San Francisco’s Newest Lounge: My Alaska Lounge SFO Review

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Alaska Lounge SFO Review Bar

Alaska Lounge SFO Review

It’s here, folks, the lounge I’ve been waiting for most. This past week I had the opportunity to check out the Alaska Lounge SFO for the first time, just shy of the two month mark since it opened it’s door. I was pleased by it’s quality for a domestic airline lounge. The best part is that you don’t need an Alaska boardroom membership to enjoy the space! Here is my Alaska Lounge SFO review, enjoy!

RELATED: Alaska Lounge SFO Removed From Priority Pass Network Weeks After Opening

Accessing the Alaska Boardroom SFO

There are five options for accessing the Alaska Lounge SFO:

  • Have an Alaska Lounge annual membership (cost is $450 for non-MVP elites)
  • Fly on a same-day paid first class fare (complimentary first class upgrades do not count)
  • Buy a one-time day pass for $50 (Alaska Airlines cardholders can buy these for 50% off)
  • Use a one-time code provided to MVP Gold 75K members (qualifying earns you four)
  • Use your Priority Pass membership at the SFO location
  • Be flying a qualifying itinerary as a Oneworld Sapphire or Emerald elite

Since I status matched to Alaska Airlines MVP Gold 75K last year, I ended up using one of the codes.

The Alaska Lounge SFO is located in Terminal 2, to the left soon after the security checkpoint. SFO Terminal 2 is connected to part of Terminal 1, so you’ll have access on a limited number of flights. I do like that this section of the airport now has another lounge option, especially one you can access through Priority Pass. Update: it looks like the lounge was pulled from Priority Pass, less than two months after opening. Or it never actually launched, although it showed in the app. Alaska Twitter confirmed that it did briefly participate. 

Since my flight was stupid early, I arrived right at 5:00 a.m. when the lounge opens. It closes at 10:00 p.m. daily. The first thing I noted was the Oneworld Priority placard indicating Sapphire and Emerald member access. Domestic (and some other) itineraries won’t grant you access, sadly.

Alaska Lounge SFO Oneworld Sapphire

Alaska Lounge SFO Review Priority Pass

Alaska Lounge SFO Priority Pass Lounge Space

At less than two months old, the Alaska Lounge SFO has a very new, clean feel. It’s worlds better than the main United Club in Terminal 3, Concourse F, and honestly nicer than a couple of the international SFO lounges.

The lounge offers a nice variety of seating. The central circle of chairs is neat, although not very private. I was surprised how many people sat here, though, by the end of my stay. Past the food area is a bunch of table seating that would easily accommodate groups.

Alaska Airlines Boardroom SFO

On the other side of the lounge are the more typical armchairs with outlets. There are also a set of tables along the bench on the far side of the space. Since I wanted to hunker down and work for an hour over breakfast, I grabbed a spot behind the column, grabbed some food, and plugged in my laptop.

Alaska Lounge SFO Review seating

The lounge offers two coffee stations in addition to the one in the food area, which is super convenient. You also have a candy station, although I can’t say I approve of the bright green and blue jelly bean choices.

Alaska Lounge SFO Review drinks

The last two places I checked out were the bar and restroom. While SFO restrooms are not on the more disgusting end of airport bathrooms, a lounge restroom is worlds better.

Alaska Lounge SFO bar

Alaska Lounge SFO Review bathroom

Overall, the space has a great feel. My one complaint might be that there aren’t any somewhat private areas of the lounge. The seating is nice, but always exposed.

Priority Pass Alaska Lounge SFO: The Giants Dugout

Well, I guess the Giants Dugout is sort of private. Located just past the bar, you’ll find the door on the left before the service area. It’s a cool little space that looks fun for kids, in addition to Giants fans. There is a cool shelf of bobble heads and a display of pitches. A left hand curve is notably absent.

Alaska Lounge SFO Giant's Dugout

Food and Beverage

Back to breakfast. Like other domestic lounges, the food options at the Alaska Lounge SFO are pretty minimal. The early morning offerings included boiled eggs, cold cuts, bagels, muffins, bread, fruit, yogurt, and oatmeal.

Alaska Lounge SFO food

Alaska Lounge SFO food

And, of course, the signature pancake maker. It wouldn’t be an Alaska lounge without it.

Alaska Lounge SFO Review pancake maker

Like I mentioned previously, there were three different places to find coffee. Alongside the joe in the food area is a nice selection of tea as well. As is typical, the Starbucks coffee tasted super burnt. But this is more a function of Starbucks than Alaska Airlines.

Fruit and oatmeal made for a nice breakfast. I asked for Baileys at the bar, but got shot down on two counts. Alcohol isn’t served until 6:00 a.m. and it’s premium option. Half and half had to do.

Alaska Lounge SFO Review – Final Thoughts

I was the second person through the door that morning, and the Alaska Lounge SFO stayed fairly quiet for the little over an hour I enjoyed the space. Given that the lounge is brand new and that SFO isn’t as large of a hub as other major Alaska airports, I would expect that traffic will be moderate. Opening up to Priority Pass is a smart move on Alaska’s part as it should allow them to bring in more revenue. I would expect this to go by the wayside if the lounge does begin to get crowded. Or not. Maybe it started out overcrowded. 

Overall, I like the Alaska Lounge SFO. It’s a fine domestic lounge and in great condition as a brand new space. The food is on par with their other lounges. Alaska lounges tend to be a hair better than United Clubs but fall short of Delta Sky Clubs when it comes to food. While what is offered is minimal, the food was fresh and good The staff were upbeat, friendly, and helpful, and excited to be welcoming guests.

I don’t think I’ll be back before my other lounge passes expire, but I hope to enjoy the Alaska Lounge SFO next year.

Ian Snyder
After igniting his passion for award travel while planning his honeymoon, Ian now enjoys using points and miles to see the world with his wife and three internationally adopted kiddos. He loves dissecting loyalty programs to find maximum value. His goal is to demonstrate that extraordinary travel is possible for the ordinary family.

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2 COMMENTS

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2 COMMENTS

  1. When was your visit? The Alaska Airlines Lounge at SFO does not appear in the Priority Pass lounge directory as of today.

    • Last week. I didn’t check then, as I have Alaska lounge vouchers, but I’d checked before. Just confirmed via Twitter that it’s been pulled. Major bummer.

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