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:
- All paid first class tickets on Alaska come with lounge access, whether redeeming miles or paying cash; just upgrades don’t qualify
- You can buy an Alaska Lounge membership
- If you have the Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card (review) or Alaska Airlines Visa® Business Credit Card (review), you can buy access for $25 per visit
- An Admirals Club membership gets you access when flying Alaska or American same day; the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® (review) is the best card for getting an Admirals Club membership
- If you’re MVP Gold 75K, you get four guest passes per year
The new flagship Alaska Lounge Seattle
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)