Live: Alaska Airlines Cuts First Class Lounge Access

Live: Alaska Airlines Cuts First Class Lounge Access

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In November 2022, Alaska Airlines announced a major change to its lounge access policy for first class passengers. I wanted to post a reminder of this, as the new policy has gone into effect as of this week. February 2023 has been a big month when it comes to new airport lounge access restrictions, between this, new Delta Sky Club access limits, and new Amex Centurion Lounge guest limits.

Alaska cuts lounge access on flights under 2,100 miles

Alaska Airlines has long been unique among US airlines when it comes to its Alaska Lounge access policy. Specifically, the Seattle-based airline has granted all paid first class passengers lounge access, regardless of the route.

As long as you paid cash or redeemed miles for your first class ticket (as opposed to upgrading), you got access to the Alaska Lounge. This is vastly different than the policies of American, Delta, and United, and has been a major competitive advantage.

Unfortunately that is now a thing of the past. Alaska no longer offers Alaska Lounge access to first class passengers on flights of under 2,100 miles:

  • This policy applies for tickets booked as of November 18, 2022, and for travel as of February 15, 2023
  • For those that do have segments of 2,100+ miles, lounge access is granted to all lounges in that day’s itinerary, including for connecting flights that are under 2,100 miles
  • Paid first class passengers on itineraries with segments under 2,100 miles are able to purchase a discounted day pass for $30 to the Alaska Lounge

A significant majority of Alaska Airlines flights are under 2,100 miles, so this will majorly decrease the number of first class passengers with lounge access. Flights that are 2,100+ miles include transcons, flights to Hawaii, and some of Alaska’s international flights.

Alaska was unique with its lounge access policy for first class

Alaska Lounge membership fee increases by $50

Not only has Alaska Airlines cut lounge access for most first class passengers, but the airline has also increased the price of Alaska Lounge memberships. Specifically, as of January 1, 2023, the cost of Alaska Lounge memberships has increased by $50 annually across the board.

This is Alaska’s second price hike in a short period. In October 2021, the airline also significantly increased the cost of lounge memberships. Alaska Airlines justifies this by claiming that it has doubled its lounge footprint since 2018, and has invested nearly $30 million in lounge expansions and improvements.

For context on the pricing, 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 now costs the following:

  • $500 annually for Mileage Plan non-elite members (previously $450)
  • $400 annually for Mileage Plan MVP, MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75K, and MVP Gold 100K members (previously $350)

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:

  • $650 annually for Mileage Plan non-elite members (previously $600)
  • $550 annually for Mileage Plan MVP, MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75K, and MVP Gold 100K members (previously $500)

Note that those with the Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card (review) or Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card (review) can receive $100 off an annual Alaska Lounge+ membership by paying with the card.

The cost of an Alaska Lounge membership has increased considerably

My take on these Alaska Lounge changes

What are my thoughts on these changes? It’s sad to see Alaska Airlines lose its edge with its first class lounge access policy, as this has long set Alaska apart from the competition.

At the same time, airport lounge crowding has become an increasingly big problem, and there’s no easy solution to that. Airlines are greatly limited in terms of their growth potential at airports, so their only choices are to either do nothing about crowding, or to try to limit the number of people who have access to lounges.

So while I’m sad to see this change, I’m also not surprised. In the case of Alaska Lounges, I think the nail in the coffin was Alaska Airlines joining the oneworld alliance and partnering so closely with American. Not only is there full lounge access reciprocity between the two airlines, but plenty of oneworld passengers also have access to Alaska Lounges.

Cutting lounge access for first class passengers seemed like the low hanging fruit here, and what would better align the carrier with the competition.

It’s sad to see Alaska lose its edge

Bottom line

Major changes have been made to Alaska Lounge access policies as of 2023.

As of February 2023, paid first class passengers no longer get lounge access with their tickets, unless they’re on flights of 2,100+ miles. This has been a major competitive advantage for Alaska, so the company’s policy is now more in line with the competition. On top of that, as of January 2023, the cost of an Alaska Lounge membership has increased by $50 across the board.

What do you make of Alaska Airlines tightening Alaska Lounge access policies?

