Which Alaska Lounges Belong To Priority Pass? (SFO Added)

Which Alaska Lounges Belong To Priority Pass? (SFO Added)

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Alaska Airlines seems to have a love-hate relationship with Priority Pass when it comes to lounge access. Interestingly the brand new Alaska Lounge SFO has just joined Priority Pass, so let’s cover where that leaves us.

Alaska Lounges participating in Priority Pass

Of the eight Alaska Lounges, two now belong to Priority Pass:

  • The Alaska Lounge New York (JFK) belongs to Priority Pass, and the lounge is open daily from 5AM until 9AM, and from 2:30PM until 9PM; lounge entry is allowed two hours before departure, and you can bring at most two guests
  • The Alaska Lounge San Francisco (SFO) belongs to Priority Pass, and the lounge is open daily from 5AM until 10PM; lounge entry is allowed two hours before departure, and you can bring at most two guests
The Alaska Lounge SFO belongs to Priority Pass

Meanwhile the other Alaska Lounges have most recently left the Priority Pass network as of the following dates (Seattle has three lounges, though we typically only saw one lounge belonging to Priority Pass):

  • The Alaska Lounge Portland (PDX) left Priority Pass as of May 16, 2021
  • The Alaska Lounge Seattle (SEA) left Priority Pass as of July 16, 2021
  • The Alaska Lounge Anchorage (ANC) is leaving Priority Pass as of July 23, 2021
  • The Alaska Lounge Los Angeles (LAX) is leaving Priority Pass as of July 23, 2021

As Priority Pass’ website describes this, the lounges that aren’t currently in Priority Pass are “not accessible until further notice.” So it’s possible that they’ll rejoin at some point in the future, but I wouldn’t expect it anytime soon.

The Alaska Lounge JFK belongs to Priority Pass

Alaska Airlines’ love-hate relationship with Priority Pass

For years now, Alaska Airlines has gone back and forth about whether its lounge network should belong to Priority Pass. Having a lounge be part of Priority Pass is both a blessing and a curse:

  • Ideally Alaska Airlines wants you to buy a membership to the Alaska Lounge, since that’s probably the most profitable for the airline, and also leads to the most loyalty (you’re more likely to fly with Alaska if you paid for a lounge membership, since you want to be able to use it)
  • Priority Pass pays Alaska Airlines when someone accesses a lounge with a Priority Pass membership; the catch is that Alaska Airlines doesn’t want to cannibalize sales of lounge memberships
  • Over the years more and more people have gotten Priority Pass lounge memberships through premium credit cards, which has caused serious crowding issues at some lounges
  • So while some Alaska Lounges have belonged to Priority Pass when capacity allowed, the reality is that expectations haven’t been managed very well; some Alaska Lounges have belonged to Priority Pass, but turned away Priority Pass members a vast majority of the time

In early 2021 we saw most Alaska Lounges rejoin Priority Pass temporarily. This was presumably because travel demand was way down, so this was a great way for Alaska to generate some revenue and reduce losses from operating lounges. Of course at this point domestic travel is almost fully recovered to pre-coronavirus levels, so Alaska Airlines is facing the same issue it had in the past, which is that lounges aren’t big enough to accommodate Priority Pass members.

Personally I’m surprised to see the Alaska Lounge SFO join Priority Pass. I guess the lounge just isn’t very busy as of now.

With domestic travel recovered, Alaska doesn’t need Priority Pass as much

Bottom line

At this point the Alaska Lounges at JFK and SFO both belong to Priority Pass, with the latter being a new addition. That’s exciting, and frankly I wasn’t expecting to see the SFO lounge added, especially with other Alaska Lounges having recently been removed from the network.

What do you make of the Alaska Lounge SFO joining Priority Pass?

Conversations (17)
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  1. Joe R Guest

    I see this article was just written/updated in June 2022. However, I just tried to enter the AS lounge at SFO and was denied (Priority Pass through Amex Platinum). They offered to let me in for $30.

  2. Jerry Guest

    Alaska Lounges are some of the worst lounges I have encountered and when I have commented before to them they deny the reality. Their selection of food is awful and fit for rabbits not people. Their lounge availability at most airports is non existent or extremely limited. They charge for items that should come for free. Why would you join?? By the way I am a loyal Alaskan Flyer.

  3. James G Guest

    This article is inaccurate. Just tried to use Priority Pass at the Alaska lounge in SFO and they didn't accept it. The front desk attendant said only the JFK lounge is taking Priority Pass. Interestingly they said it was because they just opened, which doesn't make sense to me.
    Priority pass is now either a scam or just straight up worthless.

  4. Thomas Guest

    LAX does NOT show up in the PP system or App.

    KAL now closed
    PP now sux at LAX

  5. DF-2021 Guest

    Was turned away with priority pass on 10/10

  6. David Guest

    Ben: TPG has retracted this. You should update.

