The Worst Priority Pass Lounge In India - Port Lounge At Goa Dabolim Airport

Saturday, May 7, 2016


Its the worst but then it is also the only Priority Pass lounge at the domestic terminal of Goa's Dabolim Airport. I have been to several Priority Pass lounges in India and have never seen one so bad. My Priority Pass membership is for an unlimited number of visits and because of that I do not have to pay on a 'per visit' basis. That is the only reason why I have walked into this lounge on a few occasions. The official name of the lounge is Port Lounge as per the Priority Pass directory, but that name is nowhere to be seen when you get there. The domestic departure hall of Goa's Dabolim Airport does not have any establishment called "Port Lounge". There is one restaurant called "Golden Chariot" which, being the only restaurant there is always over-crowded. if you walk into that restaurant and are able to make your way to the billing counter in the back, they will take your Priority Pass card and swipe it on the ancient manual swipe machine. I don't even know it that is called swiping. They keep the card on a slot in the machine, keep a carbon-print type of charge slip on top of the card and drag a roller on it twice. The roller presses the carbon-print slip against the card and a carbon impression of the card number is formed on the slip. Decades ago, credit cards used to be charged like this. Priority Pass is keeping the history alive here in this excuse of a lounge. Keep reading...

Priority Pass Lounge At Dobolim Airport Goa

After the card impression is taken, they ask you to sign it and hand the slip back to you. You are then supposed to take the slip to the corner to your left where inside a half enclosure, there are few seats for the 'lounge guests' In addition to Priority Pass, the airlines that offer lounge facility to their guests also use this so-called lounge. According to the Priority Pass directory, the lounge remains open from 5.00am to 7.00am, and from 11.30am to 7.00pm. My guess is that the lounge is available as long as the restaurant is open because it is situated in a corner of the restaurant.

(Lack of) Facilities


Priority Pass Lounge At Dabolim Airport Goa

There is very little here in terms of facilities. There is no toilet in the restaurant so the guests need to go out and use the public toilet. The two facilities promised by Priority Pass - newspapers & magazines and a T.V. are not there so these are false promises. There is no Wi-Fi and it is not even promised. They just have sofa chairs and tables. The space is so tight that keeping even one travel bag becomes a challenge. Drinking water is limited to one 500ml bottle per guest and that is given after you ask for it. There is a flight information display in the restaurant but it can not be read from the lounge. When the restaurant gets over-crowded, they start accommodating restaurant customers in the lounge area.

Food & Beverages


Food At Priority Pass Lounge Dabolim Airport Goa

They have a fixed menu of a total of 17 items classified into drinks & snacks. Each guest is entitled to order one drink and one snack. Anything additional is charged extra as per the restaurant prices. The restaurant's menu is also available to lounge guests if they wish to buy that food, which is again not much. The snacks in the lounge menu are sandwich (veg, cheese, or chicken), burger (veg or chicken), French fries, cashew nuts, cutlet (veg or chicken), pizza (veg, chicken, or cheese), samosa, and bread & butter. The drinks are tea/coffee, lassi, soft drinks, cold coffee, canned juice, and fresh lime soda. The quality of the food is ok, edible.

The Value


Food Menu At Priority Pass Lounge Dabolim Airport Goa

If you are paying for the lounge visit, Priority Pass will charge you 27 USD + Tax for this lounge also. There is no concession just because there are almost no facilities here. I actually used to believe that charges to Priority Pass lounges will vary according to the facilities available there. Now I know that in case of the lounges like this Port Lounge, priority pass saves money on the facilities but when it comes to charging, they will charge a full 27 USD + Tax.

False Charging For Guests

I learnt this after this particular lounge wrongly charged me for a taking a guest to the lounge in Feb 2016 when I had not taken any guest with me. My bank charged me around INR 1800 on my credit card linked to the Priority Pass card. After I complained, they reversed the charge but the reversal is a complement of my bank. They said that the lounge (restaurant) and Priority Pass will still get paid.

Now I feel bad about having walked into this Goa Airport lounge. I am also worried because I have visited the lounge a few times after Feb 2016 and may still get fraudulently charged again by these bad people for the guests that I never took to the lounge. They have manual charge slips, after we hand over the signed slip to the waiter in the lounge they are free to write anything in the space for the number of guests accompanying the card member. 27 USD in India for a veg sandwich and a cold coffee? This is a fraud multiplied by the number of imaginary guests they charge you for. I have decided to send a complaint to Priority Pass. If I ever get a response, I will update it here. Till then, I will stay away from this lounge.







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Posted by Narinder Singh
 

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I left my day job in October 2013 and became a full time blogger. I love travel and hence a travel blog was the obvious place to start from. The result is desiyatri.com. I currently live in Bengaluru, India. - Narinder Singh. (Email: desiyatri@gmail.com)

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