One of the most sought-after credit card benefits I’m asked about all the time is Airport Lounge Access. While initially, this was the mainstay of those who held a Priority Pass or a super premium credit card such as Amex, these days it has become much more liberal thanks to the Visa Lounge Access Program and MasterCard’s initiative on the same lines.
The Visa Lounge Access program, which has been around for many years now but gained prominence about five years ago, currently provides access to 11 lounges in 5 Indian Cities (Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Delhi). The current program is on offer through September 2018 and allows for Visa Signature and Visa Infinite users to access the lounges.
Visa Lounge Access program is expanding in 2018
It seems Visa has finally realised that this is not enough, given that it leaves out India’s tier 2 cities and most places where Visa cards may be issued. As a comparison, MasterCard has much broader coverage in 12 cities. So, in a current version of the revamped program that is perhaps still under discussion, Visa will most probably expand the program to many new cities in India. Here are all the airports that the new Visa Lounge Access program intends to cover:
When implemented, the program will have the most extensive coverage in India for lounges, beating American Express which has 30 lounges across India, and MasterCard Moments, which is spread across 12 cities and 27 lounges.
This is good news for the users of the Visa Lounge Access program, given when this takes shape finally, Visa card subscribers will be able to get lounge access to a far more extensive number of locations. But who knows, because MasterCard has not notified the list for 2018 lounges yet, and maybe all of these are already in the bag for them as well.
What has been your experience with the Visa Lounge Access program and what are your views on the upcoming changes to the program?