The Definitive Guide To The Seattle (SEA) Airport Lounge Scene

Once merely a provincial city, Seattle has become one of the fastest growing metro areas in the US. The home of Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, Starbucks, and Nintendo attracts new residents from all over the country thanks to its dynamic job market, temperate climate, beautiful scenery, and laid-back life style.

It’s no wonder that airline competition is heating up. Alaska Airlines, the hometown airline, is being attacked from all parts by its former partner Delta. The Atlanta-based carrier has expanded dramatically in the Pacific Northwest, with non-stop service to Europe and Asia, and a stunning new airport lounge. The biggest loser might be United—the airline has eliminated international service to Tokyo, cut several domestic routes, and reduced its overall schedule. Ultimately though, enhanced competition means more options for customers and additional investments in the ground experience.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport now has a vibrant lounge scene with several new or recently renovated clubs. A new flagship roof-top Alaska Lounge is slated to open by 2020 to round up the offering.

The SEA story

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) is the largest international airport in the Pacific Northwest. The airport is located about 12 miles (19 kilometers) from downtown Seattle and is connected by Sound Transit’s light rail system. Alaska Airlines and its subsidiary Horizon Air operate their largest hub there and is the airport’s largest tenant, while Delta Air Lines uses SEA as an international gateway. A record 37.5 million passengers used the facilities in 2014.

The airport was built in 1944 for military use, with commercial service commencing in 1947. Currently, Seattle –Tacoma has 3 terminals with 68 gates / 34 parking slips and is capable of handling all aircraft except for the Airbus A380-800.

Interested in more aviation facts? Follow the Experience The Skies blog.

Business class and membership lounges

From #6 to #1, here’s our ranking of the business class and membership lounges at Seattle-Tacoma International airport. Read on for a brief review of each lounge and a summary of access rules and amenities, or read detailed reviews of every lounge. For each lounge, we also provide you with alternative options: other clubs that you may be able to use with the same credentials or boarding pass.

#10 – The Club at SEA – South Satellite

The Club at SEA - Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) Satellite S

The Club at SEA – Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) Satellite S

Originally by the Port of Seattle under the “Club International” name, then re-branded as “The Club at SEA” under a management contract, the club serves most international airlines out of the South Satellite, and doubles as a pay-in lounge.

Given the caliber of some of the airlines which use this lounge—including as ANA, Emirates and Lufthansa—the basic facilities are bound to disappoint. The space is bright and tidy, but fails to meet the demands of peak-time departures. The list of amenities also underwhelms: there’s no hot food, showers, or dedicated Wi-Fi network (although the airport does offer complimentary Wi-Fi.) A small section is partitioned off for First Class passengers but does not offer any additional amenities.

The Club at SEA is first and foremost a touchdown spot to catch up on email perhaps with a beer, and board hopefully soon. The clubs ranks last on our chart.

Find out more about The Club at SEA – Satellite S

AmenitiesFood & DrinksWho's inAlternatives
  • Alliance: None
  • Showers: No
  • Business center: Yes
  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Family room: No
  • Food: Complimentary snacks
  • Drinks: Complimentary soft drinks, Complimentary house wine and beer, Complimentary liquor,
  • All passengers, regardless of airline and class of service, for a $40 per person fee.
  • Select premium customers and elite members departing on an airline served by this lounge.
  • Priority Pass, Lounge Club and Diners Club International card members.
See detailed access rules.
ANA and Lufthansa passengers may prefer to use the United Club in the A concourse, which while hardly luxurious is brand new and typically quieter. Priority Pass members may choose to use the sister (but slightly better appointed and quieter) The Club at SEA in the A concourse. Priority Pass holders who have obtained a membership through American Express should use the Centurion Lounge.
Our ratings
  • Comfort: 2/5
  • Food and beverages: 3/5
  • Amenities: 2/5
  • Service: 2/5

#9 – The Club at SEA – Concourse A

The Club at SEA - Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) Concourse A

The Club at SEA – Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) Concourse A

The Club at SEA Concourse A is the sister facility of The Club at SEA South Satellite. The lounge welcomes Condor and Hainan Airlines’ customers, Priority Pass members, all passengers on a pay-in basis.

