In 2019, Bengaluru Airport pulled the rights from Plaza Premium and Above Ground Level to run the Lounges at Bengaluru Airport (both Domestic and International). Bengaluru Airport decided to operate the lounges on its own, copying the strategy of Mumbai Airport, which insourced lounge operations in the GVK Lounges (now renamed Adani Lounges). At the Bengaluru Airport, there was a temporary lounge in place of the Above Ground Level Lounge. In 2020, the BLR Domestic Lounge Opened up, but I haven’t been able to visit it since then because of the pandemic.
On my recent Tata Trilogy Trip, after arriving at Bengaluru Airport on Air India 803, I would fly out in a few hours to Hyderabad on AirAsia 1983. So, I parked myself in the lounge for a few hours before getting on with my next flight.
BLR Bengaluru Airport Domestic Lounge
The BLR Domestic Lounge occupies the same space as the earlier Plaza Premium Lounge on the mezzanine floor. The access is from the central atrium of the Domestic Pier of the Bengaluru Airport. As you arrive there, you notice a long queue before the elevator.
About 3-4 counters at the reception on the ground floor process the authorisation for most-bank-based lounge access, offered by Visa, MasterCard and Diners Club. However, I did not join the queue on my trip, and I headed to the mezzanine floor using the elevator. If you are already pre-authorised on the ground floor, you have to show your authorisation slip before you head right to use the lounge facilities.
While I’d headed over to the first floor to access my Priority Pass, I also saw access via American Express cards upstairs. So, I presented my American Express Platinum Card for validation. The agent validated the card with an INR 2 charge and passed my card and boarding pass back.
There were instructions on how to access the wifi right next to the reception.
The bones of the lounge haven’t changed much. The layout is pretty much the same as I saw it under the earlier administration. The lounge has an open format with a high ceiling and views of the airport operations on one end. Here is a look at the BLR Domestic Lounge.
Right at the other end of the BLR Domestic Lounge, there is a restaurant area with lots of tables for dining.
After the dining area, there are a lot of couches spread across the lounge, overseeing the gates. There are lamps and tables set between each couch and USB charging points between each sofa.
There are also a couple of big open-format desks with high stools strewn around the lounge. One could plug in their laptop or phone and work at these tables, but most people used these tables to partake in the buffet.
There was also an oversized couch at the end of the lounge if someone wanted to sit with their family.
There were also chairs for toddlers.
A special section was cordoned off for business class customers, but no one seemed interested in going there.
There was an open chiller if you wanted to get a soft beverage.
Carbonated Beverages were available free of cost at the bar, and beers and other beverages were available for a price.
The Lounge is managed by TFS (Travel Food Services), the same company that staffs and runs the Adani Lounge and the American Express Lounge in Mumbai. I was over during lunch service, and the lunch buffet was laid out.
For Lunch, there was an elaborate cold counter, with fruits and salads, hummus, curd rice and Dahi Bhalla chaat on offer.
The hot buffet had an assortment of Indian and Chinese dishes on offer.
There was white-sauce pasta, chole and paranthas at the live counters, and some chicken skewers on offer.
I eventually settled for some of the skewers and the noodles with the black bean sauce vegetables.
Overall the food was good quality, and I tried a few things there during my three hour trip to the lounge.
People often tend to find the lounge crowded, but that is the right-side section of the lounge. On the left-hand side, another section of the lounge is usually ignored, which is empty.
The Lounge has the same F&B amenities, with the only difference being that there are no live stations and bar here. For that, you’d have to walk over to the other side of the lounge.
The Bengaluru Airport Domestic Lounge, which is now operated by TFS on behalf of the Bengaluru Airport, has a good assortment of F&B options to spend a couple of hours before your domestic flight out of BLR. The lounge is the only option for airlines (Vistara and Air India) offering Lounge Access to their elites and Business Class customers. You can also gain access via most credit cards. The Lounge easily seats about 100 passengers but gets crowded at times.
Have you been to the Bengaluru Airport Domestic Lounge? What has been your experience here?
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