Alaska Airways makes large adjustments to lounge entry
As airport lounges proceed to endure from overcrowding, Alaska Airways is slicing entry for a lot of premium passengers.
Beginning early subsequent yr, the Seattle-based provider will not welcome most first-class flyers into its lounges.
Alaska will implement a distance-based restriction for passengers booked in firstclass who wish to use the lounge. Starting on Feb. 15, 2023, you may should be booked in firstclass on a flight that is longer than 2,100 miles with the intention to qualify for complimentary lounge entry, an replace to Alaska’s web site that was first reported by One Mile at a Time.
The two,100-mile restriction cuts out a majority of Alaska’s community, however it does embody coast-to-coast, Hawaii and most worldwide routes, as you’ll be able to see within the map beneath.
Lounge entry might be granted on the day of the flight solely, to all lounges in that day’s itinerary, together with connecting flights which are lower than 2,100 miles. You are not allowed to usher in any friends or relations except they too qualify for lounge entry on account of their ticket.
When you do not meet these up to date tips, you’ll buy a reduced day cross for $30, topic to house availability.
Solely first-class tickets that have been bought with money or with miles are eligible for lounge entry. First-class upgrades — whether or not complimentary, paid or with miles — don’t embody entry.
Be aware that this alteration doesn’t apply to Membership 49 members, the airline’s free program for Alaska residents. They will nonetheless have the ability to entry the lounge when touring on a first-class ticket to, by means of or from Alaska, no matter flight distance.
Alaska is giving flyers about three months’ discover earlier than implementing this alteration. All bookings made by means of Nov. 17, 2022, are grandfathered into the outdated coverage, whatever the flight date.
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Along with the tighter entry restrictions, Alaska can also be growing the price of an annual lounge membership. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2023, Alaska Lounge memberships will go from $450 to $500, and Lounge+ membership will improve from $600 to $650. Mileage Plan elites will proceed to obtain a $100 low cost on both membership possibility.
Alaska shared that it is making these adjustments to fight lounge overcrowding, as you’ll be able to see within the assertion beneath.
Our Lounges have grow to be so in style throughout sure instances of the day, we’re making changes to our complimentary First Class entry coverage to permit for a bit extra elbow room. We all know change could be troublesome – however we have to regulate how we function our Lounges to make sure our friends have the perfect experiences potential once they go to.
Even with this alteration, our First Class entry coverage stays probably the most beneficiant within the trade for home journey. Most airways don’t enable entry to lounges when touring on a First Class home itinerary aside from choose markets.
It seemingly is sensible for Alaska to implement these adjustments. With extra premium vacationers than ever competing for a set useful resource — house in a lounge — the result’s lounge overcrowding.
Even when you’ll find a seat within the lounge, these areas aren’t practically as stress-free as they was once. Buffets aren’t being refilled quick sufficient to maintain up with demand, nor are airways capable of simply rapidly broaden their lounge footprint. You possibly can’t simply create extra space in airports, and even for those who might, increasing current lounges takes months, if not years.
It is doubtless the identical purpose why Alaska reduce ties with Precedence Go for all its lounges, besides the one in New York.
That stated, some loyal Alaska flyers are doubtless going to be pissed off. Alaska was all the time distinctive amongst U.S. airways to supply lounge entry to first-class passengers, and this level of differentiation will not be as thrilling because it as soon as was.
Alaska operates 9 lounges nationwide, largely at its hubs and key focus cities, together with:
Although the airline is making entry coverage adjustments, Alaska continues to put money into increasing and modernizing its community. Subsequent week, the airline’s expanded C Concourse lounge in Seattle will open with a further 3,000 sq. ft of house for 60 further friends.
The D Concourse lounge in Seattle might be overhauled starting on Jan. 7, 2023, and it is set to reopen for subsequent summer season’s journey season.
Lastly, Alaska invested $1.5 million in Portland lounge upgrades this yr. The provider added a 1,000-square-foot enclosed patio space in its present lounge and in addition debuted a brand new “Categorical Lounge” idea in Concourse B to present flyers extra space to unfold out.