One of the trip reports I’ve been holding off for a while, for the lack of adequate time to write it up. Like many of the regular readers on this blog would know, I proposed to my girlfriend in Paris this summer, and she said yes.
The first thing to do was to of course, get a flight to go to Paris from Mumbai. Like I’ve mentioned before, I was going to use the Mumbai – Paris flight on Jet Airways A330-200. The context set up here was that we are going on a work trip to Europe, which was total gibberish anyways.
We arrived at the Mumbai airport Terminal 2, and headed up to Jet Airways’ aisles for getting our boarding passes. The Business Class queues were full as well, and it was moving pretty slowly. It was at least 20 minutes before we got our boarding passes in our hands. Premium cabin flyers have a special security queue on the edge of the terminal, which are hidden from normal view, which join into a special queue for passport control.
The new terminal opened up in February 2014, however, they have been working with a temporary lounge as yet. I’ve heard since August 2014 about the permanent lounges for Business Class and First Class passengers opening up, but in my about 15 visits this year to this temporary lounge, it is opening soon is what I get all the time.
Anyhow, the lounge is right now set up in a set of isolated gates, which have been cordoned off to create this interim lounge. Eligible passengers get a lounge invitation from their inviting airline, which is collected at the entrance.
The current interim lounge is a big step up from the earlier box sized lounges which operated in the Mumbai airport, and I have to give it to the airport operator that with the choice not to open individual lounges, they have a lot more space at hand to open a big spacious lounge, whenever it opens.
The current set up has a lot of space to sit, which is organised in various sections. There are couches, loads of them, with some of them a view towards the apron as well. Also, there are a lot of tables set up for dining as well, closer to the food counters. Towards the end of the lounge, they have a few sleeping couches as well.
Since my flight was in the afternoon at about noon and the most amount of rush is seen during the midnight hours, the lounge was almost empty.
For drinks there is a large wet bar, which has quite some choices from sparkling wine to multitude of beers and some pretty wide selection of alcohol. They do shake up a good bloody Mary as well, and occasionally a good mimosa too.
Food here depends on the time of the day you are going to be using the lounge. During the daytime when we were there, light lunch items were served, while when I’ve experienced this setup during midnights, there is a more elaborate dinner menu served. There are other variations as well, such as breakfast hours, however, the food menu has not changed in the ten months or so this lounge has been in operation.
I’ve seen everything from cereal to paranthas to scrambled eggs to pasta to biryani at this lounge, and perhaps tasted a lot of the stuff as well. My personal favourites over the months are the biryani and hara bhara kababs, which are usually served in the night shift of flights.
Apart from the food, which is generally nice, the lounge does tend to get crowded at midnight because almost all international airlines operating from Mumbai time their flights at the night. Lufthansa, British Airways, Jet Airways, Delta, Air India and Swiss are some of the carriers that come to mind for this hour. Have a look below to see how full the lounge can be.
The lounge also has a bank of computers which you may use for your browsing or free internet access which requires you to use a mobile phone number to receive the password.
While many airlines are sending all their loyalty members and business class passengers to this lounge, they sometimes choose to send their First class members to the Oberoi Clipper Lounge which shares the wall with this lounge as well.
After a short while spent at this lounge clicking a glass of bubbly, we were on our way to the plane.