After enjoying my whiskey tasting at the House Spirits Distillery, I still had about 20 minutes before my connecting flight. So, that gave me just enough time to pop in to the Alaska Lounge for a quick visit. Of the four options at PDX, the Alaska Lounge Portland represents the airport’s traditional Priority Pass lounge option. This was also my first visit to an Alaska Lounge. Thus, I looked forward to the chance to compare it to the other legacy carriers’ offerings.
Alaska Lounge Portland
Concourse C, near Gate C5. From the security checkpoint, walk towards Concourse C, and the lounge is on the left.
All passengers traveling on paid and award Alaska Airlines First Class tickets may access the lounge. Both Alaska Lounge and American Admirals Club members also receive access. In addition, Alaska permits anyone to purchase a one-time day pass for $45.
As far as Priority Pass, Scott previously detailed access restrictions due to overcrowding. Though Alaska discontinued guesting restrictions, PP members still occasionally report being denied access at times. FWIW, on my visit, both me and the gentleman ahead of me both visited via PP access. Neither of us faced access issues. In fact, the lounge attendants gave us both a very warm welcome. I visited around 3:30 on a Friday afternoon.
(I apologize in advance for the photo quality. I only had my iPhone, and had to rush through photos a bit.)
As mentioned, a very friendly agent welcomed me to the lounge. Based on other reviews I’ve read, this seems standard for the Portland lounge. The design reminds me somewhat of the woefully undersized United Club in the SFO E Concourse. A small seating area near the desk opens up into one large corridor of seating. To the back, closest to the entrance, is a large screen TV and flight monitor. This gives way to a central area with a few dining tables.
Farther back, behind the food/drink station, you’ll find several comfy lounge chairs. Throughout the lounge, individual chairs line the floor-to-ceiling windows.
Speaking of the windows, guests here enjoy nice views of the ramp area, a nice complement to an Alaskan Amber.
One thing that stood out, not necessarily in a great way – the decor. All the wood paneling and reserved color scheme screams “corporate board room”. I suppose that’s fitting, seeing as these were formerly called “Board Rooms”. Personally, as a stuffy CPA, the style doesn’t bother me too much. However, the lounge looked and felt dated. It could probably use a little refresh.
The back of the lounge contains several work cubicles, and a combo copier/printer.
Here, you’ll also find a “quiet zone” if you need to get some work done without interruptions.
WiFi is free and fast. I found plugs plentiful along the windows, and in the workstations in the back. I couldn’t tell what the plug situation looked like in the center seats, though.
As far as food and beverage options, a table in the center features a pancake machine, assorted salty snacks, and soup. The machine only operates during breakfast hours, though.
Opposite the window is a Coke fountain and coffee machine.
Next to these is a small fridge with a few fruits and veggies to make a salad.
One question you might be wondering is, where do you order adult beverages? Look for a small window between the coffee machine and the fridge. At the Alaska Lounge Portland, options are limited to beer and wine only, but at least everything is complimentary. Plus, you can enjoy Alaska’s microbrews, including Alaskan Amber (pictured further up).
Alaska Lounge Portland – Final Thoughts
Overall, the Alaska Lounge Portland was – fine. Certainly not the worst lounge I’ve visited, though not particularly inspiring, either. The lounge wasn’t too busy when I visited, but the small size probably means it gets uncomfortably crowded at times. Kind of like the United Club I visited at SFO, come to think of it. The lounge also generally feels a little dated, and could use some updates. On the other hand, I appreciated the free beer and wine and friendly service. I thought the Alaska Lounge Portland makes for a decent complement to the House Spirits Distillery, though. After a quick whiskey tasting, head to the lounge to power up the electronics and get some work done, while enjoying some craft beer and PNW wines.
Note: this post is part of my trip report series about my recent day trip to Portland. Click here for the trip report index and introductory post.