Winston Aldworth checks into the Plaza Premium Lounge at Kempegowda International Airport, in Bangalore
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.
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.