Finding the landside Plaza Premium Lounge Delhi at Terminal 1 was like playing a hide and seek game. I did not see any signage inside the arrivals hall, and there was no mention of the lounge even outside the arrivals terminal where signage for taxis and other information are marked.
Fortunately, Ajay has been to this lounge a few times and knew the way. We got out of Terminal 1, turned right and started walking towards the Terminal Shuttle bus service. Ahead of the bus stop, next to the airline offices and the VIP lounge there is the Plaza Premium Lounge hidden in one corner. It is ideally supposed to be a transit lounge, so it sits between the T1C Departures and the T1D Arrivals.
We used our Priority Pass to access the lounge. That is a tiny lounge with limited seating capacity offering a nap and shower facility to guests. The lounge was empty, and we grabbed a seat in the dining cum lounging section.
Lounge seating and resting area
I was hungry and wanted to catch a quick bite. This lounge has no buffet laid out, and the only eatable was finger sandwiches: a choice between vegetable and egg sandwiches. For beverages, we could choose between tea, coffee, and juice. We ordered a plate of egg and veg sandwiches.
The sandwiches were edible when dunked into tomato ketchup, or maybe I was just too hungry. Ajay ordered a cup of masala tea which turned out be tea bag chai, and he said was quite insipid. Thankfully there is no way one can go wrong with dipping a tea bag in hot water and serving it on the table. If I were paying to use this lounge, I definitely wouldn’t be happy eating unpalatable sandwiches and drinking sub-standard machine brewed tea and coffee.
After catching a quick bite, I checked with the lady at the reception on my entitlements. Apart from Priority Pass, this lounge can be accessed via American Express and HDFC Bank Diners Club card. Guests have access to seating for up to 2 hours, the basic food they serve and can shower.
The nap, beauty, and spa facility are on chargeable basis. I got a chance to visit the nap rooms, and they looked good for one person to rest. There is also an attached shower. There was also a lone workstation at the far end of seating.
We spent about 20 minutes in the lounge and were the only ones there throughout. I imagine it is quite tough to find this lounge and now that majority of Delhi flights operate out of Terminal 2 & 3, there are hardly any users for this one.
A 2-hour visit to this lounge is priced at INR 1,200 per person, and the basic shower facility costs INR 500.
When compared to the spacious Plaza Premium lounge at departures in Terminal 3, this one comes across as a basic lounge. Although, it is larger than the Plaza Premium arrivals lounge we visited at London Heathrow last year. This lounge only makes sense for a pitstop if you have arrived from a long flight and needed to stretch or need a place to shower and have to head straight to a meeting from the airport. They need to add real food to the measly sandwiches they currently offer. Otherwise, anyone who will access this lounge may feel cheated for the inconspicuous offering charged at par with much better lounges. I’d take my business elsewhere.
Have you visited the Plaza Premium arrivals lounge in Delhi?