Alaska Airlines tightens lounge access, raises cost

Alaska Airlines has announced that it will be raising the costs of its lounge memberships for 2024, as well as implementing tighter restrictions for entry into the lounges. The changes will take effect from February 1, 2024, and will apply to both elite and non-elite members of the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.

Currently, Alaska Airlines offers two types of lounge memberships: a standard membership which grants access to the airline’s network of nine lounges, and a Lounge+ membership which includes access to Alaska lounges as well as those of its 25 Oneworld Alliance and partner airlines. From February 1, 2024, the price of a standard membership will increase by $50, and the price of a Lounge+ membership will increase by $100.

The new prices for lounge memberships are as follows:

– Alaska Lounge membership: $550 annually for non-elite members (previously $500), $450 for elite members (previously $400).
– Alaska Lounge+ membership: $750 annually for non-elite members (previously $650), $650 for elite members (previously $550).

It is important to note that Mileage Plan elite members with MVP Gold 100K status will still have the option of choosing a complimentary Alaska Lounge+ membership as one of their 100K Choice Benefits. Additionally, cardholders with the Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card can receive a $100 discount off an annual Alaska Lounge+ membership when paying with their card.

These changes come after Alaska Airlines raised the annual fees for their credit cards and implemented new restrictions, such as the ability to purchase discounted lounge day passes. The airline stated that the adjustments to pricing were necessary to maintain the level of quality that members appreciate.

In addition to the increased costs, Alaska Airlines will also be tightening its lounge access rules. Starting from February 1, 2024, entry into the lounges will only be permitted with a boarding pass on Alaska Airlines, a Oneworld partner, or one of the airline’s non-Oneworld partners. Previously, Alaska Airlines allowed access to members and their immediate family or up to two friends, as long as they had a same-day ticketed boarding pass on any carrier.

While these new restrictions bring Alaska Airlines in line with other carriers, it is worth noting that they still do not have the same level of guest restrictions as lounges like the Amex Centurion Lounge or Delta Sky Clubs.

In conclusion, Alaska Airlines is increasing the costs of its lounge memberships for 2024 and implementing tighter restrictions for entry into the lounges. The price increases will apply to both standard and Lounge+ memberships, and the new entry requirements will limit access to members flying on Alaska Airlines, Oneworld partner airlines, or other Alaska partner airlines. The airline states that these changes are necessary to maintain the quality and benefits that members appreciate.

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