Sleeping in Airports

Chennai Airport Guide

Whether you have a layover, overnight sleepover or are just quickly passing through, our Chennai Airport Guide is a great place to start planning your visit.  Here, you’ll find information on services and facilities available inside the airport – including details about airport lounges, WiFi, mobile charging points, lockers, 24-hour food options, nearby hotels, and everything in between.

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

MAA Airport Overview

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, here is a quick run-down about what to expect during your time at Chennai Airport (Code: MAA).

What to Expect

Chennai Airport has two terminals: the International Terminal (Anna) and the Domestic Terminal (Kamaraj). Due to past reconstruction, the International Terminal may be referred to as ‘Terminal 2’ and the Domestic Terminal as both ‘Terminal 1’ and ‘Terminal 4’ across maps and online information. An elevated travelator connects the two. Despite the renovations, travellers report that the facilities still seem outdated, with inefficient and slow passenger processing and security, and rude staff members. Various dining and shopping options are available in both terminals, though prices are considered high. WiFi is available to help pass the time, and additional comfort may be found through fee-based access to one of the airport’s first-class lounges. See Airport Lounges in the guide below for locations and rates.

Chennai airport sleep chairs
Sleep chairs in the transit area (Photo by a Guest Traveller / September 2022)

Sleeping in Chennai Airport

Passengers are not allowed into the departure areas more than three hours before their departing flight, so most travellers choose to sleep on the landside. The baggage claim area in the International arrivals hall has comfortable padded seats with armrests for upright sleeping, and people have successfully slept on the floor there (though consider a travel mat/sleeping bag for added comfort). One reviewer noted that there are free sleeping chairs after security in the International Terminal. For uninterrupted sleep, sleeping pods are available within the terminal, and hotels are just a quick shuttle ride away. See Airport Hotels in the guide below or read traveller reviews for more tips.

To help us keep this guide up-to-date, you can add or update information or write a review to submit airport tips and photos. For more airport information, continue scrolling down to explore more in our Chennai Airport Guide.

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.  For more information on Europe’s Schengen Area, click here.

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. 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!

Domestic Terminal
  • Travel Club – Location: Domestic Terminal, Airside, 3rd floor, opposite Gate 5. Hours: open 24 hours. Lounge Access: Prepaid lounge pass • Lounge membership programs.
  • Travel Club – Location: Domestic Terminal, Airside, 3rd floor, towards Gate 1. Hours: open 24 hours. Lounge Access: Lounge membership programs.
International Terminal
  • Travel Club – Location: International Terminal, Airside, near Gate 16. Hours: 8:00PM – 10:00AM. Lounge Access: Lounge membership programs.
  • Travel Club – Location: International Terminal, Airside, 1st Floor, near Gate 11. Hours: 8:00PM – 3:00AM. Lounge Access: Prepaid lounge pass • Lounge membership programs.
  • Travel Club – Location: International Terminal, Airside, 3rd floor VIP lounge level, opposite Gate 17. Hours: open 24 hours. Lounge Access: Prepaid lounge pass • Lounge membership programs.

Related Pages: Chennai Airport Lounges

Airport Hotels

If sleeping in Chennai Airport sounds like a nightmare, there are sleep capsules inside the terminal and several nearby hotels:

Hotel inside Chennai airport

  • Sleepzo – 4 sleep capsules are available in the Arrivals Hall (Belt 1) of the Domestic Terminal.  The capsules come equipped with reading lights, charging station, USB charger, luggage storage.  Each pod can accommodate 1 adult and 1 child.  Hourly time slots are available.  At the time of this update we did not have the rates.
  • Retiring Roomscurrently closed due to renovation

Hotels near the airport

  • Hotel Southern Comfort – No airport shuttle. » Check Rates
  • Hotel Mount Manor – Free airport transportation is available.  » Check Rates

For more options, visit Tripadvisor to see a list of hotels near Chennai Airport that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

Airport WiFi/Internet

Free WiFi is available for 45 minutes at the Chennai Airport. An Indian mobile phone number is required to receive a PIN via SMS. Once your time expires, you have the option to purchase additional time.