Conversations (101)
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  1. Rocco Garrett Guest

    I believe there should be exceptions to the 2100 miles. My first class ticket is 1900 and on small aircraft or early morning flights with no food.
    The lounge is the only thing that makes a FC ticket worth it with no service to speak of.

  2. Renee Wiedenbeck Guest

    I believe it's pretty unfortunate. We have the Alaskan card, when we fly we check Alaska first. One of the enjoying aspect with flying Alaska was the lounge availability, even with the small fee. We don't normally fly first class but now when we do get that treat we don't get the full treatment. We paid a lot of hard earned money to fly first class regardless of the distance to not be able to...

    I believe it's pretty unfortunate. We have the Alaskan card, when we fly we check Alaska first. One of the enjoying aspect with flying Alaska was the lounge availability, even with the small fee. We don't normally fly first class but now when we do get that treat we don't get the full treatment. We paid a lot of hard earned money to fly first class regardless of the distance to not be able to enjoy all of it. We have several friends that have thrown away the cards because of all price and policy changes. We might be next in doing so. If your going to increase prices so much at least let us have one thing to look forward to.

  3. SBS Member

    So, how does the new lounge access work at connecting airports? Business award SEA-LAX-NAN, with SEA-LAX in economy and LAX-NAN in partner (FJ) business, - does it include SEA lounge access?

  4. Stephen Abbott Guest

    I think it is ludicrous that when you pay for a first class ticket, (full price!) that you do not get access to the first class lounge, what is the point of paying full fare and NOT getting the service!
    We will not be flying Alaska Air in the future

    1. Tj Guest

      I am ditching them too. So petty and insulting.

  5. PQ Guest

    As a regular Alaska first class passenger to Mexico, I was really annoyed to see this change. However as their lounge in T 2 at SFO is pretty dirty with awful food choices, (none of which have allergy information) I won’t miss it much. Lots of other airline options. They just lost my business.

  6. Steve Guest

    13 miles short of the 2100 miles on a trip we take frequently. I I'll be changing my airline preference away from alaska airlines

  7. Alaskaflyer Guest

    I had to call Alaska Airlines to verify if my Club49 membership was still active. Fortunately, it is which means I still have lounge access.

  8. Don Halazon Guest

    Well I just changed my next first class ticket to Delta. Too bad Alaska Air has lost their loyalty to their passengers. We fly 1800 miles so we can’t use the lounge. I am going to get the credit card for Delta so I can get into their lounge. Same policy as Alaska but Delta has 25 times the lounges!!

  9. GDB Guest

    Lounges are old, dirty and dated with awful staff support. Talk about sub-standard.

  10. Jason Brandt Lewis Gold

    On the one hand, EVERY change that an airline makes -- well, 98% of them anyway -- are negative. Why is this any different? (Hell, I still miss Virgin America!) Long time ago, I pony up for an Alaska Lounge membership, then "upped" it to a Lounge+. Do I travel enough to have it pay for itself (versus buying day passes? No. Close, but no. OTOH, do I travel enough to make it worthwhile? Yes.

    1. YinDaoYan Diamond

      On the one hand, EVERY change that an airline makes -- well, 98% of them anyway -- are negative. Why is this any different?

      Most changes are negative to mass market (economy) passengers. The textbook case is when Delta first moved to accrual of SkyMiles by fare rather than by distance. If you often flew pricey tickets, this change was very positive.

      Alaska's policy change here targets higher value (First) passengers.

  11. Kim Righetti Guest

    I have flown with Alaska for most of my life. I fly first class and pay off my credit card every month. Well,they just lost my business.

    1. YinDaoYan Diamond

      Your doctor might thank you. Less radiation exposure from being up high at those altitudes.

  12. Mike Guest

    For years I've enjoyed complimentary Alaska lounge access with my first class tickets. I recently decided it was worth paying for the Alaska lounge + membership since it also grants you access to most American lounges (except for flagship). I wish a list of which exact United lounges were eligible, but that list eludes us all.

    1. Jason Brandt Lewis Guest

      It does exist! Been there forever. Go to "Lounge Locations and Hours," scroll down past the Alaska Lounge info. You will see:
      >American Airlines Admirals Club® locations
      >Qantas Club® locations
      >Other partner locations

      The United locations are in the third list.

