In January 2021, after a trip to the JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa, we decided to fly out to Delhi. On the way out from Dehradun Airport, I used the Bird Lounge at Dehradun Airport. On the way back, I was flying back from Delhi to Mumbai on Vistara Business Class. I arrived at the airport in good time, as I wanted to get on an earlier flight using Vistara Fly Early. However, the earlier flight was full, and I could not get a change of flights. This was perhaps the stars aligning to make me visit the Plaza Premium Lounge Delhi T3 Domestic.
Vistara’s Lounge at Delhi Terminal 3 was closed down in March 2020, and the American Express Lounge in Delhi T3 is undergoing renovation. That left me with only two options, either I hang around the gates or head to the Lounge. Like I’ve mentioned before, Delhi Airport does not have many passengers in compliance with the mask code and so on, so it did not sound like a good plan. Hence, I decided to head to the T3 Domestic Lounge on the Mezzanine Floor, operated by Plaza Premium.
The Plaza Premium Lounge Delhi T3 Domestic can be accessed with credit/debit cards from MasterCard, Visa, RuPay, Diners Club and American Express. Apart from this, one could also use the Priority Pass and other lounge memberships as well. As a result, there was a very long serpentine queue at the entry.
Fortunately for me, I had a lounge invitation by Vistara, and there was an express queue for those invited by the airline.
Plaza Premium Lounge Delhi T3 Domestic
Fortunately, the Plaza Premium Lounge Delhi T3 Domestic was organised very well for the pandemic. I headed up to the front, and I saw at least 25-30 people waiting for entry with their credit cards in the queue. I was informed as I entered that the lounge entry was capped off at 70 or so guests simultaneously. I handed over my boarding pass, and I was scanned in, in an instant.
Inside the lounge, social distancing norms were imposed very well. Half the seats were blocked off at the back of the lounge, reducing the lounge’s capacity. One was supposed to wear masks at all times when not eating or drinking.
In the main foyer, there used to be many seats, which were removed to make it a dining area. Solo seats with a distance of about one metre were placed around the rest of the lounge.
The buffet dining concept was packed up for the time being, and the food counters were roped off. So no one could walk up and help themselves to the food. Instead, there is a set menu, and one needs to wait for a staff member to come over and take an order. I was standing around and waiting for someone to attend to me, and someone from the staff came and told me to take a seat. As soon as people left a seat, I saw cleaning staff come over and clean away the disposable plates before cleaning the entire table and chair with Diversey’s sanitisation solution.
The lounge was pretty busy, and the staff was on their toes. They were bringing out meal trays after meal trays as people came and left. A staff member finally came around after five minutes of waiting and shared a menu with me. For some reason, I was not allowed to take a picture of the menu, but there was a vegetarian menu, and there was a non-vegetarian one. Along with it, you could pick a tea, coffee or a soft beverage. I got my meal pretty quickly after ordering, and it had some excellent food on the plate (for lounge grub!), including rice, roti, daal, paneer and macaroni salad. The non-veg option included chicken instead of Paneer.
There was also a snacking menu, which included nachos and a dip, and peanuts on offer. For the picture, I got one of those as well. The bar was open as usual. However, I did not manage to grab a picture of it as I was on my way out because my flight was called. Although there was a huge secondary section of this lounge constructed and closed off, for now, I could not understand why that space was not being used.
The Plaza Premium Lounge Delhi T3 Domestic has taken some impressive steps in light of the CoVid-19 pandemic. The hygiene aspects were taken care of very well, and social distance was being maintained between guests, even though it directly meant the lounge could not accept as many guests and hence maximise revenue at this time. From amongst the lounges I’ve visited over the months since the pandemic started, this one was one of the best implementations.
Have you been to the Plaza Premium Lounge Delhi T3 Domestic during the pandemic? How has been your experience at this lounge?
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