Review: GVK Premium Class Lounge, Mumbai Terminal 2


I arrived at the Mumbai Airport at about 1 AM for my 4 AM flight to Doha. There were many reasons to come so early. First and foremost, there is unpredictable traffic at Mumbai Airport at this hour given the midnight bank of departures that sort of go on till 2:30 – 3 AM in the morning. Secondly, I did not want to risk dozing off at home. So what better than an opportunity to people watch at the airport.

Mumbai International Airport

At the airport in Mumbai, Qatar Airways ground handling is done by Celebi Aviation. For some reason, Qatar Airways does not use the premium pods at both ends of the Mumbai Airport Terminal 2, which are used by most airlines for their premium customers. I headed to the Business Class check-in counter and was invited to the Economy Class counter next to the J Class counter to check-in.

Mumbai International Airport check-in

Mumbai International Airport check-in

Like you can see, the flight seemed full, in spite of the wee hours of the morning, and there was a lot of crowd to check-in or bag drop.

Mumbai International Airport check-in

The ground agent handling my check-in did not seem to have any clue on how to handle premium passengers and was most troubled about my return to India since he did not see on my PNR the ticket between France to Doha, but saw another leg between Doha and India in the end. It took a bit of back and forth with him and his superior for them to issue me the boarding pass. Moreover, they forgot issuing the Lounge Pass at the counter, given this was an economy class counter.

It turned out to be an excellent decision to arrive early since Security and Immigration were both crowded at this hour. It seems the security check for one of Air India’s domestic tag flights was also processed at this hour. In spite of using the premium queues at both ends, it took the better part of an hour to arrive airside and be ready for the trip. Mumbai International Airport Security Check

Once airside, I headed to the GVK Lounge which is used by various airlines. The GVK Lounge used to have a Business Class Lounge, Premium Class Lounge and a First Class Lounge. However, since the opening of the GVK Lounge East Wing, many airlines have moved their Business Class passengers into the other lounge. As a result, The West Wing only handles Premium Class and a roped off section for First Class passengers.

I arrived at the lounge and informed the reception about the fact that I missed collecting the invitation from Qatar Airways. Since this was a business class ticket, and I was in the correct lounge, they made a quick call to the airline counter and waved me in.

Entrance GVK Lounge West Wing Mumbai International Airport Terminal 2

GVK Lounge Mumbai International Airport Terminal 2

I took the elevator downstairs to the 3rd Level Lounge, which is used at Mumbai Airport as the Premium Class Lounge. It was earlier the Business Class Lounge. Qatar Airways is one of the few airlines which used the West Wing Lounge for their premium passengers. It is the more expensive lounge for J Class passengers, but given the premium image that Qatar Airways intends to portray, it plays right into it.

I had roughly about an hour at the lounge. While I have reviewed the lounge earlier as a Business Class lounge, here are some pictures of the lounge again. The lounge is very tastefully done up in silver hues and divided into various sections. You enter from the left end of the lounge into a whole bunch of couches in the centre.

Mumbai International Airport Lounge GVK Lounge Premium Class

Mumbai International Airport Lounge GVK Lounge Premium Class

Solo couches are facing each other lining up the glass walls, which have a great view of the tarmac. Mumbai International Airport Lounge GVK Lounge Premium Class

Further down, solo couches are facing the tarmac, for those who do not want to be social at all. Mumbai International Airport Lounge GVK Lounge Premium Class

There is a whole section, let’s call it the Schmooze Room, where there are about a dozen or so leather recliners with inbuilt massagers, and marked as a quiet area. One could quickly catch a nap here.

Mumbai International Airport Lounge GVK Lounge Premium Class

There was a small business centre in one corner of the lounge as well, with a couple of iMac computers and a printer, in case you need a last minute print or something. Nobody seemed to want to use these tonight. Mumbai International Airport Lounge GVK Lounge Premium Class

If you have your laptop and need a desk, there were many workstations as well for you to plug and play. Mumbai International Airport Lounge GVK Lounge Premium Class

There were many couches around here as well organised for single seaters.Mumbai International Airport Lounge GVK Lounge Premium Class

There were also some high stools in front of the bar, in case you would like to combine work with a drink, with a view of aircraft movement.

Mumbai International Airport Lounge GVK Lounge Premium Class

Mumbai International Airport Lounge GVK Lounge Premium Class

I took a seat by the window side. There were enough ports to put my equipment to charge.

Mumbai International Airport Lounge GVK Lounge Premium Class

The lounge wasn’t very crowded at this hour since most of the flights of the night bank were already on their way by now. But enough people dozing off around here. I never found it cool, nor did I find it cool today.

Mumbai International Airport Lounge GVK Lounge Premium Class

The lounge has two bars, one of which was operational this night. The bar stocks top-shelf liquor, including sparkling wine and various brands of premium alcohol. There was J&B, VAT 69, Johnnie Walker for Whiskey, Smirnoff & Ketel One for Vodka, Bacardi Rum and Jacobs Creek for wine & sparkling wine. You can choose to plonk yourself on the bar stools at the bar and watch some sports on the big screen television.

Mumbai International Airport Lounge GVK Lounge Premium Class

Mumbai International Airport Lounge GVK Lounge Premium Class

 

Alternatively, you can get yourself a drink and bring to your seat. I chose to settle with a glass of sparkling to kick-start this trip.