  13. Adrian Guest

    I just overhead from the agents on the Alaska Lounge at Sea-Tac North Satellite that the reaction to the change was bad. I just felt bad for those agents, who were some of the nicest people out there, getting burn big times. Alaska posted plenty of notices around but to be honest, they are small prints because you need many words to explain the changes.

    The lounge was fairly quiet in the afternoon but...

    I just overhead from the agents on the Alaska Lounge at Sea-Tac North Satellite that the reaction to the change was bad. I just felt bad for those agents, who were some of the nicest people out there, getting burn big times. Alaska posted plenty of notices around but to be honest, they are small prints because you need many words to explain the changes.

    The lounge was fairly quiet in the afternoon but it was more to the time of the day and also the rather slow travel time now.

    I noticed that there were some upgrades to the food. There were some chicken skewers out now.

    I will be flying my 24 segments within the next month and and will post any update if I notice that the lounge gets quieter now.

  14. David W CRANE Guest

    I am a Diamond level flyer with Delta and enjoy the Sky Club Lounge very much. I recently flew Alaska Airlines and I was delighted to find that the club access was included with first class. C commented to the host, "No other airline does this," So the delightful little difference. is now gone. However, I must say, the lounge at SFO was little better than just waiting at the gate. So my regrets are marginal at best.

  15. Santastico Diamond

    This has to be the dumbest rule I ever seen. What does the distance you will fly has to do with the use of the lounge? This has to be the idea of an intern from some stupid woke College that thought this was the best way to solve overcapacity.

    1. YinDaoYan Diamond

      Uhhh this isn't a new style of lounge access. AA essentially has the same rule. If you're flying on a long distance "Flagship" domestic first class you can also access their lounge.

      some stupid woke College

      Okay, this tells me all I need to know about your intellect. These "stupid woke College [sic]" students could run circles around you in any competition in any field. Name one. Math, physics? Chemistry, art history? French literature?

      What...

      Uhhh this isn't a new style of lounge access. AA essentially has the same rule. If you're flying on a long distance "Flagship" domestic first class you can also access their lounge.

      some stupid woke College

      Okay, this tells me all I need to know about your intellect. These "stupid woke College [sic]" students could run circles around you in any competition in any field. Name one. Math, physics? Chemistry, art history? French literature?

      What do you know about anything intellectual?

    2. DumbStudent Guest

      You're joking right? We're graduating "stupid woke college" students who can't even read or write at basic 1990's 6th grade levels. We've seen drastic decreases in almost every single subject matter all the way across the board thanks to this garbage and rather than fix the problem by going back to the standards that work, we've just decided to scrap graduation requirements, entry requirements, test score requirements etc and instead substitute "life experience" (a catch-all...

      You're joking right? We're graduating "stupid woke college" students who can't even read or write at basic 1990's 6th grade levels. We've seen drastic decreases in almost every single subject matter all the way across the board thanks to this garbage and rather than fix the problem by going back to the standards that work, we've just decided to scrap graduation requirements, entry requirements, test score requirements etc and instead substitute "life experience" (a catch-all phrase for: you're dumb but you have the right sexual orientation, sexual identification or racial footprint) as the qualifying metric.

      If you honestly believe that the students graduating today could run circles around anyone who graduated 15 years ago, you're not only delusional but you haven't been paying attention whatsoever. Not even a scintilla. But the fact that the word "woke" (another catch-all) sets you off tells me all I need to know about how lacking in the critical thinking department and given to emotional reasoning you are.

  16. DMNYC Guest

    I would not be surprised at all if Alaska starts accepting Priority Pass more regularly for its lounges now that this change has taken effect.

    With first class passengers on short flights, the Alaska Lounge may be a cost center. Eliminate that cost, and the resultant crowding, and they make room for more consistent admission of Priority Pass users, who are more revenue.

    1. Andrew Diamond

      Heh, you're probably right. But also, Priority Pass will be selectively accepted. Like, LAX will accept PP for 5 pax and then put the sign up saying they're full. It's what they always did, because why invest in a bigger lounge?

  17. Ella Guest

    I’m scheduled to fly FC on a 50 min flight next month, with tickets bought 10/6. I plan to be quite insistent about my lounge access because of another AS shortfall. This is an AS ticket to Australia (flying SQ) and the only reason they might give me a lounge pass is because of my first flight on AS metal. Is there another airline that turns you away from their lounge with an international BC flight on their ticket?

