A loyal reader Arjun Warty, happens to be on the second flight out of the newly cutover Terminal 2 at Mumbai (British Airways 198), and he was kind enough to share his experience and pictures with us. While I am waiting to check out the airport myself, here is what he reported back:
- The elevated access road is not open, so you have to use the old airport road and take the on-ramp after the line of hotels, near the Sky Chef building.
- There were guards at the start of the on-ramp checking which flight you were on and directing you to the correct terminal.
- The entrance is huge and with multiple drop off points I hope the midnight chaos of the old terminal will be a distant memory.
- There seem to be separate entrances for Premium/non Premium cabins, there was no line at the BA Economy (World Traveler) entrance so I used that, but at peak times this could help folks flying premium cabins or with elite FF status.
- The BA premium cabin check-in counters are separate from the non premium counters (in a separate block on the left of the World Traveler counters).
- There is a temporary lounge on the 3rd floor, the BA staff were certain that it was open but when I asked for directions form one of the airport staff they thought it was not yet open, however they checked and it is, indeed, open.
- The temporary lounge has been carved out of one long section of the terminal, it has a lot of easy chairs set in pairs of four with low tables (similar to the setup at the front of the BA Galleries lounge in the old T2) and taller tables with 2/4 dining chairs around them.
- There is a selection of hot food (eggs, baked beans, hash browns and upma) and sandwiches, bread and condiments.
- There are a couple of coolers with soft drinks, water and yoghurt and a bar with a limited alcohol selection.
- All the airport staff (including the CISF and Immigration folks) seem to be excited about the new terminal, I chatted with the immigration officer, he likes the airport but said that unless the govt assigns 80 officers to man the 80 counters things will not improve, also there is no employee canteen yet and they are charged INR 10 per cup of chai 🙂
- The rawness of the lounge staff shows, but they are trying to follow their training and are generally pleasant
- The coffee machines are not yet working 🙂
- They are ordering more furniture as the lounge will not be able to manage the midnight rush, apparently BA has offered its furniture from the Galleries lounge.
- GV Sanjay Reddy spent a couple of minutes in the lounge inspecting things and talking to his teams
- The art work along the walls is nice, I’m no expert but it looks well thought out, but I wish there were signs explaining what each piece/picture was.
- I chatted with one of the GMs from the JV managing the lounge, the permanent lounge will open in ~2 months and will span levels 3/4. It will have a First class section on level 4 and Business class section on level 3. The first class section will have a live kitchen (including a tandoor) and ‘nap rooms’. There will also be a spa, though I didn’t ask if it would be a paid service or free.
Here are some pictures of the 1-hour old airport:
The Lounge is below. Like we’ve said before, there will be only one big lounge for business travellers in the coming days, and one big lounge for the first class travellers. The Airport operator has refused BA, Emirates, Lufthansa & Air India the permission to operate their own lounges. The permanent lounge, like noted above, will launch in 2-3 months.
Thank you Arjun, and if someone wanted to post me there pictures or experiences, I’d be happy to update this post.