Earlier this morning I shared news from a press release about a second Board Room opening in Seattle, and I talked about the other lounges you can get access to with a Board Room membership — including all American Airlines lounges, some United Airlines lounges, and others.
The press release didn’t mention anything about severing the existing partnership with Delta.
On the Board Room locations page, you’ll find a list of locations and hours for each Board Room, as well as other lounges you’ll have access to in cities where Alaska doesn’t operate its own lounge. This used to include a mix of United and American lounges as well as all Delta Sky Clubs. All Sky Club locations have been removed, and a notice has been added explaining that there will be no access for Board Room members as of January 1, 2016.
This is a huge change. Previously there were certain Sky Clubs mentioned specifically because Alaska Airlines flew to those cities. In addition, you could use a Board Room membership to access any Sky Club when you were flying on a Delta ticket. I’ve pulled a couple of examples from the Wayback Machine as of September 6, so this appears to be a recent change, possibly timed with this morning’s press release.
It would explain some of the other announcements in this morning’s press release, such as the addition of certain United Club locations. In Minneapolis, a big Delta hub, Alaska Airlines customers will no longer have access to the Delta Sky Club and will use the United Club instead.
However, such changes are not surprising. Board Room memberships are relatively cheap, and Sky Club memberships are relatively expensive. Even after Delta added two tiers of membership and started charging for guests, Board Room members were still able to bring free guests to the Sky Club for some time. Factor in all the other animosity between the two carriers as they fight for dominance in the Seattle market — and the West Coast in general — and it’s not surprising that this benefit was eliminated.
I still think Board Room membership is a good deal with the new expanded access to the entire American Admirals Club network, but people who predominantly fly Delta may not agree.