Located on a mezzanine, the club features views on the concourse and the area surrounding the airport. The decidedly traditional design, featuring wood paneling and dark tones, is anything but cutting edge, but warm and welcoming. Power outlets are sorely lacking, and the lounge does not have a dedicated Wi-Fi network (although the airport offers complimentary Wi-Fi.)

The food and drink selection focuses on the essentials—snacks, soups, espresso, and soft drinks, but the selection of regional wines is a highlight.

The Club at SEA Concourse A at Seattle-Tacoma airport is a basic, but quiet and enjoyable lounge. Consider thinking twice before splurging, though: the airport offers free Wi-Fi and the access fee might be better spent at a nearby restaurant.

Find out more about The Club at SEA – Concourse A

AmenitiesFood & DrinksWho's inAlternatives
  • Alliance: None
  • Showers: No
  • Business center: Yes
  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Family room: No
  • Food: Complimentary snacks
  • Drinks: Complimentary soft drinks, Complimentary house wine and beer, Complimentary liquor
Priority Pass holders who have obtained a membership through American Express should use the Centurion Lounge
Our ratings
  • Comfort: 3/5
  • Food and beverages: 3/5
  • Amenities: 3/5
  • Service: 4/5

#8 – Alaska Lounge Concourse D

Alaska Lounge - Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) Concourse D

Alaska Lounge – Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) Concourse D

Alaska Airlines’s two-story Concourse D lounge boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, great views on the tarmac, and plenty of natural light. The former flagship lounge sports a warm but old-school decor, with cozy touches such as a grand fireplace on the lower level.

The numerous seating options, all equipped with power outlets, include semi-private cube chairs, and convivial spots for groups. The buffet spread includes pancakes at breakfast time, snacks, salads, and desserts. On the drinks front, guests will find a generous array of wine, Champagne, and liquor, as well as and a Starbucks espresso machine with assorted syrups.

Despite its age, the Alaska Lounge in Concourse D remains one of the better lounges at Seattle-Tacoma airport. However, the club is often busy given the airline’s expanding footprint and generous access policies. Alaska’s planned rooftop lounge in Satellite N should permanently resolve the issue down the road.

Find out more about the Alaska Airlines Lounge Concourse D

AmenitiesFood & DrinksWho's inAlternatives
  • Alliance: None
  • Showers: No
  • Business center: Yes
  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Family room: No
  • Food: Complimentary breakfast buffet, Complimentary snacks
  • Drinks: Complimentary soft drinks, Complimentary full bar
  • Alaska Airlines First Class passengers (excluding upgrades.)
  • Alaska Lounge members traveling on any airline.
  • American Airlines Admiral Club members departing on a flight operated by Alaska Airlines or American Airlines.
See detailed access rules.
Alaska Lounge members and First Class passengers may head over to the newer and swankier Alaska Lounge in Concourse C, or the smaller Alaska in the North Satellite.
Our ratings

  • Comfort: 3/5
  • Food and beverages: 3/5
  • Amenities: 3/5
  • Service: 4/5

#7 – Alaska Lounge Satellite N

Alaska Lounge - Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) Satellite N

Alaska Lounge – Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) North Satellite

The temporary Alaska Lounge in Satellite N will serve passengers until the the airline opens its planned new flagship roof-top club in the next few years.

The space, carved out from the gate area, sports a modern decor with a water feature and tarmac views. The amenities focus on the essentials—a selection of snacks, soups, and salads, a bar with complimentary wine and well drinks, and Wi-Fi.

The Alaska Lounge in the North Satellite is convenient for passengers departing from the satellite guests. However, it’s routinely crowded, and a line at the bathroom is not unusual.

