Virgin America First Class Passengers Now Get Access To Alaska Lounges

Filed Under: Alaska, Virgin America

One of the unique perks that Alaska offers first class passengers is complimentary lounge access. If you’re paying cash or miles for first class you receive access to Alaska Lounges no matter which route you fly (the catch is that there are only four Alaska Lounges). The only first class passengers who don’t receive lounge access are those who upgraded.

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Paid Alaska Airlines first class passengers get access to Alaska Lounges

Now that Alaska has taken over Virgin America, they’re trying to streamline the experience as much as possible. As part of that, an Alaska spokesperson has confirmed with me that Virgin America paid first class passengers now get access to Alaska Lounges regardless of which route they fly. Previously Virgin America first class passengers only received complimentary access to Virgin America’s Loft at LAX, and only when flying “longhaul” first class on Virgin America, which includes flights to the East Coast.

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Virgin America first class passengers now get access to Alaska Lounges

As a reminder, Alaska Lounges are available in Anchorage, Los Angeles, Portland, and Seattle. Of those cities, Virgin America flies to Los Angeles, Portland, and Seattle. As of a couple of days ago, the Virgin America Loft at LAX is closed, as Virgin America is co-locating to Terminal 6, as part of the massive terminal shakeup going on at LAX.

Alaska Lounge LAX

All of the Alaska Lounges also belong to Priority Pass, though as many of you are aware, Alaska has frequently put capacity controls in place for Priority Pass members. If you’re entitled to lounge access based on flying first class, you should have priority access to the lounges, and shouldn’t be turned away.

It’s great to see Alaska not only keeping this perk around, but actually expanding it.

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

  1. I still am befuddled by this merger. Just makes no sense. Alaska already had a big presence out west. Plus, the 2 airlines couldnt be any different. IFE seat back and content, hard product. fleet. Not even close to remotely similar. Virgin was all Airbus while Alaska was all Boeing. Alaska to me is more like a lower cost legacy carrier but with actual decent customer service.

    Virgin’s IFE, in flight and in airport experience, IMO, was miles ahead of Alaska. Its sad for the passenger that Alaska will just completely get rid of the airline and convert everything to its current product. Passenger loses out. It also makes it much more likely that they will end up purchasing B6 down the road. When that happens, it will be an absolute awful day for domestic passengers. If they didn’t keep Virgin’s experience and product, they sure as hell wont keep JetBlue’s, which was far superior to both.

  2. One correction on access to Alaska Airlines Lounges – they only give access is the fare was ticketed as first class. No upgrades qualify for access (doesn’t matter whether the upgrade was free, paid with miles, or just paid).

    How you pay to ticket the flight is what doesn’t matter, as long as it was booked as a first class ticket.

  3. Virgin Elevate Gold members will have free access to the Alaska LAX lounge through the end of the year. This is true regardless of what class of service the Elevate Gold member is flying. However this complimentary access only applies at Alaska’s LAX lounge. It does not apply to other Alaska lounges unless you’re flying paid first.

  4. Alaska Airlines has two Lounges in Seattle (original location near D Concourse and one in the North Terminal) and a third will be opening in the C Concourse in June.

    I fly Alaska often and American rarely. For access to Alaska Lounges I carry the Citi AAdavantage Executive World Elite. While I often see signs out limiting Priority Pass from the lounges I have never been denied access with my Citi card.

  5. @Andrew: Virgin America only had one lounge, the Loft at LAX. That lounge is now closed. Paid Virgin first class passengers now have access to Alaska lounges.

  6. @Lucky —> In the FWIW Dept., I never had a problem accessing the VX lounge @ LAX (now closed) when flying between LAX and SFO — certainly NOT a long-haul flight! And I’ve yet to be denied entry to an Alaska Lounge with my Priority Pass Select membership, although I understand many people have.
    @Brandon —> Get over it. Whether you or I think it makes sense doesn’t matter. It’s a done deal. JetBlue was outbid. And so far — an a VX Elevate Gold — I *like* what Alaska has been doing . . .


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