Fully equipped with superior quality amenities and facilities and well surrounded by top-rated hotels and eateries, Chennai International Airport is one of the prime airports in India after New Delhi and Mumbai international airports. It is the prime point of departure and arrival of both local and international travelers in the Southern part of India. As per Chennai Airport’s records, the airport had been the departure and arrival point of roughly 9.53 million travelers in the fiscal year ending in March 2022 and it serves millions of air travelers each year. It is the sixth-busiest international airport in the country while when it comes to South India, MAA is the busiest airport along with Bangalore International Airport. Moreover, it is the 3rd busiest airport in India in terms of handling international traffic.
Chennai International Airport
Chennai Airport’s name was Madras International Airport earlier. It was replaced with Chennai International Airport (MAA) in 1996 when the city was renamed. The airport MAA is a public airport that opened its doors for flight operations 90 years ago in 1932 with a vision to make it easier for travelers to visit and depart from the major city of South India. It was redesigned and redeveloped in 1948 with the addition of new terminals. The airport is conveniently situated in Tirusulam which is around 14 miles far from the city center. However, despite having more than 10 miles between the airport and the city center, it is easy to arrive at the heart of the city. There is no dearth of cabs, taxis, and limousine shuttle services near the airport. It takes around 30 minutes to cover the distance between the airport and the city center.
The airport is owned by the Ministry of Civil Aviation of India and operated by the Airports Authority of India. It is a magnificent airport as it fulfills all the essential and luxury requirements of air travelers and airlines. Although it is ranked number three in the list of top international airports in India, MAA is no less than the top two International Airports in India in each and every aspect. From convenient passenger terminals, security check-in systems, currency exchange points, airport lounges, and duty-free shopping to ATMs, foods, and drinks, the airport is excellent in each and every single department. Expect a marvelous experience on your visit to the Chennai International Airport.
Chennai International Airport Passenger Terminals
As of August 2022, Chennai Airport has three passenger terminals. Terminal 1 is dedicated to both departure and arrival of domestic flights while Terminals 3 and 4 are used for international arrivals and departures respectively. Both domestic and international terminals are adjacent to each other. It doesn’t take more than 15 minutes to cover the distance between these terminals. There are golf buggy shuttles at the airport that may assist you in transferring from one terminal to another.
Chennai Airport New Terminal
Currently, there is construction work going on for Terminal 2 which is designed to be built between domestic and international terminals. This is a second-phase expansion of the airport which has been planned to better manage the passenger traffic. Once Terminal 2 is ready to operate, the handling of passenger traffic at the airport will improve a lot. The new Terminal 2 can start its operation as an international terminal while the current international terminals can be turned into domestic terminals. The planning and construction work is also going on to build a satellite terminal. The aim of commencing this satellite terminal is to better manage the traffic of 40 million passengers every year.
Chennai Airport as the Airlines’ Hub
Chennai Airport MAA is a prime point for many airlines, including Alliance Air, IndiGo, Blue Dart Aviation, Truejet, and SpiceJet. It is also a focus point for a couple of reputed Indian airlines including Air India and Go First. Travelers expecting to receive a quality travel experience from any of these airlines must plan a trip from Chennai International Airport. There is 100 percent a beautiful and satisfying travel experience waiting for you.
Chennai Airport Security
The security system of Chennai International Airport is strict and proactive. Generally, the security of the airport is handled by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) and the Airport Sector (CISF). The BCAS is responsible for setting essential measures and standards for the security of civil flights operating from or to anywhere in India while CISF provides its security squad to maintain high security at the airport. The CISF security squad includes highly trained dogs and a team bomb squad that detects Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and narcotics. Travelers often feel safe and secure while visiting the Chennai International Airport.
What to Expect on Your Departure at Chennai Airport
Chennai International Airport MAA provides passengers with an unforgettable visiting experience. Right from your entry to the airport to taking off on your flight to your travel destination, you will certainly have an incredible experience.
Chennai Airport has great connectivity with every part of the city as well as nearby cities. It is never an issue to find a ride to the airport. You can easily find taxis, cabs, and even a limousine ride to Chennai International Airport.
Step-By-Step Process From Entering Chennai Airport to Taking Off
On your entry to the airport, first, you will have to locate your flight. There are three terminals; one for all domestic flights, one for international arrivals, and one for international departures. If you are going on a local trip, you need to head over to the domestic terminal, and if you are going on an international trip, go to Terminal 4 which is dedicated to international departures.
Once you arrive at your respective terminal, the next thing you need to do is to get your bags checked. You can only take one to two carry-on bags on your flight and the total weight of luggage should not exceed the luggage weight limit determined by your airline.
Next, you will need to complete your check-in process using the Kiosk check-in machine installed by your airline’s space in Terminal 4. If you have already checked in using the airline’s web check-in service, you just need to print your boarding pass. The airline’s staff will assist you with this if you need any sort of assistance.
Then, complete the security process. The security officials will scan your entire body to ensure you are not carrying anything objectionable. Your bags will undergo a scanning process through the conveyor belt.
Once the security scanning is done, you can move ahead to find your flights. You will find the airline’s team on the ground; they will assist you with everything you require or want to know.
Currency Exchange and ATM Services
Having the physical currency of the country where you are flying to is important. You can convert your Indian currency into other currencies both before coming to the airport and at the airport’s currency exchange point. At Chennai Airport International, there are 2 currency exchange points in the domestic terminal while 5 in the international terminals. Visit the currency exchange counter for converting your Indian currency into your desired currency instantly. Make sure to keep your credit/debit cards or other required documents handy. This is crucial for a faster currency exchange procedure.
