Alaska Lounges

Old May 27, 18, 5:48 am
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Alaska Lounges

Are they all as bland and understocked as the lounges in Anchorage and Seattle? Crap food choices, paying for most alcohol and the layout of the seating is cluttered
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Old May 27, 18, 6:08 am
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PDX doesn't have any paid options available. I wouldn't say most in either lounge require payments. No different than AA, UA & DL.
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Old May 27, 18, 6:12 am
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In Anchorage they had all name brand alcohol at an additional charge, they were even charging for bottled water
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Old May 27, 18, 6:41 am
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The AS lounges are mediocre at best. The JFK one does look nicer although I believe the food is the same. I frequent the DL lounges in SEA on business trips and they are much better than AS.
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Old May 27, 18, 6:47 am
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AA has remained in the dumps while the three legacies have all put some significant money into both hard and soft product. Nothing particularly fancy at AA, UA, and DL, but most of the clubs do have a few decent selections.

AS has a long, long way to go.
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Old May 27, 18, 10:31 am
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While none of the lounges offered by the big three could be considered a luxury experience, the relative shortcomings of the AS Lounge are frequently mentioned on these boards. I think the quality of complimentary beer offerings is about the only advantage. Besides of course membership cost, which remains materially lower than the others.
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Old May 27, 18, 11:10 am
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AS lounges are not that bad

The problem with some of the comments here has to do with underlying assumptions and preferences. What does "crap food" mean? What does "OMG they charge for some alcohol" mean vis-a-vis praise for the big three lounges?

The free house red wine in the Admiral's club - the "admiral's club special" as I call it - is like drinking motor oil. I almost just can't even be bothered with it, it has gotten so bad. Meanwhile, the AS PDX lounge has several free local red wines from the Northwest to choose from. The selection or brand of red wine does not seem to be consistent across the AS lounges, but I rather like that variety. Want free beer in the admiral's club? You get Bud light or some crap like that. Meanwhile, AS at least gives you a little higher quality free beer to choose from. And I kinda like the strictly enforced "no tipping" in the AS lounges at the bars/windows where you get alcohol.

What about that supposed "crap" AS food? Well, I can hardly stand to eat anything in the Admirals club lounges anymore. American Airline's club food looks like and tastes like crap to me. Aside from the seasonal offering of the green chile soup, the variety of items is very very limited. They've made some recent reforms slightly improving things, but it's still crap to me. Contrast this to AS, where even after breakfast, you can still get a yogurt if you like (in the PDX lounge). Heck, usually you can still get pancakes. You can get a healthy salad in the AS lounge, and put all manner of toppings on it. You can get 4 different kinds of cookies - pre-packaged, yes, but better than that fake pretend-baked crap that American serves.... AS has animal cracker cookies, lemon cookies, ginger snap cookies, chocolate chip cookies. And lets talk about pretzels. There are no pretzels so to speak in the Admirals club... just some kinda gross snack mixes.

And here is the final kicker, I've gotten sick (digestive issues!) several times eating food at the admirals' club..... which has made me even more wary of their food. Never happened at AS.

I will say that United has somewhat decent food in their lounges, and some lounges have better wine selections, but the free food / wine at United lounges is not blowing away AS.

But again, to get back to my original point, these are just my own food preferences (regarding my preferences for the food in the AS lounge compared to AA or UA). My spouse likes the AA lounge food better, but that is because my spouse is not interested in eating salad or pancakes, etc. At any rate, I don't see where there is such a huge contrast in quality to justify some of the comments made on this page regarding AS lounge food and drinks. I mean, these basic airline lounges (aside from the Centurion lounge or super uber flagship premium lounges) are what they are.

The one spot lacking in the AS lounges (perhaps only as it relates to the PDX lounge and the LAX lounge) is that the furniture and furniture accouterments are dated. The PDX lounge needs some new furniture (badly worn leather chairs). But, the new Seattle lounge is great (and though I haven't been to JFK, it looks really nice too). I've been to ANC, and I absolutely loved the fireplace and the view of the runway. And at $295 for my AS boardroom lounge membership (with access to a host of other lounges), well, you can't beat that price. And as for service? I've found UA lounge personnel to be quite rude sometimes. Admirals club employees are usually generally nice, but not as nice and service-oriented as AS lounges.