  18. Lee Guest

    I will never be stiffed by Alaska on its lounges because Alaska will not allow me to fly. I think I'm on its banned list. Literally, for the past two years, every Alaska flight that I have booked has been canceled. I rebook and the new flight is canceled. Repeat, repeat. I'm done trying. It's sad and funny at the same time.

    1. Dan Guest

      I’m curious - why won’t they let you fly?

  19. AdamH Guest

    Alaskas policy is now more strict than AA on international flights ever since AA opened it up to all international (ie Can and Mex too). Wish AS would follow suit in new policy.

  20. Leo Liang Guest

    Do Alaska still have the policy that allow Lounge Pass holder flying other airlines(eg. SW) to use the lounge?

  21. Tim Dunn Diamond

    Alaska has pulled down much of Virgin America's transcon flying and has returned to its core strengths in the Pacific Northwest and on the west coast so they have effectively ended their first class lounge program for all passengers except from the PNW hubs to the east coast.

    just like all of the other lounge restrictions, let's see what actually works for each airline. I suspect the reduction in number of passengers for AS...

    Alaska has pulled down much of Virgin America's transcon flying and has returned to its core strengths in the Pacific Northwest and on the west coast so they have effectively ended their first class lounge program for all passengers except from the PNW hubs to the east coast.

    just like all of the other lounge restrictions, let's see what actually works for each airline. I suspect the reduction in number of passengers for AS in its lounges will be larger than for other airlines due to their increased restrictions.

    1. Lee Guest

      Given this, what do you estimate Alaska still has of what it acquired with Virgin America? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      ...not much, Lee
      They are larger in California than they were pre-merger but their competitive position is unchanged.

      They fell back to what they knew worked - a commanding position in the PNW, a single fleet strategy w/ the 737, and added the oneworld alliance and yet they still have the ability to have a million non-alliance codeshare and mileage relationships.

      AS is still a niche airline that is a bit better than WN...

      ...not much, Lee
      They are larger in California than they were pre-merger but their competitive position is unchanged.

      They fell back to what they knew worked - a commanding position in the PNW, a single fleet strategy w/ the 737, and added the oneworld alliance and yet they still have the ability to have a million non-alliance codeshare and mileage relationships.

      AS is still a niche airline that is a bit better than WN but not quite at the level of AA, DL and UA.

      Their strategies worked pre-merger and they are back to them and will be in the upper tier of the industry financially.

    3. Donna Diamond

      It would be interesting to get some feedback this spring and summer during peak flying seasons on lounge crowding across all lounges and airlines that have instituted restrictions.

  22. Don Halazon Guest

    I am a retired military person!! I need a quiet and safe place to wait for my departure. We have been flying first class with Alaska because we are loyal members. Obviously Alaska Airlines is no longer loyal. We fly 1800 miles to Austin to visit family but we will not be able to use the lounge. That is ridiculous - my wife and I pay 1000 each to fly to Austin. We don’t drink-...

    I am a retired military person!! I need a quiet and safe place to wait for my departure. We have been flying first class with Alaska because we are loyal members. Obviously Alaska Airlines is no longer loyal. We fly 1800 miles to Austin to visit family but we will not be able to use the lounge. That is ridiculous - my wife and I pay 1000 each to fly to Austin. We don’t drink- all we want is a safe and quiet place to wait- they have taken this away because of the bottom dollar!!

    1. Eskimo Guest

      You would get better mileage using the veteran card if you earn it.

      The "loyal members" or "pay 1000 each" card won't get you anywhere.

    2. CHRIS Guest

      Ate they barring access because you're retired militarily or would you just like me to thank you for your service? As for safety....yes, most gate areas are safe.

    3. Scudder Diamond

      The implication that other parts of the terminal are not safe is ridiculous, paranoid, or both.

    4. Creditcrunch Diamond

      Not necessarily safety as in security, could be hidden issues not immediately obvious to the naked eye!

    5. Donna Diamond

      I feel safer in an airport terminal than just about anywhere else in America currently.

    6. BigG Guest

      If you don’t feel safe in an airport you need to stop flying .