  7. Art_Czar Member

    Without an airside connection, the AS lounge at Terminal 2 has little risk of overcrowding with AA elites from Terminal 1 or OW elites from the Int'l Terminal. So why not have PP members overcrowd it instead!

  8. Andrew Guest

    SFO also charges $25 for entry, which is an objectively good deal when paying cash for entry compared to other lounges. Sucks Terminal 2 isn't connected to anything airside, though.

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      That’s one of my few gripes with SFO, incomplete airside connections.

      But AFAIK construction is underway that will ultimately correct that.

      If I’m wrong, please don’t tell me. I want to keep hope alive.

    2. Brizone Gold

      Supposed to be finished this month to walk through, though other apects of that project were delayed: https://www.flysfo.com/media/press-releases/sfo-postpones-additional-construction-projects-due-covid-19-pandemic

    3. Nick Guest

      Ben- Alaska LAX is back with PP. May want to update your article.

  9. Mark Guest

    Been thinking of going in with a bunch of friends to get the AA credit card. If five or 6 of us get it it's under $100 a year for AA (and therefore AS) lounge access. The SEA Centurion is so full until they move "it's so busy no one goes there anymore" as they say. LOL

    1. Andrew Guest

      SFO Amex lounge is the same thing. It's like a stampede of people itching to take off their masks for ~3 hours prior to their flight.

    2. Weymar Osborne Gold

      Just a heads up, if you get the card with friends only the primary cardmember would get access to Alaska Lounges. The primary cardmember gets an Admirals Club membership, and hence Alaska Lounge access, but any authorized users only get "Admirals Club Access", which does not extend to Alaska Lounges. It could still make sense if you're based in SEA/PDX and your other friends are based in other AA hubs but its not like all...

      Just a heads up, if you get the card with friends only the primary cardmember would get access to Alaska Lounges. The primary cardmember gets an Admirals Club membership, and hence Alaska Lounge access, but any authorized users only get "Admirals Club Access", which does not extend to Alaska Lounges. It could still make sense if you're based in SEA/PDX and your other friends are based in other AA hubs but its not like all of you will be able to get into Alaska Lounges at will.

  10. QFWG Guest

    Alaska needs to understand its own (and OW’s) lounge policy better. Here’s a customer service response I received from AS about QF Gold (OW Sapphire) being rejected entry:

    “Unfortunately, Alaska Air Lounges are excluded from the oneworld agreement as we offer a paid membership program for guests to gain access. The only exception to this is when Emerald and Sapphire members earned through Alaska or American Airlines are eligible for complimentary lounge access when they...

    Alaska needs to understand its own (and OW’s) lounge policy better. Here’s a customer service response I received from AS about QF Gold (OW Sapphire) being rejected entry:

    “Unfortunately, Alaska Air Lounges are excluded from the oneworld agreement as we offer a paid membership program for guests to gain access. The only exception to this is when Emerald and Sapphire members earned through Alaska or American Airlines are eligible for complimentary lounge access when they travel on an itinerary to Mexico City, Central America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, or Australia. I am truly sorry, but a Qantas Sapphire guest does not have complimentary access to our lounges.”

    So it seems that AS has an unwritten exception from OW rules… or at least AS CS thinks so!

    1. A20003 Guest

      Sounds like they are confused since joining OW. I had very similar experiences at the DL lounge many years back after they shifted some policies (the agents were completely clueless .. yes you can access the DL lounge with international ticket as a DL gold).

  11. A20003 Guest

    I finally broke down and joined the Alaska lounge. I got sick of the consistent and unannounced closures of the SEA and other AS lounges due to crowding issues (even when they took Priority Pass). I almost exclusively fly AS and have status with them. So I downgraded my CSR to CSP and put that money towards the AS lounge.

    In theory, Priority Pass sold me on being an AS lounge member. I always...

    I finally broke down and joined the Alaska lounge. I got sick of the consistent and unannounced closures of the SEA and other AS lounges due to crowding issues (even when they took Priority Pass). I almost exclusively fly AS and have status with them. So I downgraded my CSR to CSP and put that money towards the AS lounge.

    In theory, Priority Pass sold me on being an AS lounge member. I always enjoyed my AS lounge experience and Priority Pass allowed me to sample over the years before I finally bought.

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Joe R Guest

I see this article was just written/updated in June 2022. However, I just tried to enter the AS lounge at SFO and was denied (Priority Pass through Amex Platinum). They offered to let me in for $30.

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Jerry Guest

Alaska Lounges are some of the worst lounges I have encountered and when I have commented before to them they deny the reality. Their selection of food is awful and fit for rabbits not people. Their lounge availability at most airports is non existent or extremely limited. They charge for items that should come for free. Why would you join?? By the way I am a loyal Alaskan Flyer.

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James G Guest

This article is inaccurate. Just tried to use Priority Pass at the Alaska lounge in SFO and they didn't accept it. The front desk attendant said only the JFK lounge is taking Priority Pass. Interestingly they said it was because they just opened, which doesn't make sense to me. Priority pass is now either a scam or just straight up worthless.

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