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Over recent years Priority Pass has been doing a pretty good job of expanding and adding lounges or lounge substitutes all around the globe and it has become an increasingly important part of my travels when I travel with multiple companions.
The ability to get two guests into a lounge is invaluable when I’m traveling with Joanna and MJ and having somewhere to sit and work (other than the gate area) is really appreciated when I’m at airports without lounges that recognise my airline status.
But it hasn’t all been good news.
More and more premium credit cards now offer Priority Pass Select membership as part of their suite of benefits (the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Platinum Card from American Express and the Citi Prestige card are just three examples) so more people have access to Priority Pass lounges than ever before….and that leads to overcrowding.
It’s almost certainly overcrowding that has led Alaska Airlines to withdraw its three lounges at Seattle-Tacoma airport from the Priority Pass program effective 1 September 2018.
The lounges leaving the Priority Pass program are:
- Alaska Lounge Concourse C
- Alaska Lounge Concourse D
- Alaska Lounge North Satellite
This still leaves the two “Club at SEA” lounges (in Concourse A and the South Satellite) as Priority Pass options at Seattle-Tacoma international airport.
Why Is This Happening?
Back in March Alaska Airlines announced that it would be preventing Priority Pass members from bringing guests into its Seattle lounges (from the beginning of May) but this latest announcement would seem to suggest that this didn’t go far enough – clearly overcrowding remained an issue.
The fact is that a number of the premium credit cards which offer Priority Pass memberships also offer separate memberships to the card’s authorised users so it’s quite likely that people being guested into lounges aren’t the cause of overcrowding at all the proliferation of Priority Pass memberships is the issue.
If you’re based in Seattle or if you travel through Seattle airport with any great regularity this could be an inconvenience for you but in the general scheme of things it’s not a big change.
Priority Pass still offers two lounges in Seattle (which, admittedly, aren’t as good as the Alaska lounges) and it still offers over 1,200 lounges worldwide….so the rest of us will probably survive 🙂
Featured Image: Jonathan Miske via Flickr