Whether you have a layover, overnight sleepover or you 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
To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, we are here to give you the low-down on what travellers have reported back to us about their time at Chennai Airport.
What to Expect
The recently renovated Chennai Madras Airport consists of two terminals: international terminal (Ana) and domestic terminal (Kamarash). The two are separated by administrative office and restaurant space, and connected by an elevated travellator. Despite the renovations, travellers report that the facilities still seem outdated, with inefficient and slow passenger processing and security, and rude security and immigration officials. There are a variety of dining and shopping options 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 airport guide below for locations and rates.
Where to Sleep
The airport has reportedly gone quiet, since the formerly mentioned constant public announcements are no longer repeatedly broadcast. Because passengers are not allowed into the departure areas less than three hours before their departing flight, most travellers choose to sleep on the landside. The baggage claim areas in the International arrivals area 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). For uninterrupted sleep, there are hotels within a quick shuttle ride of the airport. See Airport Hotels in the airport guide below.
Good to Know
Hang on to the boarding passes from your arriving flight and/or departing flight, because you will need to present it!
As of February 2018, the renovated airport was still experiencing structural problems with its glass-panelled ceiling and wall in both terminals, as the 75th instance of a breaking glass panel was recorded since their installation in 2013. A helmut might come in handy!
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.
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!
If sleeping in Chennai Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near the airport:
Inside Airport Retiring Rooms – According to a January 2019 review, the retiring rooms are closed due to renovations. As of September 2019, it appears the rooms are still closed.
Near Airport Radisson Blu Hotel Chennai – (Located less than 1.5 mile from the airport) Airport shuttle is available, free with certain room categories. » Check Rates
Near Airport Trident Chennai – (Located less than 2 miles from the airport) Airport transportation is available for a fee. » Check Rates
Near Airport The Mount Manor – (10 minutes from the airport) Free airport transportation is available. » Check Rates
Near Airport Just Guest House – (10 minutes from the airport) Airport transportation available for a fee. » Check Rates
Near Airport Quality Inn Airport – (12 minutes) shuttle is available upon request. » Check Rates
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.
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.
ATMs / Cash Machines – Need cash? ATMs are available in both terminals. Fees may apply, so be sure to check your bank’s fee schedule and your daily withdrawal limit if you are travelling internationally. You may also want to notify your bank of your travel plans.
Baby Care Facilities – Baby changing facilities are available in both Terminals.
Currency Exchange – Services are available in the both 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 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. There are options both Landside and Airside in both Terminals.
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. Rates: INR 399/piece.
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.
Prayer Room – Available Airside in the International Terminal.
Rest Zones – Not available.
Showers – Showers are available in the Retiring Rooms [ see Airport Hotels above ]
Smoking Room – Dedicated smoking rooms are available Airside in both Terminals.
The airport is open 24 hours.
As of May 2019, Chennai airport is served by the following airlines: Air Arabia • Air Austral • Air India • Air Mauritius • AirAsia • ANA • Alliance Air • Batik Air • British Airways • Cathay Pacific • Emirates • Etihad • flydubai • GoAir • Gulf Air • IndiGo • Kuwait Airways • Lufthansa • Malaysia Airlines • Maldivian • Oman Air • Qatar Airways • Saudia • Scoot • SilkAir • Singapore Airlines • SpiceJet • SriLankan Airlines • Thai AirAsia • Thai Airways • TruJet • US-Bangla Airlines • Vistara.
Free shuttle service is available to passengers between the 2 terminals.
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.
A reader sent us this update (July 2019):
Metro Service has improved. Blue and Green line both start from Airport Metro Station. 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). 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 0430-2300 hours. On Sundays it is 0800-2200 hours.
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.
Last updated: 2018-10-23
This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning. All information, including rates and hours, are 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 web sites. 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.