Rohit

After experiencing the rather mediocre American Express Lounge, it was time to check out the Air Vistara Lounge a short distance away.

A little bit about Air Vistara

Before I actually get into the review, I want to talk about the airline itself, since it’s not very widely known outside of India just yet. Air Vistara started life little over 5 years ago in January 2015 as a result of Tata Sons & Singapore Airlines coming together in a 51-49 joint venture.

Vistara Lounge Exterior
Vistara was born out of a Tata Sons & Singapore Airlines joint venture in 2015

For the initial 4.5 years, it only flew domestic routes within India. Then in July 2019, it expanded its footprint πŸ‘£ with its maiden flight to Singapore. Since then, it has added a few more international destinations to its network such as Dubai, Bangkok, Colombo and so on. As of now though, Vistara still remains a regional airline.

It is understood that they have plans to spread their wings again sometime in 2020, and fly further to places such as London. You can check out the full network over here. With that out of the way, let’s get into the review proper.

Air Vistara Lounge Location

The lounge is located in the Terminal 3 of Indira Gandhi International Airport (or IGI in short). The terminal serves both domestic & international flights. However, due to the location of the lounge, which is in the domestic section of the Terminal, it cannot be accessed by international passengers.

Since I was already at the Amex lounge in T3, I only had to walk around 300 metres to get to the Vistara lounge. For those newly arriving at the airport, once you clear security, the easiest thing to do is to simply follow the directions to Gate 41. The Air Vistara lounge is just past the gate, as can be seen below.

Air Vistara Lounge is near Gate 41
The lounge is adjacent to Gate 41

There is a Costa coffee outlet next to the lounge. Then you have a bar and a Krispy Kreme shop opposite the lounge.

Costa Coffee near Air Vistara Lounge
Costa Coffee near Air Vistara Lounge

Bar & Krispy Kreme shop opposite Air Vistara Lounge
Bar & Krispy Kreme shop opposite Air Vistara Lounge

What to Expect Inside Air Vistara Lounge

I entered the lounge and presented my boarding pass to the staff manning the solitary reception desk. A quick scan and I was ushered-in.

The facility is split into 2 sections. As you come in, to your left is a small room, a business centre of sort, if that’s how you fancy calling it πŸ™‚ It had 2 workstations.

Business Centre, Air Vistara Lounge
Business Centre, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

Business Centre, Air Vistara Lounge
Business Centre, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

Then you have the main buffet station next to it.

Self Serve Dining, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Self Serve Dining, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

At the time of my visit, breakfast was in full swing and the offerings were more than acceptable. You had the quintessential South Indian fare of piping hot idli’s, sambar & utthapam.

Breakfast, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Breakfast, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

Breakfast, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Breakfast, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

Further along, there was paratha & aloo bhaji.

Breakfast, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Breakfast, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

The fare was mainly targeted at the Indian passengers, although there were a smattering of western dishes such as sausages, eggs and a variety of bread. At the end of the buffet, you had a DIY coffee machine and refrigerator with all kinds of soft drinks.

Coffee Machine, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Make your own coffee at the Air Vistara Lounge, Delhi Airport

Refrigerator, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
A selection of soft drinks at Air Vistara Lounge, Delhi Airport

Then on another station behind the reception, you had scones, sandwiches and breakfast cereals.

Breakfast, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Breakfast, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

Breakfast, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Breakfast, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

Breakfast, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Breakfast, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

All up, this was an above par breakfast and a great deal better than what I had experienced at the Amex Lounge half an hour ago.

Moving on, there is a beautiful bar near the windows overlooking the apron, with views of parked planes.

Bar, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Bar, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

Bar, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Bar, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

Air Asia
Apron views from Air Vistara Lounge, Delhi Airport

The bar though wasn’t operational at the time of my visit. I inquired with one of the staff who advised they lacked the bar permit at this stage, but that there are plans to open it up at some point. We shall see.

Until then, passengers will have to make do with a small mocktail menu that they could order from. For some strange reason though, the menu’s are sort of hidden away and I only discovered it while chatting to one of the lounge staff at a much later time.

Mocktail Menu, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Mocktail Menu, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

I would have loved sipping on some aam panna but it was almost time for me to proceed for my flight πŸ™

Air Vistara Lounge Seating

There is a small space opposite from the secondary buffet featuring high-top seating. This would be a good spot to get some work done for the busy executives (or travel boggers πŸ™‚ )

Seating, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
High-top Seating, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

The remainder of the seating, which takes up a good 70% of the lounge space is located to the right of the reception desk. The area can broadly be divided into 3 distinct spaces. As you enter and turn right, to the extreme right and by the wall, you have a row of plus leather chairs which run the length of the wall.