Find out more about the Alaska Airlines Lounge North Satellite

AmenitiesFood & DrinksWho's inAlternatives
  • Alliance: None
  • Showers: No
  • Business center: Yes
  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Family room: No
  • Food: Complimentary breakfast buffet, Complimentary snacks
  • Drinks: Complimentary soft drinks, Complimentary full bar
  • Alaska Airlines First Class passengers (excluding upgrades.)
  • Alaska Lounge members traveling on any airline.
  • American Airlines Admiral Club members departing on a flight operated by Alaska Airlines or American Airlines.
See detailed access rules.
Our ratings
  • Comfort: 3/5
  • Food and beverages: 3/5
  • Amenities: 3/5
  • Service: 4/5

#6 – United Club

United Club - Seattle-Tacoma (SEA)

United Club – Seattle-Tacoma (SEA)

While United Clubs often don’t rank high on the charts, The United Club at Seattle-Tacoma airport is a quiet, modern and stylish oasis. Opened in 2013, the lounge features United’s minimalist but effective design with comfortable seating, power and USB outlets at every seat, custom lighting, and private phone and work rooms.

The food and beverage selection is modest, with an emphasis on light snacks, soups, and salads. House wines, Prosecco, and well drinks are complimentary; higher-end libations come at a cost.

Given United’s shrinking footprint at Seattle airport, the club is typically extremely quiet. Compared to swankier clubs such as the American Express Centurion Lounge, the United Club is decidedly low key, yet more business-like and better suited to the needs of business travelers.

Sadly, the United Club is about to lose its daylight and views as the terminal is being expanded.

Find out more about the United Club SEA

AmenitiesFood & DrinksWho's inAlternatives
  • Alliance: Star Alliance
  • Showers: No
  • Business center: Yes
  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Family room: No
  • Food: Complimentary breakfast buffet, Complimentary snacks
  • Drinks: Complimentary soft drinks, Complimentary house wine and beer, Premium drinks for sale
  • United Club members.
  • United Polaris business class passengers (no guests)
  • Star Alliance First Class and Business Class passengers.
  • United Premier Gold, Premium Platinum, Premier 1K, and Global Services members departing on an international Star Alliance flight.
  • Star Alliance Gold Members (except United Premier members) departing on a Star Alliance flight.
  • Air Canada Maple Leaf Club members departing on a Star Alliance flight.
See detailed access rules.
There are no alternatives for United flyers. Lufthansa and ANA passengers also have access the The Club at SEA in Concourse S, but the United Club superior.
Our ratings
  • Comfort: 3/5
  • Food and beverages: 2/5
  • Amenities: 3/5
  • Service: 3/5

#5 – Alaska Lounge Concourse C

Alaska Lounge - Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) Concourse C

Alaska Lounge – Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) Concourse C

The newest Alaska Lounge occupies a luminous space with views of the tarmac, and sports a modern design that marks a departure from the airline’s more traditional roots.

The smart layout aims at combining density with guest privacy. While the lounge packs close to 90 seats in a relatively compact space, the play of angles, high-backed chairs, the large walkway, floor lamps, and convivial coffee tables break out the space and foster a feeling of serenity and privacy. Power and USB ports are available throughout.

The lounge features essential amenities including Wi-Fi, a generous snack selection, salads, cheeses, and a broad selection of complimentary alcoholic beverages.

