How To Access Alaska Airlines Lounges

How To Access Alaska Airlines Lounges

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Want to learn more about accessing US airline lounges? See my series about how to access Alaska LoungesAmerican Admirals ClubsDelta SkyClubs, and United Clubs.

In this post I wanted to take a look at how to access Alaska Lounges, especially with the airline recently joining the oneworld alliance, increasing the cost of a lounge membership, and opening a new lounge at SFO.

Alaska Airlines is unique among US airlines when it comes to its lounge access policies, as it’s the only major US airline to allow all paid first class passengers into lounges. There are of course many other ways to access the Seattle-based carrier’s lounges as well, so let’s take a comprehensive look at how Alaska Lounge access works.

Alaska Airlines Lounge locations

While American, Delta, and United, all have dozens of lounges, Alaska Airlines has a comparatively small network of lounges. Alaska Airlines has a total of eight lounges at six airports. There are Alaska Lounges in:

  • Anchorage (ANC), Concourse C
  • Los Angeles (LAX), Terminal 6
  • New York (JFK), Terminal 7
  • Portland (PDX), Concourse C
  • San Francisco (SFO), Terminal 2
  • Seattle (SEA), Concourse C, Concourse D, and the North Satellite
Alaska Lounge San Francisco (SFO)

As you can see, all of the above airports have a single Alaska Lounge, with the exception of Seattle, which has three Alaska Lounges.

How to access Alaska Lounges

There are so many different ways to access Alaska Lounges, though there’s some fine print associated with some of the lounge entry options. Below I want to look at all the ways you can access Alaska Lounges, from first class tickets, to a membership, to a day pass, to a Priority Pass membership, to oneworld elite status.

Buy a first class ticket (with cash or miles)

Alaska Airlines is the only US airline to offer all paid first class passengers lounge access.

This applies to passengers who pay with cash or miles (in fare classes C, D, E, J, and I), though it excludes passengers who have upgraded (whether the upgrade is with miles, purchased, or complimentary based on elite status). Your flight must be operated by Alaska Airlines, so a codeshare flight on American Airlines wouldn’t qualify.

When visiting based on your first class ticket you can’t bring any guests with you for free.

Paying for an Alaska first class ticket gets you lounge access

Buy an Alaska Lounge membership

Alaska Airlines has two different lounge membership plans, at different price points and with different lounge access inclusions. An Alaska Lounge membership gets you access to just Alaska Lounges, and costs:

  • $450 annually for Mileage Plan non-elite members
  • $350 annually for Mileage Plan MVP, MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75K, and MVP Gold 100K members

An Alaska Lounge+ membership gets you access to Alaska Lounges, American Admirals Clubs (when flying Alaska or American), select Qantas Clubs (when flying Qantas) and select United Clubs (when flying Alaska), and costs:

  • $600 annually for Mileage Plan non-elite members
  • $500 annually for Mileage Plan MVP, MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75K, and MVP Gold 100K members
Alaska Lounge membership types & costs

Regardless of which membership option you choose:

  • You can access Alaska Lounges regardless of which airline you’re flying (American, Delta, and United, all only let members access their lounges when flying that airline or select partners the same day)
  • Alaska Lounge members can bring two guests or immediate family members (partners and children under 21) with them into Alaska Lounges

Buy an Admirals Club membership (with miles or cash)

Alaska and American have a reciprocal lounge access agreement, so alternatively you could purchase an American Airlines Admirals Club membership. This allows you to access Alaska Lounges when flying either Alaska or American same day.

Here’s the cash cost to buy an Admirals Club membership:

American Admirals Club membership cost in cash

Then here’s the cost to purchase an Admirals Club membership using AAdvantage miles:

American Admirals Club membership cost in miles

With an Admirals Club membership you can bring two guests or immediate family members (partners and children under 21) with you.

Get the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card

This is along similar lines to the above point about getting an Admirals Club membership, but is worth pointing out separately.

Perhaps ironically, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® (review) is the best credit card for getting Alaska Lounge access.

The card has a $450 annual fee, and offers an Admirals Club membership for the primary cardmember, allowing them to access Alaska Lounges.

