Alaska Lounge SFO Opening In 2020

Filed Under: Alaska

Alaska Airlines has announced today that they’ll be opening an Alaska Lounge at San Francisco Airport Terminal 2 in 2020.

The new 8,500 square foot Alaska Lounge will be on the top floor of SFO’s Terminal 2, so will feature the highest viewpoint of any domestic lounge at SFO. Currently the only other lounge in terminal is an American Airlines Admirals Club.

As Alaska’s VP of the Bay Area, Annabel Chang, explains:

“We are thrilled to announce this landmark investment in the Bay Area that will provide guests flying through SFO with our modern and comfortable lounge experience. SFO is our second largest hub with an average of 150,000 passengers flying on a daily basis, and we want to ensure airport visitors can rest, relax and enjoy our wide array of lounge offerings.”

So far the airline has released the following rendering of the new lounge:

An Alaska Lounge at SFO is so long overdue:

  • Alaska used to have a lounge at SFO, though it closed over five years ago
  • Alaska flyers with a lounge membership used to have access to the Terminal 2 Admirals Club, but that was cut as of January 1, 2018
  • Select Virgin America flyers used to be able to buy access to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, but that’s no longer possible
  • Alaska Lounge members flying out of the International Terminal have access to the Cathay Pacific Lounge, but that’s not useful for most Alaska flights
  • Now San Francisco is a massive hub for Alaska, given that they acquired Virgin America, so there’s more need than ever before for a lounge

I know the airline has been trying to open a lounge at SFO for quite a while, given that San Francisco is their second biggest station, after Seattle.

But the problem has been the lack of space in Terminal 2. So it’s great to see that they’ve finally come up with a solution that will allow lounge access in this terminal, and it seems that’s being accomplished by adding space on the second level of the terminal.

Note that this likely coincides with American leaving Terminal 2. In 2020 American will move from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1 at SFO. While American has an Admirals Club, the plan is for that space to be used for retail, given what prime real estate it is.

It’s not yet known whether the Alaska Lounge San Francisco will be open to Priority Pass members. As it stands, the Alaska Lounges in Anchorage, Los Angeles, New York JFK, and Portland belong to Priority Pass, while those in Seattle don’t.

The problem is that even those Alaska Lounges that do belong to Priority Pass often have capacity constraints, which is a point of frustration for many.

My initial guess is that the SFO lounge won’t be open to Priority Pass members, given what a big station SFO is for the airline, yet the lounge will only be about 8,500 square feet.

What do you make of the new Alaska Lounge SFO?

Comments
  1. Currently the best way to access Alaska lounges is definitely not Priority Pass. The Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard with American Airlines Admirals Club membership gives you access to all Alaska lounges, as well as the Admirls Club access, which is really useful when flying out of SFO.

  2. Alaska has no clue how to integrate lounge access and premium passengers. I was traveling in NYC with a disabled veteran on Veterans Day in First Class and a Priority Pass premium card. Alaska lounge turned us away in a surly New York fashion. When we wrote to their customer service they were too embarrassed to answer!

  3. In other Alaska news, the FAA today gave approval to begin flights from Paine Field. First flights should begin March 4.

  4. The little airline that thinks they invented First Class.
    LUCKY SAYS: I know the airline has been trying to open a lounge at SFO for quite a while, given that San Francisco is their second biggest station, after Seattle.
    TIM SAYS: SFO is 4th, behind PDX and LAX after SEA
    No hurry to taste the mega-salty chowder.

  5. How do you know who will be in Terminal 1 after renovations? Is this information public? Is it going to become a OneWorld terminal? Where will Southwest and Delta/SkyTeam end up?

  6. @Steven I don’t think it makes sense to think of alliance groupings at SFO. International flights depart from the International terminal at SFO. T1, T2, and T3 are only for domestic flights, so you wouldn’t see Skyteam or Oneworld airlines there other than Delta and American.

  7. What good is a lounge when their premium product lags so far behind all the rest. Having flown Alaska’s first class product from SF to JFK and back: the seats were basically Virgin America’s product, every thing else was mediocre: food, plastic throw away headphones, interior etc.
    Given that the transcontinental market is a competitive one, you’d expect that they would meet the challenge: not so. The lounge at JFK is the old UA lounge, just as tired as it was years ago.
    Jet Blue’s Mint and AA First are still the competitors on this route.

  8. Would you explain what is this Priority Pass you are talking about? I have mileage cards etc, but since I do not know how to use for tickets I have many points on my accounts.

  9. Scott, I can confirm that the SFO ADP (Airport Development Plan) states that the currently in process T1 redevelopment will include international gates: “Terminal 1 Redevelopment Terminal 1 Boarding Area B will be rebuilt as an 18-gate facility with a mix of widebody and narrowbody aircraft or up to 27 narrowbody aircraft parking positions. A number of these gates will be domestic/international-capable swing gates.” After the new T1 is complete, a similar project will expand United’s T3, which will also add international-capable gates.

  10. @Steven, well I learned something new today! Thanks for the info, I hadn’t heard that other terminals would get the ability to host international flights. So now I am curious, as with your original question, whether any of the foreign airlines will relocate out of the Int’l terminal. Good question.

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