SEE ALSO:  The Definitive Guide To The LAX Airport Lounge Scene

Find out more about the Alaska Airlines Lounge Concourse C

AmenitiesFood & DrinksWho's inAlternatives
  • Alliance: None
  • Showers: No
  • Business center: Yes
  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Family room: No
  • Food: Complimentary breakfast buffet, Complimentary snacks
  • Drinks: Complimentary soft drinks, Complimentary full bar
  • Alaska Airlines First Class passengers (excluding upgrades.)
  • Alaska Lounge members traveling on any airline.
  • American Airlines Admiral Club members departing on a flight operated by Alaska Airlines or American Airlines.
See detailed access rules.
Our ratings
  • Comfort: 3/5
  • Food and beverages: 3/5
  • Amenities: 3/5
  • Service: 4/5

#4 – British Airways Terraces Lounge

British Airways Terraces Lounge - Seattle-Tacoma (SEA)

British Airways Terraces Lounge – Seattle-Tacoma (SEA)

Formerly the airport’s only roof-top club, the British Airways Terraces Lounge in Satellite S boasts sweeping views and ample daylight.

British Airways designed the facility to high standards, with a grand entrance, elaborate showers with massaging jets, and an elegant business center. Yet, the facility has received few if any upgrades over the years. The cramped seating area is packed with worn furniture, power outlets are virtually unavailable, and crowding is often an issue.

The food selection—shrink wrapped snacks and mini-sandwiches—sorely disappoints for an international lounge, but the skilled bar tender crafts enjoyable cocktails, and all drinks are complimentary.

While an average club at best, the British Airways Terraces Lounge features enjoyable shower facilities, and thus reaches an honorable fourth spot in our ranking.

Read the full review of the British Airways Terraces Lounge SEA

AmenitiesFood & DrinksWho's inAlternatives
  • Alliance: oneworld
  • Showers: Yes
  • Business center: Yes
  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Family room: No
  • Food: Complimentary snacks
  • Drinks: Complimentary soft drinks, Complimentary full bar
  • British Airways First and Business Class passengers (Club Europe and Club World.)
  • British Airways Gold and Silver Executive Club members departing on a British Airways or oneworld flight.
  • oneworld First class and Business class passengers.
  • oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members departing on a British Airways or oneworld flight.
See detailed access rules.
None.
Our ratings
  • Comfort: 3/5
  • Food and beverages: 3/5
  • Amenities: 3/5
  • Service: 4/5

#3 – American Express The Centurion Lounge

The Centurion Studio - Seattle-Tacoma (SEA)

The Centurion Lounge – Seattle-Tacoma (SEA)

The most stylish lounge at Seattle-Tacoma Airport, The Centurion Lounge welcomes American Express Centurion and Platinum card holders and guests.

The lounge features comfortable and private seating with luxurious touches, power outlets at every seat, a hot buffet, fast Wi-Fi, a shower suite, and discreet yet proactive service. The bar boasts the best alcohol selection at the airport, served by skilled bartenders, and all options are complimentary.

The Centurion Lounge would be perfect if it weren’t for the fact that it’s chronically crowded. The list of amenities is simply too solid to pass up.

Find out more about the American Express Centurion Lounge SEA

AmenitiesFood & DrinksWho's inAlternatives
  • Alliance: None
  • Showers: No
  • Business center: Yes
  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Family room: No
  • Food: Complimentary breakfast buffet, Complimentary snacks, Complimentary hot buffet
  • Drinks: Complimentary soft drinks, Complimentary full bar
  • The Centurion Lounge exclusively welcomes American Express Platinum Card® or Centurion® card holders regardless of their airline, destination, or departure terminal (+2 guests.)
See detailed access rules.

By the virtue of their complimentary Priority Pass membership, American Express premium card holders can also use  The Club at SEA Concourse A, The Club at SEA Satellite S, and addition the two Delta Sky Club locations (when flying Delta.)

Our ratings
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Food and beverages: 4/5
  • Amenities: 3/5
  • Service: 5/5

#2 – Delta Sky Club South Satellite

Delta Sky Club - Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) Satellite S

Delta Sky Club – Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) South Satellite

The Delta Sky Club in the South Satellite ranks #2 in our benchmark—formerly #1, it’s been dethroned by Delta’s own new Sky Club in Concourse A.

