After finally clearing immigration at Mumbai airport. I headed to the GVK Lounge East which is the contract lounge used by Air India. I believe there is another larger lounge on the west side of the terminal which also hosts within it a first class lounge.
Mumbai airport has a system wherein the individual airlines do have their own lounges but rather use the common GVK lounges.
The lounge is located after the duty free section past the star bucks in the food court.
The lounge is only accessible to passengers invited by the airlines to use it. That would include First, business class passengers and passengers who hold status on the airlines.
The lounge is not accessible by payment or any lounge program.
The lounge is a long rectangular room divided into three main sections – a sofa section near the entry of the lounge, a bar and a dining area towards the far end.
The sofa section has a small variety of different sofa options. My favorite as always were the chairs next to the window where you get a nice view of the ramp and the high backed sofa’s were very comfortable and private.
The lounge like the rest of Mumbai is a beautifully designed and tastefully decorated space.
The lounge has a large buffet spread with a variety of options which includes salads, choices of Indian, Chinese and continental foods. There is also a selection of dessert and a refrigerator with flavored yogurts.
While I was in the lounge, the staff were swapping the food from a dinner to breakfast selection, so the options were an eclectic mix of dinner and breakfast. While I found the mix to be interesting, the service changeover had begun before I entered the lounge at 0440 and was still in progress when I left at 0540. For a passenger who may be looking for a whole meal at the lounge, such a long changeover where the meal isn’t consistent and many dishes are missing could be very irritating. The lounge needs to look at a faster changeover where the prepare everything that needs to be changed and swap it out at one go.
The food I picked up was strictly average in taste. Service in the lounge was prompt and courteous.
The lounge has a full service bar with a good bartender. The selection and quality of the alcohol available was above average for a contract lounge. The lounge serves two Chandon sparking wines – the brut and rose. While the wine is decent, my gripe is that the lounge serves it in some very cheap plastic glasses.
The GVK lounge is a good lounge which doesn’t leave too much to be desired. It is definitely one of the better contract lounges I have used. Since it is only available to premium passengers it isn’t as crowded as other lounges in India which fill up due to the various lounge programs.
While the selection of food available in the lounge is large, the quality needs to be improved a touch to match the standard set by the rest of the lounge.