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Since I had nothing to do but hang out at LAX for four hours between my United arrival and Alaska departure during my day flying the shortest flight in the U.S., I figured I’d head to a couple different lounges to pass the time and get some work done. My first stop was the Alaska Lounge LAX. Priority Pass access to this lounge can be an issue, as many people have reported being turned away, and I didn’t really expect to get in (note: a future visit proved unsuccessful…the dreaded sign was out).
But I thought I’d check to see nonetheless. It was the closest lounge anyway. My kids and I tried to get into an Alaska lounge two out of our last three times passing through Seattle, and each time the sign was out saying they weren’t accepting Priority Pass. I headed up the elevator to the Alaska Lounge LAX, and the infamous sign was nowhere to be seen.
Finally, I found it. Facing the wall, as it should be.
The only note about Alaska Lounge LAX Priority Pass check-in is that they impose a 3-hour time limit, which is typically enforced by not allowing you in until 3 hours before your flight. I arrived at exactly three hours before scheduled boarding time and had no issues entering.
Seating and space
The Alaska Lounge LAX isn’t especially large. For an airline that boasts the most west coast flights, I figured it would be a bit bigger. The lounge was fairly full when I arrived and stayed about the same during the whole time I was there.
I found a seat in an armchair near the windows. I’d hoped to nab one of the small tales right next to the windows, but they were all occupied.
I moved as soon as another guest got up and left and enjoyed watching planes for a while.
The window tables enjoy a nice view of Terminal 7 next door and the United and Alaska aircraft coming and going. It was a dreary, rainy day in Los Angeles.
At one side of the lounge is the business center. There aren’t a whole lot of outlets, so if you’re looking to keep your devices powered, one of the desks here maybe the way to go.
Overall, the space is nice. Not large, but nice. With the views from the upper floor and comfortable seating, it is a great place to kill the time before your flight.
[NOTE: One reader has commented that the lounge has been quickly renovated since my visit in March. As Priority Pass did not get me in this week, I wasn’t able to take a look.]
Food and drink Alaska Lounge LAX
The food options aren’t bad, but like any domestic U.S. lounge, they are limited. There was a potato soup, green salad, cookies, other baked treats, and fruit available.
Drink options included self-serve soft drinks from a Coke machine, juice, tea, coffee and water. Overall, not a lot, but enough to tide you over before your flight. I wouldn’t call it better or worse than any of the clubs I’ve visited belonging to the U.S. “Big 3” airlines.
Off to one side is a pancake machine, which as a bit unexpected. I mean, I like pancakes as much as the next person, but I’ve never seen a pancake or waffle maker in a lounge.
The bar is staffed, and I nearly always saw two attendants present. They were both very friendly, and there was a sign out clearly stating “no tipping”. Most lounges (generally The Club at [airport]) tips are totally accepted. Tipping at a lounge bar has always been awkward for me since I travel so often without any cash (a bad habit). This at least made things clear.
There is a very, very small kids room, so if you have little ones, you do have a place to go, but its no bigger than a large closet. Hopefully you don’t have many. I’d go crazy if I had to stuff myself and my three in the space!
I found the bathroom to be maintained nicely and very clean. Lounge bathrooms are generally nicer, but I its not like I typically wait to go to the bathroom until I get into a lounge because I can’t stand the ones in the terminal or something.
WiFi is available, of course, and the speed is decent. I was able to easily catch up on email and other work, get some writing done, and surf the web. I rarely stream anything in airport lounges, but given the web responsiveness, I bet it would have been fine.
While I don’t know the typical Priority Pass availability of the Alaska Lounge LAX, as folks can be turned away, I can say that it is a fine choice if you’re flying United or Alaska on the south side of the airport in terminals 5 through 8. It’ll be a bit of a walk from Terminal 8, but it is the only close option (unless you have a United Club membership). Given the size of the space, or lack thereof, it is not at all surprising that the Alaska Lounge LAX fills up. I may have gotten lucky based on the day (Wednesday) and time I visited.
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