Alaska Airlines has been part of the Priority Pass system for many years, letting passengers on all carriers use their lounge if you have a Priority Pass card (often included for free with some premium credit cards).
However, the lounges have become busier as more people have these passes and the airline itself grows, with some Priority Pass customers being turned away. If you really want to use the lounge, you may have to buy a membership just like everyone else. United, American, and Delta have also distanced themselves from discounted entry offered to credit card members over the years.
For a limited time you can buy an Alaska Lounge membership by redeeming 60,000 miles as a MVP Gold member. Exact amounts vary with status between 50,000 and 80,000 miles. You can also gift status to a friend instead of using it for yourself.
I value my Alaska miles very highly — about 2 cents each — so this is like saying I could pay $1,200 for a membership. I don’t recommend it. Better to use one of those credit card memberships just mentioned or pay for a day pass when the lounge is more full ($50 per person, or $25 with an Alaska Airlines Visa credit card). Normal membership also isn’t that expensive. Rates start at $300 for MVP Gold 75K members and climb to $450 for non-elite members.
Alaska Lounge membership doesn’t just get you access to the Alaska Lounge. There are only a handful of locations in Anchorage, Seattle, Portland, New York, and Los Angeles with a new one in San Francisco opening soon. Check out my review of the new flagship location in Seattle’s North Satellite and James’s review of JFK Terminal 7.
They also have agreements with lounges operated by other carriers across the country (many, but not all, are American Admirals Clubs). If you want to access a partner lounge, some of them are restricted to travelers with certain boarding passes, but the Alaska Lounges you can always use no matter who you fly.