I often go to the airport but Blacklane is not my usual taxi service. Blacklane provides business class cars like Mercedes. When they asked me if I would like to use their services as a blogger I said yes. Blacklane is available in 200+ cities across the world. They operate within 10 Indian cities too. The prices you pay are all inclusive of toll taxes, tips, everything. For the airport they offer one hour complimentary wait and for other rides a free wait of 15 minutes. So when I was travelling to Philippines, this time my car to the Airport was provided by Blacklane. It was a Silver Mercedes – don’t ask me which model for I would not know!
Booking the Car
But let me start with the booking process, I booked the car from their website. You can go on the website, fill in the details and pay by credit card. As they are recent entrants to India the card is charged in US dollars. For a premium car like Mercedes from my house to the airport which is about 15 kilometers the price was $110. Booking the car was easy online.
As I was completely new to the service I was a bit concerned about the arrival of the car on the D Day. I usually give myself ample margin to start for the airport. That way if I get into a traffic jam or if the car doesn’t arrive on time, I would still have options.
Blacklane provide me with a prompt service. I got a message confirming my pickup two hours before the scheduled time. I called the number given in the message, because reaching my home can be a little tricky. The phone went to the owner of the agency and he said he’ll SMS me the driver’s number in a few minutes. True to his word within 10 minutes I got the driver details.
I called the driver and we had a chat about how to find my house. He came dot on time, a few minutes before in fact. I told him I’ll take a few minutes before we leave to which he agreed.
The driver, Mr. Madan, was extremely courteous. We chatted a bit on our way to the airport. I asked him how long he had been working with the local company? He said he was with last 14 years, I am sure the local company must be doing something right!
Even though it was in the evening we did not hit too much traffic and soon I was at the airport. The services of Blacklane Business Class were posh and prompt. If you are looking for a premium taxi service across cities across the globe, I would recommend them highly.
I have limited experience of airport lounges. I anyway like to walk around airports. If it is a smaller airport I actually try to walk every inch of it. But when I am travel weary lounges do sound like a great idea. I thought the only way to get a lounge access was to fly business class. And that is not going to happen anytime soon! Then I discovered the Plaza Premium Lounge at T3, New Delhi.
Plaza Premium Lounge is open to all passengers of all airlines, for a fee. The lounges are available in 16 countries and regions. I went to the Plaza Premium at the Mezzanine Level at T3, New Delhi. I was invited to try their summer menu and write about it.
Plaza Premium Lounges at T3
Initially there was some confusion as there are two Plaza Premium Lounges at T 3. As usual I arrived at the wrong one. But I was guided to the correct place within no time.
Once there, I waited in the VIP area to meet Chef Ankit. I asked him who used the area to which he replied, “We put film stars, politicians and bloggers here!” On a more serious note, I can imagine some people high flyers needing that space. Bloggers certainly do not fall it that category!
The Summer Menu at Premium Plaza Lounge
If you are getting baked through the Delhi summers you will realize the importance of a summer menu! Aam Panna sounds divine when you have been slowly roasted by the sun if you had to be outside for your work! Cold Lychee tastes infinitely more refreshing after braving the immigration area where the line spilled out for a kilometer and it felt there was no air-conditioning anywhere to be found!
The summer menu by Chef Ankit is using a lot of seasonal products like mangoes, lychees, watermelons, coconut, yogurt, mint and such to cool our bodies and mind! Some of the dishes on the menu are “Sesame Chili Chicken with Spiced Watermelon Salsa, Lasagna with Spinach and Ricotta, Basil Chicken and Coconut Curry, Watermelon and Coconut Panna Cotta, Mango, Tapioca and Coconut Pudding and Mango Pancakes.”
Apart from the wonderful summer menu I also liked the idea that there is a lounge that caters to all flyers! Most of the times, I am happy to spend to roam around at the airports! But it is comforting to know that if I really need to crash, there is a place available to me for a reasonable price!
PS. You might have missed out on the disclosure within the post. I am repeating it again, I was invited to Plaza Premium Lounge as a blogger.
Whenever I encounter this scene on an airport/bus stand/railway station I immediately think of this Hindi song- Wahan Kaun Hai Tera Musafir Jayega Kahan, Dam Le Le Ghari Bhar, Ye Chaniyan Payga Kahan!
If I try an English translation it would go something like this- ‘Who is waiting for you there traveler? Take some rest, where else will you find shade like this?’
Ekes I cringe at my translation, a perfect case of lost in translation! But then click on the link and listen to the song on Youtube.
I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!
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