entrance to Alaska Airlines lounge with sun in background
Source: Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines Updates Lounge Access Policies and Membership Fee

Alaska Airlines (ASA/AS) has announced changes to its lounge access policies that will become effective February 15, 2023. Previously paid or award first-class passengers were automatically entitled to lounge access. The new policy grants complimentary lounge access to first-class passengers only on flights greater than 2,100 miles. There will also be an increase in price for annual lounge memberships.

First-Class Complementary Lounge Access Distance Rule

Once the new rule is in effect, first-class passengers on routes less than 2,100 miles will have the option to pay a discounted rate of $30 for a day pass (same price as military) but not be given complimentary access as before.

Alaska will continue to offer their standard day passes to all passengers flying to or from select airports limited to Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), New York Kennedy (JFK), and Portland (PDX) for $60 per day.

This new change will mostly benefit those on transcon flights, flights to Hawaii, some international flights, and a handful of domestic flights. Below is a listing of some sample flights that will be eligible for this new distance rule.

  • ANC to: HNL (2,777), PHX (2,551), MSP (2,519), DEN (2,405), LAS (2,304), SLC (2,125)
  • LAX to: LIR (2,627), ANC (2,345)
  • PDX to: BOS (2,537), MCO (2,534)
  • SFO to: BOS (2,704), JFK (2,586)
  • SEA to: MIA (2,724), FLL (2,717), LIH (2,701), KOA (2,688), CUN (2,685), JFK (2,421)
Annual Lounge Membership Price Increase

Not only is Alaska Airlines cutting complementary lounge access for most first-class passengers, but the airline is also increasing the price of Alaska Lounge memberships. Specifically, as of January 1, 2023, the cost of Alaska Lounge memberships will increase by $50 annually across the board.

Standard membership with access to Alaska-operated Lounges will start at $400 for elites and $500 for non-elites. Alaska Lounge+ memberships with access to Alaska-operated Lounges and 90+ partner lounges start at $550 for elites. United Mileage Plan Elites will still receive a $100 discount on either membership option.

Closing Thoughts

I have only visited a few of the Alaska Lounges over the years but was impressed each time. I found the lounge to be warm and different from other lounges. Alaska Airlines currently operates 9 lounges across 6 airports (ANC, JFK, LAX, PDX, SEA, and SFO). These changes make sense to me, especially from the standpoint of lounge overcrowding. Alaska Airlines has also reported it will be investing millions in lounge upgrades over the next year including patio and space expansion.