Mumbai International Airport Lounge GVK Lounge Premium Class

The other bar was closed for the evening it seems.

Mumbai International Airport Lounge GVK Lounge Premium Class

Given it was middle of the night, and I had to see myself through the morning and get on the flight to Paris before I would get an opportunity to sleep, I decided to catch a bite, and I headed to the dining area.

Food is set up as a buffet here, but the options are many more as compared to the GVK Lounge East Wing. Here was some of the food on offer on the night I was travelling. There was an extensive cold buffet set up with sandwiches, wraps, salads and fruits.

Mumbai International Airport Lounge GVK Lounge Premium Class

Cold Buffet

Mumbai International Airport Lounge GVK Lounge Premium Class

Cold Buffet

Mumbai International Airport Lounge GVK Lounge Premium Class

Cold Buffet

There was a soup cart set up in a corner.

Mumbai International Airport Lounge GVK Lounge Premium Class

For the hot buffet, there were about ten options set up in the Premium Lounge, a more substantial spread than the GVK Lounge East Wing. Included Rice and Biryani, Indian and Continental entrees and sauteed vegetables.

Mumbai International Airport GVK Lounge Premium Class Mumbai International Airport Lounge GVK Lounge Premium Class Mumbai International Airport Lounge GVK Lounge Premium Class

I tried my best not to get greedy and eat clean this night. Mumbai International Airport Lounge GVK Lounge Premium Class

There was a dessert counter as well, which I stayed away from. I may have eaten one of those crumble pies. I will not confirm the occurrence. 
Mumbai International Airport Lounge GVK Lounge Premium Class

In the dining area, apart from a restaurant set up, there are also glass-walled private booths, in case you are travelling as a family or as a big group and would want to rendezvous in private.

Mumbai International Airport Lounge GVK Lounge Premium Class

After my meal, I seated myself in the library area for a short while. It is called that because it is modelled after a fireplace/library found in some homes.

Mumbai International Airport Lounge GVK Lounge Premium Class
Mumbai International Airport Lounge GVK Lounge Premium Class

I headed towards the gate at about 3 AM, trying to be one of the first ones to board my flight. Overall, the GVK Lounge did an excellent job as usual of providing quality food and amenities while I waited for my plane at Mumbai Airport, which I regard as one of the best airports to transit from these days.

Like I mentioned before, most airlines send their Business Class customers to the Business Class lounge which is five minutes walk across the food court. However, this one is used by the ones who’d like to offer a more premium experience. So Qatar Airways and Emirates are a couple of the airlines I found using this lounge. This lounge does not admit people against payment or via a credit card/Priority Pass.

Have you used Mumbai International Airport GVK Lounge Premium Class? How do you find this lounge experience?

Comments

  1. Never go thru security from the extreme left business class section ….flew Lufthansa last month and was stuck with the same air india passengers to delhi…better to go thru economy security or make the long walk to the extreme right of the terminal (jet airways check in section) and use their security and immigration …

  2. “Unlike other airports that encourage you to show up as early as possible, Mumbai international airport doesn’t allow any check-ins more than four hours prior to your flight.” from a Chicago Visa travel site.

    A couple years ago, I arrived 7 hours early on a flight from Varanasi not knowing this, to connect to a flight to the USA. Couldn’t really find a way to check in earlier, (Photos 2-4) go thru security and enjoy a restful lounge.
    Any advice for future? It was no fun waiting in the outer terminal lobby for a couple hours with luggage. In fact it took some talking just to get inside thru security from the drop off area outside more than four hours early. (Photo 1) Remember the domestic terminal is a couple miles by a long shuttle bus away. (Probably should have waited there a couple hours.)
    Your photos are just great and depict what a modern beautiful airport Mumbai has. I had a great 35 day trip on a “mistake” airfare, so in part that’s why I got to Mumbai so early, so as not to risk missing my main flight.

  3. The GVK West Lounge still has Business, Premium and First. It’s now divided by airlines and what they are paying for. I was travelling UA last month and had to use the 3rd floor business lounge. I then walked to the east lounge and I was told its only for Jet Airways and Air India. I did manage to get in. Food was identical in both East and West business sections. I think Etihad uses the premium section.

    There is a new Spa provider in both lounges(Heaven something) instead of Soham which used to service earlier. I found the quality has gone down. Soham foot and back massage used to be awesome.

    Also, its annoying that they have changed the wifi access to a code rather than lastname/seat number.

    • @trojans a bit confusing because everyone with the premium lounge passes was being sent to the floor downstairs. If you look at the notice board where directions are put out, also the reference for business class seems to be gone. So GVK West has Premium+First, and GVK East is Business. Of course, Premium is an open term, so Premium airlines do send their business class customers there.

      I did not try out the spa this time but I did not see them either. Perhaps a switchover was happening. Agree about the change to wifi access code. I just use 4G now.

      • @Ajay, how do you manage to get good 4G coverage at BOM? My Vodafone is always a disappointment to make/receive calls, let alone 4G data.

      • When I have been on afternoon BA flights, I was sent to West(Premium -4th floor) section as the don’t open 3rd floor given the low numbers at this time. For night flights, last month I was told they have now divided by airlines. They just looked at my United boarding pass and sent me downstairs.

        I find the food to be identical. Only drawback of 3rd floor(West) and East lounge is that they don’t have rooms for back massage – its done on a chair. Only 4th floor in West Lounge has I think 2 rooms for back massages where you can be fully flat

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