Amex kills Altitude Lounges in Mumbai and Delhi

American Express is known to many as an issuer of payment cards (credit/pre-paid/charge), but most people don’t look at the back-end where it also runs a payment and settlement network just like MasterCard and Visa. Amex has licensed ICICI Bank and IndusInd Bank in India to issue credit cards on the American Express network.

One of the parts of the deal was to offer lounges in Mumbai and Delhi under the Altitude brand name, which would be operated by American Express, but offered to the cardmembers of the ICICI Bank and IndusInd Amex cards. I made several trips to these lounges in Mumbai as well as Delhi, however I always found the lounges empty. They were on the same concept as American Express’ own Lounges and offered a customised menu for members.

Alas, these lounges have now been closed down. From August 15, 2015, the following lounge options are being offered to IndusInd and ICICI Bank cardholders in Mumbai and Delhi:

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For sure, this is not a great reflection on how both the card issuers were perhaps not able to scale up their member base, or Amex decided to charge them such a high fee that they could not send customers to the lounge often in the first place.

Anyone seen the shutters down on the Delhi lounge which is right across the American Express Lounge in Delhi Terminal 3?

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Comments

  1. I don’t know why but they denied me entry in Good times Bar on 24 th of August. I have Jet airways icici bank Sapphiro Amex card. They showed me a paper where only photographs of two amex cards were there they said only these two cards are eligible for complementary use . It means no access to any lounge as on today at Bombay Airport where as earlier I had access to Altitude lounge

  2. Would appreciate if you looked into the ICICI British airways Amex card. Supposedly, according the BA, it is still available in India; while ICICI has discontinued it. Reached out to BA customer service, and they just replied that its available and keep on trying. ICICI web tool for applying for their CC’s does not even list this card anymore.

  3. This is sad news indeed. I used to love the peace of these lounges in comparison to the crowd of the others. Besides one would get personal attention and hot food. Used to love the hot Uttapams in Mumbai when travelling Air India. Amex just seems to be on the Yuan path. Keep devaluing 🙁 First own cards, then JP miles and now this.

  4. Delhi I had been there on 16th and 19th August . Sixteenth they signed me in with the card but informed no tea coffee or anything live but cool drink wafers biscuit etc. (packed food) were available, on 19th i sat there without signing in as it was pre shut down period. cool drinks and packed food were available. Sad about it closure. Not out of the place I do not enjoy Amex lounge Delhi.

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