Anyone who wants airport lounge access these days gets it bundled with a premium credit card — be it from Chase, Citibank, or American Express.
Earlier in the month I wrote about the Turkish Airlines lounge at Washington Dulles joining Priority Pass and adding to the more than 40 US lounges you can access with the card (and more than 1000 worldwide).
The Alaska Airlines lounges have been a part of Priority Pass for years. The Seattle boardroom, before they opened a second one, has been super-crowded for years.
Reader Thomas W writes about his experience recently though getting denied entry to Alaska Airlines lounges due to overcrowding.
In the past couple of weeks, Alaska Lounges have started strongly limiting Priority Pass access.
..”Will AS keep Priority Pass access?” Front line staff say they are being swamped by [Priority Pass] users, not leaving space for regular members.
Certainly, for the past couple of years, for a Seattle-based person, having the Prestige with Admirals Club and Priority Pass access, has been a no brainer. I suspect we’re seeing the first negative impacts of Sapphire Reserve flooding the market with Priority Pass users…
After a couple of rejections (I used Priority Pass almost 50 times in the past 12 months at Seattle and LAX), I’m back to being a Board Room Member.
Alaska Airlines Boardroom Pancake Machine
Unquestionably more people than ever before have Priority Pass cards in the U.S. with the increasing popularity of the program as a benefit of premium credit cards.
And Alaska Airlines has been growing rapidly as well.
You’re most likely to run into problems gaining lounge access during peak of peak travel times, and during busy travel times coupled with bad weather which causes significant flight delays.
However I don’t think this means Alaska Airlines will necessarily leave the program, or that denying people entry to the lounge when it’s packed to the gills will last either. Alaska will be opening a 3rd lounge in Seattle in the coming months. I think we need to wait and see what the ‘concourse C’ lounge does to diminish crowding before forming expectations of what happens next with Alaska and Priority Pass.
Nonetheless, it’s an issue to watch.