEA and Alaska based fliers.

  8. Good! If you want in, buy the lounge membership like the rest of us, and stop free-riding on what we pay for and then can’t use because non-paying Priority Pass people are filling the place up.

  9. @Dennis Palmieri
    “non-paying”, “free-riding”… I don’t know how you get that perception, but people either pay for the membership or maintain a high-annual-fee credit card to get PP, and PP pays the lounge every time someone uses it. There is nothing free here whatsoever.

  10. Oh no! Where oh where will I get horrible-tasting machine-made pancakes for consumption in a dressed-up Holiday Inn Express breakfast nook now?!

    Their newer lounges are pretty swank, though, even if the food on offer in still middling, at best.

  11. The PDX lounge is very small to begin with and (when my flight to SFO is inevitably delayed) it really only offered free drinks and soup – that tasted like it was from a can. Not a huge loss, but annoying to lose another option. At least PDX’s terminal is a pleasant experience and much less crowded than SEA.

  12. Alaska Lounge Membership cost $295 to $450 (Limited locations)
    Priority Pass Membership cost $299 to $422 (Worldwide access)

    As a 75K AS member, I still hold the top of the line Priority Pass. I guess AS did not like that and would prefer I purchase their membership pass instead. The reality is, I will continue with Priority Pass as it has much better coverage regardless of AS lounge access policies and the 4 free passes and paid first class access means it was a great alternative to AS lounge membership.

    Besides, NO SFO lounge !!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. ANC would be a big loss. No substitute there and I didn’t find it overcrowding.

    PDX, LAX not really a big deal. Like these places ever allow PP to go in. Probably once in LAX after they moved to T6 (back in T3 was fine) and never in PDX for years. Always full.

    @Dennis Palmieri
    I’m always amused at this self centered free riding theory. Even one didn’t directly pay the lounge doesn’t mean one didn’t pay at all.

  14. They should just leave the PP program altogether, because mostly it just ticks off passengers flying with them because there are nearly always capacity restrictions in effect.

  15. I’m very happy AS is making these changes. I’m a paying member, and have had WAY too many incidences where the lounges were packed with PP members and the concierges were, in many cases, having to apologize to members. Flew them yesterday during a very busy time and three times in the past two months prior to this. What a difference this has made, in my opinion. Crowds have thinned out to a reasonable level now and you can easily find a place to relax now.

  16. I’m quite sad about this as we are flying through PDX on the way back from PVR in November and have a 4 hour layover. Hopefully the restaurant will have us

  17. This just means my Sapphire Reserve is almost worthless out of PDX. The Capers Market was my go-to for food, but now I have to slog all the way to the C Concourse because I use UA most of the time (E concourse). The AS Lounge was always a sh*tshow for the most part and the quality was quite low vs the UA Club which it appears I will be using more often.
    Of course with UA’s new mileage plan changes, I will probably be swapping over to AS for my domestic travel and I’ll be an MVP, so karma is re-balanced.

  18. Wow Dennis! I wonder where you got the moronic idea that PP is free? And KT how the hell would you possibly know what all the other passengers in the lounge used to gain access?

  19. I was in ANC Alaska Lounge a couple of years ago (not sure if I used my Admirals Club or Priority Pass for access). Frankly I wasn’t impressed. Better (by a little) than sitting in terminal but mediocre, limited food and low end beer/liquor just doesn’t cut it. Almost every airport has free WiFi and I would rather pick somewhere to eat and drink I prefer. No problem paying – I’m not so cheap I would eat and drink there just because it was “free” and really sad there are people like that.

  20. Priority pass continues to decline. I mainly fly from PDX to DIA and have now seen capers market and Alaska lounge dissappear from PDX and Timberline dissappear from DIA. Alaska at PDX was always an awful lounge, and as mentioned had their sign up restricting PP use almost always. I once got in only to have them put the sign up right after me, it was clear in the two ladies reaction that they were frustrated that they had forgotten to put it out. I am finding it harder and harder to pay an annual fee for a product that continues to become less and less valuable. Some of the lounges in Asia are very nice, but I end up flying domestic far more. I am excited for the Centurion lounge coming to DIA but wish Amex would add something in Portland. I could then cancel my CSR card but with the only non-stops being offered through SW, I have to begrudgingly go through them instead of Delta.

  21. I have the Alaska lounge membership and find the lounges full., especially at PDX. I have no problem with them limiting access to Priority Pass (which I am also a member). They need to provide a positive experience for those who have paid for the AS lounge.

  22. i do not understand the faff about lounges, having traveled all across the world the only good thing i find is that its usually a nice(Er) place to sit for a few moments. the food is mostly hidious. Having transited trough PDX last week (and yes i had been denied despite the lounge being deserted, asked why and they said its policy… (so may have been in effect earlier).

    I did enjoy the cafe/restaurant credits they do! i get to pick decent food(mostly). I hope that PP gets to do more of these restaurant partnerships both in europe and beyond .

  23. I’ll definitely miss the Anchorage lounge. Many outbound flights are after 11pm AKT, which is 3a Eastern Time. Being able to relax or get some last-minute work done at the lounge was just part of my routine before the 14+ hour journey home. Staff always treat me well there.

    Sure, there were many times when they had the sign out saying the lounge was full and would be denying Priority Pass members, but even when that happened I was still able to get in awhile later.

    At least there’s still the Sleeping Lady lounge upstairs that most travelers haven’t discovered yet.

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