As a frequent traveller on the Mumbai – Delhi sectors, there is no service I value more than the availability of a good lounge at both airports. For me, the best options for the past few years have been American Express lounges, for the fact that they are exclusive and hence lesser crowds, and the provision of a-la-carte meals. The first one to come up was the American Express Lounge Delhi International Airport Terminal 3. Then, more recently, American Express operationalised a lounge at Mumbai International Airport Terminal 2 as well.
Amid the pandemic, the lounges at Delhi and Mumbai were both provisionally shut down. Amex took the time of reduced travel to renovate the lounge at Delhi Airport, and the lounge was opened to the public again on Friday, March 5, 2021.
I visited the lounge for a couple of hours in the opening week itself, and the staff recognised me as a regular from my past visits there. The lounge is still being operated by the same operator (Devyani International), and as I realised during my visit, also has retained the staff.
American Express Lounge Delhi International Airport: Location & Timings
The American Express Lounge Delhi International Airport is located at its original spot, in the atrium of the Delhi Airport’s Terminal 3 gate area, adjacent to gate 27-28. The location is superb, as this is the closest lounge from the domestic gates (the Plaza Premium and Air India Lounges are in a crowded area on the Mezzanine Floor). This means that you can stay longer before you head up to your gate to board your flight. Only passengers on domestic flights operating from Terminal 3 will be able to access this lounge. The lounge is open 24×7.
As you approach the lounge, the first thing you notice will be the green wall entrance, in line with the global look and feel of the American Express Centurion Lounges dotted around the USA and Terminal 2 Mumbai lounge. The reception is behind plexiglass, as is the norm in these times.
On the inside, the lounge’s look and feel is more open and roomy now, and in line with the current times, where personal space is the ask. There is seating space for 35 people in one go, which is a step up from the earlier times. The lounge is open 24
American Express Lounge Delhi International Airport: Seating
The Lounge has four seating zones, each suited for a different type of customer. Right as you enter, you will notice solo seats, which are designed for a quick bite and a dash to your gate right after.
Most of the lounge has couches targeted towards the solo traveller who wants to get some work done and grab a bite or a drink at the lounge before they go. Each seat gets its plug point as well, for your phone or laptop to get some juice before you go. Understandably, there is separation via plexiglass all around, but this allows the lounge to allow for more seats to be used rather than being blocked away for distancing purposes. All the seats face the same direction, designed to avoid face to face contact in the current world.
At the far end, and my favourite end, at the lounge, were the cabins. These cabins are designed with a full view of the airside operations, which gives aviation folk like me some exciting views to look forward to at the airport. But more importantly, these allow for a group to be seated together, if there were one, or a few, to arrive at the lounge. There are two cabins available in the Lounge, and anyone can grab these seats. Many different seating configurations have been provided.
Each of these couches comes with enough plug points to go around, to get your work done, or send that last email before you get out for your flight.
There is a separate section created in the lounge now for Centurion Cardmembers. Behind a separate physical door, these cardmembers will get two cabins of their own, which means assured seating for them.
One of these cabins also has a private cafeteria, which I guess will become a fully-stocked bar once the appropriate licenses are in place.
Besides all of this, there is counter space in the lounge, where, I perceive, dining displays for pick me ups such as sandwiches and cookies could return once the pandemic is gone. For now, it is being used to serve up newspapers and reading materials.
I grabbed a seat with a view of the airside operations, but it was dark, so not much to be seen at this time. As I seated myself, water was served, and I was asked if I wanted to eat or drink something. I asked to see what was available, and I got a menu card. There is a breakfast menu, and then there is an all-day menu available.
The menu looks very similar to the past, but just going by memory, I think a few more items have been added to the list. I saw many pizzas going out, so I called for a Thin Crust Chicken Pizza for myself, which was served up in less than ten minutes.
Alongside to drink, I ordered an iced tea with no sugar, and this came around quickly as well, and at the right temperature.
American Express Lounge Delhi International Airport: Health protocol
The pandemic means that there is no F&B on display at the moment, and everything is plated and brought to you from the kitchen. Besides the plexiglass separations, there is a sanitiser placed if you need it. The lounge staff was all using masks and face shields and gloves, and they were also turning around tables quickly. For instance, after eating and the staff had removed the plates, someone came on to sanitise the table.
American Express Lounge Delhi International Airport: Access Policy
The newly-remodelled American Express Lounge will have a slightly different access policy as compared to the earlier version. The reason being, there is no longer the Jet Airways Amex co-brand credit card in play. The lounge is available to the following cardmembers:
- American Express Centurion Cardmembers (along with a +1)
- American Express Platinum Cardmembers (along with a +1)
- American Express Corporate Platinum Cardmembers
- American Express Platinum Reserve Credit Card
Suppose you are based in Delhi and want to access this lounge. In that case, you could start by sampling it with an American Express Platinum Reserve Credit Card, which gets you access to the Delhi and Mumbai American Express Lounges, apart from other domestic lounges, three times a quarter (twelve times a year). When you apply here, you get the welcome rate of INR 5,000 plus GST for the card and a higher welcome gift of 19,000 Membership Rewards points, instead of the usual 11,000 Membership Rewards points.
Here is a video walkthrough of this Lounge.
This is an excellent addition to the American Express suite of Lounges, and I am looking forward to going back already. The lounge is comfortable, not crowded at all, and has all the usual features of an American Express lounge that I have seen at other Amex Lounges in India and worldwide.
What do you think of the American Express Lounge Delhi International Airport? Have you visited already? What has been your experience like?
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