Alaska Airlines to reopen most lounges on August 1: What you need to know
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The coronavirus pandemic has radically changed the air travel experience. Airlines have been amping up cleaning procedures, blocking middle seats, modifying in-flight service and more. Most airport lounges were temporarily closed, but as travel picks up again, many are reopening, now including most Alaska lounges.
Alaska plans to reopen four of its seven lounges on Aug. 1. Currently, the only Alaska lounge open is the Seattle (SEA) location in the D Concourse so these re-openings should represent a major boost to its network. As far as we can tell, The Points Guy is the first to report this news.
Alaska is taking a slower approach to reopening lounges than its competitors. Many American Airlines Admirals Clubs and United Clubs began to reopen in June, as well as a handful of Priority Pass lounges. Delta kept a decent number of its Sky Clubs open throughout the pandemic and has since reopened several more. Like the other airlines, Alaska is making changes to its lounge services to meet health concerns.
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Alaska lounges that are reopening
The only Alaska lounge currently open is the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport location in the D Concourse. The following lounges are expected to reopen on Aug. 1, 2020:
- Anchorage (ANC) — Concourse C, near gate C-1
- Los Angeles (LAX) — Terminal 6 on the mezzanine level, near gate 64
- Portland Airport (PDX) — Concourse C, across from gate C5
- Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) — North Satellite on the mezzanine level, above gates N13-18
Once these lounges reopen, the only ones still closed will be the New York-JFK location and the Seattle-Tacoma location in Concourse C. There's no word yet on whether the opening of Alaska's brand-new lounge in San Francisco (SFO) will be delayed.
Related: Which airline lounges in the US are currently open?
Things won't be business as usual when the lounges reopen. The lounges will have limited capacity, enhanced cleaning procedures and modified food and beverage services.
Complimentary coffee, tea and soda will return, but will only be available via the bar, rather than self-serve.
Snacks are still self-serve, but are limited to pre-packaged items. This includes things like potato chips, pretzels, granola bars and cookies, as well as some healthier options like whole fruit and string cheese.
While face masks are required onboard, they aren't necessarily required in the lounges. For many airlines, this ultimately comes down to the local government or airport restrictions of the lounge you're visiting. Delta Sky Clubs, on the other hand, require all guests to wear a face mask, regardless of the club location.
Related: 6 ways airport lounges are improving — and one way they definitely aren’t
How to get access
There are several different ways to gain access to Alaska lounges. Entry is open to Alaska Lounge members, Admirals Club members, first-class guests (doesn’t include upgrades) and anyone purchasing a day pass ($50 or $25 if you use your Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card).
The Los Angeles and New York lounges are also a part of the Priority Pass lounge network, though access is often restricted due to space constraints (likely even more so now due to the limited capacity). A number of rewards credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve include complimentary Priority Pass memberships.
Alaska MVP Gold 75K elites get four lounge day passes upon qualification. Although Alaska is extending the validity of elite statuses through Dec. 31, 2021 and companion certificates through Dec. 31, 2020 for travel through Nov. 26, 2021, it hasn't announced yet whether it will extend 75K Lounge day passes or guest upgrade certificates
Related: The ultimate guide to Alaska Airlines lounge access