The Bangalore Airport is upping its game on Passenger Experience. As a part of the process, the Bangalore Airport lounge closed the existing Plaza Premium Lounge and Above Ground Levell lounges in both the domestic and international terminals.June saw curtains down on Above Ground Levell Lounge. July was closure for Plaza Premium Lounge. These lounges are now handed over to a new operator for a new passenger experience.
While the full lounge setup will be renewed and one grand lounge opened up eventually, for the moment, there is a makeshift arrangement, called ‘BLR Domestic Lounge’ by the new operator of the lounge comprising Mumbai-based Travel Food Services and Swiss-based Gate group. I accessed the lounge through my SBI Prime MasterCard. Here is the review.
The lounge is currently operating at the same location where the Above Ground Levell lounge used to operate from. After the security screening you, you need to go up one level using the elevators. Access via cards to the lounge are currently accepted through MasterCard, RuPay, Diners and DreamFolks. Airline tie-ups are with Air India, Air Asia, IndiGo, GoAir, SpiceJet and Vistara. Visa, Amex and Priority Pass holders may be able access the lounge by the end of July, as per the people around at the Lounge.
The lounge is open 24 hours a day with the following meal timings.
- Breakfast: 0330 to 1100 hrs
- Midday: 1100 to 1230 hrs
- Lunch: 1230 to 1530 hrs
- Hi-Tea: 1530 to 1830 hrs
- Dinner: 1830 to 0030 hrs
- Midnight: 0030 to 0330 hrs
My flight departure was more than 2 hours away and the agent at the reception was able to convey that the lounge access is limited to 2 hours in a politely rude fashion. The seating arrangements are similar to the Above Ground Levell days except for the removal of all the space. Furniture is a combination of that inherited from Plaza Premium and from AGL lounges both.
Understandably, they are expected to manage passengers who were once handled by two lounges. Most of the seats are retained and more added to save space and accommodate more guests. Gone are my favourite recliners from the AGL days!!!
Food quality was not an issue at all. I was there during breakfast. There are two sets of counters to take care of the crowd. South Indian menu for the day included idli, pongal, vegetable upma, and dosa variants with sambar and chutney. Other options were grilled tomatoes, cajun potato wedges, watermelon, bread and corn flakes. The eggs on offer were only boiled ones and not available on the live counter. Bakers on the house dished out some berry muffins, cake slices, butter croissants and apple Danish pastries. Tucked at a far distance away were the soft beverages. Hot beverages are taken care of by vending machines from Café Coffee day and Hatti Kappi, again inherited from both sides of the earlier lounge.
I found the lounge missing magazines that were earlier offered for reading by AGL and Plaza Premium Lounges. A commendable job is being executed by the on-floor personnel ranging from cleaners, waiters and their supervisory staff. They all can be seen running on the toes deftly handling the continuous work at hand. Don’t forget to enjoy the 625 MB of premium WiFi offered free by Tata DoCoMo with a validity of 24 hours.
This looks like an alright makeshift option for the time being, but we really need to wait for the complete lounge to see what got the airport to change operators.
Have you been to the Bangalore temporary airport lounge? What do you think of it?