- Mumbai International Airport Terminal 2 GVK Premium Lounge
- Qatar Airways Boeing 77W Mumbai to Doha QSuites
- Qatar Airways Business Class Lounge, Doha
- Qatar Airways Airbus A380 Doha to Paris CDG Business Class
- Air France Airbus A321 Paris CDG to Toulouse Blagnac
- Radisson Blu Toulouse Airport
- Qatar Airways Airbus A350-1000 Toulouse to Doha QSuites (Delivery Flight)
- Qatar Visa on Arrival
- Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Doha
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I took a seat by the window side. There were enough ports to put my equipment to charge.
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.
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.
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.
The other bar was closed for the evening it seems.
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.
There was a soup cart set up in a corner.
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.
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.
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.
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?