Winston Aldworth checks into the Plaza Premium Lounge at Kempegowda International Airport, in Bangalore
The arrival: The lounge is near Gate 18, right next to the main atrium where there are some great duty-free shops for last-minute pashmina purchases. Pro tip: feign nonchalance and they'll throw in a cheaper scarf with your more expensive purchase.
Entry: As a Singapore Business Class passenger, I was able to take a plus-one from my very-much Economy Class travel buddies into the lounge with me. We'd just been exploring Southern India on an Adventure World tour.
Star Alliance loyalty members can get in – and there's reasonable chance any Kiwi travellers coming through here will be on Singapore Airlines (I was heading out on SQ503). You can buy a two-hour pass for the lounge for $48. Given that there's not a lot else to do around the terminal, other than drain money on the pashminas, it might be a savvy investment.
Food and drink: The man behind the bar is pouring from a limited range of beers and wines, with most of the spirits well represented – although, just my luck, they were out of gin when we arrived. "So sorry, sir." No probs, mate - a cool Kingfisher is a nice way to round off your time in India.
At three cooking stations, three chefs belt out Asian airport lounge standards — Singapore noodles, stir-fried greens, doosas and vegetable masala compete with pasta and roast chicken. I can vouch for the noodles and everything else looked fine.
Fellow guests: Mostly Indian families and a few stray European business travellers.
The space: It's not a huge area. With about 150 people in there during our visit, the place was pretty full.
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Entertainment: A couple of TV screens play the gazzillionth IPL game you'll have seen during your stay in India. There's a light dusting of English-language newspapers — but you won't be wandering out of here with an Economist under your arm.
Facilities: There's a small spa in there, located near the showers and toilets. The showers, annoyingly, cost $12 a pop - but depending where you've just blown in from, it might be a good idea. Don't stink out your fellow passengers, people.
Final word: A decent knockabout start to the longhaul from India back to New Zealand. I was refreshed, relaxed and suitably Kingfishered by the time we boarded the plane.