- Nepal Diaries: Introduction
- Nepal Diaries: 9W 266 Mumbai–Kathmandu, Jet Airways Economy
- Nepal Diaries: Hyatt Regency Kathmandu
- Nepal Diaries: Dining at Bhojan Griha
- Nepal Diaries: The Namobuddha Resort
- Nepal Diaries: Kathmandu Executive Lounge
- Nepal Diaries: 9W 265 Kathmandu-Mumbai, Jet Airways Economy/Business
After my arrival experience in Kathmandu and making a note that major parts of the terminal building were still under reconstruction, I was skeptic to arrive early at the airport for our return flight. But arriving at the airport just in time is not a thing I do any longer, as Ajay likes to be at the airport about a day before departure. So, here we were at the Tribhuvan International Airport at noon for a 3 pm flight departure to Mumbai.
We went through a quick check-in procedure, which still included showing paper tickets at the airport entrance, then being frisked and scanning bags before taking them inside the airport and eventually arriving at the check-in counter.
Once we completed check- in, just before entering immigration we noticed the signage for Executive Lounge & Airport Restaurant. The Executive Lounge is run by Radisson and is located air side after immigration but before security.
The best thing about the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu is this lounge. On arrival at the lounge, we were met by a hostess, who checked if we had some way to get inside. We had to show our boarding passes and Priority Passes, and then the hostess waived us towards a flight of steps leading to the lounge upstairs.
Up the stairs, we went right to the lounge. To the left was the restaurant. Ajay and I used the lounge invitation from Jet Airways, while the rest of the family used their Priority Passes. Since this is the only Lounge, it is also used by a host of airlines, apart from Thai Airways and Star Alliance carriers who use the Thai Airways lounge.
To my surprise, in a small, cluttered terminal building, the Executive Lounge turned out to be quite spacious. It wasn’t crowded, perhaps because it was mid-week afternoon. I noticed that the main seating area had lots of comfortable couches.
Wifi connectivity was pretty fast, but plugs to charge devices were pretty hard to get. Wifi was provided via a scratch card which was available at the reception.
Next to the reception, there is a walkway where the lounge has a model airplane of each of the airlines that operates there. Ajay did geek out here.
Next to it, was a nap room, named ’40 WINKS ROOM’ that had a number of recliner sofas. There is also a separate enclosure for smokers and even a shower facility that can be used at an extra charge. The nap room is hidden at first sight so you need to go around a gigantic Qatar Airways plane model(by other airplane model standards) to go over here.
The lounge was lightly staffed for afternoon with one bartender and a server. There was a full bar and in front of the bar was a snack display stocked with a variety of snacks like sandwiches, fried food, pizzas, meatballs & desserts. You could pick any item(s) and they could heat it up for you in the microwave. The buffet on the opposite side had both hot and cold items along with a coffee machine.
There was also some sort of a private room next to the smoking room, which was empty at this hour.
We spent about an hour in the lounge and proceeded for security check once boarding was announced. It helped that the lounge is only a 2 minutes walk from the security hold area, but it took a long while for us to clear the security mainly due to their lopsided procedures.
The security hold area at the departures is small (more like a room) and under re-construction with limited seating capacity. Overall, there isn’t anything I was disappointed with other than the fact that there very few oddly placed charging ports in the seating area and half of them did not work.