Alaska Airline’s network Alaska Lounges reopened to travelers on August 1. The reopening include lounges in Los Angeles, Portland, New York-JFK and Anchorage. In addition, in Seattle now both the D gate lounge and North satellite lounge is open again. The D gate lounge actually never closed throughout the pandemic. At this time, all Alaska Lounges are open again, with the exception of the C gate lounge at Seatac.
Alaska Lounge Changes
With the reopening of the lounges comes a new experience for guests. With the virus still being very prevalent in the United States, Alaska Airlines is reducing services and changing service. While visiting the lounge I felt as though it was very clean. Staff members are all wearing masks and gloves. All tables and chairs are sanitized after each use. Staff roam the lounge, constantly cleaning. When a guest leaves, the entire area is cleaned.
Alaska Airlines has made the following changes to Alaska Lounges to help keep guests safe.
Cleaning + Safety
- Employees are taking temperature checks before starting each shift.
- We are limiting each location’s capacity based on local restrictions, which in most cities is currently 50%.
- Guests and employees are required to wear masks when not eating or drinking.
- Hand-sanitizing stations have been installed in multiple locations throughout each Lounge.
- Foot-pull door handles have been installed in each restroom.
- Our staff will be continuously cleaning each Lounge throughout the day.
- We will be replacing physical newspapers with complimentary online access to digital media while on our Lounge Wi-Fi.
- We have added signage to encourage social distancing and have removed seats at high-density areas.
- When checking-in, we request that you hold out your boarding pass to our staff to scan, rather than passing your phone or boarding pass to them.
- We have paused the use of fingerprint scanners.
Food & beverage
- While self-service buffets are most likely a thing of the past, fresh food options will be available in locations where current local restrictions allow.
- Pre-packaged snacks will be available in all locations.
- You’ll see our team continuing to wear gloves and only pour drinks into clean glasses.
- Beer, wine and liquor selections will be reinstated as local authorities permit.
- We’ve removed free-standing water towers and instead encourage guests to ask for a clean glass or bring a water bottle that our barista would be happy to fill for you.
Alaska Lounge LAX Experience
Like all other aspect of traveling, Alaska is asking guests to mind their wingspan and keep 6 feet between guests at all time. Even the elevator reminds you where to stand if you’re sharing it with another passenger.
Once inside, the check-in desk have large plastic spray guards to protect staff while checking in guests. Biometric scanners have been discontinued. Guests have their credentials scanned from a safe distance and show credentials through the plexiglass.
The lounge itself looks very much like every other modern Alaska Airlines lounge. There is just more distance now between each table. When I was visiting the lounge, it was nearly empty. I was one of three guests in the lounge. The staff to guest ratio was 1:1!
Unfortunately, in LAX as of August 4th the bar is still closed. There is no alcohol service. Reports from others tell me that other lounges are serving alcohol. It very much is dependent on local regulations. Unfortunately, Los Angeles cannot serve booze at this time. Coffee is available, along with can soda and juices. Bar seating is gone, and all beverages are served by staff.
Within the bar area, seats are also more spread out to promote social distancing. Nearly all tables are gone. Few seats remain along the window. Mind your wingspan folks!
Over at the former buffet, the salad and soup is gone and only pre-packaged snacks are available. The options included processed snacks such as crackers, granola bars, and peanuts. There’s also fresh fruit in plastic wrap. Cheese and carrots are also available.
The lounge is still an Alaska Lounge, but it’s really missing all and any luxuries. Although the lounge wasn’t amazing, pre-covid, Post covid the lounge is very basic. There’s word that in Seattle there is fresh pre-packaged salads available. I can only hope that Alaska expands these offerings to other stations. I hope to see a consistent experience across all lounges, dependent on local regulations.
The Los Angelas Alaska Lounge is currently open daily from 5am to 8pm. To protect against transmission of covid-19, all guests must wear a face mask, except when eating and drinking. The same rules that apply on the plane, apply in the lounge.
Have you been to an Alaska Lounge since it reopened? What has your experience been like? Please share with other travelers.