- Introduction: Going diving in the Ring of Fire
- Review: GVK Lounge East Wing, Mumbai
- Review: Jet Airways Mumbai to Singapore, Economy (Airbus A330-200)
- Review: Plaza Premium Lounge Singapore Terminal 1
- Review: Jetstar Asia Singapore to Bali, Economy (Airbus A320)
- Things to keep in mind while visiting Bali
- Where to go if backpacking solo in Bali
- What to eat when in Bali, Indonesia?
- Review: Premier Lounge, Bali
- Review: Hong Kong Airlines Bali to Hong Kong, Economy (Airbus A330)
- Review: Plaza Premium Lounge (West Hall), Hong Kong
- Review: Jet Airways 9W77 Hong Kong to Delhi, Economy (Boeing 777)
- Conclusion: Elevating my backpacking trip
After two weeks of sun, sand, and sangrias in Bali, it was time for me to get back home. I was flying Hong Kong Airlines to Hong Kong for a short meeting before I flew to back to India. At the airport, I spent some time at the Premier Lounge Bali.
I arrived at the airport sometime around 11:30 PM, three hours before departure. While entering the airport, all the bags are scanned. Security personnel check your passport and tickets at the entrance the way they do it in India.
I could not find any information about my flight on the departure board so I looked around for the Hong Kong Airlines check-in counters. The counters were located in extreme left zone of the terminal and it took me a bit of time to find them.
Though Jet Airways is a partner of Hong Kong Airline, it does not extend benefits such as dedicated check-in counters or lounge access to JetPrivilege elites. I joined the queue to check-in my luggage, and I got my boarding pass soon after.
Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport uses full-body scanners to screen passengers. Appropriately done these scanners save a lot of time when compared to manual frisking. I emptied my pockets, removed my shoes and anything which would make my life difficult if it is not in my bag or a tray. After that passport control came and here too, the lines were long. About 50 people were ahead of me, but the lines moved pretty fast. In 15 minutes I was airside.
There was still time before my flight was supposed to start boarding, so I headed to the first floor where all the lounges were located. There are two Priority Pass lounges namely the Premier Lounge and the T/G Lounge Bali. I chose the Premier Lounge as it was the bigger of the two.
But size does not equal comfort. I realised that the moment I entered the lounge. It was full, and there was barely any space available. As this lounge is the contract lounge for more than a dozen airlines, frequent flyers, premium cabin passengers and Priority Pass holders were all crammed into one lounge.
The seating options included couches, cafe style tables, and chairs. They also have a balcony seating area where I stayed put to avoid the crowds. And if you are travelling with young children, there’s separate quiet room where you can sit with your family.
The lounge also has a business centre with Windows PCs along with printers.
On the food front, there was a decent number of hot dishes as well as a wide variety of beverages. Unlike most lounges, this one had an almost half-a-dozen dessert options. Hence, I skipped the main course and stuck to dessert and some fruit.
What disappointed me the most here was the bar. While I’m not drinking beer, I enjoy a crisp gin & tonic. I ended up ordering one at the bar, and frankly, it was not good. When I asked that captain what Gin were they using, he showed me a bottle of a local brand. The only well-known alcohol brand there was Smirnoff vodka.
The restrooms were clean, and the shower room was well stocked with amenities.
The free WiFi there was slow. Luckily, I still had my local SIM which I could still use for data.
Things were fine until a relatively large group of folks entered the lounge. That’s when I decided; I’m better off outside than here. I packed my laptop and moved out.
On my way out, I passed by the Garuda Indonesia lounge which looked amazing from the outside. SkyTeam elites get to use this lounge.
If you were looking for a quiet spot at the Bali Airport, The Premier Lounge would be a bad choice. Then again, I can’t blame the lounge for the crowd as it is the lounge used by most of the airlines flying out of Bali. What I can give them bad rap is for their bar. I understand that you have to run these spaces spending the minimum amount of money, but that doesn’t mean that you skimp on quality. Other lounges around the world tackle this problem by limiting the number of drinks (a great way to discourage binge drinking). Maybe the lounge should explore this avenue.
Have you been to The Premier Lounge Bali? What has been your experience with them?