Review: Bangalore Airport Temporary Lounge

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.

Way to BLR Domestic Lounge

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.

Complimentary access

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.

Bottomline

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?

Comments

  1. I visited the Bangalore Lounge at the International Departure. It was a pathetic experience. Lounge is fully crowded during late night as most of the international flights depart in the night. Food options are very limited.No Alcohol beverages are served. Not managed well the lounge and staff is not very accommodating. No Rest rooms inside the lounge.We miss Plaza Premium Lounge and not sure why KIAL decides to bring in a new operator for both domestic and international lounge.

  2. Hey… Have they also arranged temporary lounge in Banaglaore’s international airport as well!! Where exactly in airport is it… I mean near to which gate?

    How is the review? Has anyone been to International one?

    • At the international departure, BLR lounge is closed for renovations. They process your card if you wish to indulge in the Italian & Mediterranean restaurant La Tapenade. Buffet offering for lounge access members. The only thing Italian here though is some dry red pasta. Rest all items are not worth mentioning even. I would be giving lounges a miss next time onwards. Not worth at all.

  3. Hi

    At the BIAL international airside today:

    1. At this time (4:00) there are no restaurants serving food. The Mediterranean and 7Tawas told me that they only open for food sales post 05:00

    2. At duty free they alas don’t have Chanel nor Hermès branded fragrances

    3. Only one lounge open, which does not take Priority Card

    4. At all retailer touch-points, no “hello”, “good morning”, “thank you”’s offered

    5. The only exception was the Sales-Person at the Relay store who bounced about to sell me soduku book (and some nibbles, given that the other food places were closed)

    Some customer experience talc needed please

  4. There was a huge difference between Plaza Premium (PP) and Above Ground Level (AGL). PP was shabby with poor service, poor buffet spread and very crowded. On the other hand AGL was much better with respect to service, buffet spread and also less crowded. The new one is merger of the two. Though service has improved with lot of support staff trying to clear the tables swiftly, spread is poor (Nothing on the live counter….just roti) and options very limited. Crowd has swelled due to the merger of the two lounges and there is hardly any seat with power supply. Crowds are quite ill mannered and the experience is quite poor at rush hour. For those who visited PP, then its better but for those who visited AGL, its better to give it a miss.

  5. 20 July 2019 – Bad experience. The BLR International Lounge had no availability for the full 2 hours from 1am to 3am for all Card/Loyalty customers that I had to wait and kept asking multiple times if there was any room.

  6. Good morning
    I am a FAN of this BIAL
    But, the way that this temporary lounge has been foisted on us regular users beggars belief!
    – no Priority Card access
    – dismissive service at the front desk
    – cold food
    – no power points evident at tables
    – no newspapers, magazines
    – insufficient departure-notification screens
    – poor exit signage
    Now I am sure BIAL will sort this out, soon!
    Safe travels
    J

  7. Tried out this lounge 10 days back. Didn’t have a good experience. Overcrowded, rude staff and food quality wasn’t up to the mark. PPL and AGL were way better than this.

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