Information & Facts
Always use prepaid taxis to get into the city from the airport;
it's the safest way to ensure that you reach your destination
without being overcharged. Numerous taxi companies have counters in
the arrivals section of Chennai International Airport: use Aviation
Express, as they have the best reputation, and sometimes offer you
a choice of vehicles (either the wonderful old Ambassador cars, or
newer Toyota Innova minivans). Make sure you have small notes or
coins on you for a tip. Expect to pay INR 350-450 for the 30-minute
trip into town.
There is short- and long-stay parking available for 500 cars and
buses at Chennai International Airport. The parking lot is located
right outside the terminal buildings, and the fee is INR 25 per two
hours (or part thereof).
Car rentals are provided by Avis, Hertz and Budget. You'll find
their desks in the arrivals area. You will need an International
Drivers' Permit to rent a car - but it really, really isn't
recommended, especially if you've never driven in India before.
Airport taxis: Always use prepaid taxis to get into the city
from the airport; it's the safest way to ensure that you reach your
destination without being overcharged. Numerous taxi companies have
counters in the arrivals section of Chennai International Airport:
use Aviation Express, as they have the best reputation, and
sometimes offer you a choice of vehicles (either the wonderful old
Ambassador cars, or newer Toyota Innova minivans). Make sure you
have small notes or coins on you for a tip. Expect to pay INR
350-450 for the 30-minute trip into town.
Auto-Rickshaw (Tuk-Tuk): If you want to dive right into India's
most exhilarating transportation experience, three-wheeled
auto-rickshaws are also widely available to get you into town from
the airport. Be warned that they are really uncomfortable if you
have a lot of baggage with you, and you're almost certainly going
to have to negotiate a price with your driver (they won't use the
metre) before taking off. Try for INR 200, and don't go above INR
Bus: There is also a public bus stop located right outside the
gates to Chennai International Airport. Bus No. 18A operates
between 5am and 10pm, making frequent trips into the city. Make
sure you tell the driver where you're going, so they can help get
off at the right stop. Expect to pay about INR 20 for the 45-minute
trip. Bus No. 18B (INR 35) operates along the same route as 18A,
but is air-conditioned, and generally less full.
Train: If you leave Chennai International Airport, walk through
the gate, down Great Southern Trunk Road, and go through the
underpass running beneath National Highway 45 - you'll find
yourself in Tirusulam Railway Station. From there, you can get to
the city (Egmore Station) every 20-30 minutes by train. Train
stations in India can get very hectic, so it's probably advisable
to buy your tickets from the rail service counter at the airport.
The trip between the stations should take about 25-30 minutes,
costing INR 12 (for 2nd class, not recommended if you have baggage)
or INR 100 (approx. for 1st class).
There is a departure tax of INR 700 for passengers
leaving Chennai International Airport; however, this fee is usually
included in the price of your air ticket.
Money and communications: There are ATMs dotted throughout
Chennai International Airport, as well as currency exchange offices
in the arrivals hall, the departures hall, and the International
Luggage: There is a lost and found office in the baggage reclaim
area. Luggage trolleys are free to use, and porters can be hired to
help you heft your bags, if necessary.
Conference and business: There's a Communication Centre located
in the arrivals hall, offering internet browsing, video phones, and
photocopying, fax and conferencing facilities.
Other facilities: Other facilities at Chennai International
Airport include airline lounges, medical facilities, retiring
rooms, vending machines, TVs, a rail reservation counter, and basic
access and facilities for disabled passengers.
Wi-Fi facilities: Wi-fi connectivity is available in the
terminal buildings, provided free of charge.
Information: A government-run Tourist Information Counter is
located in the arrivals area, providing great information
(including maps, brochures, etc.) about Chennai and the greater
Tamil Nadu area, as well.
Food and Drink: The range of restaurants, bars and cafes at
Chennai International Airport is rather under-whelming, being
largely comprised of snack kiosks and vending machines. Of course,
these independent establishments might well turn out some excellent
fare, but the safest best would be to grab something in one of the
airline lounges, such as Air India's Maharaja Lounge, located in
the International Terminal.
Shopping: Shopping is not an area in which Chennai International
Airport excels; however, there is a duty-free shop located in the
International Terminal, and numerous kiosks selling newspapers,
magazines, and basic travel accessories.
Although English is generally used for official and
business purposes, Hindi is the official language and is spoken by
about 40 percent of the population. Urdu is the language common
with the Muslim demographic. India has a total of 22 official
The currency is the Indian Rupee (INR), which is divided into
100 paise (singular paisa). Major currencies can be changed at
banks, and authorised bureaux de changes. It is impossible to
obtain rupees outside India, but no matter what time you arrive in
India there will be an exchange office open at the airport. It is
illegal to exchange money through the black market and it is
advisable to refuse torn notes, as no one will accept them apart
from the National Bank. It is best to change money into small
denominations. Travellers cheques and major credit cards are widely
accepted, particularly in tourist orientated establishments. ATMs
are not generally available.
Chennai International Airport is comprised of Anna International
Terminal (AIT), Kamaraj Domestic Terminal (KDT), and a cargo
terminal. A link building connects the international and domestic
terminals, while different areas of the terminals are accessible
via aerobridges and pedestrian walkways.