Yesterday, I wrote about the Jet Airways lounge access situation at Mumbai Airport. Mumbai Airport offers only one option for lounge access to Airlines, which is the GVK Lounge, operated by the airport operator themselves.
And they are pricey, at about INR 1000 for the domestic lounge, and much much more for the international lounges. The First Class Lounge would buy you a meal at a five-star hotel at that price. As per the airport operator, The East Wing lounge was created mainly at the insistence of Jet Airways, given they are one of the most prominent tenants of the airport. For them, they have a massive battery of premium cabin travellers as well as elites who march out to the lounges every day to put their feet up or get some work done before their flights.
As per news reports, the debate is ongoing about the price that Jet Airways is willing to pay for the lounge access at Mumbai Airport. It seems this situation is going to play out in the public eye here on, which is not helping the brand at all, given people are walking away pissed and hurt.
What is hurting is even more that Jet Airways, which usually sends out emails at the drop of a hat to members, is not talking about it to their frequent flyers. Sometimes, getting in front of a situation helps. They are only reacting and not being on the offensive here. I had a reader pass by the international lounge last evening and the same status there as well with no Jet Airways passengers being admitted.
No emails yesterday from Jet Airways, however, there was a mail about the Diwali Sale they have running (actually good!). And they have gone ahead and quietly removed Mumbai, their home, from their Lounge Access page as well.
Remember, Lounge Access, for whatever it is worth, is one of the biggest perks for frequent flyers and airlines spend a lot of time and money making sure their frequent travellers get a good place on the ground to put their feet up or do business before going on the plane. It is also one of those perks that everyone is using to pull in more customers, including credit card companies.
What has been your experience travelling through Mumbai Airport yesterday with Jet Airways? Did you notice this situation? How has it affected you?