Home India Airports Everything You Need to Know About Chennai International Airport (MAA)

Everything You Need to Know About Chennai International Airport (MAA)

Chennai International Airport (MAA)
Source: Freepik

A major hub for arrivals and departures in South India, Chennai International Airport (MAA) is one of the busiest and best airports in the country. A rough estimate puts the number of passengers served every year by the airport to be a little over 20 million. A quarter of these are international flyers. The airport has more than 400 aircraft flying in and out of it every single day. Chennai International Airport is situated in Tirusulam which is about 21 km away from the heart of the city. It takes approximately 30 minutes to get to the city center from the airport.

Here’s a complete Chennai International Airport guide that will help you while flying in and out of the city.

Chennai Airport Terminals:

The domestic and international terminals at Chennai International Airport are situated adjacent to each other. The airport has a total of four entry gates and two each are situated at both terminals. There are 9 boarding gates at the Domestic Terminal and 6 boarding gates at the International Terminal. For a detailed Chennai airport terminal guide, look through the airport’s official website for the Kamaraj Domestic Terminal and the Anna International Terminal location and services.

Passenger Services at Chennai International Airport:

For travelers who will soon be booking International flights that will arrive or depart from the city, this Chennai International Airport guide will offer a sneak peek into the passenger services available in detail.

  • Airport Lounges

Regardless of the travel class you are flying in, you can gain access to Chennai airport lounges for a fee. Lounges found at the airport are located at the domestic as well as the international terminal as well. You can enter a couple of the lounges holding an economy class ticket as well! You can check the Chennai airport map for the specific location of the lounges. Many travelers have claimed it’s one of the best Chennai airport visitors entry 2018.

  • Wi-Fi Services

You can use Wi-Fi at Chennai International Airport for free for about 45 minutes. To gain access, you must provide a valid Indian phone number and receive a PIN via an SMS, which you can enter to use the Wi-Fi. Once your free Wi-Fi limit expires, you have the option to purchase internet for further usage. Also, there are several mobile phone charging points across the airport that are complimentary for all passengers.

  • ATMs

If you need to withdraw cash, you will find ATMs located in both the terminals. Make sure to know what your withdrawal limits are and plan likewise especially if you are traveling internationally on last minute flights. It will also help if you notify your bank of your travel plans.

  • Currency Exchange

This is among the most useful services for international passengers passing through Chennai International Airport. There are currency exchange counters at both terminals – 2 counters at the Domestic Terminal and 5 counters at the International Terminal.

  • Food and Drinks

Chennai airport food options are aplenty in both terminals. While there may not be any 24-hour dining options, you will find several food concessions throughout the airport and at varying schedules. Drinking water is available free of cost. You can also use environmental-friendly drinking water cups provided at the airport.

  • Duty-free shopping

Both arriving and departing passengers of economy or business class flights can enjoy duty-free shopping at the International Terminal at Chennai airport. Besides that, you will find a plethora of shops throughout the airport selling a wide variety of merchandise which includes gift items, apparel, souvenirs, tea, and other items.

  • Baby Care Facility

There are baby care facilities at both terminals. These baby changing services are a boon for passengers traveling with infants.

  • Luggage storage, lockers, and trolleys

Chennai International Airport offers luggage storage landside at International Arrivals. Depending upon size, the rate is INR 5 to INR 20. While there is no Chennai airport porter service as yet, there are luggage trolleys available to use free of cost. Luggage wrapping service is available at the landside check-in area in International Departures.

  • Massages and Spa Services

There are massages and spa facilities available at Chennai International Airport. Jetlagged passengers waiting on account of a stopover can relax and unwind here.

  • Medical Services

At the Chennai International Airport (MAA), there is an Apollo Hospitals First Aid Room where emergency medical assistance is provided. You can seek the help of an airport staff member for access. There is a pharmacy as well located at Domestic Departures airside.

  • Special Assistance

Chennai International Airport (MAA) offers special assistance to travelers that require it. You can look at the airport’s official website for details on Chennai airport wheelchair assistance and other types of special assistance offered here.

  • Baggage Screening; Lost and Found Counters

Baggage screening has been updated at the International Terminal. Inline baggage screening has still to begin at the Domestic Terminal. There are lost and found counters at the Chennai International Airport where you can seek assistance should you lose your baggage.

  • Chennai Airport Car Rentals

The car rentals found at Chennai International Airport include Chennai Airport Car Rental, Zoom Cars, Aviation Express Airport Car Rentals, and Mary Matha Cabs Car Rentals.

  • Additional Services

Additional services you can hope to enjoy at Chennai International Airport (MAA) include prayer rooms, rest zones, tourist & railway information counter, shower facilities, smoking areas, retiring rooms, and conference rooms.

Hotels near Chennai International Airport:

For passengers who prefer not to stay at the airport, there are several nearby hotels you can stay at. Some of the top nearby hotel choices include NGH Transit Hotel, Treebo Adin Residence, Quality Inn Airport, Trident, Kek Accommodation, and The Mount Manor.

Nearby Airports:

At a distance of approximately 137 km, Tirupati Airport (TIR) is the nearest airport to Chennai International Airport (MAA). Alternate international airports near Chennai airport include Bengaluru International Airport (BLR), Coimbatore International Airport (CJB), and Tiruchirapalli International Airport (TRZ). You will find connecting cheap flights to any of these from Chennai International Airport (MAA).

Frequently Asked Questions

How early should I get to the airport for an international flight in Chennai?

You should arrive at least three hours before your flight’s scheduled departure for a seamless boarding process and other immigration formalities. 

Is terminal 1 domestic or international in Chennai airport?

Terminal 1 is a domestic terminal at the Chennai International Airport. While Terminal 3 caters to international arrivals, Terminal 4 is used for international departures. 

Do you really need to arrive 3 hours before an international flight?

Yes, if you do not want to miss your international flight from Chennai due to a delay in the security check-in or immigration process, it is recommended that you arrive at least 3 hours prior to your flight’s departure time. 

Is Chennai Terminal 4 international or domestic?

Terminal 4 at Chennai International Airport is used for international departures. 

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