Lounge Review: Above Ground Level, Bangalore Airport

I’ve said this in the past and I’d say it again. Bangalore went from a problem of no lounges to one lounge to a problem of plenty over the past few months. A while ago, I had reviewed the Plaza Premium Lounge in Bangalore Airport’s domestic operations, and I’ve been over to the lounge a few times since then.

The last weekend when I was in Bangalore, I wanted to try out the other lounge at Bangalore’s domestic ops, which is called Above Ground Level. This lounge shares the wall with the Plaza Premium Lounge, however is accessible with a Priority Pass, Diners Club or with Cash payment. Since this was not the official lounge which had a contract with Jet Airways for elite and business class passengers, we presented them our Priority Passes to get access.

This one is also the lounge with ample free space at Bangalore. The first thing I noticed getting in was the generous amount of space they’d invested in, and all the various formations. For instance, there are couches for solo travellers, dining tables for people who want a dinner or a lunch, a large television display by the bar who want to watch something and so on.

In terms of F&B, there is a different setup altogether, in terms of offering a full meal experience rather than the snacky experience that the PP lounge provides. A hot buffet with wait staff looking after you (it was an empty lounge that evening!) was a good to have experience.

I did not manage to catch a drink since I was only in the lounge for about 30-40 minutes and I wanted to get a meal on the ground so that I did not have to eat very late on my 9:45 pm flight. The food was of great quality, and not very rich or catering taste.

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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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  1. The crowd is less in above ground level is because
    1.they do not accept Visa cards & very few other cards,2. they do not accept Jet airways elite level. Hence I also use plaza premium apart from reserved Lounge in domestic,though service is poor . last week I wrote in comments that tables were dirty.
    Once i had visited both the lounges in international departure there i found Plaza much better, at AGL they had restriction on quantity of liquor, food was not ready and as usual totally empty at around 8.30pm, where as at Plaza drinks were unlimited & usual food.

  2. I have never been to above ground, so can’t comment on it, but I don’t like the food in plaza premium. On top of it, 9 out of 10 times, I have to ask for a plate, soup spoon, ketch-up since the staff is awfully slow is replenishing. My favorite are Amex lounges in Delhi and Mumbai. Hope more such lounges are opened in future.

  3. I fly out of BLR Monday mornings. I use the Plaza Premium lounge which always has between 16-20 passengers if not more, at that time of the day, and every time I’ve looked across at the Above Ground Level lounge, I’ve never seen any crowd – perhaps 2-3 people at best. I wonder why…

  4. ‘Problem of plenty”, there are only two lounges in Bangalore. Plaza Premium serves 4-5 hot dishes, has 2 live counters, CCD food- I found the food to be of good quality. Above Ground staff is very helpful, but the food was just ok and there was no live counter. You can ask the chef to prepare a dosa in the kitchen but it takes a long time to be served.

    • @pratiti coming from 0 lounges to 2 is indeed a problem of plenty for me. I liked the food at both places. I prefer a meal to a snack, maybe that is why.

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