    7. henare Diamond

      Lol! If you actually *need* this then shut up and pay for it like everyone else. Being retired or ex-military isn't the responsibility of AS shareholders.

  23. Ed Guest

    What a disappointment for us first class fliers. First class should have its privileges and not be bound by competitive airlines. Well, I’m done with Alaska Airlines….

    1. YinDaoYan Diamond

      What a disappointment for us first class fliers.

      Lmao. If you were a first class person (and not just a flyer) then you would have no problem paying the annual lounge fee if the lounge provided actual value instead of pure vanity.

    2. DumbStudent Guest

      Pretty snooty comment, reeks of elitism.. the same kind you find at stupid woke college student universities. I'm seeing a pattern.

      Maybe he prefers to fly first class on longer flights because he doesn't feel like throwing money down the toilet during a recession you absolute fool. And what business of yours is it to determine what he does with his money. You don't pay for first class as an annual thing you pay...

      Pretty snooty comment, reeks of elitism.. the same kind you find at stupid woke college student universities. I'm seeing a pattern.

      Maybe he prefers to fly first class on longer flights because he doesn't feel like throwing money down the toilet during a recession you absolute fool. And what business of yours is it to determine what he does with his money. You don't pay for first class as an annual thing you pay for it on a trip by trip basis. And each person on each trip should be treated the same way. You're such a fool its' unreal. Are you sure you're chinese? Are you sure you didn't go to American woke university? That would explain your low IQ takes.

  24. Molly Guest

    I’m done with Alaska. This was thee best perk and why I have been so loyal for 20 years. Even Bank of America upped the annual cost just to use the Alaska card. No more lounge perks,
    higher annual fee for the mile card. The only thing that made this airline great and now they are no better than the rest…. Total bummer

    1. YinDaoYan Diamond

      why I have been so loyal for 20 years.

      For 20 years you were loyal to a corporation?? Molly, I got some news for you. Corporations are profit machines. They are not people. They are not capable of loyalty in reciprocation.

      For 20 years you were a fool.

  25. Marie Guest

    Well. I don’t like it. Money, money etc is what it is all about!!!!!!

  26. joel kling Guest

    I purchased a day pass recently for $30 (at LAX) since I had the Alaska Air B of A credit card. The food was stale and awful. No magazines or newspapers to bring aboard your flight either. Should have gotten a decent meal and drink elsewhere for $30.

    1. YinDaoYan Diamond

      Story of every airline club lounge in the post covid travel era.

    2. David W CRANE Guest

      YinDaoYan: I like your many comments. Mostly spot on. However, you are wrong on this point. Delta Sky Clubs still provide an excellent experience including very fine food.

    3. Andrew Diamond

      Right, and agreed on all points. Amex lounges also still have good food, but a total capacity scene.

  27. William Guest

    Well this news sucks for sure as it definitely has been a differentiator for me. Yet another way AS is shedding the unique features that drive its brand loyalty.

    BEN, Can you clarify... You note the new policy allows FC passengers to buy a discounted $30 day pass, but will that policy apply to the lounges (SEA, PDX, etc.) that don't otherwise sell day passes? Or only JFK/LAX/SFO which are the only lounges still selling...

    Well this news sucks for sure as it definitely has been a differentiator for me. Yet another way AS is shedding the unique features that drive its brand loyalty.

    BEN, Can you clarify... You note the new policy allows FC passengers to buy a discounted $30 day pass, but will that policy apply to the lounges (SEA, PDX, etc.) that don't otherwise sell day passes? Or only JFK/LAX/SFO which are the only lounges still selling day passes? I'm guessing the former--which makes this change even worse for NW residents/travelers of AS--but wondered if you knew for sure.

  28. SBS Guest

    So is there any lounge access on a mixed cabin partner business award, NAN-LAX-SEA-BOS, with NAN-LAX in Fiji business, but both AS segments in coach?

  29. Aviator Guest

    Recently flew FC to/from PDX from JFK. Lounges on both ends were dirty, poorly staffed and the food choices were terrible. The attitude of the staff was most telling. They do not care, and it made me think they must be union and bullet-proof, so to speak. Alaska FC is a joke.

