My Lounge Access Cup Runneth Over in Portland

Priority Pass gets you access to four different places in the Portland airport, and the American Express Platinum card can get you one more. Concourses are all connected airside so you have access to everything with a bit of a walk.

You can have a complimentary tasting at House Spirits Distillery (but you can’t use your credit for retail purchases).

At both Capers Market and Capers Cafe Le Bar you have to be departing on a flight — no arriving passengers, they check your boarding passes — and they won’t sell you merchandise with your credit it has to be food and beverages. You can visit both restaurants and use Priority Pass credits at each. The C and D concourses are connected airside.

Capers Market is right past security at concourse D (the Cafe is right past security at concourse C). The cafe has hot items and an extensive wine list by the glass.

Here’s the cafe:

And here’s the market:

The market has a to go counter and a bar. You can buy food from the to go counter and sit down to eat it if you’d like (or the bartender will be happy to bring food to those tables, after all they expect to be tipped).

Here the Capers Market Menu:

My wife and I each ordered a bagel and lox, and got a bottle of water. That brought our total with tax to $40.

That’s when I went looking for anything else I might want, since our credit would be $56 ($28 x 2).

After breakfast it was lounge time. I had two lounge options:

  • Alaska Airlines Lounge. The lounge is accessible via Priority Pass. Though the Seattle lounges were quite bad about turning away Priority Pass customers before leaving the program, the Portland lounge isn’t quite as overcrowded and still accepts the card. Either way though
  • Delta SkyClub. The lounge is accessible with a Platinum Card by American Express and a same day Delta boarding pass and I was flying Delta.

The airport also has a United Club by gate E1.

Honestly the Delta club in Portland is busy, dated, and even kind of sad — but better than waiting in the terminal.

I think using a $28 per person food and beverage credit, grabbing a table, and using the airport’s free wifi is the way to go here.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I missed the good old days when you could go to Capers, and take bottles of wine to go when you land and when you leave. The staff even helped him pick the exact wines to add up close to $56.

  2. Alaska turns away Priority Pass about 70% of the time. They have a little sign on a pedestal that is usually outside the door. If it is not there you can see it immediately upon entry on the left

  3. Yeah Delta club is tired… but who wants to stay there anyway in the country’s best airport. Plus like you said drink great wine instead. Sometimes they have live music too.

  4. Honestly the Capers deal is such a great idea to get more people to travel. If I ran an airport marketing budget, I would invest millions into making sure my airport had a Priority Pass deal this good. The word of mouth, and mental ‘reward’ for traveling is quite valuable.

  5. That’s the former Northwest World Perks Club – they are great clubs those former World Perks Clubs – warm, welcoming.

  6. LOL, my wife and I did something very similar at PDX a few months ago. Following some nice food and wine at Capers, trying the flights/samples at the distillery wasn’t something we’d normally do mid-day. But hey, it was fun.

  7. “… That brought our total with tax to $40.”

    Tax?! What tax? There is no sales tax in Oregon.

  8. The United Club is decent. I was there during the holiday’s last year and they had a build your own gingerbread cookie. I notice the out station clubs are typically nicer than the hub locations.

  9. I have the Priority Pass through my AMX Platinum card. We usually fly First Class on Alaska, so use their lounge at PDX anyway. I had NO IDEA we had other options. Alaska doesn’t offer much in the way of food options, so this a nice option. Thank you so much.

  10. +1 to Paul. I travel through PDX frequently and the Alaska lounge virtually always refuses Priority Pass guests. Great that there are other options like Capers, but I always waste the time walking over to the AS lounge and always feel irritated when I can’t get in. PP and AS should address, one way or the other.

  11. Agree about the very nice situation at PDX. I have Admiral’s Club, so that takes care of the AS lounge, and all of the others are PP. Can go Priority Pass hopping 🙂

    MIA is becoming a similar treasure trove as they have somewhat recently added some new destinations in Terminal E.


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