But, again, to just say that the AS club has "crap" food and that the big 3 are so much better is like trying to claim that vanilla ice cream is better than chocolate ice cream or vice versa. It's a bit disingenuous, because it's a matter of peoples' preferences. It's a fruitless discussion in terms of the current state of food/drink options at all the major airline lounges. The main differences I think are just the sizes of the AS lounges (on the whole they are smaller), their inability to really help you with your tickets and irregular operations in the same way that Admiral's club employees can, and their lack of having showers - though not all big 3 lounges have showers at their locations.

Last edited by MJMLBBtoCPH; May 27, 18 at 11:38 am Reason: typo
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Old May 27, 18, 3:12 pm
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I can understand your sentiments, coming to Alaska with, I'm guessing, experience with the QF lounges. QF does a lot of things better than AS. Alaska is a mostly domestic airline, and not much international reach, let alone transcontinental where maybe you are used to getting top-shelf liquors or drinks. I think Alaska has done a good job of being +5% better than the others guys (US based airlines).

I try not to compare my international lounge experiences to Alaska... they just can't compete. Even in LAX, the Star Alliance Business Lounge is hands down 2000x better than the LAX Alaska lounge - although AS has some remarkable staff.
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Old May 27, 18, 5:08 pm
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Originally Posted by UAPremierExec View Post
I can understand your sentiments, coming to Alaska with, I'm guessing, experience with the QF lounges.
That's a good point to make. When you compare a Qantas domestic lounge against an Alaska domestic lounge, Qantas wins, but I think Alaska primarily sees their competitors as U.S. carriers with minimal food offerings and their no-tipping policy at the bar is certainly something unique.

Qantas domestic business class lounge in Sydney a few days ago (croissants, fruit bowl, and I think there was a pancake machine, too):

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Old May 27, 18, 5:12 pm
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Originally Posted by MJMLBBtoCPH View Post
The PDX lounge needs some new furniture (badly worn leather chairs). But, the new Seattle lounge is great (and though I haven't been to JFK, it looks really nice too).
The chairs in the Seattle C lounge are already due for a deep steam cleaning. Have you been through there recently?

Tom in Brisbane, Australia
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Old May 27, 18, 7:50 pm
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Visiting the DL lounge in SEA S concourse made me less disappointed in the times I couldn't get into AS lounges with my PP. AS wins in pancake machines, DL on essentially everything else IMO.
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Old May 28, 18, 11:36 am
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I was there a couple of weeks ago, but mainly just spent time in the basic hard chairs/tables adjacent to the bar, so I didn't notice all the stains on those light bright colored chairs near the windows (as it's been months since I visited this lounge and of course it still looked great in the early fall when visited and made my first impression). But, having seen the pictures on another thread of what they look like now, they look bad. Flyertalk member Rustykettel was right. Those hipster colors with cloth covering for the new C lounge was a dumb choice by Alaska.
Seattle (SEA) C Concourse Alaska Lounge Opened June 30, 2017
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Old May 28, 18, 1:17 pm
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Originally Posted by tom911 View Post
That's a good point to make. When you compare a Qantas domestic lounge against an Alaska domestic lounge, Qantas wins, but I think Alaska primarily sees their competitors as U.S. carriers...
You mean you wouldn’t fly LAX to SFO via SYD?? But think of how many more miles you’d get!
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Old May 28, 18, 1:37 pm
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All I’ll say is that the lounges beat waiting in the gate area no matter what the condition of the lounges are in.
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Old May 28, 18, 4:45 pm
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The Sky Club between A&C in Seattle is beautiful, and hands down the nicest domestic lounge in SEA. Better than the Centurion Lounge IMHO.

It is also the one of the nicest, if not THE nicest Sky Club in the network. Delta's desire to establish Seattle as it's east Asia US hub, and the desire to poke a stick in Alaska's eye while doing it, is no doubt the reason Delta has invested in such a great domestic lounge. Seattle is by far Alaska's most important hub, and hopefully the new lounge in the N satellite terminal will reflect this. But as of now I would think most objective observers would say Sky Club A&C is the nicer experience. I will miss visiting there after Jan 1 of next year once Delta puts in the must fly Delta requirement on Sky Club visits.

Also, I really enjoy the bar in Alaska C Lounge in SEA. It is the views of the operations out the back of the bar that gets me returning to that location.
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