Review: Air India Maharajah Domestic Lounge, Indira Ghandi New Delhi International Airport Terminal Three, India
Air India is the flag carrier of India. They recently joined the Star Alliance network, resulting in a standardized experience across all Star Alliance carriers. In doing this network of carriers, Air India had upgraded its lounge offerings to allow for consistent access and levels of service. We had the ability to visit the Air India Domestic Lounge in Indira Ghandi New Delhi Terminal 3 on our travels through the city.
This post is one chapter on our third Round the World trip via South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, the Maldives and India. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) and Hyatt Gold Passport (World of Hyatt) loyalty programs. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
Read More from This Trip
- Trip Introduction: Vietnam, Maldives and India. Round the World #3 in Star Alliance Business Class via Air Canada, Asiana, Singapore, Air India, Turkish Airlines Business Class
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Vancouver International
- Air Canada Business Class: Vancouver International – Seoul Incheon
- The Nest Hotel, A Member of Design Hotels, Seoul, Incheon
- Asiana Business Class Lounge: Seoul, Incheon
- Asiana Business Class: Seoul Incheon – Ho Chi Minh City
- The Sheraton Saigon Hotel and Towers, Ho Chi Minh City
- The Sights and Sounds of Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Restaurant Review: Nhà Hàng Ngon, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
- Trading at Ben Thanh Market and Street Life in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Travelling the Mekong River. Travelling Ho Chi Minh City to Thù Thùa, Vietnam
- Travelling the Mekong River. The Canals of Thù Thùa, Vietnam
- Ho Chi Minh City Airport Lounge – Fin Bar
- Singapore Airlines Business Class: Ho Chi Minh City – Singapore
- Westin Singapore
- Shopping at Retail Giants on Orchard Road, Singapore
- Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge: Changi Airport Terminal 2
- Singapore Airlines Business Class: Singapore – Male
- Hotel Jen Maldives Malé by Shangri La, Malé, Maldives
- Street Life in Malé. A Day Walking the Republic’s Maldivian Capital
- Maldivian Moonmia Domestic Lounge, Malé Ibrahim Nasir Domestic
- Maldivan Airlines: Malé – Koodhoo
- Park Hyatt Maldives
- Circumnavigating Hadadaa Island, Maldives
- The Guided Back of House Tour, Park Hyatt Maldives
- Snorkelling the Park Hyatt Maldives House Reef
- Sunsets on Hadahaa Island, Hudavdoo Atoll, Maldives
- The Leeli Lounge – Male International Airport
- Air India: Male Thiruvananthapuram
- Air India: Thiruvananthapuram – Chennai
- Air India Maharajah Lounge: Chennai Madras International Airport
- Air India Business Class: Chennai – New Delhi
- The Leela Palace, New Delhi, India
- Jama Masjid, New Delhi
- Stepping into Chandi Chowk, New Delhi, India
- Overland Travel: New Delhi to Agra by BMW Luxury Sedan
- The Taj Mahal, Agra, India
- The Walled City of Agra, Agra, India
- Air India Maharajah Lounge, Indira Ghandi Domestic, New Delhi
- Air India: New Delhi – Jaipur
- The Rambagh Palace, Jaipur, India
- Walking the Old City of Jaipur, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, and City Palace, Jaipur
- A Day in the Footsteps of Royalty, Touring Amber Fort, Jaipur
- Air India: Jaipur – New Delhi
- ITC Muraya Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel, New Delhi
- The Plaza Premium Lounge, Indira Ghandi International Airport, New Delhi
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: New Delhi – Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines Istanbul Atatürk Business Lounge
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Istanbul – Montreal
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Montreal Domestic
- Air Canada Business Class: Montreal – Vancouver
Review: Air India Maharajah Domestic Lounge, Indira Ghandi International Airport Terminal Three, New Delhi, India
“Air India elevates its lounge offerings as a result of joining the Star Alliance network. Their new domestic lounge in New Delhi Terminal Three was among the newest and cleanest Star Alliance Lounges in the system.”
