In the last week of December 2014, I traveled to Colombo, Sri Lanka for business purposes. Naturally SriLankan became the airline of choice, my thirty third airline, more on that in the following trip reports. Once I completed my check-in formalities at the New Delhi Airport, Terminal 3, it was time to spend the next hour or so before boarding the aircraft. I had decided I would be using the Plaza Premium Lounge B before hand and thus made my way towards it, past the Duty Free area.
The entire airport was decked in festive spirit, complete with a massive Santa overlooking everyone and spreading cheer.
There are a total of 7 Plaza Premium Lounges at the Delhi Airport, spread across Terminal 1D & Terminal 3 (International & Domestic areas). T3 specifically has 2 Plaza Premium departure lounges for international travel. Lounge A is the smaller lounge of the two, located near the food court, and Lounge B is the bigger lounge with more facilities and a dedicated area.
One needs to take the lift up to Level 4 of the airport, where the Plaza Premium Lounge B is located. These lifts also take passengers to Lufthansa, Emirates & Singapore Lounges on Level 3, and the Eaton Transit Hotel on Level 5.
Depending on the which of the three lifts you take, you will have to turn left or right, once you reach Level 4. You will find the “infamous” T3 carpeting here as well 🙂
At the reception I was met by an efficient agent, who quickly checked me in after verifying my ICICI Sapphiro Jet Airways Visa card. This lounge is part of the Visa Lounge Access program, which earlier used to have Delhi Daredevils Bar at Terminal 3. I was also asked if I required the Wi-Fi password, which I turned down.
One can also get in to this lounge through a Priority Pass Membership (the standard derivative of which comes complimentary with most airline affiliated credit cards). For the uninitiated, Priority Pass is the largest independent airport lounge access program in the world, with over 700 locations in 123 countries. The greatest advantage of the program is that you don’t need to be flying with a specific airline or in a specific class to access these lounges.
There are three membership plans:
- Standard Membership: $99 annual fee, plus $27 for each lounge visit
- Standard Plus Membership: $249 annual fee with 10 free visits; additional visits are $27
- Prestige Membership: $399 annual fee with unlimited visits
At this point, I must also mention that this lounge is the contract lounge of choice for most international airlines out of Delhi Airport, and thus has been quite busy most of the times I have been there. As this visit was during an off-peak late afternoon hour, the lounge was fairly empty. Keep in mind, this is open 24 hours.
One thing this lounge is not short of, is comfortable seating. There are plenty of sofas, in the forward section of the lounge, as well at the back, near to the bar and food area. The Lounge also has a flight display board near the entrance.
Apart from comfortable sofas, there are also tall chairs by the bar side, next to the snack section.
The bar itself looks pretty stocked up, but for a beer lover like me is a big dud. The only beer they serve here is Kingfisher, although there is nothing wrong with Kingfisher, I would like to see at least one more option to be served.
The other side of the bar counter is the food section, having soups, mains, fruits, sandwiches and sweet options.
I was at the bar during late lunch hours and the staff was regularly filling up dishes. There were about 4 main options including chicken, mutton and vegetarian, accompanied by Rice.
The vegetarian options included Matar Paneer gravy (Peas & Cottage Cheese, cooked Indian spicy style), and Chinese Manchurian gravy, neither of which I tried.
Just behind the bar, there was a wooden cabinet stocked with water bottles, and a refrigerator next to it, which was stocked with aerated drinks.
To its right, a coffee/tea machine was placed, along with some cookies and tea flavours.
The juice dispenser was next, serving orange and apple juice.
Which was followed by a bread basket, containing 5 different varieties.
I was feeling slightly hungry, and wanted to have a quick meal before boarding so I got myself Chilly Chicken, on top of Rice. I gulped that down with a beer. I can’t say much about the dish except the fact that it was typical contract lounge food, devoid of any flavour, with a average chicken quality. Thank god for the beer.
After a while, I thought about trying a paneer sandwich, along with Shahi Tukda as a dessert. Wrong move, as the sandwich was filled with paneer (cottage cheese) only on the sides, with the insides completely empty. As far as Shahi Tukda is concerned, I would like to describe it in two words: Sweet Rubber.
The lounge had couple of magazine/newspaper racks with a variety of publications. As a magazine/newspaper aficionado, I was quiet impressed with that offering.
Just behind the bar side sofas, there is a small entryway which leads to restrooms, as well as couple of enclosed VIP Rooms, Massage & Shower Area
During my stay at the lounge, the masseur was unavailable. There were two massage sofas and two neck and shoulder massage chairs in the room.
The massage service is not complimentary, and is chargeable at the following rates:
|Deluxe Shower (with full amenities)||600|
|Shower with 30 minutes Seated Massage||1300|
|Massage and Beauty Service||INR|
|15 minutes Seated Massage (head, neck, shoulder and back)||500|
|30 minutes Seated Massage (head, neck, shoulder and back)||900|
|15 minutes Foot Reflexology||500|
|30 minutes Foot Reflexology||900|
There is also a business area, which features 4 Windows OS based laptops, and a Printer/Copier.
During my stay I found the staff to be attentive, polite and not overbearing, which is my preferable option. Ideally I’m not fond of lounge staff trying hard to please, after all, passengers are in the lounge to escape from the noise and find some down time.
To sum up, it is certainly a worthy alternative to sitting in a crowded and noisy terminal, and for Visa card holders, certainly a big upgrade from the environs of the Delhi Daredevils Bar at the ground floor. Would I pay $27 to gain access as a Priority Pass holder? I’m not sure. The food & drink selection have never enthused me too much and this lounge is certainly not in the category of Plaza Premium lounges at Hong Kong, Jamaica or London. However, if you hold an eligible Visa credit card, this lounge should be a no-brainer for you.
Have you been to the Premium Plaza Lounge B at New Delhi, Terminal 3, what you thought of its services?
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