Review: Plaza Premium Lounge Delhi T3 Domestic

There are four lounges airside at Delhi’s Terminal 3 domestic departures. The Air India Lounge is exclusive to Air India business class & Star Alliance Gold passengers. Vistara’s Lounge is exclusive to Vistara Elite passengers and Gold/Platinum Tier customers. The American Express Lounge, which is my personal favourite is for eligible American Express customers. Then there is the Plaza Premium Lounge, which is open for customers of various banks and credit cards, including Rupay, and also the contract lounge that Jet Airways uses for eligible Premiere, JP Platinum and Gold members.

While we have visited this lounge many times, it has always been super crowded and we’ve never really shared our experience.  Last week as well, they did not disappoint with the crowd. Last week on our way back from Delhi, we headed to the Plaza Premium Lounge to get to know more about the state of affairs there.

plaza premium lounge delhi t3

Plaza Premium Lounge Delhi T3 Domestic Departures: Reception

The Plaza Premium Lounge is located on the first floor of the main concourse, right next to the food court and behind the Grid Bar. We took the elevators up and walked through the food court on the mezzanine floor to get to the lounge. The lounge is largely an open format, just like most Plaza Premium Lounges, along with enough plug points for keeping phones or laptops juiced up.

plaza premium lounge delhi t3

At the entrance, there was a separate queue for Jet Airways passengers and another for everyone using a bank card or a Priority Pass or such. There were about 5-7 people in the queue, and it took us about 5 minutes at the reception.

plaza premium lounge delhi t3 Jet Airways

Plaza Premium Lounge Delhi T3 Domestic Departures: Reception

As I entered the lounge, I realised, nothing has changed here. The place was teeming with people and we couldn’t locate any empty seats. We finally found two empty seats in one dingy nook by the corner. It was early evening, and we hadn’t eaten lunch, so we headed up to the buffet area.

plaza premium lounge delhi t3

Plaza Premium Lounge Delhi T3: Lounge seating

plaza premium lounge delhi t3

Plaza Premium Lounge Delhi T3: The buffet section diving the seating section

The hot spread was basic with rice, dal, a veg curry and chicken curry. All of the food was lukewarm and not really hot. There was a soup of the day and a reasonably big salad counter on the side. However, the salad was stale, as we realised when we ate it. Across the hot buffet, there was tea being served, and small bites such as biscuits and cookies were being served, along with some nibbles. A self-serve coffee machine was placed here as well.

plaza premium lounge delhi t3

Plaza Premium Lounge Delhi T3: Buffet seating area

plaza premium lounge delhi t3

Plaza Premium Lounge Delhi T3: Hot buffet

plaza premium lounge delhi t3

Plaza Premium Lounge Delhi T3: Salad Bar

plaza premium lounge delhi t3

Plaza Premium Lounge Delhi T3: Desserts

plaza premium lounge delhi t3

Plaza Premium Lounge Delhi T3: Soup and rolls

plaza premium lounge delhi t3

Plaza Premium Lounge Delhi T3: Light snacks

The only food edible in the here was from the live counters, where a chef was flipping out fresh gram flour pancakes (chillas). Both Ajay and I had some dal chilla with panner inside. It was hot, crisp and tasted pretty good. There was also another counter doling out boiled corn.

plaza premium lounge delhi t3

Plaza Premium Lounge Delhi T3: Food counter

plaza premium lounge delhi t3

After that, I wanted to get some work done, but I suppose I was too ambitious. At around 4 pm, the entire place was a cacophony of phone conversations, kids playing games on their phones with no mute buttons, people talking across aisles because of course, the family found empty seats in four corners, and the television running in the background. And then a child sitting behind me spilt sambar all over his seat. It was mayhem! However, the housekeeping staff was doing their best to keep the place clean and were clearing out the plates as quickly as possible.

