Alaska Airlines has upped their game by opening a huge new flagship lounge at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on July 12. We got to tour the new lounge during a media preview the day before it officially opened.
The new lounge is part of a $658.3 million update that the airport is currently building at the North Satellite facility; with the completion of this phase, the work is approximately 1/3 complete, according to Sea-Tac Airport Managing Director Lance Lyttle. Construction got underway back in February, 2017.
The project adds eight gates, 255,000 square feet of space, and several new restaurants and shops to the airport.
The lounge is huge – 15,800 square feet. Window walls provide views to the west and north, encompassing the runways, the Olympic Mountains beyond, and the tops of the downtown Seattle skyscrapers, all weather permitting, of course – Seattle is famous for its persistent cloud cover.
So, what’s it like? It’s shiny new, and, while not in the same league as, say, Singapore’s epic Changi airport, it’s perfectly Pacific Northwest in scale and vibe.
Once Alaska opens its newest lounge at San Francisco International Airport, it will have a total of eight lounges systemwide, and will have invested $50 million on a combination of new construction and renovations in Seattle, Los Angeles, Portland, and New York JFK.
There’s a large fireplace-centric seating area for relaxing, and plenty of smaller spaces for work or for trying to get a bit of quiet time between flights. The bar offers something close to a dozen microbrews, the coffee bar slings lattes all day long, along with scones and tea for those with a more British bent.
There are plenty of power outlets, WiFi, and flat areas for working or just for setting down your snacks and drinks.
Even on a typically grey Seattle morning, there was plenty of natural light in the space.
Several years ago, Delta raised the bar at Sea-Tac with a large, two-story glass-fronted lounge; this totally evens the score, offering far better views.
With the huge increases in passengers volumes at Sea-Tac Airport — it’s grown from handling 30 million passengers in 2010 to 50 million in 2018 — the additional, comfortable space has arrived none too soon.