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Chennai Airport Guide

chennai airport guide

In this section you will find traveller airport reviews as well as our Chennai Airport Guide with info on WiFi, lounges, facilities and services....and yes, even the names of some airport hotels in case you decide that sleeping in the airport is not for you!

Security would only let me into the Visitor's gallery because my departure wasn't within 3 hours. The gallery was cold and the chairs designed specifically with metal separators so you couldn't lie across. - sophcotton

Airport Overview

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, here is a quick run-down of what travellers have reported to us during their time at Chennai Airport.

What to Expect

  • Chennai Airport has two passenger terminals; one domestic and the other for international flights. Despite recent renovations, the airport still feels old, outdated, and even a bit dilapidated.
  • As of July 2016, there had been 66 incidents of the glass ceiling falling in the new Domestic terminal. Be careful!
  • You will not be permitted the airport until 3 hours prior to your flight.
  • Rude airport security and immigration officers.
  • A noisy environment with constant and annoying PA announcements.
  • Inefficient security checkpoint processing, due to the limited number of available security lines.
  • Dining and duty-free shopping options are limited.
  • Free WiFi is available. See WiFi information in the airport guide below.

Where to Sleep

  • The end of the hall near past Gate 18 is quiet (Scott P, August 2015).
  • Visit the gazebo-like structure in the food court for padded benches.
  • Baggage claim at International Arrivals has padded seats with armrests. You can sleep sitting up or on the floor, most likely undisturbed.
  • A recent reviewer (Sep, 2016) slept comfortably and safely in the retiring rooms at the airport. Hang on to the boarding passes from your arriving flight and/or departing flight, because you will need to present it!
  • For uninterrupted sleep, there are "Retiring Rooms" and a couple hotels near the airport. See Airport Hotels in the airport guide below.

Good to Know

  • Showers are available in the “Retiring Rooms”.
  • Economy class travellers can buy a pass to four airport lounges. See Airport Lounges in the airport guide below for locations and rates.

For more information about the services and facilities available, scroll down to continue exploring our Chennai Airport Guide. Send us your airport tips to help us keep this information up to date.

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Chennai Airport Information

In this guide we may refer to locations as "landside" and "airside". Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.

Airport Lounges

Pay-per-use, Single Visit Passes & Lounge Memberships

Regardless of what class of service you are flying, there are lounges that you can enter by purchasing a lounge pass or through a lounge membership program (ie. Priority Pass). Visit the individual lounge page for more details about the lounge itself and to also find out how you can gain lounge access with just an economy class ticket!

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Airport Hotels

If sleeping in Chennai Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near the airport:

  • In AirportRetiring Rooms - Look for signs with “Retiring Rooms” on them. There is an affordable air-conditioned dormitory in the public area of the terminal. There’s a bathroom with showers and quiet, dimmed sleeping. Security may only let you in if you have proper flight documentation. It is not possible to book in advance. Location: according to a February 2017 review they are located between the new International and new Domestic Terminal, on the ground floor (below the concourse where the cars can drive in front of the terminals), left of the AII Airport Staff Canteen. The rooms are located on the right hand side. Rate: RS700/night.
  • Radisson Blu Hotel Chennai - (Located less than 1.5 mile from the airport) Airport shuttle service is available, free with certain room categories.
  • Trident Chennai - (Located less than 2 miles from the airport) Free airport transportation is available upon requrest /(via email).
  • Just Guest House - (10 minutes from the airport) Airport transportation available for a fee.
  • Quality Inn Airport - (12 minutes) shuttle is available upon request.

To see more options there is a list of hotels near Chennai Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

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Airport WiFi / Internet

Free WiFi is available at Chennai Airport in the lounges.

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More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover At The Airport

  • ATMs / Cash Machines - Yes
  • Child Care Room - Yes
  • Currency Exchange - Yes, located airside to departing and arriving passengers in both Domestic and International terminals.
  • Drinking Water - Yes, environmentally friendly cups are available.
  • Duty Free & Shopping - Duty-free shopping is available airside to both departing and arriving passengers in the International Terminal. A wide variety of merchandise, including souvenirs, tea and clothing, is available from shops located throughout the airport.
  • Food & Drinks - Food concessions throughout the airport operate with varying schedules. At the time of this update, we could not confirm the availability of 24-hour dining.
  • Luggage Storage & Lockers - Left luggage storage is available at a rate of Rs.5/- to Rs.20/- per item, depending on size. Location: International Arrivals, landside. Hours: unknown.
  • Luggage Trolleys - Available for use, free of charge.
  • Luggage Wrapping - Location: International Departures, landside in the Check-in area.
  • Massages and Spa - Yes
  • Medical Services - Urgent and emergency medical care is available in the Apollo Hospitals First Aid Room. For access, seek the assistance of an airport staff member.
  • Mobile Charging - You can charge your electronics for free at mobile charging stations located throughout the airport.
  • Pharmacy - Location: Domestic Departures, airside.
  • Post Office - Location: Domestic Arrivals, landside.
  • Rest Zones - Not available.
  • Showers - Yes, showers are available in the Retiring Rooms [ see Airport Hotels above ]
  • Smoking Room - Yes. Location unknown.

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Airport Hours

The airport is open 24 hours.

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As of March 2018, Chennai airport is served by the following airlines: Air Canada • Air France • Qatar Airways • Lufthansa • Emirates • Saudia • British Airways • Jet Airways • Etihad Airways • Cathay Pacific • Air India.

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Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport

Commuter Train

Travel like the locals do! If your load is light, you can take the suburban commuter trains, which link the airport to two main passenger stations (Chennai Park and Egmore). The closest train station to the airport is “Tirusalam Station”, located about 500m from the terminal.

Hotel Shuttles

Several area hotels provide airport transportation service for their guests. Contact your hotel of choice for availability and details: Hablis HotelHotel Mars DeluxeLe Royal Meridien ChennaiRadisson Blu Hotel Chennai.


Chennai Metro currently only offers service from airport to Little Mount, located halfway to the city center, on the Blue Line, but you can transfer to the Green Line along the way. The metro station is located just across the taxi parking lot.


Prepaid taxis are readily available for hire in the ground transportation area of the airport. Stop at the Prepaid Taxi booth in the Arrivals hall to pay for your ride. You will receive a ticket to give to your taxi driver before boarding the taxi.

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Last Updated: 13 November 2017

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning and is subject to change at any time. The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers and their web sites. We are not representatives of any of the above mentioned service providers. To report errors, or to add/change any items mentioned in the guide, please contact us .