Getting to Indira Ghandi International Airport:
Our next day, we checked out of The Leela Palace New Delhi. We were sorry to leave after a nice stay. We enjoyed a cup of Masala Chai tea in the Royal Club Lounge while the bill was prepared and we completed check out on the ninth floor.
We were transferred to Indira Gandi Airport in a white BMW X5. After forty minutes drive, we arrived at the New Delhi Indira Ghandi International Airport Domestic Terminal Three.
Checking Into Air India:
We passed the elephants in the departure hall and checked in with Air India. I had debated purchasing a business class fare, but the price difference for the 40-minute flight didn’t seem to justify the fare difference. Considering it was to be another “dry” experience and that it seemed you could buy your way into the Air India lounges for around $10, it didn’t seem worth the four times the price upcharge. We had only 15 Kg of baggage allowance on the stripper fare but presenting an expired Air Canada Star Gold Card seemed to satisfy Air India enough to waive the excess baggage charges. It also seemed that the reservation grabbed our Air Canada status at the time of booking our ticket (which was indeed Star Gold). We were also issued a hand written lounge invitation for the Air India Lounge.
Locating the Air India Maharajah Lounge:
We were quickly screened in the segregated by sex screening checkpoint (the security checkpoints in India are segregated by sex) and headed over to the Air India lounge. The lounge is located above most of the retail and can be accessed via convenient escalators or a sole elevator.
We passed through a very London Heathrow like departure concourse complete with shopping, WH Smith bookstores and other shops.
The Air India Domestic Lounge is immediately above the departure shopping concourse. As you approach the entrance, you just have to look for the Air India dancing maharajah that’s about the height of a 4 year old.
Accessing the Air India Maharajah Lounge:
We gained access thanks to Star Alliance Gold Level Membership courtesy of the Air Canada Aeroplan Elite program..
The Air India Maharajah Business Lounge is designed as the departure lounge for all Air India passengers in addition to Star Alliance Business Class travellers. Access is provided for
Air India / Star Alliance members departing on regular flights:
- Business Class passengers
- Economy Class Air India Flying Returns Golden Edge Club Member plus one guest
- Air India Maharajah Club members plus two guests
- Star Alliance Gold members plus one guest
At the time of our visit, Air India was offering the ability for paid lounge access to this location for 500 Indian Rupees or $10 USD per person, regardless of carrier.
As mentioned earlier, today’s access was granted courtesy of a Star Alliance Gold Level Membership in the Air Canada Aeroplan program.
Inside the Air India Maharajah Business Lounge:
Once we were admitted inside, we discovered a much more attractive space than our past experience at the Air India Maharajah Chennai Madras Domestic Lounge. The Air India New Delhi Domestic lounge appeared to have recently been refurbished with new furnishings, clean fixtures and a comfortable environment. In fact, it was probably one of the nicest, cleanest Star Alliance lounges I’ve ever been in.
Any chances this refurbishment was to come in line with Air India’s joining of Star Alliance? Either way you decide, the hard furnishings were a great value for a lounge that was only $10 USD to enter. The seating areas were clean and the lounge didn’t get a whole lot of traffic while we were on our visit.
Unusually, the lounge offered couches for seating. We haven’t seen a lot of couches in lounges since lounge seating is usually on individual chairs. However, it’s always nice to be able to sit together on a couch if you happen to be travelling with your significant other.
Food and Beverage:
Unfortunately, the food and beverage offering was not the lounges strongest feature. Like our Air India Maharajah Domestic Lounge Chennai Madras, it was another dry location, with only Pepsi, orange Fanta and water to drink. Some Indian food was available on the buffet, although it was nothing too appetizing after the wonderful breakfast and lunch at we had experienced earlier at The Leela Palace New Delhi.
The Bottom Line: The Air India Maharajah Lounge New Delhi:
Our visit to the Air India Maharajah Lounge was a basic but super clean operation. While the interior of the lounge was nice, the food and beverage was not too exciting. Would it have been worth $10 a pay visit? Maybe. It’s probably cheaper than purchasing a wifi pass from the airport authority and you’d get a free samosa at the same time. All in all, it was a nice lounge but not a big reason to get to the airport early.