The Citibank Prestige Credit Card offers 2 complimentary meet-and-greet services and 2 limo transfers per annum on a calendar year basis, provided through a service partner called yqNow. I usually use up the limo-services when I am travelling abroad or when I have a significant distance to travel in India itself from an airport. However, every time I have tried them out for a meet-and-greet service, I have not seen much added value. In fact, the meet and assist service Mumbai is provided by GVK (the airport operator), and I saw no value the last time I used them.
Since we had six meet & greet services for 2015 between me and Shipra’s 3 Prestige Cards, we figured we will use them anyways at the Mumbai Airport Terminal 2. Also, Singapore Airlines does not provide any sort of ground assistance at Mumbai Airport, even meeting First Class passengers curbside for example, so I figured we could do with any helping hands for the heavy bags.
We were sent an email by yqNow a day in advance, advising the name and cellphone number of the contact person who would be able to help us once we were at the airport. We also got a call from the Pranaam service earlier in the day, checking about our time of arrival and told me they would be waiting with our name cards at the designated spot.
Here is a description of the standard Meet & Assist Departure service, via the Pranaam website:
- Warm welcome by Pranaam Officer at terminal entrance gate
- Dedicated Pranaam officer for assistance from the terminal entrance till retail area located post immigration check point
- Dedicated porter assistance for check in baggage (Max. 3 pieces per guest)
- Assistance with airline check-in process.
- Guidance with the Security and Immigration process.
However, I believe we were upgraded to the higher version of the service, to make up for the bad experience last time. This included a buggy service.
We arrived at the airport and were met by the staff of the service, and the porters helped us unload the bags and carted them for us through to the check-in terminal. After the check-in process was completed, they brought out a buggy to bring us to the immigration queue, which kind of got me by surprise since I was neither expecting it, nor was the distance very far from the check-in counters.
We were brought out to the First Class/Business Class queue of Mumbai Airport’s Passport Control, and the Pranaam Officer informed us that they would wait across the counter with our hand baggage. I figure this has got to do more with the Immigration Services of India, rather than GVK that they are not able to provide an even faster passport control experience. After completing our passport control formalities, we were walked across to the GVK Lounge from a shortcut route which did not go through the duty-free stores. The host helped us all the way till we were seated in the First Class section of the GVK Lounge.
We bid goodbye to our host once at the lounge, as we figured we could then head across to the gate at our convenience when boarding was called.
If you don’t have access to the GVK Lounge, there is also a private lounge operated at the airport which can be used for credit card and Priority Pass access. If you have none of these, you can buy a higher package to get access to the Pranaam Lounge which is a separate lounge for paid access.
Overall, this is a pricey MAAS service in Indian Rupees, but I am sure it looks a lot less when you convert it into US Dollars for instance. I would book them again if I had a lot of bags to handle or a kid perhaps, since I don’t need to do the heavy lifting myself. But as you will read about later, the service really shined when we arrived back in India, and that review will be narrated later.
Bottomline: Go for it if you want to walk around the airport without bags, or are a first timer to the Mumbai Airport and don’t want to look around and figure it out yourself.