Alaska Airlines together with the Port of Seattle celebrated the grand opening of Alaska Airlines’ new Flagship Lounge and completion of the first phase of the North Satellite Modernization Project on Thursday of this week.
After speeches from State-, County-, City-, Port- and Alaska Airlines-officials, the lounge opened to the invited crowd of frequent flyers, officials, media and invited guests. The new Alaska Lounge is located on the mezzanine level of the 255,000 square-foot expansion of the North Satellite building. To get to the lounge take the elevator or stairs in the middle of the main hallway of the expansion. The glass panels around the elevator shaft and the large bronze tree log are part of an art installation called Cathedral.
The new part of the North Satellite brings travelers into the 21st century. Open spaces, bright colors and a lot of natural light are the main features of the new part of the satellite building.
This is Alaska Air’s third lounge at Sea-Tac and sevenths overall in their lounge network. The 15,800 square-foot lounge space is three times the average size of an Alaska Lounge. Alaska Airlines already made a huge leap forward in design, when hey opened their lounge at Sea-Tac’s C-Gates as well as the old Alaska Lounge in the North Satellite, which is now replaced by this lounge. The lounge at C-Gates was the newest lounge Alaska opened at Sea-Tac before this one and featured bright colors with a lot of green, matching Alaska’s new livery of their planes. In contrary, this new lounge comes in dark but warm colors but offers lots of natural light.
After checking in, enjoy wide open spaces and amazing views. The big and tall windows all the way around the lounge allow for a lot of natural light and offer stunning views of the Main Terminal, Runways, and even Downtown Seattle. Perfect for aviation geeks as you can see planes taking off and landing from start to finish. On a clear and sunny day, you can even see the Olympic Mountains in the far distance. Unfortunately during the opening day weather was not perfect for good views. Heavy overcast and thick cloud layer made it impossible to see the mountains but the Columbia Center Tower was visible and easy to spot past the north end of the runway.
The lounge really invites to come in and relax and recharge yourself and your devices. The designers made sure that there are power outlets and USB port everywhere in the lounge. In today’s digital world you have to stay connected and charged to be successful and Alaska’s Flagship lounge fully understands this issue.
Past the check-in area, you find big open spaces with comfortable seating to your left. Right past the main entrance is a beautiful fireplace which invites to hang out and relax. There are many comfortable chairs, loungers, and recliners in front of the windows all the way around the lounge with more seating in the rest of the space. Smaller booths with a table are also available on the inside or sit down at one of the large sofa-style benches.
To the right of the entrance, you find the dining and bar area. The baristas are Starbucks-trained and will prepare your favorite espresso beverage for you. Grab one of the complimentary snacks including cookies from Seattle’s Marsee Baking, along with other Pacific Northwest-inspired bites. If you need more than just a small bite, order one of the made-to-order snacks for a small fee, starting at just $8. All food offered in the lounge features fresh, local and seasonal ingredients.
For greater convenience, the lounge also features a high-end coffee machine and a Coca-Cola soda dispenser with a touch-screen to select your favorite soda. I love this do-it-yourself soda-dispenser, but for whatever reason, its missing “strawberry” as a flavor for your sodas. I know first world problems 😉 A departure monitor is located above this area, to make sure guests have easy access to flight information. With everyone using now smartphones, this screen should be enough to keep guests updated.
The bar area at the end of the right wing features 12 microbrews on tap besides your regular favorite beer brands. The selection also includes the Lounge Life IPA by Seattle’s Fremont Brewing, which was crafted exclusively for Alaska Lounges. Besides beer, you can choose from an extensive list of cocktails and wines. The wine list features new wines made right here in Washington.
Overall the lounge has two sets of Restroom with one in either wing of the lounge. The design team didn’t stop when it came to the design of the restrooms. Everything fits well together with the rest of the lounge.
Official opening date for the lounge was July 12th at 5:00 a.m. Just one day after the event. The usual Alaska Lounge access rules apply. Alaska Lounges are one of the easiest and cheapest lounges to access. A first-class domestic ticket already gives you access to the lounge, besides the common lounge membership with the airline or day passes. I would even go out of my way just to use this lounge, even if one of the other two remaining lounges is closer to my departure gate.
