Delhi Airport Lounge Domestic T3: Now Under Encalm Hospitality

After the sudden demise of the Plaza Premium Lounge at Delhi Terminal 3, all eyes were on Encalm Hospitality, which is the only contracted party due to launch new lounges in Delhi Airport. Encalm opened the International Lounge at Delhi T3 for non-airline customers in December 2022, which we have already reviewed.

While Encalm will launch the Delhi Terminal 3 Domestic Lounge with its design in the coming weeks (the current estimate is February 2023), for the time being, they have acquired the space earlier used by Plaza Premium Lounge Delhi T3 Domestic and reopened it under their own management.

a poster of a restaurant

About a week back (on January 5, 2023), Encalm taped up all instances of Plaza Premium at the erstwhile Plaza Premium Lounge Delhi Domestic T3 and reopened it. Here are some pictures of the external facade, with any mentions of Plaza Premium being taken away.

people at a reception

Delhi Airport Terminal 3 Domestic Location

The Delhi Airport Terminal 3 Lounge is on the mezzanine floor of the Delhi T3 Terminal, in the same space occupied by the earlier Plaza Premium Lounge (adjacent to the Air India Lounge Domestic T3). As was usual with the erstwhile lounge, the lounge was backed up for access with long queues, even without a formal announcement of the lounge opening. And a queue was present on both consecutive days I visited, albeit at different hours.

a group of people standing in a line at a counter a group of people standing in a line

Delhi Airport Terminal 3 Domestic Access

The Delhi Airport Lounge at Terminal 3 Domestic is specifically for credit card/debit card access and will not cater to airline-invited passengers for the time being. Airlines will get an invitation when Encalm’s lounge design is ready to be rolled out. At the moment, the lounge is signing up for contracts with various banks, and a part of the queue is because no one knows what will work and what won’t. But one thing can be safely said, if your bank is routing their lounge access through Dreamfolks, the lounge is open for you. That means the following banks will work:

  • Axis Bank
  • HDFC Bank
  • IndusInd Bank
  • IDFC Bank
  • ICICI Bank
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank
  • SBI Card
  • American Express (effective January 10, 2023)
  • Other MasterCard-eligible cards (issued in India)

For the moment, there is no contract with Priority Pass, so don’t expect to be able to swipe your Priority Pass to be able to enter the lounge.

a sign in a line in a airport

Also, Lounge access is iffy right now. For instance, I headed to the lounge two days in a row (not planned, just by sheer chance!). On the first day, they could not let me in through Axis Bank’s Magnus Credit Card, so I had to pull out my HDFC Bank Diners Club Credit Card for them. On the second day, Magnus worked without any issues.

There are plans to put up self-service machines in the coming days, where you will be able to validate your lounge entry and have to deposit the slip with the reception before entering the lounge. The infrastructure for this is being set up as of now.

a group of black rectangular objects in front of a glass door

Delhi Airport Domestic Lounge, Terminal 3, Facilities

The current operational lounge has the same furniture and look and feel as the erstwhile Plaza Premium Lounge. Regardless, here are some pictures. The facade of the lounge is easy to identify. Notice the new shiny black strips to cover what could have been the earlier signage of Plaza Premium around here.

a glass wall with people sitting at tables

Anyhow, on the inside, the newer section, which used to be given to Priority Pass/ Airline invitees, is currently closed to the public. It is being used as a VIP lounge of some sort per others who have travelled through DEL recently.

a man walking in a lobby

Inside the main lounge area, on the left, as you enter, are a lot of solo couches, joined together in typical Plaza Premium organisation style, with power points in between.

a group of people sitting in a lounge area with chairs and lamps

Going further from there, there is an island intended to be used for solo travellers to get their laptops plugged in and get work done before it’s time to board. But as you can see, it was being used as a dining spot by everyone.

a long table with plants on it

people sitting at a desk

There are a lot more couches adjacent to this big community table.

a group of people sitting in chairs in a room with lamps

There is a bar counter but no license to serve liquor. Hence, the lounge bar only serves soft drinks and tetra-pack juices.

a man standing at a counter in a hotel

a group of bottles of drinks on a table

If you go straight rather than left, you will have the entire dining area marked out. There are dining tables and chairs and a big community table.

a group of people sitting at tables in a room with a large wall


I visited the lounge twice, as I mentioned earlier. One time, it was early morning, and breakfast was being served. Here is what was on offer on the breakfast buffet on the day I visited: Chole Kulche, Pohe, Idli Sambar, Chicken Sausages, Hard boiled eggs, and cereal, apart from a live station able to serve you eggs to order.

a menu board with writing on it

a group of metal containers with food in them a food in a container   a machine with food in it

a man in a chef's hat cooking eggs

On the next day, I visited when lunch was being served. On that day, a more extensive offering included salads, soup, Indian curries (vegetarian and non-vegetarian) and white rice. Apart from that, there was a live station offering Pav Bhaji and a counter where you could make your own chaat.

a menu board with a bowl of soup on a table

a group of wooden boxes with cereals and cereals  a buffet with food in containers a group of bowls of food a man and woman standing next to a counter with food a person holding a spoon in a bowl of food

There were also desserts being served in the afternoon.

a tray of food and a loaf of bread on a counter

The coffee machine had seen better days and spewed out a cappuccino that was neither hot nor cold.

a coffee machine next to a container

And much like the international pier, there is a live chai counter, but the quality of tea here was horrible compared to the international pier.

As the only lounge at Delhi T3 Domestic that is secularly accessible right now, the lounge was bustling. But, this is not the actual Encalm product, I hope, and I seriously wish they work on going above the Plaza Premium Lounge standards rather than match those standards. Also, while the meals were pretty good, the hot beverages needed to go from unacceptable to good quickly.


The Delhi Airport Lounge at Delhi Terminal 3 Domestic is the only lounge, apart from the Air India Lounge and The Centurion Lounge, operational at the Delhi Airport. Access is granted purely via bank credit and debit cards here. The Lounge is divided into a lounging area, bar and restaurant. The food served here is Indian, and you should expect to see a crowd at the lounge.

Have you been to the Delhi Terminal 3 Domestic Lounge? What has been your experience at the lounge?

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+ Secular Access via Credit/Debit Cards
+ Decent Food Offering


- Always Crowded
- Tired look and Feel
- Massive queues and waiting for entry


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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