The cost of an Alaska Lounge membership is increasing, and on top of that, we’re seeing new access restrictions. These changes are rough, but also not surprising.
In this post:
Alaska increases cost of lounge membership
As of February 1, 2024, the cost to be an Alaska Lounge member will be increasing:
- The cost of an Alaska Lounge membership will increase from $400 to $450 for elites, and from $500 to $550 for non-elites; this offers access to the nine Alaska Lounge locations
- The cost of an Alaska Lounge+ membership will increase from $550 to $650 for elites, and from $650 to $750 for non-elites; this offers access to the nine Alaska Lounge locations, plus 90+ partner lounge locations, including all American Admirals Clubs, and select Qantas Clubs and United Clubs
All elite tiers — MVP Gold 100K, MVP Gold 75K, MVP Gold, and MVP members — receive the same elite discount. Furthermore, those with the Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card (review) or Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card (review) receive a $100 discount on an Alaska Lounge+ membership if they pay with the card.
What makes this change sting is that it’s the second price hike we’ve seen on an Alaska Lounge membership in roughly two years, as Alaska also increased the cost of lounge memberships in 2022.
Alaska adds new lounge access restriction
Not only is Alaska increasing the cost of a lounge membership, but the airline is also adding a new access restriction. As of February 1, 2024, Alaska Lounge members will only be able to use lounges when traveling on Alaska or a partner airline (including oneworld partners and non-oneworld partners). That means Alaska Lounge members will no longer be able to visit lounges when traveling on non-partner airlines.
Really Alaska is just playing catch-up here, as it was the last US airline to not have a specific ticket requirement for accessing lounges (even though that was the norm with all airlines back in the day).
My take on these Alaska Lounge access changes
Of course no one likes to see the cost of lounge access increase or see new restrictions added, though I’m also not surprised to see this. With Alaska being in the oneworld alliance nowadays and partnering closely with American, there’s a need to have some consistency when it comes to pricing.
Alaska Lounge members and American Admirals Club members have reciprocal lounge access perks. American recently raised the cost of an Admirals Club membership, so it’s not surprising to see Alaska do the same. After all, otherwise it’s just an arbitrage opportunity.
I’m also not surprised to see the new restriction on access. While it’s a bummer to see, with all competitors doing the same, and with lounges being generally crowded, the writing was on the wall for this.
I’d argue that the best value for accessing American Admirals Clubs and Alaska Lounges remains the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® (review). The card has a $550 annual fee, and offers an Admirals Club membership, plus a lot more.
That’s cheaper than any membership fee being charged for an Alaska Lounge or American Admirals Club membership.
The cost of an Alaska Lounge membership will be increasing as of February 2024, which is the second price hike in two years. With these changes, the airline will charge $450-550 for an Alaska Lounge membership, and $650-750 for an Alaska Lounge+ membership.
On top of that, members will only be able to visit Alaska Lounges when flying on Alaska or a partner airline the same day.
I don’t think anyone will be a fan of these changes, though I also don’t think anyone will be surprised. Since Alaska Lounge and American Admirals Club memberships basically offer the same thing, it makes sense to have prices be roughly similar.
What do you make of these Alaska Lounge membership changes?