The icing on the cake is that those with the card can add up to 10 authorized users at no cost, and each of those authorized users receives Admirals Club access when flying American Airlines same day. This access is for the authorized user and two guests or immediate family (they don’t have to be flying with the primary cardmember).

However, this authorized user benefit doesn’t extend to Alaska Lounges — only the primary cardmember gets Alaska Lounge access.

Buy a day pass for $50

You can buy an Alaska Lounge day pass for $50 per person. This is valid for 24 hours from the first use, and you can even use it to visit multiple Alaska Lounges the same day. You can buy a day pass even if you’re traveling on another airline, and the pass can be purchased directly at an Alaska Lounge.

You can purchase a day pass directly at an Alaska Lounge

Get access for $30 with Alaska credit card

If you have one of Alaska’s credit cards then you can buy day passes for 50% off, meaning you can buy access for just $30 per person. That’s a solid deal, and less than you’d likely pay for a couple of drinks in the terminal.

Eligible cards for these purposes include the Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card (review) and Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card (review). There are many other reasons to pick up these great cards. Note that Alaska Airlines’ Canadian credit cards don’t qualify for this benefit.

Day passes are available only in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York-JFK.

Free passes as an MVP Gold 75K & 100K member

Alaska Airlines’ MVP Gold 75K and MVP Gold 100K members receive four free Alaska Lounge day passes per year. These are deposited into members’ Mileage Plan accounts online every year, and can even be shared with friends and family.

If you do share them with others, just give them the voucher code.

Have a Priority Pass membership

Alaska Airlines and Priority Pass seem to have a love-hate relationship. A Priority Pass membership offers access to 1,300+ lounges around the world, and typically some Alaska Lounges are among them.

However, at the moment the only Alaska Lounge to belong to Priority Pass is the JFK location. Note that even where Priority Pass members get access, you may often find that there are capacity controls, so don’t take this as a sure bet.

In the United States the following are some of the most popular credit cards to come with Priority Pass memberships, along with their guesting privileges:

2 guests, plus authorized users $0 per authorized user
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit CardCapital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
2 guests, plus authorized users $75 per authorized user
Chase Sapphire Reserve®Chase Sapphire Reserve®
2 guests, plus authorized users $175 For Up To 3 People, $175 For Each Additional (Rates & Fees)
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressThe Platinum Card® from American Express
2 guests, plus authorized users $300 per authorized user (Rates & Fees)
The Business Platinum Card® from American ExpressThe Business Platinum Card® from American Express
2 guests No authorized user access
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire CardHilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
2 guests No authorized user access
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® CardMarriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Have oneworld Sapphire or Emerald status

With Alaska Airlines now being in the oneworld alliance, there’s a whole new way to access Alaska Lounges based on oneworld status:

  • Those with oneworld Sapphire or Emerald status in any program other than Alaska Mileage Plan or American AAdvantage can access Alaska Lounges when flying any oneworld flight the same day, even if it’s domestic
  • Those with oneworld Sapphire or Emerald status in the Alaska Mileage Plan or American AAdvantage program can access Alaska Lounges when flying any oneworld flight the same day that includes travel outside of North America

In other words, a oneworld Emerald member through British Airways Executive Club could access Alaska Lounges when flying exclusively within the United States, while a oneworld Emerald member through Alaska Mileage Plan couldn’t.

Eligible oneworld Sapphire and Emerald members can bring one guest into Alaska Lounges.

Those with status in a oneworld program can access Alaska Lounges

Fly oneworld long haul first or business class

It’s not only oneworld elite status that will get you into Alaska Lounges, but also a oneworld long haul first or business class ticket. If you’re traveling same day on a oneworld premium cabin ticket then you can access Alaska Lounges, either at your gateway airport, or at a connecting airport.

In other words, if you’re flying Qatar Airways business class from Seattle to Doha, or British Airways business class from New York to London, you could use Alaska Lounges.

