The Lounge that went missing at Mumbai Airport Terminal 1B

Before I became a Gold tier with Jet Airways, I used to frequent the Clipper Lounge in Mumbai’s Terminal 1B very often. This little oasis of calm was tucked away on the Mez floor of the terminal, and was used by Jet Airways before they laid their hands on the lounge inside the security hold area. Both the lounges on 1B were operated by Clipper, a contract lounge operator.

Last week, on a flight to Delhi, I found myself the need to use the pre-security lounge again after long. I was not flying Jet Airways, but Indigo instead, and I needed to kill 45 minutes before boarding started. I found my way there after what seemed like a long time, and did all the same things including to reach this lounge. Even the automated sliding glass gates opened, if my memory serves me right, and I started walking down the passage leading to the lounge. Here is how it used to look before.

Mumbai Lounge Entrance

Mumbai 1B Lounge

 

Mumbai Airport Lounge Seating

Now, some ignorant soul forgot that this was supposed to be a lounge and struck the hammer here and brought down the entire place! So, all I found was rubble and no lounge. Such was my shock that I did not click any pictures but got out of there ASAP. What surprised me the most was that this area was not bound off-limits, so anyone could have gone there to take a walk, look at the airside and come back.

After pondering what to do, I googled for the MasterCard Lounge Access program again to check if I could use the other lounge as a part of the program. The program has been in existence for a long while and MasterCard was promoting it till December 2011 as of date. Here is the first link that came up, which stated that the airside Clipper Lounge was also accessible under the program. The date was incorrect as communication from Citi and HDFC Bank had already informed me of the December validity of the program.

So, I trudged to the Clipper Lounge to meet the Jet Airways lady welcoming me, saying “Welcome to the Jet Airways Lounge”. This was not my first encounter with the lady, but today I was not flying 9W so I requested for a Clipper representative who could authorise my lounge trip. There was no one around.The lady informed me that a few days back they tore down the other structure. I showed here the information which stated the use of this lounge, but she did not budge. After a 10 minute futile discussion, I walked away because this was getting nowhere!Apparently, Clipper has entered some sort of a pact with 9W to allow exclusive use, though I am not sure if they could do this under their agreement with the airport.

So, for Indian flyers from Mumbai 1B, watch out if you don’t fly Jet. There is no longer a welcome lounge for you around! Hard Luck, and arrive in time!

About Ajay Awtaney

Ajay is a financial services pro, working to bring order to the chaos of the financial industry on an everyday basis! Beyond that, he dons the hat of India's favourite frequent traveller, trying to help people elevate their travel experience via tips and tricks they never knew before, or introduce them to the world of miles and points. Armed with an MBA from MDI Gurgaon and graduate degree in computer science from the University of Delhi, Ajay brings a systematic and objective approach on the table for his audience in dissecting travel and loyalty programs in India and around the world, and how to benefit from them. Ajay has been quoted in various reputed traditional and online media including The Hindustan Times, Inside Flyer, Bloomberg, DNA India, Conde Nast Traveller, The Telegraph, Mumbai Mirror, Mint, MoneyLife and The USA Today.

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  1. Well, Any update does Any Lounge available at Terminal 1B?
    I am arriving from Paris by Jet, had onward domestic connection after 5 hours via JetConnect from Terminal 1B. Any update from travelers would be appreciated.

  2. Hi.I stumbled upon your article.. I am not a frequent flyer, but would like to buy lounge access at terminal 1B. We are a group of friends flying to Calcutta via Mumbai from South Africa (SAA) with a 6hour wait for our connecting flight with Jet airways (arrive at 00:05 in Mumbai). Or do you have any other budget ideas how to spend this time.. Don’t know if this is the place to ask for these details, but seems you are well travelled and would be able to give some advise. you can also email me shaun@devillierscorp.com .

    • @Shaun, the best option is to get out of the airport and be in the lobby/restaurants of one of the airport hotels near terminal 1B, since the airport would be deserted in the night at that hour and even F&B won’t be available. There is an Ibis near the airport. Check it out.

  3. I had the same issue as well! In their defense there’s no priority pass sign outside the lounge so it’s the first sign that the lounge will be exclusive.

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