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Nov 15
2019
Fri

Plaza Premium Lounge Ahmedabad, India Review. Basically terrible!


The Plaza Premium Lounge in Ahmedabad, India T2 is the bare minimum for what qualifies as an airline lounge. You can get a cup of tea, charge your phone and sit down - but nothing more

What I Liked

  • Precious little

What could be improved

  • Very few food options
  • Small space
  • No runway views
  • Room was dark
  • Alcohol incurred an extra charge

Ahmedabad, India 101

Ahmedabad is the capital of Gujarat, India and has a population of about 9 million people. Like many cities in India, it is undergoing massive infrastructure development – including the building of a high-speed rail link to Mumbai.

Gujarat is a very religious state, and the sale of alcohol is highly restricted. Mahatma Gandhi and prime minister Narendra Modi both hail from Gujarat.

Entry Requirements

I attained entry to the lounge through my Priority Pass membership. This comes as part of the package with my American Express Platinum card. Through my card and my wife’s supplementary card, we can get 4 people into a lounge. This means that we normally save $50 - $100 on food each time we enter an airport.

We did not get $50 - $100 of value from the Ahmedabad Plaza Premium Lounge, as it is pretty terrible…

The space

The lounge is a small rectangular room with a dining area at one end. As if often the case at Plaza Premium Lounges, they put some effort into decorating the space.

  • Cushioned chairs with side tables
  • Higher dinner tables with charging points at the centres
  • Grey flooring tiles looked pretty cool


The decoration of the lounge is very similar to other (higher quality) Plaza Premium lounges worldwide. Check out my review of the Plaza Premium Lounge in London, Heathrow, T4, for a much better example of a lounge!

In term of the facilities, there is basically nothing. You got a room with some seating and some refreshments at one end. There is no natural light, although you do get a view of the check in desks at the airport entrance.

How do bad lounges make money?

I view this lounge as a bad lounge, as it doesn’t have the things I want in an airline lounge:

  • A space where I can be separated from the madness of the terminal building
  • Decent food spread
  • Complimentary alcohol
  • Extras like kids play area and showers are always welcome


This begs the question – how do poor lounges like this make money? The answer is simple…

Nearly all entrants to the lounge will come in via a priority pass membership – which they have already paid for. Each time a customer swipes their priority pass, then the lounge will earn a fixed amount from Priority Pass. As there are no other 3rd party lounges in Ahmedabad Terminal 2, Plaza Premium has little incentive to spend a lot of money on the lounge.

For this reason, most airports around the world have poor quality 3rd party lounges.

If you are interested in bad lounges, then check out my review of The Lounge at Dublin Airport! 

The food

I was there at 6am, and there was a very sad breakfast spread

  • Soup
  • bread
  • Cereal
  • Pastries
  • Did I say there was soup?!

India is a country with a rich and diverse culinary history, and where labour is cheap. I find it ridiculous that this lounge cannot provide a decent hot breakfast. As I explained above, they can make money without offering hot food – but I still find it disappointing.

The drinks

I could not see any bar, but the priority pass website says that alcohol comes at an extra cost. This is standard in India, but I don't like it. Imported alcohol is expensive in India, but they should offer local alcohol as complimentary.

The images above display the coffee machine and the tea selection. I had a coffee, but it was not good

Conclusion

The only justification for using this lounge is if you have already paid for it through priority pass. This is a prime example of a global company with a decent reputation cashing in. No effort has been made to make the lounge pleasant. 

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