Guide To Free & Paid Airport Lounge Access

You may be a frequent air traveler or first-timer, you may have noticed boards pointing towards Louge inside the airport. Ever wondered what these lounges are? How to get airport lounge access etc..

You can access the airport lounge either by paying for it or using a credit card or debit card that offers free access to the lounge.

Need details? keep on reading. This post will clear all your doubts and you will also get tips on how to get free access to Airport lounges!!

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Table of Contents

What is a Lounge at the Airport?

You can find Airport Lounge facilities offered at airports to provide comfort to travelers. It offers free, unlimited food & drinks (non alcholic), comfortable sitting and lie-down arrangements, and bathing facilities. It is very useful in case you have a long layover or flight at odd hours.

The best thing is it’s not specific to any particular Bank or Credit, Debit card. It caters for all provided you are eligible for free entry else you will have to pay for it.

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How To Get Access to Airport Lounges?

Once you have checked in your baggage and done with security clearance, you need to look for signs that show the way to the lounge. Follow the signs and you will reach the reception.

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In this post, I have written about my experience in India and the Mumbai, and Bangalore lounges but the process is similar across the world.

Your card will be validated by the attendant, they will do a small transaction (in the local currency) that will be refunded (Rs.1 or Rs.25 based on the type of your card), and will give your a receipt.

You may have to show the receipt once you enter the lounge (in Bangalore I had to show it, it in Mumbai since the lounge was right behind the reception they did not check.)

In case you do not have the lounge access card (debit/credit/third party), you can pay for entry and use the lounge facility. 
The Adani Lounge at Mumbai T2 charges are around Rs.1000 for adults and Rs.800 for kids (till the age of 12 years)

How To Get Free Access to Airport lounges?

There are some specific credit and debit cards that offer free access to airport lounges

IndusInd Bank Credit Card2 free lounge access on domestic flights 💖
SBI Credit CardsFree CC from SBI with free airport lounge access
ICICI Free Credit cardsNo Joining Fee, No Annual Fee, free lounge access!!

Check on your bank’s website or the particular airport’s website to see if the card you have makes you eligible for free access to the lounges in the airport.

Nowadays many banks are offering free lifetime credit cards that give you free access to the lounge once or twice in a quarter provided you have spent Rs.5000/ in the previous quarter.

Note: There are few carriers like Vistara that provide complimentary lounge access to higher-class travelers.

Airport lounge Access Credit Cards India

Credit cards have been offering airport lounge access for quite some time now. It is one of the perks you get for having a credit card.
Premium credit cards like Amex offer much wider benefits but nowadays even free lifetime credit cards are offering lounge access.

List Of Airport Lounge access credit card

Free Airport Lounge Access
Photo Courtesy: CardInfo

Airport Lounge Access Debit Cards

Many people are not aware that their Debit cards can get them free Airport lounge access. This is not true for all debit cards. If you have an NRI account, then airport lounge access comes by default for Domestic airports on your Debit card.

Yes Bank’s Platinum debit card is one such card.

Following is a list of Debit Cards that provide free Lounge Access in India:

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Sno.Debit Card NameDebit Card FeeLimit
1.HDFC Bank Millennia Debit CardRs.500 + GST4 per year, Domestic only
2.HDFC Bank EasyShop Platinum Debit CardRs.750+ GST2 per quarter, Domestic only
3.HDFC Bank RuPay Premium Debit CardRs.200 + GST2 per quarter, Domestic only
4.Jet Privilege HDFC Bank Signature Debit CardFree2 per quarter, Domestic only
5.HDFC Bank Times Point Debit CardFree1 per quarter, Domestic only
6.SBI Platinum Debit CardRs.175 + GST2 per quarter, Domestic only
7.SBI Platinum RuPay Debit CardRs.200 + GST2 per quarter, Domestic only
8.ICICI Bank Coral Debit CardRs.599 + GST2 per quarter, Domestic only
9.ICICI Bank Rubyx Debit CardRs.749 +GST2 per quarter, Domestic only
10.ICICI Sapphiro Debit CardRs.1499 + GST4 per quarter, Domestic only
11.Citi Priority World Debit CardFreeDomestic Unlimited, International 8 per year
12.Citigold World Debit CardFreeDomestic Unlimited, International 16 per year
13.Citigold Private Client World Debit CardFreeDomestic Unlimited, International 20 per year
14.Axis Bank Priority Debit CardRs.750 + GST2 per quarter, Domestic only
15.Axis Bank Delight Debit CardRs.999 + GST2 per quarter, Domestic only
16.Axis Bank RuPay Platinum Debit CardRs.200 + GST2 per quarter, Domestic only
17.Axis Bank Burgundy Private Debit CardRs.10,000 + GST4 per quarter, Domestic only
18.Yes Bank Prosperity Platinum Debit CardRs.599 +GST1 per quarter, Domestic only
19.Yes Premia Debit CardRs.1249 + GST2 per quarter, Domestic only
20.Yes First World Debit CardRs.2499 +GST3 per quarter, Domestic only
21. IndusInd Bank World Exclusive Debit CardFree2 per quarter, Domestic only
22.IndusInd Bank Pioneer World Debit CardFree2 per quarter, Domestic only
23.IDFC First Visa Signature Debit CardFree2 per quarter, Domestic only
24.Bank Of India RuPay Platinum Debit CardRs.200 + GST2 per quarter, Domestic only
25Central Bank Of India RuPay Platinum Debit CardFree2 per quarter, Domestic only
26.IDBI RuPay Platinum Debit CardRs.300 + GST2 per quarter, Domestic only
27.IDBI Visa Signature Debit CardRs.799 + GST1 per quarter, Domestic only
28Kotak Privy League Signature Debit CardFree1 per quarter, Domestic only

Airport lounges in India

All the major airports offer lounge facilities. If you are traveling to some smaller city airport, better check the airport website for lounge information.