To add to it, the wifi connectivity was insanely slow, so I could barely load an email during my time there using the Tata wifi, and then switched to hotspot with my phone.

plaza premium lounge delhi t3

Plaza Premium Lounge Delhi T3: Lounge seating

plaza premium lounge delhi t3

Plaza Premium Lounge Delhi T3: Workstation

Delhi was blazing hot and since this is an open-air lounge the air conditioning did not seem to have any effect. To top it off, there was some drilling work happening in the main terminal, and the noise poured into the lounge. For added impact, their flight information display did not work either.

plaza premium lounge delhi t3

The passenger sitting opposite to me was announcing on his phone that he only visits this lounge because they have a great whiskey collection. I popped up to the bar to verify the claim. The bar was stocked with 7 -8 brands of blended scotch, with Johnnie Walker Black Label and Glenfiddich being their top picks. Not the best I’ve seen but not too bad either. Alcoholic drinks in the lounge are not complimentary.

plaza premium lounge delhi t3

Plaza Premium Lounge, Delhi, Domestic Departures Terminal 3: Bar

The small place is crammed with chairs to accommodate more and more people, without any room left to walk. I counted 150 seats, and there were more in the buffet section. The seating aisles were so narrow that I had to jump over other people’s feet to get to my seat.

plaza premium lounge delhi t3

plaza premium lounge delhi t3

Plaza Premium Lounge, Delhi, Domestic Departures Terminal 3: Lounge seating

After sitting around there for a while, we had enough of the nuisance, and we decided to move to the American Express Lounge. Just then, we got a call asking to head to the gate to reschedule our flights.

Access to the Plaza Premium Lounge Delhi T3

Apart from flying Jet Airways Premiere or being a JetPrivilege elite, there are many ways to access this lounge. The Plaza Premium lounge accepts Priority Pass, Dragon Pass, Rupay, Master Card and Visa Debit and Credit Cards. This lounge also has an option of pay per use, and the charges are INR 1,200 for 2 hours.

The Plaza Premium Lounge, Delhi Terminal 3, Domestic Departures

Bottomline

Overall, I’d rather spend time in the terminal building than be claustrophobic in this lounge. They accept everyone inside, so the crowd is never-ending. The food is below standard, just like the other Plaza Premium Lounges, such as the one at Terminal 1 Arrivals.

Have you visited the Plaza Premium Lounge Delhi T3 Domestic Departures? What has been your experience?

The Pros

+ Access through multiple credit cards

The Cons

- Crowded at all times of the day
- Wifi not effective
- Sound booms
- Subpar food

Rating

Comments

  1. I agree with Your observations regarding Plaza Premium T2 domestic. I avoid this lounge and go to Amex lounge also it is closer to Jet Gates . However these days Amex Lounge is also jam packed so now thinking of traveling Delhi Mumbai by Vistara now. Due to Jet Airways Platinum tier they will match my Tier too

  2. Now with rupay giving free access you will find lot of shopkeepers and dealers going on company sponsored trips sitting there too. Good thing is lounge business will become an attractive proposition for hotel chains and we may see more lounges soon.

  3. Visited yesterday…
    Was teeming with people alright (with a board outside forewarning folks of the lounge being close to capacity).
    Got two lucky seats close to the chai section immediately.
    The chai, paneer dish and curd were really good.
    No complaints there…
    But the crowd can really get to you.

    Amex closer to the gates next time…

    S&S

  4. Hey Ajay and Shipra. Agree with you completely. The only redeeming part of the lounge IMO is some nice freshly brewed tea! Other wise, bursting at the seams.

  5. You take any Plaza Premium Lounge or TFS Lounge (DEL, BOM, MAA, BLR etc.), you are bound to have the same experience. The bane (or boon for many) is that many cards have started providing lounge access and these lounges are the first to jump on the bandwagon.
    The gentry varies from elite businessmen, consultants like myself to first time flyers as well.
    Food, as you have aptly described, is average at best.
    I believe that this situation is getting worse as most of the airlines are having high PLFs contributing to high number of passengers thronging the lounges.
    The infrastructure needs a big boost

  6. Nowhere close to ‘premium’, why shouldnt it be named plaza super ordinary? Bangalore’s Plaza premium is even worse!

    • Vishal, Last time I tried to access the Plaza Premium lounge in Bangalore. The queue was up to the lifts and the staff were proactively advising that there was no seating space.
      I hopped across to the AGL lounge. There was plenty of space to sit.

      • At Bangalore these days at Plaza premium they allow only ICICI cards & Jetairways whenever it gets crowded, rest card holders are send to AGL. This results in better distribution of traffic

  7. My experience from Feb 18, was something different. We visited lounge by 8.30 am and had enough seats to choose from. By the time we were done with breakfast, it started getting crowded but other side was still empty (the one next to bar). Wifi was damm poor even when we had visited.

  8. When I visited, it was way too crowded and very nosiy. Food was above average but had to eat it because I was going to fly Jet Economy which nowadays serve bread with some masala.
    Another thing, they don’t keep soft drinks in open, they keep it in the bar and we have to ask them for soft drinks at the bar.

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