    1. Scudder Diamond

      Or they’re not paid enough to care, and nearly incapacitated by the stress of working 2-3 jobs just to make ends meet.

    2. Regis Guest

      Same at their SFO lounge. I chose not to renew my lounge membership because honestly their lounges are not worth it.

  30. Terry F Guest

    It was almost impossible to get into the Alaska lounge in PDX. Lounge is kind of small and will 60 flights leaving per day, plus sapphire level access, the lounge was way to crowded. They had to all a little satellite for overflow. My only beef with this was they could have limited the mileage to let say 1000 or 1200 miles and that would have eliminated most of the SEA/PDX-SFO/LAX/SJO/PHX/LAS that consume many of the FC seats on the west coat.

  31. Schar Diamond

    I personally think its insane how flying first class in the US doesnt automatically come with lounge access, to me that should be the most basic right of a FC passenger. The fact that it prioritizes elite status, what credit card you have, etc, is just greedy to me. Seems like a very US centric problem though, and no wonder all lounges there are crowded.

    1. Grey Diamond

      But not even elite status. In the US, lounge access is essentially based on whether you have paid for membership or the credit card which includes membership. So of course they are full, because there are no limits on capacity. In most places, they are limited to the amount of business class seats available as well as the amount of elite members. Not that that makes the lounges oases of calm, but at least outside...

      But not even elite status. In the US, lounge access is essentially based on whether you have paid for membership or the credit card which includes membership. So of course they are full, because there are no limits on capacity. In most places, they are limited to the amount of business class seats available as well as the amount of elite members. Not that that makes the lounges oases of calm, but at least outside of the peak periods for the particular airports, they tend to be quite pleasant.
      Also, considering that most are paying to be there, the food and drink offerings in US lounges (not including the longhaul business lounges like AA Flagship or UA Polaris) still leaves a bit to be desired...

  32. Mel Guest

    Well, this bites.

    A couple weeks ago, I purchased first class tickets on Alaska, specifically for lounge access on the last leg of a very long trip with my family.

    So, boo-hiss, Alaska Airlines.

  33. Christina Guest

    Sad, very SAD! Alaska Air has always stood out and now they are going to be just as messed up as other airlines. This is very disappointing to Alaskans who only use Alaska Air! Why even bother to use them anymore. Every other airline is just as competitive and cheaper!?!?!?

    1. Allyson Guest

      I just researched this, and Alaska residents can join Club 49 for free, and this restriction won’t apply to us.

  34. Bob Guest

    If they were to say do this but up their lounge in terms of food and amenities at least there is some value. The sfo lounge is just marginally better than the AA lounge it used to be but the food and drink options are about on par with the nearby hudson news stand. Given Alaska 1st class is very meh economy+ ish they're not offering a whole lot of reason to book with them.

  35. Anthony Joseph Guest

    It's stupid that they are looking at solving "overcrowding" than looking at the bigger picture of NOT planning better for capacity. There aren't any lounges in 95% of their long haul destinations including Hawaii. Wait until the next economic downturn for airlines which is going to happen in 2023 and let's see what happens on how airlines do without loyalty factor.

  36. Widerightv Member

    Reducing the number of direct flights from my airport to where they travel (ie, Hawaii et.al.) reduction of services on their flights and now the Lounges. I'm assuming that this story is going to continue.
    I went all in with Alaska about 5 years ago. Maybe time to sell (ie, find another carrier). This is not your father's Alaska any more.

  37. crosscourt Guest

    And how does that affect (if it does) OneWorld emerald members?

  38. Josh Guest

    I have a Lounge+ pass which was just renewed in October, so while I'm sad that it will be $50 more expensive, the fact that there should be many less people going forward is something I'm quite happy about.

    1. Allyson Guest

      I’ve noticed a HIGE difference in how crowded the lounges are since Alaska Airlines stopped selling day passes in Anchorage and Seattle. It had gotten pretty ridiculous how full the lounges were. I come to the lounge to avoid the crowded gates and restaurants throughout the airport. I’m here now in the N gates lounge on the Monday before Thanksgiving, and it’s nice and peaceful in here.

  39. Darren C Diamond

    Dumping Priority pass access was a good step. Dropping free F access is another good step. AS should offer a BoA card with lounge access.

