Review: Alaska Airlines Lounge SEA-TAC North Satellite Terminal

Review: Alaska Airlines Lounge SEA-TAC North Satellite Terminal

September 6, 2019 Plan 0

Seattle-Tacoma Airport (SEA-TAC) is the 8th busiest US airport and commercial and cargo flights continue to increase. As part of the airport’s growth and modernization strategy, the North Satellite Terminal, also known as the “N-Gates” has been renovated and expanded. In addition to new vendors, 8 more gates, Alaska Airlines has also opened their 15,800 foot flagship lounge. In this post, we share a review of the newly opened Alaska Airlines North Satellite Lounge at SEA-TAC.

Location:

The new Alaska Airlines Lounge is located in the North Satellite Terminal. To get here, you need to go through TSA security screening at the main terminal. Once you have gone through security, you take a train to the North Satellite Terminal (N-Gates).

Tip: At this time, the train doesn’t stop at C gates so you need to catch the train at the D gates, walk across the platform and hop on the North Train Loop to get to the N gates.

SEA-TAC: Getting to your gate

SEA-TAC: Getting to your gate
Source: https://seattle.curbed.com/2017/9/20/16337676/seattle-tacoma-airport-guide-map

Once at the N-gates, you can go up an escalator or the stairs and walk towards gates N-13. To get to the lounge, take the stairs or the elevator to the Mezzanine level.

Access:

Access to the Alaska Airlines Lounge at the North Satellite Terminal at SEA-TAC is granted:

  • Purchase of an Alaska Airlines Business Class ticket using cash or points (upgrades to business class are not eligible for lounge access).
  • Use an Alaska Airlines MVP certificate for each person per visit (MVP 75K members currently get 4 passes per year).
  • Purchase a day pass (currently $50 and Eligible Alaska Airlines Visa® currently get 50% off).
  • Purchase a membership that gives you access to Alaska Lounges and 95+ partner lounges.

Back in the day, we used to be able to use Priority Pass to get access to the Alaska Lounges but that has stopped due to overcrowding.

We do find it disappointing that as MVP 75K members which is the top tier, we don’t get lounge access. Air Canada offers lounge access to their 35K members and WestJet Gold also gets you lounge access.

The lounge is open from 05:00- midnight.

More information: https://www.alaskaair.com/content/airport-lounge/location-and-hours

The Space:

We are so used to small and dated lounges in general and so the Alaska Lounge at SEA-TAC not only feels really big and modern, in some ways, it reminds us of the PAE – Paine Field Airport holding area.

Seating by the window

Seating by the window at PAE – Paine Field

As you enter and check-in to the lobby, you can either go right or left. The area to the right is a lot quieter and more suitable for solo travelers who want down time and the area to the left is livelier and for those who want to socialize. The area in the center is where the food, coffee, and fountain drinks are.

As you walk away from the lobby and head to the right, you will be greeted by the fireplace seating, and just past it are other seating options, like small tables and chairs, full lounger chairs, and other seating. This area is quiet and you will not hear any announcements. That being said, the people in the bar were talking so loudly that we did here them at times.

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Quiet seating by the windows

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Quiet seating by the windows

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Seating in the quiet area

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Seating in the quiet area

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Max's favorite seat

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Max’s favorite seat

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Max sitting in a comfortable and clean lounge chair

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Max sitting in a comfortable and clean lounge chair

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: More quiet area seating

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: More quiet area seating

As you walk away from the lobby and head to the left, there will be the food area with some seating and just past it is the bar. If you are looking for nice views of the runway and tarmac, you’re in luck as the lounge frames the perimeter on two walls of windows. They play music but it is not too loud and so you can maintain a conversation without shouting.

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Beer list and Fremont Lounge Life IPA

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Beer list and Fremont Lounge Life IPA

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Food area

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Food area

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Beverages

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Beverages

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Beer Taps (some!)

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Beer Taps (some!)

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Bar area

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Bar area

As for the facilities, there are no showers but the ladies washrooms are equipped with space for a suitcase in the main area, and 3 large stalls.

We did not notice any areas dedicated for children and families.

We came to the lounge on a Friday night at 20:30 before our 22:45 flight and it was not very busy but the attendant told us it does get busy at certain times of the day.

The Food and Drink:

If there is one thing that makes this lounge outstanding is that they have 12 craft beers on tap, making it a beer lovers dream! We were very excited to try Fremont Brewing’s “Lounge Life IPA” and it didn’t disappoint. In addition, they have complimentary wines and cocktails and for purchase premium products). Maxine enjoyed the Treveri brut and rosé but they have since swapped it out for Wycliff.

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Beer list

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Beer list

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Food for purchase menu

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Food for purchase menu

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Premium Drinks List

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Premium Drinks List

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Premium Cocktail List

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Premium Cocktail List

As for food, they have the famous pancake machine (that we’ve never used!), and a selection of small snacks like hummus, cheese, veggies, soups, crackers, and cookies.

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Pancake Machine

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Pancake Machine

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Cold snacks

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Cold snacks

We do wish the food options were a little more substantial but they do push meals items for purchase for about $8-$10. When comparing the food at a few lounges at SEA-TAC and YVR, we would give the Alaska Lounge food a 6/10, the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge a 7/10, Plaza Premium (Priority Pass) 7/10 and American Express Centurion Lounges 8/10. As for the drinks though? We would give the Alaska Lounge a 9.5/10, the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge a 5/10, Plaza Premium (Priority Pass) 7/10 and American Express Centurion Lounges 9/10.

The Bottom Line:

Overall, we enjoyed our experience at the Alaska Lounge in the North Satellite Terminal. It actually made “getting N-gates” worthwhile! In the past, we’ve always complained about being N-gated as we prefer to fly out of the C gates.

Not only was this lounge spacious, but it was nicely designed and the furniture seems way better quality than the other lounges. Let’s just hope it stays nice!

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Max enjoying a Fremont Lounge Life IPA in her favorite seat

Alaska Lounge N-Gates: Max enjoying a Fremont Lounge Life IPA in her favorite seat

We also enjoyed the snacks and if we were really hungry, we’d consider buying something to eat. We especially enjoyed the drinks as craft beer lovers.

As Alaska MVP 75K, it is quite affordable to purchase a membership for access to Alaska Lounges and their partner lounges which is something we are now considering due to the Alaska Lounge at the N-gates. At this point, we’re considering cancelling/not renewing our American Express Platinum card due to the erosion of card-related benefits and due to how difficult it is to even get access to Centurion Lounges these days, most likely due to all those blog posts about the best credit card for lounge access. 😉

Have you need to the Alaska Lounge at SEA-TAC’s North Satellite Terminal? If so, what did you think? Has lounge overcrowding affected you too? Is lounge access important to you?

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