At times there may be renovation work going on, hence lounge may be closed, but the good thing is many big cities have more than one Lounge so you can avail the other lounge facilities.

Bangalore Airport Lounge Access

Bangalore airport i.e Kempegowda International airport has one of the best lounge facilities. The airport has a lounge for both domestic and international flights.

I will be talking about the domestic lounge.

There were two lounges for the Domestic area but due to renovation, one was closed. The one that is operational is managed by TFS (Travel Food Services) and is called BLR Domestic Lounge.

This lounge is located on the mezzanine floor. This lounge is divided into two parts, one for the quick travelers i.e those who have only 1-2hrs left to board their flight, and the other where passengers have more time in hand.

Depending on your flight time, the lady may direct you in either direction, but you can always move between the two areas.

One area has a live counter where you can get freshly made dosa, pasta, etc. The other area has a buffet.

You can enjoy the filter coffee or CCD coffee from the machine. They have almost all kinds of soda drinks, fruit drinks as well as alcohol (you will have to pay for alcohol).

Lounges In Mumbai Airport

Mumbai is a huge airport, both International (T2) and domestic airports have lounges. The lounges in T2 for domestic flights are separate from the International lounges.

 Just look for the direction signs hanging from the ceiling and follow the lounge signs after you are done with your security check.

After validating your boarding pass and lounge access card, you can enter the area. The food is served depending on the time of the day. There are options of Veg, Non-veg, salads, juice, soda, etc.

Mumbai T1 Domestic ariport lounge
Mumbai T1 Domestic ariport lounge

Airport lounge access timings

Airport lounges are available 24X7. Depending on what time it is, they serve breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Airport lounge access cards

There are some cards that are provided by a third party and provide lounge access. You will have to buy those cards.

Airport Lounge Access FAQ’s:

1. Can my family, and friends use my card to get access to the lounge?

Remember, an entry in the lounge is one person per card. In case you have multiple eligible cards then Yes, you can bring in your family members and friends on your card.
You will have to accompany them i.e you cannot give your card to your family member for lounge access if you are not traveling with them.

2. How to get a lifetime free credit card with airport lounge access?

At the time of writing this post, ICICI was offering lifetime free credit cards (MakeMyTrip brand and ManchesterUnited brand). There is no joining fee or annual maintenance fee.
Check with your bank, chances are if your account history is good, they will waive off the charges on your credit card, making it free for you.

3. Are airport lounges open?

Airport lounges were shut down due to Covid. With the reduction in infected cases, airports have opened lounges.Few lounges may be working with limited options.
Covid protocols are strictly being followed in the lounge. Facemask, hand sanitization and social distancing is being followed. 

4. Can I pack & take food outside the lounge?

I did not see any packing box in the lounge but if you want to take some food outside the lounge (by wrapping it in tissue paper or some other way), there is no one to check or stop you from doing it.
The only restriction is was on soda cans. In Bangalore Airport, the attendant insisted on opening the soda can before handing it over.

5. Can I use airport lounges on arrival?

No, lounge facilities are available only for departures. At the lounge reception, they check your boarding pass before letting you in.

6. Is the lounge facility available on debit cards?

Yes, there are a few eligible debit cards like Yes Bank’s NRI debit/ATM card offers lounge facilities. Check your bank’s website for eligibility.

7. How long can we stay in the Airport lounge?

Usually, you are allowed in the Airport lounge 3hours in advance but I never faced any issue. If you are visiting at odd hours, you can stay there till your flight is announced.

8. How many times we can access the lounge at the Airport?

Depending on what kind of facility you have on your Credit/Debit/Member ship card, you can get unlimited access or once-in-a-quarter or one time access at the airport.

9. How do I know if my card has airport access?

You can check with your card provider either by calling customer care or online. You can also validate at the lounge counter if its enable for lounge or not.

10. Is Alcohol-Free At Airport Lounge?

Some of the premium lounge access cards may offer free alcohol at the Airport lounge but most of the time you will have to pay for alcohol. Lounges do offer some deals like buy one get one free.

11. How To Book Airport Lounge?

Well, no booking is required for airport lounge access, You just show up at departure and follow the process of validating your eligibility of lounge access and you are in.


Airport Lounge access debit cards are really very useful. Even free credit cards that offer lounge access are a must for frequent travelers.

I personally have used lounge services at Mumbai and Bangalore airports and it was an amazing experience.

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