Alaska Airlines has been busy refreshing their image and trying to move from your grandmother’s airline to an airline for millennials and baby boomers alike. The airline has spent millions of dollars in recent years to roll out tech upgrades with new features. Always on the forefront of airline technology, Alaska’s tech savvy updates include smartphone applications, print at home baggage tags, self-baggage tagging at the airport, and even bio-metrics for access to their airport clubs. The list of other tech upgrades is probably longer, but more importantly, Alaska is now working on a merger with Virgin America and a major brand refresh.
The Alaska Airlines brand refresh was announced at the end of January, 2016. Since the announcement, Alaska has been busy repainting planes and updating signage. Everything from the in-flight mega-zine to safety cards and menu have new branding. The first major brand refresh in 25 years brings us a new, younger, fresh and hip look to Alaska’s planes and marketing items. Now, in addition to these changes, Alaska Airlines’ airport lounges also are receiving a new name. The long time Alaska Airlines Board Room name is in process of being retired and Alaska Airlines airport clubs are now Alaska Lounge.
I personally did not notice the name change from Alaska Airline’s Board Room to Alaska Lounge until I was at the airport this week. The signs at Seatac airport changed in mid-November. I clearly did not notice the name change prior to this week. After confirming with the staff, the name did change in November. The official name change coincided with the announcement of Alaska Premium Economy. Premium Economy passengers will not gain lounge access without individual Alaska lounge membership or priority pass.
Surprisingly, it turns out, that everything on Alaska’s website already reads “Alaska Lounge.” Amenities and features in the lounge are not changing, only the branding. Free off-name Alcohol, snacks, pancakes in the morning, salad, cheese, soup and wi-fi will still be abundant. Currently there are no updates about any additional changes to the lounge. All lounge policies, features, locations, and more are available on the Alaska Lounge page.
Personally, I think “Alaska Lounge” sounds better than Board Room. “Board Room” offers a unique high office name for an airport club; however, does anyone actually use the airport club as a meeting space? Maybe more people than I think, but realistically Airport clubs are lounges, not board rooms. Few meetings actually take place at Alaska Lounges or any airport club. I’ve only ever seen a handful of meetings ever being held in the conference rooms. After all, who wants to deal with TSA for a meeting if not flying? The Alaska Lounge is a place to relax before a flight, have a cocktail, a bite to eat, and lounge. It’s not a true meeting space. The name change makes sense, good job Alaska!