Frequent flyers on Alaska Airlines have been talking about it for months, but a press release finally went out today that announces the planned opening of a second Board Room location at Sea-Tac’s North Satellite. On first glance I’d say it looks similar to the new Centurion Studio but much, much bigger.
Demand for this lounge has been obvious for some time. First, the current Board Room in the main terminal is often overcrowded. It’s rarely so bad I won’t go in, but it’s unlikely you’ll find dozens of open seats. Second, Alaska has shifted many of its operations to the North Satellite, making it inconvenient to visit the main terminal Board Room before taking the underground transport to the North Satellite.
Alaska Airlines used to share the North Satellite with United, which moved its operations to the A Concourse a few years ago. That left the old United Club empty. It’s right across from the inter-terminal station, behind the escalators, and I understand that Alaska took over this space to create its second Board Room. I’ve been lucky enough not to pass through the North Satellite in months, so I don’t have visual confirmation. If this is actually located somewhere else, please tell me!
Update: Martin provides information in the comments that the new lounge is actually located upstairs on the main concourse. This makes a lot more sense. I guess the old United Club will remain empty for now.
The new lounge appears to have a much cleaner, brighter look than the current lounge, which has a lot of dark surfaces. I’m also excited about the windows. The old United Club was nice enough, but it was a series of windowless rooms that felt a bit claustrophobic as a result. Alaska’s lounge will actually be upstairs between gates N1 and N2 so you’ll be able to look out at ground operations while you wait.
Remember that Board Room access is complementary when you fly first class on Alaska Airlines, whether on a paid or award ticket (upgraded fares are not eligible). Travelers with an Admirals Club membership can also gain access when flying on Alaska or American Airlines.
And guess what? It’s technically a temporary facility — if you can call several years “temporary.” My understanding is that Alaska still plans to eventually move this lounge upstairs, above the departure gates, after it completes a thorough renovation of the North Satellite in 2018.
New Hours — Open Late!
Some Board Room Locations will be also be open later as of November 7. In Seattle, both lounges will be open from 5 AM to midnight. This is common sense given all the new routes Alaska has initiated in recent years, as well as the large amount of connecting traffic it handles. Previously the one lounge would close at 10:30 PM. Lounges in Los Angeles and Portland will also be open later (Anchorage is already open until 1:30 AM).
- Seattle (main terminal): 5 AM to midnight
- Seattle (North Satellite): 5 AM to midnight
- Los Angeles: 5 AM to midnight
- Portland: 5 AM to 11 PM
- Anchorage: 5 AM to 1:30 AM
Is Partner Lounge Access Increasing or Decreasing?
Travelers with an Alaska Airlines Board Room membership or American Airlines Admirals Club membership can always get access to each others’ lounges when traveling on these two airlines. Board Room members get access to many other lounges, too, since the Board Room network only includes a few locations.
Part of this morning’s announcement includes the addition of new United Club locations in Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and Phoenix. Sounds good, except it comes at a big cost. Not mentioned in the press release is that Alaska will be ending its access agreement with Delta Sky Clubs. The new United locations appear to be a replacement for the gap this change will create. As Board Room members previously had access to the entire Sky Club network — even Narita — when traveling on Delta or Alaska, it’s a big negative.