Leaving Hyderabad after winter break is always full of blues. For one there was this long flight back home and then there is always work or school to look forward to afterwards. So I especially hate waking up early to catch the flight home, let alone the ridiculously early hours that overseas flights depart India. We arrived at the airport around 4:30 am (the Westin Hyderabad is just 30 minutes from the airport) and check in was a breeze with there being absolutely no one in line at the business class counters. Do remember to bring a printed copy of your itinerary to the airport entrance. Otherwise your entry may be delayed or at the mercy of how fast your internet is or how long it takes for the security to check if you are on a departing flight.
The British Airways check in agent handed us our boarding passes and written invitations to the Plaza Premium Lounge (I still don’t understand why they do this considering we have our boarding passes). Security check is always a little annoying because there is only one unorganized line through to immigration, but it’s still not terrible. Other than this the Hyderabad International Airport is perhaps the best airport in India. It’s modern, clean, convenient, not too busy, and has great food concessions outside the lounge. I hope it gets more flights to Europe because I’m sick and tired of transiting Delhi, Mumbai, or Bangalore on award tickets to get to my destination (there’s my rant again :))
The Plaza Premium Lounge is located past the duty free shops, a level down from the main terminal at gates 32 A/B (the international departure gates). The lounge is open 24 hours and accepts Priority Pass as well as all first and business intl passengers. The lounge offers spa, shower, and a full buffet for most of the hours. A free Wi-Fi code is given to you upon checking in and boarding announcements are made within the lounge. Do note that the domestic portion of the lounge is located a bit farther down at Gate 28.
The lounge has quite bit of seating and never felt crowded during our stay. I guess this is also because British Airways is the only airline having a 7 am departure from Hyderabad, but I never felt like it was ever that busy. The one complaint I have about the lounge is that they always seem to keep it on the warm side, which seems to be the case in lounges everywhere outside the US and UK.
The lounge features a great breakfast spread, which includes both Western and Indian options. There was cereal, pastries, donuts, cheeses, fruits, and a few hot options as well:
I didn’t get a chance to eat anything this time around, but in my experience (I used to frequent this lounge on business trips to India) food is of pretty good quality. And of course I forgot to mention that there is a bar in this lounge. I have no idea the drinks on offer for free, but I did see some decent wines on display. This area of the lounge at breakfast offers made to order omelettes, which seemed to be the most popular item in the breakfast.
By the time I finished up reviewing the lounge, the sun was already rising and our BA 787 to London-Heathrow was almost ready to board. Views of the tarmac from the lounge at sunrise are quite nice and I love snagging one of those seats to have a good view of operations at the airport.
We left the lounge a little early since the elevator is really the only convenient way to get in and out of the lounge. So do be aware that there might be a rush toward the elevator when boarding is announced. Time for the journey home, capping yet another wonderful trip 🙁
The Plaza Premium Lounge is one of the best of its kind I’ve seen in India. There’s plenty of seating, food, and services offered that you can easily pass time here without an issue. I never get a chance to try out the spa services because of how early it is (I prefer my bed over any massage I get) so I don’t know the full details on that portion of the lounge. Showers and restrooms are some of the cleanest you’ll find in India (probably because there isn’t that much foot traffic). Overall, I would count it as the best Plaza Premium Lounge I’ve seen in India and it most certainly is one of the calmest in the early hours of the day.
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