Using Alaska Board Room Membership To Access Delta SkyClubs

There are a couple of fun things to note when it comes to Alaska Board Room memberships.

First of all, through January 31, 2014, Alaska is offering 7,500 bonus Mileage Plan miles on the purchase of a new Board Room membership. The bonus miles will be deposited into the Mileage Plan account around February 15, 2014.

Board-Room-Bonus

I value 7,500 Mileage Plan miles at ~$150, and as an MVP Gold or MVP Gold 75K, a new membership costs just $295. So factoring in the ~$150 worth of miles you get, that’s like paying ~$145 for a membership as an MVP Gold — amazing deal! My American Express Platinum Card comes with Priority Pass, which gets me access to Board Rooms already. I’m still almost tempted to buy a membership under this promotion given the guesting privileges.

That being said, Delta Points picked up on another pretty cool feature of a Board Room membership. As most of you probably recall, last week Delta “updated” their SkyClub access policy. To “prevent crowding” in the SkyClubs, going forward they’re no longer allowing SkyClub members and those accessing through a co-branded credit card to bring in any guests for free. Instead you’ll have to shell out $29 per guest. Alternatively, you can purchase an “executive membership,” which will cost $695 and allow the same guesting privileges that are currently allowed.

The fun potential workaround is that Alaska Board Room members also get access to SkyClubs when flying on Alaska or Delta. Per their member guide, you’re allowed to bring in your immediate family or two guests at partner lounges:

Board Room Members are welcome to bring their immediate family (spouse/domestic partner and children under the age of 21) or as many as two guests in all Alaska Airlines and partner club rooms.

The Alaska Board Room membership rates are as follows:

Board-Room-Rates

So even without status you’re looking at $450 for a one year membership, which is the same as the old rate that Delta used to charge for a membership with guesting privileges. Alternatively you can do a three year membership for an average of $350 per year. If you have status the rates get even lower. As an MVP Gold it gets as low as ~$260 per year for a three year membership.

The big caveat

Something tells me this policy will change soon. You would hope it wouldn’t apply to existing members (since you signed up based on the current set of benefits), though we’re talking about Delta here, the airline that enjoys making customer unfriendly changes without any advance notice. Regardless, the 7,500 bonus Mileage Plan miles for new members is nice!

Comments

  1. Peter says

    Given your observations about the competitive tension between Alaska and Delta, you’re probably right that this won’t last. ;-)

  2. says

    As I wrote in the comments over at DeltaPoints:

    This makes a bet on the, cough, stability of the Delta-Alaska relationship.

    Of course one school of thought has Delta making Alaska cry uncle until they agree to be purchased.

    On the other hand, Delta’s game of chicken with their partner in Seattle could well push Alaska into the arms of the Eskimo’s other US partner from Dallas. And you could find yourself with 3 years of AAccess to AAnother club.

  3. says

    @ Derek — I’d argue their value has gone up quite a bit since the last time I valued them, given that one-way awards are now allowed, and stopovers are allowed on those awards.

  4. Hua says

    Keep in mind that your Board Room membership requires a same-day boarding pass for travel on Delta or Alaska in order to access SkyClub locations, and that you will not have access to the other SkyTeam lounges (Air France, KLM, Korean) that a SkyClub membership offers.

  5. Rob says

    “requires a same-day boarding pass for travel on Delta”

    That’s a big problem for the 99.8% of us mileage junkies reading this blog that have even the slightest shred of self-respect

  6. HkerT says

    Just wondering happened to AS that makes it 25% more valuable than when you last valued it? EK was in play back then. What’s new other than devaluation of UA? I would think the speculative value of non-devalued currencies would go down not up (higher likelihood of devaluation when other programs devalue).

  7. says

    @ HkerT — Alaska actually had a recent devaluation as well, it was just for flights on their own metal. Only a very small percentage of Alaska redemptions are on partners, so clearly it’s not of much concern to them.

    Let me answer my valuation of Alaska miles very simply — I recently purchased Alaska miles through a promotion at ~2.1 cents each, so perhaps I was even underestimating how much I value them in the above post.

  8. Hikert says

    Looking forward to the trip report. I doubt most people actually think in these terms when they account for how much they actually paid for an award, but if you are shelling out 2.1 cents directly (or indirectly), then it really did cost you that much.

  9. Boraxo says

    I value AS at 1.0 as I can never find saver award seats to Mexico or Hawaii (unlike UA). But I can see a higher valuation if you have enough to use for premium TATL or TPAC partner flights.

    There is no way that Delta lounge deal will last – most Priority Pass memberships charge for guests as well. In their haste to jack up the rates I am sure they overlooked a few loopholes.

  10. Hua says

    @Rob: I personally don’t fly Delta much, but when I do, I simply credit to Alaska. On the other hand, you won’t be able to access SkyClub with a Board Room membership if you are flying some other carrier… I have a United Club membership (which doesn’t exactly offer the “splendor” of even a Board Room or SkyClub in most cases) but at least they are plentiful and I could be flying Southwest for all they care. :)

  11. Anthony says

    This purchase should accrue 3x miles when bought via an Alaska Airlines credit card, right? For me, that would be 1,350 in miles.

    I’ve never flown Alaska but find their mileage program to be very useful. I have redeemed to Europe via their miles. I generally fly Delta and often credit miles to Alaska instead. I honestly may go for status on Alaska this year without ever flying Alaska metal.

    I have generally received Delta SkyClub access via an Amex Platinum. However, I may downgrade that card to a PRG or even an Amex Green and instead.

  12. Confused says

    Has Delta changed this already? Currently in the Sky Club Access Rules on their site “Alaska Board Room members flying in BusinessElite or World Business Class on an international flight or a domestic flight connecting to/from a same-day international Delta-operated flight. Please show a physical Delta Sky Club membership card for lounge access. (Note: Board Rooms also accessible to Delta Sky Club members traveling on a Delta- or Alaska-operated flight.)”. Alaska still shows “Board Room members with same day travel on a purchased or redeemed mileage Alaska Airlines or Delta Air Lines ticket have access to all Sky Club locations. Two guests -or- spouse/domestic partner and children under 21 may accompany the member.”

  13. Rob says

    I’m not sure if the lounge attendant was misinformed but a co-worker of mine mentioned during his last trip to the SkyClub in MSP he was told he will only have access to the SkyClubs through March (w/the Alaska Boardroom pass). Has anyone else heard this also?

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