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

ATMs / Cash Machines – Need cash? ATMs are available in both terminals. Fees may apply, so check your bank’s fee schedule and daily withdrawal limit if you are travelling internationally. You may also want to notify your bank of your travel plans. Locations: Both International and Domestic Terminals.

Baby Care Facilities – If you are travelling with an infant, baby changing facilities are available in both Terminals.

Currency Exchange – Services are available in the Domestic Terminal (2 counters) and International Terminal (5 counters).

Drinking Water – Thirsty? Drinking water is available free of charge. Environmentally friendly cups are provided.

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 throughout the airport.

Food & Drinks – Food concessions throughout the airport operate with varying schedules. There are food options Landside and Airside in both terminals. The new Aerohub Mall attached to Chennai Airport offers a 24 hour food court (landside).

Luggage Porters – Porters are available to assist you with luggage and clearing airport formalities (check-in to final security escort). Rate: between Rs.200 – Rs.500

Luggage Trolleys – Need a hand with your bags? Baggage carts are available, free of charge.

Luggage Wrapping – Protect your bags from theft and damage by having your bags wrapped in plastic. Location: International Departures, landside in the Check-in area. Rates: INR 399/piece.

Massages and Spa – If you want to feel your stress melt away, Syona Spa is the perfect place for travellers looking for a massage or other spa services. Location: Domestic Terminal, Airside.

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 – If you need to pick up any last minute medication, there is an Apollo Pharmacy. Location: Domestic Departures, Airside. Hours: 24 hours.

Post Office – Send your last minute postcards to friends and family from the airport’s post office. Location: Domestic Arrivals, landside. Hours: 10:00AM – 6:00PM (Mon- Sat) • Closed (Sun).

Prayer Room – Available Airside in the International Terminal.

Rest Zones – A reader tells us sleep chairs are available in the transit area. You will find them “right after clearing security when transiting internationally”. (September 2022)

Showers – Currently unavailable as Retiring Rooms are closed for renovation. [ see Airport Hotels above ]

SIM Cards – A reader has asked us to include where to buy SIM Cards. If you know, click here to update this airport guide.

Smoking Room – Dedicated smoking rooms are available Airside in both Terminals.

Airport Hours

The airport is open 24 hours.

Airlines

Chennai airport is served by the following airlines: Air Arabia • AirAsia • Air France • Air India • AIX Connect • Akasa Air • Alliance Air • Batik Air • British Airways • Cathay Pacific • Emirates • Ethiopian Airlines • Etihad Airways • Fitsair • Flydubai • Gulf Air • IndiGo • Jazeera Airways • Kuwait Airways • Lufthansa • Malaysia Airlines • Oman Air • Qatar Airways • Scoot • Singapore Airlines • SpiceJet • SriLankan Airlines • Thai AirAsia • Thai Airways • Vistara.

Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport

Inter-Terminal Transfers

Free shuttle service is available to passengers between the two terminals.

Commuter Train

Travel as 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 (free or for a fee): Hablis HotelHotel Mars DeluxeHotel Southern Comfort •  The Mount Manor.

See also Airport Hotels above.

Metro

A reader sent us this update: Metro Service has improved. Blue and Green lines both start from Airport Metro Station. The Blue line ends at Washermenpet and it is the shorter route (30 Minutes) to Chennai Central Railway Station (renamed Dr MGR Central Railway Station now). The Green line ends at the Chennai Central Railway station however takes a longer route (almost 1 hour) via CMBT (Chennai Moffussil Bus Terminus – Koyambedu). Metro Service is from 4:30AM 11:00PM (Mon-Sat) and 8:00AM – 10:00PM.

Taxis

Prepaid taxis are readily available for hire in the ground transportation area. 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.
Taxis from Ola or Uber are also authorised. Either can be booked through the app.

Chennai Airport Photos

Here are a few photos of Chennai Airport that travellers have sent to us or included in their reviews. If you would like to include your airport photos, use our review form.

Related Pages: Chennai Airport Photos

Last updated: 2024-02-06

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning.  All information, including rates and hours, is subject to change at any time without notice.   The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers, and their websites. We are not representatives of any of the above-mentioned service providers. To report errors or to add/update any items mentioned in the guide: update the airport guide or  write a review.