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Alaska Airlines has a small, but mighty lounge presence in some major airports in the U.S. We’ve compiled a list of things you need to know about Alaska Airlines lounges, from where to find them to how to gain access.
» Learn more: Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan: Your complete guide
1. Where to find Alaska Airlines lounges
There are eight Alaska lounges in six U.S. airports:
Alaska lounge members can also access select American Airlines Admirals Club locations, which adds 52 more airports to the Alaska lounge membership roster, nine of which are outside the U.S. (Buenos Aires, London, Mexico City, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Toronto, and two at Tokyo-Narita). To use Admirals Clubs, you must be flying on a flight ticketed by Alaska Airlines or American Airlines.
Qantas is another Alaska Airlines partner that offers Alaska lounge members access to its clubs. To gain access to a Qantas Club, you must be ticketed on a same-day Qantas flight. This adds an additional 31 lounges to the roster, most of which are located in Australia. Note that Qantas lounge access for Alaska lounge members does not include Qantas first class lounges.
Alaska has eight other partner lounges (including United and Cathay Pacific lounges) in the U.S. and Canada, all of which require a same-day ticket for travel on Alaska Airlines to access (in addition to your club membership).
2. How to get in to Alaska Airlines lounges
You can access the Alaska lounges with a lounge membership, holding Oneworld elite status, buying a day pass or when flying first class on flights operated by Alaska Airlines.
Fly first class on Alaska Airlines
Buying a first class flight does not guarantee access to partner lounges — only to Alaska lounges.
Additionally, access for first class passengers is limited by the fare code on your ticket, meaning it may not apply to travelers who have been upgraded to first class.
» Learn more: The guide to Alaska Airlines first class
Buy an Alaska lounge membership
Starting Oct. 1, 2021, annual membership to Alaska Airlines lounges will start at $350 for Mileage Plan MVP elite status holders. The standard annual rate for those without elite status starts at $450. You can add a spouse or domestic partner to your membership for an additional $250 a year.
Alaska also has a lounge membership called Alaska Lounge+ membership, which includes access to more than 90 partner lounges as well as Alaska lounges. The price will start at $500. Current lounge memberships will be auto-enrolled into Alaska Lounge+ until the next membership renewal.
If you enjoy your Alaska lounge experience after using a day pass, you can always purchase a membership. If you do so within 30 days of your day pass visit, the cost of the day pass will be refunded.
Become an American Airlines Admirals Club member
If you don’t fly Alaska Airlines enough to merit purchasing an annual membership, consider the American Airlines Admirals Club instead. As an Admirals Club member, you’ll have access to Alaska lounges in Anchorage, Los Angeles, New York-JFK, Portland and Seattle. However, you will need to have a same-day departure ticketed on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines to access the lounges this way.
Hold elite status with the Oneworld alliance
Emerald and Sapphire Oneworld members who earned status through Alaska or American Airlines are eligible for complimentary lounge access on certain international trips. If you're traveling on an itinerary to Mexico City, Central America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia or Australia, you're eligible to visit an Alaska lounge with your Oneworld status.
If you are a Oneworld Emerald or Sapphire member that has been earned through an airline other than American or Alaska, you are not required to have an international itinerary.
Purchase a day pass
You can buy single-entry day passes for $50 per entry. Note that lounges can (and do) decline entry to day pass holders when they're nearing capacity.
While the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card, which has an annual fee of $75, doesn’t provide free access to Alaska lounges, it does give you 50% off day passes. The card’s sign-up bonus, companion fare and free checked bags benefit make it a no-brainer for those who frequently travel with Alaska Airlines.
This card’s current sign-up bonus is as follows: Get 40,000 bonus miles plus Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) with this offer. To qualify, make purchases of $2,000 or more within the first 90 days of opening your account.
3. Guest access rules
With an Alaska lounge membership, you can bring immediate family members or two guests with you for free. If you need to bring more guests, you can purchase additional passes for $25 per visit. Members can also purchase $25 day passes for guests who are not traveling with them. Children under 2 can visit for free with applicable adults.
Pets are allowed in Alaska lounges, as long as there is no conflict with local ordinances. All pets must remain quiet, well-behaved and kenneled. Whether you’re traveling with a service animal or a family pet, no animals are allowed on furniture, and they can’t drink or eat from Alaska lounge dishes.
4. What’s fun about Alaska lounges
Lounges are known for the free food and drinks, but Alaska lounges are upping the novelty factor with an opportunity to “print” your own pancakes. The machine can produce 180 pancakes an hour, and some frequent flyers are known to plan their travel around when the pancakes are printing.
Many lounges also feature nods to local food, drinks and artists. The San Francisco Alaska Airlines lounge has a sourdough toast cart, a candy bar with Ghirardelli chocolate and a San Francisco Giants-themed play area for kids.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card