The lounge situation at Delhi Airport (among many other airports across India) is rapidly devolving due to the shutdown of Plaza Premium Lounges across the country, without as much as an intimation about when things will regularise.
At some airports, such as Delhi and Hyderabad, these lounges are being taken over by Encalm Hospitality, but we don’t know the state of affairs at the other airports. The Delhi Airport T3 Domestic Lounge is due to be transitioned to Encalm Hospitality by the end of December 2022, tentatively.
Delhi Terminal 3 Domestic now has a temporary Lounge To Go.
I was passing through Delhi T3 Domestic for a flight recently, and I thought to go and check out the Terminal 3 (closed) Plaza Premium Lounge while I was there. Now, lounge access as a credit card feature is top-rated amongst card members, as seen with the long queues at airport lounges for credit/debit card-powered lounge access. At the back of it, though, there is a massive opportunity for the enablers of these credit/debit card lounge access providers, such as DreamFolks and Priority Pass (Collinson).
With the shutdown of the PP lounge, however, this opportunity evaporated overnight for whatever reason we still don’t know. However, some credit/debit cardholders should now be able to access a temporary Lounge-To-Go at the Delhi T3 Domestic again. Airport Solutions provider, Dreamfolks, has now enabled this service.
At a nondescript counter with no markings between the erstwhile Plaza Premium Lounge and the Air India Lounge, you will notice a small crowd (or not, depending on the time of the day/night you are around).
This desk stands in for the Plaza Premium Lounge and is a story of pure hustle. DreamFolks seems to have engaged a coffee shop at the airport to organise some meal packages for those interested in swiping their card to receive these packages. I was passing by and saw the crowd, so I was curious, and I headed in to ask what cards they would accept.
While the person managing the card told me all cards with lounge access would be accepted, I won’t bank on that statement. Since all the machines were from Dreamfolks, I’d expect those with lounge access programmes managed by Dreamfolks would be undoubtedly eligible.
For the record, here are the networks and banks that work with Dreamfolks for their lounge access programme:
- Diners Club network in India
- RuPay network in India
- MasterCard network in India
- Axis Bank
- HDFC Bank
- ICICI Bank
- Kotak Mahindra Bank
- SBI Card
- Dhanalaxmi Bank
Hence, in many cases, you are covered and should have lounge-to-go access, and it is worth trying out if you are flying a no-frills carrier but would like a meal to take to the aircraft.
On swiping my Axis Bank Magnus Credit Card, I was handed over a package, which was more than enough for a quick bite or maybe even too much food. The package included a bottle of water, an apple, a pack of chips, a whole vegetarian sandwich, a juice tetra pack and a muffin. There are no options offered at the moment between vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.
As a substitute for the now-shut Delhi Terminal 3 Plaza Premium Lounge (Domestic), many cardholders are being offered a lounge-to-go option while the lounge opens up again in a different avatar. You can avail of the provision adjacent to the lounge, as explained in the post above.
Have you tried out the Lounge-To-Go at Delhi T3 Domestic already? What did you think of it?
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