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Priority Pass is the world’s largest network of airport lounges, with 1,200+ lounges around the world. Several popular premium credit cards come with Priority Pass memberships, including The Platinum Card® from American Express and Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card. Given how popular these cards have become, the number of people with access to these lounges has greatly increased.
This is both good and bad news. It’s great news because more people have access to lounges than ever before. Furthermore, Priority Pass has gotten aggressive about adding new lounge locations, including some untraditional lounges, like airport restaurants and even an airport spirits tasting room.
House Spirits Distillery in Portland — not your average Priority Pass lounge!
The bad news is that this has led to overcrowding in many lounges, to the point that it has in some cases taken away the tranquility of lounges, and in other cases has caused lounges to turn Priority Pass members away.
American, Delta, and United lounges all don’t belong to Priority Pass, though Alaska Lounges have, historically. They’re actually the only US airline to have lounges belonging to Priority Pass, with locations in Anchorage, Los Angeles, New York JFK, Portland, and Seattle.
However, these lounges have also consistently had crowding issues, so it’s not uncommon to get turned away from these lounges with Priority Pass. This has probably been the most common at the lounges in Seattle, where they’ve pretty consistently turned away Priority Pass members. As a result, it looks like Alaska’s acceptance of Priority Pass is soon changing.
The Points Guy reports that as of September 1, 2018, all three Alaska Airlines Lounges Seattle will be leaving Priority Pass. This is apparently “following a mutual review,” and includes the lounges in Concourse C, Concourse D, and the North Satellite. Fortunately Alaska Lounge locations at other airports will continue to belong to the network, at least for now.
The Alaska Lounge New York JFK continues to be part of Priority Pass
This means that Priority Pass members will soon only have access to two lounges at the airport, which is the two locations of The Club at SEA. Those with The Platinum Card® from American Express also have access to the Centurion Lounge.
The Club at SEA continues to be part of Priority Pass
My guess is that this decision was mostly made by Alaska Airlines and was due to overcrowding of the lounges. I know the Alaska and Priority Pass partnership has been mutually beneficial, and Alaska has made tons of money off this, since they get paid for each Priority Pass member who enters the lounge. However, at some point I guess they just couldn’t handle the volume of visitors anymore.
SeaTac lounges are notoriously overcrowded, so I hope that Priority Pass adds some airport restaurants to their network, as they’ve done at other airports, as that would go a long way.
Are you surprised to see Alaska Lounges in Seattle leave Priority Pass?