Alaska Airlines Lounges have been one of the biggest bright spots for Priority Pass holders in North America. The lounges have a decent food selection, open bar, pancake machines and are professionally staffed. They also reliably admit pass holders — until now.
The Seattle Times reports that Alaska will stop admitting Priority Pass holders to its lounges at Seattle/Tacoma International Airport (SEA), a.k.a. SeaTac, beginning Sept. 1. The lounge in SeaTac Terminal C is newest and largest in Alaska’s network.
An airline spokesperson blamed the decision on overcrowding. Seattle is Alaska’s largest hub, and is home to the largest Alaska Lounges.
There has been no report that Seattle’s other lounges — Anchorage Ted Stevens (ANC), New York Kennedy (JFK) Terminal 7, Los Angeles International (LAX) Terminal 6 and Portland International (PDX) — will stop admitting Priority Pass holders.
Pass holders in Seattle aren’t out in the cold, either. There are two contract lounges in the airport, operated by The Club, which has a cozy relationship with Priority Pass. American Express Platinum cardholders flying Delta can also access the massive SEA Sky Club.
Overall, options have improved over the past year for U.S. Priority Pass holders. Last year the lounge program started adding restaurant credits. Pass holders can dine on Priority Pass’ dime at Cleveland Hopkins (CLE), Denver International (DEN), Lexington Blue Grass (LEX), LAX, Miami International (MIA) and PDX.
The lounge program still operates great partnerships with some very desirable international lounges.
Priority Pass comes as a free perk with travel credit cards including The Platinum Card from American Express, Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve cards.
The program offers access to over 1,200 lounge environments, a small minority of which are in North America.