Massive downgrade to third-party lounge at Terminal 2, Mumbai

Over the last year, ever since Mumbai’s Terminal 2 was opened for public use, I used to have access to the Clipper Lounge via the airline or the Priority Pass or somehow. The airport also operated a temporary lounge, which they converted into a permanent lounge, called the GVK Lounge, as of the end of 2014. The permanent lounge is pretty beautiful, and I’ve accessed the Business and First sections both.

This past week, I was travelling back to Delhi and I chose to take an Air India flight from Terminal 2. The earlier time I did this, I was invited into the Business Class section of the GVK Lounge, however, this time, I was invited to something they called the Loyalty Lounge, which is a new version of the Clipper Lounge.

Turns out, with effect from 1st December 2014, after opening of the premium GVK lounges the services at this lounge have been massively downgraded. They also changed the name from Clipper Lounge to Loyalty Lounge.

The first thing I encountered was an empty lounge, with the following notice I did not pay attention to the first time but looked closely later.

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The lounge was never as empty before, and looked like it lost its soul to the devil. (figure of speech there!). Of course, it was 6 am in the morning, but the place never looked as cold and empty before.

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The section for FIRST GUEST ONLY, was cordoned off indeed. I’ve pointed out the wrong vocabulary used here umpteen number of times, but no one bothers to fix it. If no airlines use this lounge anymore, then why not just put this section out into public usage.

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The food and beverage offerings were pretty much downgraded from the earlier days as well. While earlier you had a selection of drinks on offer, along with a choice of food, which even included desserts and instant noodles, it was all gone now.

For starters, they served digestive biscuits to guests in the lounge. Whose brainwave was that now?

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For the food, there was some breakfast items, all running dry and without condiments on offer.

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There was no dry day, and the alcohol was all gone. Not that I really needed that drink today at 6 am in the morning, but there are folks who like a drink or two before getting on a plane and it helps them calm down.

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So there, no longer a lounge I’d prefer spending any time in if I could help it.

Lounge Access is available for Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club and Priority Pass patrons, apart from buying access for this lounge.

Have you been to this lounge recently and how do you like it?

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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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Comments

  1. Hi There,

    Ive been traveling since donkeys ears and I must say that this is one pathetic lounge.

    I have visited this lounge on a few occasions in the past using my priority pass card and have since long abandoned it. Some of you have correctly mentioned that the services here have gone Antarctic.

    The last time I was there, the hot food was cold and the cold food was hot. The beers were room temperature (the Brits must have liked that), and the IMFL was adequate. I would have preferred a nice selection of wines, maybe a bottle each of white, red and desert.

    Anyways, having made myself comfortable (as much as i could) I noticed that the laptop charging points were mostly damaged and the tables wobbly. Being relatively empty I switched to another area only to find the same issues.

    By the time I got myself comfortable, it was time to leave.

    I hope that the powers to be managing this lounge wake up and spruce it up. Its a neat little cozy place.

  2. As many members of my family will be using the Loyalty Lounge this December, I went to review it and was shocked to read the bad reviews.

    I emailed the Oberoi, who manages this lounge and wrote what I had to say.

    Hopefully, they will come alive and do something to save our beautiful International Airports respect and immage.

    Liz

  3. Do all AI passengers get shuttled into this other lounge? Or do Star Gold passengers still go to the GVK lounge? Domestic and international both?

  4. I was there on 4th March evening and the drinks section was fully stocked with beer and IMFL. Agree with other points – the menu is quite sad and the lounge was empty!

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