    I used to pay the annual AS lounge/boardroom fee of $300. Last year I got the AA Citi lounge card for $450. I would pay $450 for an AS BoA lounge card. I am Gold 75.

    1. Steve Guest

      I'd actually be ok with that...but it needs to be proactively worked...not this short-notice announcement they just pulled.

  40. Desperado Guest

    Super necessary. The crowding and free loaders dilutes the experience. I’m happy to pay an extra $50 per year for a better lounge experience.

    Lounges have turned to gen pop over the last 18 months - it’s awful. Time to weed out people by limiting access and increasing entry fee.

    1. Andrew Diamond

      Freeloaders who pay for first class? We have very different definitions of what a freeloader is.

  41. Steve Guest

    This 2x 100K will no be renewing his AS lounge + pass as a result next year...ever since they joined OW, it's been nothing but negative regarding AS and their products...from upgrades to mileage devaluations to lounges to them not being able to run anything resembling a normal schedule out of Dallas (my origin city).

    Alaska USED to be the greatest value for a full-service airline in the US...not anymore.

    1. Desperado Guest

      If Dallas is your hub, it’s pretty dumb to make Alaska your primary airline unless you’re only flying to Seattle and Portland.

      Glad to see the fee increase is weeding people out. Bye bye. You won’t be missed.

    2. Steve Guest

      Maybe some of us in the Metroplex like being rewarded with actual miles rather than SkyPesos or random points that are calculated based upon the sign of the zodiac and how much you spend on a credit card or portal (WN and AA).

      Besides, other than their lounge in N at SEA, the other lounges aren't anything to write home about...especially the closet spaces in LAX and PDX.

    3. DumbStudent Guest

      Lots of alaska shills doing damage control here today I see. Go back to reddit.

    4. D Tolliver Guest

      I totally agree... I'm finding that Alaska Airlines is quickly losing its competitive edge in a lot of destinations we normally fly into. This year, we've have had to do a lot of shopping around for better prices and actual flight "itineraries." For some reason the more reasonably-priced flights have overnight stays/ connections, which costs even more for a hotel stay to catch the connecting flight the next day.... what gives??? Finding myself looking more...

      I totally agree... I'm finding that Alaska Airlines is quickly losing its competitive edge in a lot of destinations we normally fly into. This year, we've have had to do a lot of shopping around for better prices and actual flight "itineraries." For some reason the more reasonably-priced flights have overnight stays/ connections, which costs even more for a hotel stay to catch the connecting flight the next day.... what gives??? Finding myself looking more on travelocity for deals and then to Southwest Airlines, which has no baggage fees. Sad to say we might not make priority status next year because of the drastic decline in services leads us to other airlines.

  42. Watson Diamond

    Okay. Why is it 2100 and not 2000? What route do they fly in the 2000-2100 range that they really wanted to screw over?

    1. Michael SEA Member

      And MSY a leisure destination at 2,086.

    2. Steve Guest

      Seattle to new orleans is 2086. I'm gone.

  43. Ted Guest

    Well that is crappy and shortish notice too. Boo

    I have two Alaska shorter flights booked already for April and July 2023. So…would I not have lounge access? Or would still because was booked before Nov 18?

    1. sacrxy Member

      "This policy applies for tickets booked as of November 18, 2022, and for travel as of February 15, 2023"

    2. Ted Guest

      Sorry but this is still not clear to me. If the flight is after 2/15, am I still good if I booked before 11/18 or not?

  44. Lune Diamond

    What's the point of "aligning" your standards with a mediocre airline that itself is falling behind its competitors?
    Aligning schedules, codeshares, etc. has some benefit. "Aligning" aka cutting the services that made you stand out vs. the competition, doesn't seem like much of a benefit of having a new partner airline...

  45. Sel, D. Guest

    I’d probably make the same move - I don’t see any first class passengers picking a different airline because they don’t have access. I’m flying AS SFO-CUN in December (over 2,100) miles and may pop in for a coffee, but will likely hit the nearby PP restaurant instead.

    Outside of SEA flagship, these lounges aren’t anything to write home about IMO. That being said, I could see infrequent travelers enjoying the allure of a lounge.

