Vacation Report, India: Airport Lounges

Vacation Report, India: The Arrival

Vacation Report, India: Poetree Sarovar Portico

Vacation Report, India: Periyar National Park

Vacation Report, India: Grand Hyatt Mumbai

Vacation Report, India: Airport Lounges

Vacation Report, India: Departure

Cochin International Airport

Cochin International Airport (COK) is the fourth busiest international airport in India and the seventh busiest in India, overall. Despite this  volume of traffic, on August 18th 2015, it became a fully solar powered airport. In fact, it is the first of its kind in the world.

Currently there are two terminals (T1: International, and T2: Domestic), with a third terminal under construction to take over international traffic, leaving the current international terminal to handle domestic traffic. The existing domestic terminal would then be for private planes only.

To give you an idea of the destination served by COK, I did a quick search on Google Flights to identify non-stop destinations. In addition to various location within India, there are flights to Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, various cities on the Arabian Peninsula, and Malé.

Non-Stop Flights

Both domestic and international terminals have lounges available to PriorityPass members. While both lounges are named “Earth Lounge”, they offer different amenities. You can see the details of each lounge on the PriorityPass website, above.

International Terminal Lounge

Known as the Earth Lounge and available to everyone with a Priority Pass membership, or traveling Business Class, the lounge in the international terminal at COK is found on the third floor (level ‘2’) of the airport. It offers expansive views of the apron, which makes for some excellent plane watching! There is a buffet that is stocked with a decent spread of Indian goodies, as well as a bar.

Entering the lounge
Lots of seating!
IndiGo
Jet Airways B738
Saudi Arabian A330
Air India Express
AirAsia

Doha – Hamad International Airport

Though I might not agree with all the social policies of Qatar, the Doha airport was by far the safest I have felt throughout my entire vacation. The Hamad International Airport is positioned for expansion and has received many awards over the years. In fact, it is currently rated as having the best staff service in the Middle East and being the best airport in the Middle East. Any interaction with the staff will immediately make it clear why they have consistently won in these categories. They are spectacular in these regards.

In addition to having a truly world-class airport, the surrounding areas of Doha are being developed quite nicely. Driving from the hotel to the airport, we noticed that a large amount of plants were being planted. Though this serves multiple purposes, the one that has the most noticeable impact is that it reduces the dust in the air. In fact, within the next 10 years it shouldn’t be surprising to see this turn into a tourist destination.

Al Mujra Business Class Lounge

Since we weren’t flying Qatar airways from Doha to London-Heathrow, the lounges that were available to us were the Al Mujra Business Class Lounge or those available from Priority Pass. We opted for the former and we were not disappointed! The lounge itself is very spacious and offers ample seating and outlets to charge your devices. There are also many personal flight kiosks so you can remain up to date on your own departure time.

Lounge Seating
Fountain!
Personal flight-tracking

London-Heathrow

As we were departing on Virgin Atlantic flight 107, we made our way to Terminal 3. Thanks to the miles available and given the duration of the flight, I had booked Upper Class tickets. This allowed us entry to the Upper Class wing of Terminal 3, complete with private security lines as well as access to the expansive Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse.

Upper Class Wing Entry

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse

The Clubhouse itself is located beyond the shopping in Terminal 3, and is a fair distance from most of the gates served by Virgin Atlantic and Delta. Upon entry we were informed that in addition to a concierge, there was a deli, bar, spa and hair salon, and that we would be waited upon as soon as we were seated. Since this was our first time in a Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, we weren’t really sure what to expect, but the treatment blew us away! If you ever have the opportunity to visit a Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, you will not be disappointed.

Seating across from the deli
The bar and many leather couches
Seating across from the concierge
A full map of the facilities

As promised, as soon as we were seated, we were greeted by a very friendly waitress who took our orders for a quick breakfast. I opted for an Egg Royale, pictured below, and also poked about the deli. For those curious, the full menu can be found below as well.

Egg Royale!
Full Menu

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