A oneworld premium cabin ticket gets you access to Alaska Lounges

Have (non-oneworld) partner elite status

Select partner elite members can access Alaska Lounges when flying with Alaska Airlines same day. However, this comes with some catches, and is pretty niche outside of oneworld. For example:

  • Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Platinum & Gold members can access Alaska Lounges when flying Alaska same day
  • Icelandair Saga Club Gold members can access Alaska Lounges when flying Alaska same day
Select partner elite members can access Alaska Lounges

Be an active duty military member

Active duty US military personnel traveling on orders can receive a complimentary Alaska Lounge day pass. You must be able to verify your active status, provide orders, and be ticketed to fly on an Alaska Airlines flight within three hours.

Bottom line

There are many ways to access Alaska Lounges, ranging from a paid first class ticket, to a lounge membership (either with Alaska or American), to buying a day pass, to having partner airline elite status.

Alaska is unique in offering domestic first class passengers lounge access. On top of that, the airline has among the most reasonable membership costs for lounges, and continues to allow people to access lounges when flying on other airlines.

Lastly, I think buying access to Alaska Lounges for $25 in conjunction with a co-branded Alaska Visa could represent a good deal, especially if you have a bit of time and are going to have a drink or two.

Hopefully the above clears up everything you could want to know about Alaska Lounge access. If I missed anything, please let me know.

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), and The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees).

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  1. Stuart Guest

    Planning on using the JFK one when flying with British Airways in business early next year!

  2. Brandon Anderson Guest

    @AK Llyr You sir are an idiot. Please ban yourself from this forum.

  3. AK Llyr Guest

    You are in error.

    I have had a lengthy argument with Alaska over this.
    If you purchase a first class ticket with miles or upgrade using miles, they will not let you use their longes. They make sure only executives, the "right kind of" people have access.

    They treat the rest like peasants.

    They have two classes of people at Alaska, those who they disdain and treat as scum, barely tolerated in first...

    You are in error.

    I have had a lengthy argument with Alaska over this.
    If you purchase a first class ticket with miles or upgrade using miles, they will not let you use their longes. They make sure only executives, the "right kind of" people have access.

    They treat the rest like peasants.

    They have two classes of people at Alaska, those who they disdain and treat as scum, barely tolerated in first class seating, and their elite who get ALL the perks and privileges.

    It should not make a difference if I use miles, then what do you expect from executives who pay less in taxes than flight attendants.

    I have multiple responses from them on this issue.

    Don't be fooled.

    1. Disco Dave Guest

      https://www.alaskaair.com/content/airport-lounge/policies-and-rules

      Specifically: "Passengers traveling on a paid First Class or a First Class award ticket* on flights operated by Alaska Airlines have access to Alaska Lounge locations only on their day of flight.

      *applies to fares booked in C, D, E, J, or I class."

    2. GLCTraveler Guest

      AK Llyr,

      You obviously are a "Peasant Class" person, because you talk like one!! A total dope in other words..... Please continue to think this way and stay out of the AK Lounges, as the nice people there do not deserve to deal with a total idiot like you!

  4. Mattux Guest

    I have always been perplexed by US airlines that exclude (domestic) first class customers from using lounges unless there is status tied to it. It makes no sense to me. Change my mind if there is a good explanation here.
    Obvious Alaska being the exception...

    I am lucky in that when I travel to the US most of my domestic hops are on the west coast and I am fan of Alaska (and previously Virgin America)...

  5. Edward Tamura Guest

    I love the Alaska Airlines lounges. They are the best With warmest aloha,

    1. Daniel Templeton Guest

      Have you visited the Alaska Lounge in Terminal 6 at LAX? Dreadful space; one of the worst lounges ever.

  6. RJ Guest

    Wait, I'm confused. So someone who earned Emerald through AA would be allowed to go into the Alaska lounge, but someone who earned the same level at Alaska would not? Doesn't make much sense, but as an AA platinum Pro i wont be complaining.

    1. Mark P Member

      No. Status with AA or AS does not grant you Alaska Lounge access.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

GLCTraveler Guest

AK Llyr, You obviously are a "Peasant Class" person, because you talk like one!! A total dope in other words..... Please continue to think this way and stay out of the AK Lounges, as the nice people there do not deserve to deal with a total idiot like you!

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Stuart Guest

Planning on using the JFK one when flying with British Airways in business early next year!

0
Brandon Anderson Guest

@AK Llyr You sir are an idiot. Please ban yourself from this forum.

0
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