Another option that you have got for exchanging your currency is ATMs. Use Chennai Airport’s ATM services to get some currency from the country you are flying to.
Spend Your Boarding Time at Five-Star Airport Lounges
Chennai Airport International features some magnificent five-star airport lounges partnered with different airlines, including Air India, Blue Dart Aviation, IndiGo, Alliance Air, Spice Jet, Go First, etc. If your flight ticket allows you to access these world-class airport lounges, you can spend your boarding time on your respective airline’s tongue. These lounges have an array of luxury and comfy services available for passengers such as massage therapy, saloon, shower, dining, drinks, music, etc. You can have some quality time on these lounges.
Airline Check-In and Departing
Each passenger at Chennai Airport or any other airport must complete the airline’s check-in process to catch the flight. If you have booked your airline ticket with airlines such as Air India, Go First, Blue Dart Aviation, Spice Jet, or IndiGo, you will be facilitated with world-class airline check-in services.
First-class and business-class ticket holders can complete their airline check-in process using the separate check-in counters dedicated for them only. These dedicated airline check-in counters allow first-class and business-class passengers to complete their airline check-in process swiftly. If the queue is long for check-in, you can relax on seats arranged near the check-in counters while waiting for your turn.
What to Expect on Your Arrival at Chennai Airport
Chennai Airport provides a very warm welcoming experience to the visitors. Whether you are flying in from a local destination or an international destination, the arrival experience at Chennai flights Airport would be overwhelming for you. Yes, the airline check-out procedure and security procedure at the airport may be frustrating for you after completing a long journey, but that’s important for the safety of all passengers. It doesn’t take much time to complete all the required formalities as the security system of the airport is advanced.
Domestic flights land at Terminal 1 while international flights arrive at Terminal 3. There are more than a couple of exit gates in both terminals which make it easier for passengers to find their way to the taxi stand swiftly.
There are multiple options for shuttle, taxi, and public transport services near Chennai Airport. You will not be out of quality options by even any chance. As soon as you land at the airport, you will find very affordable shuttle services. Visitors who already belong to Chennai or had been in the city multiple times before must be aware of the quality of transportation services that can be accessed outside Chennai Airport International. However, international visitors and first-time local visitors who may be worried about finding a taxi service after arriving at Chennai Airport should not worry at all. From local taxis, internet-based fast-track cabs, and public transportations such as Chennai Metro Train, Suburban Train, and Metropolitan Transport Corporation Buses to luxury limousine airport pick-up and drop-off rides, all the options are available and easily accessible for you.
Hotels of All Budgets
No matter how inexpensive and how luxurious a hotel you are searching for your stay in Chennai, you have got all the options covered. You may get a stay facility within the airport at your airline’s lounges. Ask about the same with the airline’s officials. If you do not get a stay at the airport, the options are not finished for you. From luxury five-star hotels and guest houses to low-cost accommodations, you have multiple accommodation options available in the city. You can find some quality hotel services just near the airport but if you wish to stay near the city center, the options are countless.
Eateries and Restaurants
Chennai Airport International has no dearth of restaurants and eateries. If you have a first-class or business-class ticket from an airline such as Air India, Go First, Spice Jet, Blue Dart Aviation, and IndiGo, you can enjoy the array of delectable dishes on your dining table at the airline’s lounge and that too for free-of-cost. There are other hygienic eateries and restaurants at the airport that serve a variety of quality foods. You can have your dinner, snacks, or lunch over there. If airport restaurants and eateries are not your things, the options are not finished. There are multiple quality eateries near the airport where you can enjoy an array of sumptuous foods.
Other Essential Services and Facilities at Chennai Airport
Except for quality eateries, cab facilities, and hotels of various budgets at and near the airport, Chennai Airport provides many other essential services and facilities to both domestic and international passengers, including:
Airport shopping is a little different and a little more exciting shopping experience than open market shopping or mall shopping. There are multiple quality outlets and brands at Chennai airport displaying their merchandise. You can shop over there and collect some beautiful items for your family or loved ones.
Traveling with your infant? Chennai International Airport has dedicated baby care facilities in both domestic and international terminals. You can avail of those facilities for changing the diaper of your baby and changing its clothes.
Apollo First Aid Service
In medical emergencies, passengers can visit the Apollo First Aid Service center at their terminals. You will be provided with instant attention and medical care.
Lost and Found Service
Anything missing? Your bag, your baby, or your travel mate? In any of these cases, you can visit the lost and found counter at the airport. Similarly, if you find something, you can report the same to this counter.
Does Chennai have 2 airports?
No! Chennai only has one airport in Tirusulam which has two separate segments; domestic and international.
How far is Chennai airport from the city?
Chennai International Airport (MAA) is around 13 miles from the city center.
Is terminal 3 domestic or international?
Terminal 3 at Chennai Airport is dedicated to International Arrivals.
Where is the new proposed airport in Chennai?
Parandur which is situated in Kancheepuram is the new site for the newly proposed airport in Chennai.
Which is the No 1 airport in India?
New Delhi International Airport is the best airport in India followed by Mumbai and Chennai International Airports.
Why is Chennai airport called Maa?
“MAA” does not translate to mother. It is the airport code of Chennai International Airport which is an abbreviation of its older name- Madras Airport Authority.