As I had about a 2-hour wait for my AirAsia AK407 flight to Kuala Lumpur at Minangkabau International Airport and the entire transit area could have been walked completely in 2 minutes, I headed upstairs just to check out the available lounges for fun.
The first lounge right up the escalator was the Minangkabau Lounge, which is also used as the Garuda Indonesia Executive Lounge. With GA Business Class passengers and at a walk-in price of only Rp. 66,000 with a 50% discount for Lion Air passengers of which made up most of the crowd, the lounge was understandably full to the brim. I was welcomed by the staff to pay to enter, but, nah. Plus, it was rather warm inside.
I headed onwards to the expensive-looking Banua Premiere Lounge just to enquire on the rates out of boredom.
The front desk of the Banua Premiere Lounge.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. Am I seeing the prices correctly? An empty executive lounge at only Rp. 88,000 nett (~S$8.45)? After a quick look at the lounge interior, I paid the lounge fee without hesitation and headed in to wait for my flight in comfort.
The spacious Banua Premiere Lounge in the morning with almost no one inside. (There was one person in the lounge who left for his flight after I took my food.)
Even with almost no customers and the low price to enter, the buffet spread was still quite extensive.
Hot bubur ayam (chicken porridge) was served for breakfast.
Some other Indonesian hotel-buffet-like warm staples such as Nasi Goreng, Mie Goreng, sausages, eggs and other random gorengan are included as well.
Fruits and pudding are served chilled.
Hot coffee and tea, apple juice, guava juice and water are available from dispensers on the counter. Cereals are also available.
The only soft drink available in the fridge here is Coca-Cola, but for the unbelievable price of the lounge, I’m not complaining one bit. The milk is probably for the cereal and coffee, but with the crowd, I don’t think anyone here would judge you if you’d like to take some as a drink.
My second breakfast of the day at Banua Premiere Lounge. The food was surprisingly warm. (Sorry, I probably have low personal standards so I’m easily impressed with low prices.)
Coffee was served at my table by the friendly lounge staff (!!!). However, only artificial sweetener was available instead of normal sugar, so I gave that a miss and had my coffee with only milk. I also picked out my own apple juice and water from the counter.
A fantastic view of the runway from the Banua Premiere Lounge. If only there was more activity here though.
A Citilink Airbus A320 being pushed back from the gate during my second breakfast.
After breakfast, I headed to the lounging area just to sit around and charge up my phone a little.
There is plenty of seating around, each with access to a power socket and side table. Amazing.
Newspapers and flight information are also available in the Banua Premiere Lounge.
A Surau is available for Muslim prayers.
There is also a baby-care room for mothers.
I couldn’t believe my eyes – a shower room is also available in the Banua Premiere Lounge, with a towel on standby for you hanging on the door. (I didn’t use this facility during my stay though.)
Shampoo and Body Wash is available in dispensers in the shower cubicle.
The male toilet was small with just two urinals and one cubicle, but I guess it was sufficient for current usage. Also, it was super clean.
With a great view of the runway, I spotted my plane arriving from KL to pick me up.
9M-AGZ as AirAsia AK406 from Kuala Lumpur touches down in Padang a few minutes early, which will turnaround as AK407, my flight to KL.
My plane turning into the gate.
With the screen calling for me to head to the waiting room, I left the lounge extremely happy that I got such a good deal. At an unbelievable cost of less than SGD10 and surprisingly with no crowds, this might be the best paid lounge deal in the whole world.
If I ever come back to Padang again, I would definitely pay another visit to the Banua Premiere Lounge without hesitation.