Priority Pass Members Can Again Bring Two Guests Into Alaska Lounges

For a long time, Priority Pass members were reporting issues accessing Alaska Lounges. While Alaska Lounges were still technically part of Priority Pass, many members were turned away due to capacity constraints.

I can appreciate the challenge here. More people have access to Priority Pass lounges than ever before due to how widespread premium credit cards are becoming, and on top of that, guesting privileges on these cards have become more generous. So suddenly you have this huge influx of people who have access to these lounges, while the actual lounge capacity hasn’t increased. The thing is, Alaska wants to let Priority Pass members into their lounges, as they get paid by entrance.

In late April a new policy was put in place regarding this issue. As of late April, Priority Pass members could no longer bring guests into Alaska Lounges. However, this didn’t completely solve the problem, because there are still instances of people being denied entry into the lounges. Well, it looks like they’ve backtracked on this policy.

Priority Pass members can once again bring up to two guests into Alaska Lounges. I suppose more accurately, this policy changes at the Alaska Lounges in Los Angeles, Portland, and Seattle — the Anchorage lounge was never subjected to the reduced access requirements.

Now, does this mean that suddenly Priority Pass members and two guests will always have access to Alaska Lounges? I doubt it. Instead, I suspect for the past few months they’ve been denying guests even when the lounge was empty, which is a big lost revenue opportunity for them. For example, I used the Alaska Lounge Los Angeles last week, and it was pretty empty.

But something has also changed in both Portland and Seattle:

Bottom line

Priority Pass members can once again bring two guests into Alaska Lounges. However, I suspect we’ll still see them put some capacity constraints in place during peak hours. This development is good news for most people, though I imagine those actually paying to be members of the Alaska Lounge appreciated that it was a bit quieter for a while.

Did you notice reduced crowding in Alaska Lounges during the period of limited Priority Pass access?

(Tip of the hat to Doctor of Credit)

Comments

  1. Turning people away from a lounge if it is overcrowded is fine. But in that case they should turn away everyone equally, and not discriminate based on the mode of qualification.

  2. Sad. No reason to allow two guests – at least not for free. If people want to access the lounge, get a PP it or a lounge membership.

  3. Got in this past Sunday (Aug 6) at LAX using my PP (Chase Reserve version), along with my wife and 2 teenage kids.

  4. Yes. I loved the lack of PP people in the lounge. I will truly be sad as they return and start bitching about all the things.

  5. I flew out of PDX a few weeks back, on my outbound, the sign signaling no PP members was out. We had some drinks at the Distillery instead. On the return, the sign was up upon landing, but after a Bloody at the Distillery the sign was gone and I was able to enter.

  6. My wife flew LAX to BUF on July 22 with her 23 year old son and our 16 year old daughter. Alaska lounge rep told her all adults need to be a member but since it 10:00 pm she would allow her an exception. The rep handled it professionally and I appreciated her making the exception. Nice job Alaska Lounge staff!!!

  7. I like the AS lounges and was a member for many years as a Gold living in PDX (the lounge attendants all knew me on sight). After moving to CA I dropped my membership and used PP to get in. But on my last trip to PDX I enjoyed a tasting flight at the distillery instead of trying to get in the lounge. It was a welcome change of pace. And the restaurant added to PP is quite good. PDX food is all local and the same quality as the local establishments. So, I agree that the AS lounge will see a drop in PP visits. I think the diversification of PP is great. I’m getting a lot of value out of it!

  8. PDX is my home airport, and I’ve been grabbing the free tasting flight at the distillery on every return home, opting about half the time to buy a nice $85 of the good stuff to take home with me. I look forward to double-dipping this on my next return… heading first to the cafe, and then to the distillery. I might even skip heading to the sky club on my next outbound, since the sky club does not have hard liquor, and I don’t do so well on carby drinks.

  9. I visited the PDX lounge recently with my partner and was denied access. The lounge was not full at all. It was quite disappointing and reflected poorly on Alaska Airlines. I recommend they allow the local manager to limit access if they are at or near room capacity. Otherwise, keep it open.

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