I have a trip coming up in January on Alaska Airlines (ASA/AS), and I wanted to look into lounge access options. As I did, I came across the news I had seen but had yet to write about. Starting in February 2024, lounge membership pricing will increase, and entry rules will be revised for those visiting Alaska Airlines lounges.
As a quick reminder, Alaska made some lounge access changes last year around the same time. Those changes included a price increase and limited first-class ticket admittance into the lounge, based on mileage.
Alaska Airlines sells two types of lounge memberships. The standard membership (Alaska Lounge) gets you into the airline's network of nine lounges. An Alaska Lounge+ membership gets you into Alaska lounges and those of its oneworld Alliance and other partner airlines (~90 lounges).
Effective on February 1, 2024, the price of the “Alaska Lounge“ membership will increase from $400 to $450 (12.5%) for elite members and from $500 to $550 (10%) for non-elite ones. The “Alaska Lounge+“ program will increase from $550 to $650 (18%) for elite members and from $650 to $750 (15%) for non-elite members. The day pass prices will remain the same at $60 per person.
Entry Requirement Changes
Alaska will also be removing the fly any airline benefit for lounge access in 2024. With the previous rules, you could fly any airline and still get access to the lounge. Now you must be ticketed on an Alaska Airlines or oneworld alliance flight to gain lounge access. The same rules will apply to single-day pass holders: You'll need to be flying on Alaska, a oneworld airline such as American Airlines, or another Alaska partner like Condor.
With these new restrictions, the airline will essentially bring its entry requirements in line with those of many other carriers. However, thankfully, Alaska still won't have the sort of sweeping guest restrictions and other policies rolled out at lounges like the Amex Centurion Lounge or Delta Sky Clubs. Current rules specify that access is available to members and immediate family or up to two friends at no cost. They just need "a same-day ticketed boarding pass on any carrier."
How can I save on Alaska Lounge Memberships?
You can save money on memberships by having MVP elite status (MVP, MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75K, MVP Gold 100K). Also, cardholders with the Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card can get a $100 discount off an annual Alaska Lounge+ membership by paying with their card. Finally, complimentary Alaska Lounge+ membership remains a 100K Choice Benefit option for Mileage Plan elite members with MVP Gold 100K status.
I am less offended by these changes than I was by Delta and American Express Centurion changes. I have been to a handful of Alaska Airlines lounges over the years and even remember the good days when they were part of the Priority Pass program. These changes make sense and hopefully make for a better experience for travelers.