Seattle Airport Lounges: The Ultimate Guide

Due to rapid growth in the Pacific Northwest, Sea-Tac International Airport is attracting more flights and airport lounges to serve passengers before they board. Delta Air Lines has made Seattle a major focus of its reach into new Asian markets, while American Express has installed one of their highly acclaimed Centurion Lounges. Meanwhile, Alaska Airlines and United Airlines have shuffled gates and, as a result, each built new lounges.

With all this activity, it's more likely than ever that you'll pass through this Pacific gateway on your travels. Fortunately, all lounges are connected by airside walkways and trams, so you'll never have to re-clear security to find a quiet place to relax.

United Club (United Airlines)

Location: Concourse A - Gate A9
Hours: 4:30 a.m. to 12:15 a.m.
Access: One-time passes can be purchased for $50 at reception. Membership fees are $550 per year but can be reduced with elite status.

This new United Club opened after United Airlines consolidated its operations in Concourse A, across from gate A9. Heading upstairs, guests are invited into a sleek, modern space - this was actually the second lounge to feature the new design concept unveiled in 2013. The space is narrow but a significant improvement over the former basement lounge in the North Satellite.

After clearing reception, two paths on either side of the mirrored entryway help break up the 6,000+ square foot space. The left side looks out to International Boulevard and contains a scattered mix of chairs, coffee tables, and high benches. Numerous electrical outlets ensure that you'll stay powered up before the flight. Business travelers who need a quiet space to talk can reserve one of several conference rooms.

Most of the activity takes place to the right, which overlooks the passenger concourse. Small dining tables and booth seating are located near the bar. Although small, it still contains the full selection of complimentary and premium alcoholic beverages. An additional snack display provides pastries and yogurt in the morning and cold snacks and soup in the afternoon.

The Club at SEA - South Satellite

Location: South Satellite - Gate S9
Hours: 6:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Access: One-time passes can be purchased here or with the LoungeBuddy App for $35. Complimentary access is provided by several international carriers that do not operate their own lounges at this airport.

The Club is an independent lounge (part of the Airport Lounge Development network) and one of three airport lounges located in the South Satellite, where the majority of international flights depart. As a lounge primarily intended for premium cabin passengers, the selection of food and drinks is superior. There is an actual wine menu, fresh fruits and vegetables, cookies, and a variety of packaged snacks.

To avoid crowding before afternoon and evening departures, The Club has a private first class area near the entrance. This is glassed in to offer additional privacy. Fortunately, there is also lots of seating in the main area, and a good view of airport operations through floor-to-ceiling windows in case you need a distraction.

The Club at SEA - Concourse A

Location: Concourse A - Gate A11
Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (open until 7 p.m. on Monday)
Access: One-time passes can be purchased here or with the LoungeBuddy app for $35. Complimentary access is provided by several international carriers that do not operate their own lounges at this airport.

Domestic passengers, particularly those on United Airlines, will find The Club in Concourse A more convenient and much more spacious. Located near the end of the pier, it is also upstairs with a view of the concourse, much like the United Club. (As a caveat, the pier may not be convenient depending on where you need to be. The South Satellite will be easier to access with the inter-terminal train if your flight departs from Concourse B.)

This lounge has ample seating in several areas, much like the United Club, with views of International Boulevard on one side, the passenger concourse on the other, and more seating in the middle. There is also a large business center with several cubicles and one conference room. Overall, this may be one of the largest lounges at Sea-Tac.

A walk-up bar provides complimentary alcoholic beverages, and there is an array of snacks similar to the South Satellite location. Additional nonalcoholic beverages are provided in a self-serve refrigerator.

The Centurion Lounge by American Express

Location: Concourse B, Gate B3
Hours: 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Access: Customers with an American Express Platinum or Centurion Card may visit the Centurion Lounge.

American Express has been building its own lounge network for several years, with Centurion Lounge locations in cities like Dallas, Miami, and San Francisco. The Centurion Lounge in Seattle started out as a slightly different concept, the Centurion Studio, featuring the same high-end furnishings and complimentary snacks and beverages in a smaller space. As a result, access was more exclusive and some amenities are more limited than you would typically find at a Centurion Lounge. However, the Centurion Studio has since expanded and rebranded itself into a Centurion Lounge.

The space does not have a bar, and alcoholic beverages are limited to beer and wine delivered by a server. There are no chef-prepared hot dishes, either. But the food and drinks that are provided are high quality. American Express wants to make a splash with its lounge network, and like Alaska, it also prefers to use local products. Snacks include a rotation selection of items like Tim's Cascade potato chips and cookies from Macrina Bakery.

It's worth noting that the Centurion Studio and the Delta Sky Club are the only lounges at Sea-Tac with views of the famous Mt. Rainier. The presence of this enormous mountain can surprise even locals when the sky clears.

