Review: The Centurion Lounge Delhi International Airport (T3 Domestic)

As a frequent traveller out of Delhi, there is no service I value more than the availability of a good lounge at Delhi Airport. This became even more incredibly important with all the other contract lounges at Delhi Airport shutting down (unannounced).

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, American Express operationalised a lounge at Mumbai International Airport Terminal 2 as well.

Amid the pandemic, the lounges in 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 in March 2021.

I visited the lounge in November 2022, and I decided to put out an updated review, given the current circumstances of the Delhi Airport and the lounge itself. The lounge has been recently rebranded as The Centurion, in line with the decision to move it to “The Centurion” Lounge like the rest of the world.

a front view of a store

American Express Centurion 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 gates 27-28. The location is superb, as this is the closest lounge to the domestic gates. 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.

American Express Lounge Delhi International Airport

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.

American Express Centurion 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.

American Express Lounge Delhi International Airport

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.

American Express Lounge Delhi International Airport

American Express Lounge Delhi International Airport

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.

a room with couches and tables and chairs

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.

American Express Lounge Delhi International Airport

American Express Lounge Delhi International Airport

There is a separate section created in the lounge now for Centurion Cardmembers. Behind a separate physical door, these cardmembers get cabins of their own, which means reserved seating for them.

American Express Lounge Delhi International Airport

In here also sits the bar/cafetaria that serves the entire lounge.

American Express Lounge Delhi International Airport

Besides all of this, there is counter space in the lounge, where there is a pick-me-up buffet breakfast during the day and snacks for the rest of the day. There is also a soft drinks counter and newspapers and reading materials lined up at the same counter. For instance, here is the lineup for the recent visit.

a buffet line with food on it

Dining options

As is the case most of the time, I took a seat with a view of the airside operations. The pier, during the evenings, is full of Vistara aircraft, with a splash of IndiGo. On the other side, which is not clearly visible from the lounge, is a big number of Air India aircraft.

a group of airplanes at an airport

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 was handed a tablet with a digital menu. For the sake of brevity, I am adding the old physical menu card. The servings are identical. There is a breakfast menu, and then there is an all-day menu available.

American Express Lounge Delhi International Airport

On this occasion, I ordered myself a salad with a Pepsi Black.

a can of soda next to a plate of food

I also enquired about the alcohol being served. However, I was told that there was a supply issue, so most of the stock had run out, and they were unable to restock. Honestly, this is a Delhi-wide problem, not unique to this Lounge, but across all restaurants and hotels across the city. Let’s hope it gets better soon.

After eating, the staff removed the plates, and someone came on to sanitise the table.

American Express Lounge Delhi International Airport

American Express Lounge Delhi International Airport: Access Policy

The lounge is available to the following cardmembers:

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 15,000 Membership Rewards points instead of the usual 11,000 Membership Rewards points.

Or, if you are a frequent traveller, you should look at The American Express Platinum Card. You get an additional 10,000 Membership Rewards points on applying through this link.

Video

Here is a video walkthrough of this Lounge, although it was prepared in 2021.

Bottomline

The Centurion Lounge is comfortable, not crowded mostly, and has all the usual features of an American Express lounge that I have seen at other Amex Lounges in India and worldwide. Given the current situation where most cards get no access to a lounge in Delhi Airport, this is a safe haven for American Express cardmembers.

What do you think of the American Express Centurion Lounge at Delhi International Airport? Have you visited already? What has your experience been like?


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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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Comments

  1. I would not recommend this lounge. As of Nov 2023 still “no alcohol” the lie is now that they are waiting for the license.
    Asked for sparkling water and they said they didn’t have! Complained and somehow they happen to find one.
    Food is terrible, Loungue is small. Mumbai’s is far better.

  2. Thanks for the review. You mention the club being in the domestic departures atrium. Is the lounge not accessible to AMEX Centurion card holders flying internationally?

  3. Ajay
    The issue is not with supply the staff is trained in a way to avoid telling alcohol is served -when asked specifically they will say it’s available but on charged basis even after showing platinum card -when u ask for manager then the platinum guests are served for free -i asked for certain double cask wine which they said was available-but they served fratelli to me -when I challenged them of not being double cask Jacob they apologised and accepted mistake and served -overall i think the management there is into cost cutting unlike mumbai centurion which is all transparent-i have used this loung three times

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