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.
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:
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!