Alaska Airlines Board Room

Location: Concourse D - Gate D1 and North Satellite - Gate N1
Hours: 5:00 a.m. to midnight
Access: One-time passes can be purchased here (Concourse D, North Satellite) or with the LoungeBuddy App for $45. Customers traveling with a first class ticket (excludes upgrades) receive complimentary access. Board Room membership starts at $350 and may vary with elite status. American Airlines Admirals Club members and Priority Pass members also receive access in some cases.

Alaska Airlines has two Board Room locations at SeaTac and recently announced plans to open a third lounge in Concourse C. It's main lounge in Concourse D is spread across two floors with a fireplace, two conference rooms, and art by SeaTac native Dale Chihuly. The lounge has its own elevator to move between floors, but some will find the stairs more efficient.

Upstairs is the livelier area with a walkup bar, televisions, and a more expansive food selection that includes pancakes in the morning and hot soup and salad in the evenings, along with other all-day snacks. A scattered mix of low chairs and tables allows visitors to sit in groups.

Downstairs is more business-oriented. A coffee station in the hallway includes a high-end espresso machine and baked goods. The seating area contains mostly rows of padded chairs with many electrical outlets. Additional seating is provided with stools along the window and cubicles at the far end.

A second lounge recently opened in a temporary space in the North Satellite to reduce crowding; it will be replaced by a permanent lounge once the North Satellite is renovated (expected to last through 2020). This space is a little smaller and has a decidedly different style, with white walls and blonde wood. A waterfall greets passengers as they enter.

To the left are several televisions, a snack bar, and a mix of bench seating, chairs, and a long wooden table. The bar is located to the right, and unlike the main lounge, it features a row of bar stools so you can watch the game while you enjoy a pint. Coffee and self-serve soft drinks are around the corner. Due to limited space, this lounge has a single restroom.

For more information on these two lounges, be sure to check out the Ultimate Guide to Alaska Airlines Board Rooms.

Delta Air Lines Sky Club

Location: South Satellite
Hours: 5:00 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Access: Customers traveling on Delta Air Lines and other SkyTeam carriers on international itineraries, as well as Sky Club members. One-time passes can be purchased for $59. Complimentary access is provided with the American Express Platinum Card when flying on Delta.

Delta began a significant capital investment campaign in its lounge network several years ago, and the Sea-Tac location is one of those more recently renovated. It's also among the most expensive locations to visit with a one-time pass or to purchase a membership. However, it is also one of the few lounges with shower facilities.

Entering the lounge, you'll find a bright blue and white color scheme with two seating areas separated by a long, raised table with its own power outlets and stools. The main seating area contains scattered chairs with high walls that provide additional privacy and a pop-out table to rest your drink. Another row of chairs runs along the window. The upper seating area contains more traditional low-rise chairs with coffee tables that are ideal if you're visiting with a companion and want to chat.

The bar and dining area are relatively cramped; although two sides open up to the rest of the lounge, the space itself is not large and has several additional dining tables in the middle. A few cold snacks as well as soup are provided along one wall, and the bar runs along the other with five or six stools.

British Airways Terraces Lounge

Location: South Satellite - Gate S10
Hours: 2:00 p.m. until last departure
Access: Customers traveling on British Airways and other oneworld carriers on international itineraries. Some other airlines may have access agreements with this lounge.

British Airways provides one of the more premium lounge experiences (Terraces, First) at Sea-Tac due in part to its exclusive service to international passengers. The bartender will make anything you request and maintains a collection of fruit and mixers as part of a fully stocked bar. Sandwiches and hot food are provided in addition to an extensive collection of snacks and cookies.

Showers with Elemis amenities are available for connecting passengers. Along with the Delta Sky Club in the same building, this is one of the few airport lounges at Sea-Tac to offer shower facilities.

This is one of the few lounges with a direct view of the runway, but aside from this and the snacks, the large curving space is one massive collection of padded chairs with some tables. Some of the chairs are oddly mismatched, which may be a design choice or just an indication that its time to renovate. A small "business center" in the back consists of two computers and a printer on the shelf. The lounge can get busy before departures but is almost never filled to capacity.

A small first class seating area is available to customers traveling in first class or with oneworld Emerald status. You may need to ask for admission to this room. However, this space provides the same benefits as the main lounge.

USO Center

Location: Mezzanine above Delta Air Lines ticketing counter
Hours: 24 hours a day
Access: Active duty military personnel and their dependents with a boarding pass. Additional groups may be permitted on a space-available basis.

Members of the military and their families may use the USO Center located outside security in the main terminal. This lounge is on the mezzanine level above the Delta Air Lines ticketing counter and can only be accessed by elevator from that area. Although it is the only lounge at Sea-Tac that is not located in the secure area, it does have the benefit of being open all day.

Over $1.5 million in donations helped renovate the lounge in 2015. Fun fact: decking from the USS Colorado was repurposed to cover 1,500 square feet of flooring in the updated lounge. The lounge is 7,500 square feet in its entirety. It now offers showers, sleeping facilities, luggage storage, game equipment, meals, computers, and a family room.

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