    1. Jimmy’s Travel Report Diamond

      Completely agree with you. The interior, architecture and design of the lounges are fine, so they provide a comfortable atmosphere to work or relax in before a flight. But good grief the food is so mediocre. Alaska could really improve in this area.

    2. Andrew Diamond

      Totally agreed with Jimmy. The food is the reason I got an AA Exec card and Priority Pass with restaurant access, so I wouldn't be stuck with awful carrot bits, mid pancakes and hummus that time forgot.

  46. EK_engineer Guest

    Great little airlines like Alaska don't become mediocre overnight. They only end up that way one 'small' step at a time; until the cumulative effect is glaringly noticeable by customers...And by that stage, it's too late, and you're just one of the (mediocre) crowd, like what AA and UA are now.

  47. Ghostrider5408 Guest

    As "DA" posted another nail in the coffin "Ben" seems too enamored with AA is there a merger in the future? As a long time AS FF mm'er etc this is not the Alaska Air I once knew.

    SAD

    1. thurstontravel Guest

      The financial resources to pull off a merger aren't there right now but with some Wall Street and Private Equity structuring, it could happen, and it would not surprise at all, if further down the road it will. The industry rebounded strongly in 2022 thanks to heavy demand that was heavily skewed toward leisure travel, driven by pent up demand. The business of corporate travel has improved, but not to levels that kept it as...

      The financial resources to pull off a merger aren't there right now but with some Wall Street and Private Equity structuring, it could happen, and it would not surprise at all, if further down the road it will. The industry rebounded strongly in 2022 thanks to heavy demand that was heavily skewed toward leisure travel, driven by pent up demand. The business of corporate travel has improved, but not to levels that kept it as the bread and butter of the industry's profits between the recovery from the 2008 Great Recession and the COVID19 pandemic's arrival in 2020. With the strong likelihood of recessions in Europe, parts of Asia, and the US in 2023, the industry can't rely on business demand to sustain the excess premium capacity that is undeniably there. Climate change moves will also put even more financial pressure on the industry. Scott Kirby said it himself that bailouts will happen again and again. AS is fundamentally, a regional airline with a significant West-East network. The oneworld membership was the first in a series of steps toward an eventual merger with AA.

    2. FlyerDon Guest

      So demand is going to go down creating excess capacity and American’s response will be to merge with Alaska giving American even more capacity? As the head of United I can see how Scott Kirby might like that.

  48. D.A. Guest

    Just another "death by a thousand" cuts in the what was great with Alaska. Just watch for more cuts as they align (e.g. lower their standards to) with their OneWorld partner AA. Their FF program will likely go to "loyalty points" ala AA at some time (IMO).

  49. Anna Guest

    Do they still charge $25 for day passes to credit card holders? That is (was?) a differentiator with the other airlines.

    1. Thomas Guest

      Not anymore in SEA. Stopped doing it due to capacity issues.

  50. GUWonder Guest

    I assume the airline is facing increased costs from its lounge operations in this environment, and this is a way to try to cut its costs and also boost revenue.

    Maybe the airline wants to also grow its Priority Pass revenue.

    American Airlines is probably happy to see AlaskaAir increase it’s lounge membership prices.

    1. Steve Guest

      AS dumped PP off all its lounges except JFK last year...and I'm sure they won't reconsider.

  51. Samuel Guest

    Everything good dies.

    1. GUWonder Guest

      Maybe one upside of this is that AS will be more eager to provide space to and collect revenue from Priority Pass guest users?

    2. Brianair Guest

      Like Virgin America.

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

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YinDaoYan Diamond

Uhhh this isn't a new style of lounge access. AA essentially has the same rule. If you're flying on a long distance "Flagship" domestic first class you can also access their lounge. <blockquote>some stupid woke College</blockquote> Okay, this tells me all I need to know about your intellect. These "stupid woke College [sic]" students could run circles around you in any competition in any field. Name one. Math, physics? Chemistry, art history? French literature? What do you know about anything intellectual?

3
EK_engineer Guest

Great little airlines like Alaska don't become mediocre overnight. They only end up that way one 'small' step at a time; until the cumulative effect is glaringly noticeable by customers...And by that stage, it's too late, and you're just one of the (mediocre) crowd, like what AA and UA are now.

3
YinDaoYan Diamond

Have you heard of capitalism?

2
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