The airport’s second rooftop lounge after the British Airways Terraces Lounge boasts a large window wall, plenty of natural light, and views of Mt. Rainier.

Guests will find a resolutely modern and functional decor, comfortable and private seating with cube chairs, a social area, plentiful power outlets, and even a dark slumber room with loungers and ottomans. Two showers are available for both domestic and international passengers. Delta is the only domestic carrier to offer showers.

The food and beverage selection is in line with Delta’s domestic standards and includes a solid continental breakfast offering with espresso machines and syrups, as well as snacks, soups and salads throughout the day. The bar offers a selection of complimentary drinks; premium drinks are also available for purchase.

Read the full review of the Delta Sky Club SEA South Satellite

AmenitiesFood & DrinksWho's inAlternatives
  • Alliance: SkyTeam
  • Showers: Yes
  • Business center: Yes
  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Family room: No
  • Food: Complimentary breakfast buffet, Complimentary hot buffet
  • Drinks: Complimentary soft drinks, Complimentary house wine and beer, Complimentary liquor, Premium drinks for sale
  • Delta Sky Club members.
  • Delta First Class, Delta One, or full-fare economy passengers departing on a same-day transcontinental flight.
  • Delta One passengers departing on a same-day international flight.
  • SkyTeam International First and Business Class passengers departing on or connecting to/from an international flight.
  • SkyTeam Elite Plus members departing on or connecting to/from a same-day SkyTeam international flight.
  • American Express Platinum and Centurion Card® members departing on a Delta flight.
See detailed access rules.
The flagship Delta SkyClub in Concourse A is a superior alternative a short train ride away.
Our ratings
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Food and beverages: 4/5
  • Amenities: 5/5
  • Service: 4/5

#1 – Delta SkyClub Concourse A

Delta Sky Club - Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) Concourse A

Delta Sky Club – Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) Concourse A

The stunning new Delta Sky Club at Seattle-Tacoma airport Concourse A earns the top spot in of our chart.

SEE ALSO:  First Look: Delta's spectacular new flagship Sky Club at Seattle Airport

The humongous lounge combines a gorgeous space with an excellent array of amenities. At over 210,000 sqf., the Sky Club in Concourse A accommodates over 400 customers and is the airline’s fifth largest system wide—a testament to Seattle’s position as a hub within the carrier’s network. The space boasts panoramic views of Mount Rainier, enjoyed through panoramic 30 ft. windows which tint automatically, eliminating the need for blinds and reducing energy costs. Warm wood finishes give the club an upper-scale ambiance reminiscent of the Pacific Northwest.

The open layout features a variety of seating arrangements, with power outlets at every seat. The club hosts an exuberant art collection by local artists, inspired by the region.

The food and beverage selection—all prepared on-site in the club’s kitchen—includes complimentary hot dishes by Seattle Chef Ethan Stowell, local IPA craft beer by Georgetown Brewing Company, as well as Starbucks coffee and local wines by the glass.

Other amenities include six elegant shower suites, changing rooms, private workstations, and spa services by Asanda Spa for an extra charge.

Read the full review of the Delta Sky Club SEA Concourse A

AmenitiesFood & DrinksWho's inAlternatives
  • Alliance: SkyTeam
  • Showers: Yes
  • Business center: Yes
  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Family room: No
  • Food: Complimentary breakfast buffet, Complimentary hot buffet
  • Drinks: Complimentary soft drinks, Complimentary house wine and beer, Complimentary liquor, Premium drinks for sale
  • Delta Sky Club members.
  • Delta First Class, Delta One, or full-fare economy passengers departing on a same-day transcontinental flight.
  • Delta One passengers departing on a same-day international flight.
  • SkyTeam International First and Business Class passengers departing on or connecting to/from an international flight.
  • SkyTeam Elite Plus members departing on or connecting to/from a same-day SkyTeam international flight.
  • American Express Platinum and Centurion Card® members departing on a Delta flight.
See detailed access rules.
International Delta One passengers may use the KAL Lounge in TBIT.
Our ratings
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Food and beverages: 4/5
  • Amenities: 5/5
  • Service: 5/5