Seating, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Seating, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

Seating, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Seating, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

Seating, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Seating, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

The chairs are interspersed with a small table of sort where you could place your drinks and nibbles. Each of these tables have a power outlet, a USB port and an Ethernet port which was great to see.

Seating, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Seating, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

Power & Charging Outlets, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Power & Charging Outlets, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

The central section of the seating area had quads where you had 2 front-facing and 2 face to face pods.

Quad Seating, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Quad Seating, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

Quad Seating, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Quad Seating, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

Each of the pods had their own reading lamp & a power/charging outlet.

Pod Seating, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Pod Seating, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

If you have been to Singapore Airlines’ Silverkris lounge, you could easily tell that the design feature of these pods have drawn inspiration straight from the parent’s own lounges πŸ™‚

Pod Seating, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Pod Seating, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

Pod Seating, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Pod Seating, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

Anyhow, the 3rd row of seating was right by the windows. It featured pair of seats and a small circular, glass table-top in-between. There were views of the aerobridge, taxiway and runway from the floor to ceiling windows.

Seating, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Seating, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

Seating, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Seating, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

Past this section and towards the far end of the lounge, there were 3 semi-private rooms with sliding doors. The gaps in the wooden slats on the door ensured the rooms were not completely cut-off from the rest of the facility.

Semi Private Rooms, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Semi Private Rooms, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

Semi Private Room, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Semi Private Room, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

Each of these could accommodate a small family or a group of people. Inside, there were TV’s, some newspapers and magazines for the guests to while away the hours.

Semi Private Room, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Semi Private Room, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

Semi Private Room, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Semi Private Room, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

One of the rooms had a pair of recliners, which I thought added a nice touch. I would have also loved to see a few massage chairs guests could use prior to their flights, but recliners weren’t too bad either.

Recliners, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Recliners, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

From what I could tell, you didn’t need any special privileges to access these rooms as I saw a women with 2 small kids walk in and occupy one of them. That said, on a table inside one of these rooms, there was a sign with ‘RESERVED’ written, so who knows.

Air Vistara Private Room, Delhi Airport
This room was vacant and had a RESERVED sign on the table

Other Lounge Amenities

There was a buffet stand with newspapers just outside the private rooms, which nobody seemed interested in.

Newspapers, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Newspapers, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

The lounge is a silent lounge meaning they don’t make flight announcements inside, so you will need to keep an eye on one of the display boards to monitor your flight.

Flight Display Board, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Flight Display Board, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport

There are TV screens on the wall, scattered all around the facility to help you keep abreast with scandals plaguing the Indian politics πŸ™‚

TV, Air Vistara Lounge Delhi Airport
Catch the latest in Indian politics on these TV screens

There are no toilets or showers inside the lounge. If you wanted to use those, you will need to exit the facility and trek across to one of the airport washrooms, just let the reception staff know so that you can come back inside later on.

Lastly, just like the Amex lounge, Air Vistara lounge don’t have their own wifi network. If you wanted to get on the internet, you are required to connect to the free airport wifi, which in my experience is not the easiest to hook up to, and is excruciatingly slow.

Speed Test, Delhi T3
Internet speeds are uniformly poor across T3 at Delhi Airport

Air Vistara Lounge Access

This brings us to the most important question of all, how do you get yourself into the lounge? The following people can access the facility prior to their flight:

  • Passengers flying business class on Vistara.
  • Club Vistara Gold and Platinum members, with the latter also able to bring a guest.
  • Krisflyer Gold and PPS Club members, and a guest each.
  • Passengers flying economy or premium economy on Vistara are able to purchase access. The price is Rs 600 pp which grants access for up to 4 hrs. However, for this price, the lounge pass must be purchased at-least 6 hrs prior to the scheduled departure.

In Conclusion

The Air Vistara lounge at Delhi Airport is the airlines’ only lounge it owns and operates. At other ports, Air Vistara uses partner lounges. The lounge is a decent place to spend 45 odd minutes prior to your flight, away from the madness of the boarding gates. I wouldn’t call it tiny, although with seating for just 74 guests it is by no means a sprawling facility.

With a fast expanding domestic network, I suspect Vistara will be forced to build a bigger lounge in not too distant a future.

The food and drinks offering are quite good, although the lack of alcohol may be a sore point for some. There are no showers, which is understandable as most domestic flights in India are around 1-3 hrs only, but the absence of toilets to me is disappointing.

The other downside is poor internet access. To be honest, I am not sure what is it with lounges at Delhi Airport unable to have their exclusive wifi network, it could well be a security issue. Even so, there is a lot of room for improvement in terms of access and speeds.

All in all, off all the lounges in the domestic section of T3, the Air Vistara facility probably offers guests with the best pre-departure experience.

Have you visited the Air Vistara Lounge at Delhi Airport? Leave a comment.

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