You used to be able to access Alaska Lounges if you had a Priority Pass membership. You can still access other Alaska Lounges with Priority Pass but all three Alaska Lounges at Sea-Tac are excluded from Priority Pass. This is unfortunate but helps to control the crowds better. What is lounge access good for, if you have no spot to sit down and relax because of overcrowding.
Alaska Airlines did a good job with this lounge and the opening ceremony. After the press conference in the morning, invited guests and media were invited up to the lounge to get a look at the new space. Followed by a quick opening speech from Alaska Airlines officials like Ben Minicucci – President and COO of Alaska Airlines. During the afternoon hours, Seattle’s largest airline, Alaska, invited their employees to check out the new space. Everyone loves the lounge and it will be hard to top this lounge here at Sea-Tac by any other airline or even by Alaska.
One thing I noticed during my stay, it was rather warm inside the lounge. Most of the invited guests were already gone again and it was a cloudy day with overcast. I wonder how the climate control will react once the lounge is crowded on a sunny and hot day.
This is by far one of the best lounges in Seattle. The only other one even close to this one is the American Express Centurion Lounge. However if it comes to design and views, the Alaska Lounge in the North Satellite is the ultimate winner.
Completion of the First Phase of the North Satellite Modernization Project
On July 11, 2019, the Port of Seattle and Alaska Airlines celebrated the grand opening and completion of the first phase of the North Satellite Modernization Project. The first part of the $658.3 million project includes eight new gates, Alaska’s new flagship lounge and expanded locally-based dining and retail options. Speakers of the press conference included
- Lance Lyttle, Sea-Tac International Airport Managing Director
- Stephanie Bowman, Port of Seattle Commission president
- Dow Constantine, King County Executive
- Steve Hobbs, Washington State Senator
- Monty Anderson, Seattle King County Building & Construction Trades Executive Secretary
- Andrew Harrison, Alaska Airlines Executive Vice President, and Chief Commercial Officer
This first phase expanded the footprint by 255,000 square feet and elevated the 45-year old North Satellite into the 21st century. Warm colors, wide open spaces and big windows for natural light, dominate the scene.
Those responsible for this project listened to their customers and added comfortable seating and nearly 3,500 seat charger outlets. These are two of the main criteria travelers bring up when they are asked what the would like to see. Things often overlooked in the “seating department” it the functionality of the seats. It would be great if more of the seats could be used to take a nap and lay down when flight cancellations happen. Seattle and its location in the Pacific Northwest bring weather-related issues to the airport, especially during the winter time. Just think about the Snowpocalypse earlier this year. I was affected as well, but not everyone can afford a hotel for an overnight stay or can find one. It was almost impossible to find a hotel during the big winter storm earlier this year.
Besides that, the Port of Seattle also improved the free Wi-Fi which is available throughout the airport. Travelers will experience now a more robust connection. The dining scene in the new part of the North Satellite includes regional restaurants including Bambuza Vietnam Kitchen, Skillet and Caffe D’Arte.
Alaska Airlines will be the sole airline tenant of the North Satellite. The airline also added a new Customer Service Center in the center of the new expansion, next to the elevator and stairs leading to the mezzanine level. Art installations throughout the terminal celebrate the environment and complement the open design of the building. Captured rainwater will save 750,000 gallons of water annually and will supply restrooms and multiple nature-inspired art pieces.
A brand new Nursing-Suite will open soon for traveling mothers and will be located on the upper-level mezzanine. It will be fully operational in early August. Sea-Tac airport will be one of the first airports to offer a nursing suite of this magnitude with spa-inspired design and high-end finishes. There are three curtained alcoves for privacy, a lounge with comfy seating, stroller storage, charging stations, a restroom, multiple sinks, and ample counter space.
In the coming two years, the rest of the North Satellite building will be renovated with an expected completion date of mid-2021. In the meantime, all operations in the North Satellite will be transitioned to the newly added section at the end of July 2019. This marks the beginning of Phase 2 of the North Satellite Modernization Project.
Once the whole project is complete, the North Satellite will feature double the dining and retail space as well as 20 state-of-the-art gates.
Alaska Lounge Sea-Tac North Satellite
- Largest Alaska Lounge at the Moment
- Best views at the entire airport
- Great Coffee, Tea, Beer and Wine Selection
- Stunning Design
- Some Food Plates are for purchase and not complimentary
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
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