First Class lounges

Seattle-Tacoma international airport has a single First Class lounge, or make that “room”, save for the small First Class enclave within The Club at SEA in Satellite S. Unless you’re flying on a oneworld carrier, you will therefore be relegated to business class lounges 🙂

British Airways First Class Lounge

British Airways First Class Lounge - Seattle-Tacoma (SEA)

British Airways First Class Lounge – Seattle-Tacoma (SEA)

The British Airways First Class Lounge in Seattle is a small room within the Terraces Lounge, with which it shares the reception desk, bar, and showers. The space offer sweeping views over the tarmac and beyond.

The First Class room offers seating for a dozen persons, and is furnished with two sofas as well as individual chairs. There is also a single cubicle with a self-service computer. The furniture is perhaps more elegant than on the business class side. Unfortunately though, given British Airways’ generous upgrade policies, and the fact that other airlines such as Asiana also use the lounge, the First Class room often gets crowded.

The food and drink offerings are on par with the business class side, which is to say that they’re rather lacking. Food consists exclusively of packaged snacks and shrink-wrapped mini-sandwiches. A broad selection of drinks is available, and a bar tender will craft the cocktail of your choice – however you’ll need to order from the bar which is located on the business class side.

The massaging showers are a highlight, and First Class passengers have priority over business class travelers. The front desk agents will offer to store your belongings while you shower – a nice touch, but don’t expect your seat (or any seat, for that matter) to be available when you come back.

Overall, we can’t help but wonder why British Airways bothers dedicating space to First Class passengers if the facilities and amenities don’t remotely meet the First Class bar. You may as well sit in the business class portion of the lounge – at least, the space feels less claustrophobic and you’ll be closer to the bar. And given the lack of competition (other airlines with a First Class cabin use the even less exciting The Club at SEA lounge) we don’t expect the situation to improve anytime soon.

Find out more about the British Airways First Class Lounge SEA

AmenitiesFood & DrinksWho's inAlternatives
  • Alliance: oneworld
  • Bathroom: Yes
  • Showers: Yes
  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Family room: No
  • Food: Complimentary breakfast buffet, Complimentary snacks, Complimentary finger food
  • Drinks: Complimentary soft drinks, Complimentary full bar
  • British Airways and oneworld First class passengers
  • British Airways Gold Executive Club members departing on a British Airways or other oneworld
  • oneworld Emerald members departing on a British Airways or oneworld flight
See detailed access rules.
None.
Our ratings
  • Comfort: 4/5
  • Food and beverages: 2/5
  • Amenities: 3/5
  • Service: 4/5

Airside connections and how to lounge hop

Seattle-Tacoma is a lounge hopper’s paradise. The main terminal (comprised of Concourses A, B, C and D) and both satellites (N as North and S as South) are all connected airside. The main concourse is large, but walkable end-to-end. In addition, a shuttle train links both ends (A gates to D gates and vice versa.) Two additional train routes link the two satellites.

In other words, a boarding pass grants you access to all terminals. Enter through any checkpoint – TSA Pre Check is available at either end of the main terminal – and just make your way to your favorite lounge.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport map, © Port of Seattle

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport map, © Port of Seattle

For a detailed terminal diagram, see the airport’s web site.

Allow at least 20 minutes to walk from one end to the main terminal to the other, and approximately 5-10 minutes to go from a satellite to the main terminal, and vice-versa.

More to come

We hope you’ve enjoyed our definitive guide to the Seattle-Tacoma airport lounge scene! Check out our other definitive guides. Over time we will be covering the world’s major airports, providing an exclusive overview of all lounges.

Credits: SEA photo adapted from Christian Newton’s original work under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license.

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