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Chennai Airport
4.8 out of 10  4.8 out of 10
55 reviews



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CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  14 October 2014 by B R Vasuki    (India)

Rating : 1/10

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Recommended

There is nothing international about it! Just a large, confused, crowded airport with terrible check in facilities. The security check area is over crowded and very inadequate to handle the rush. Touts all over taxi area. No helpful tips and goods restaurants. Terrible place to transit.



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  29 September 2014 by Mohammed Shuaib    (Bahrain)

Rating : 0/10

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Recommended

Chennai airport needs to address the following: Cleanliness in the terminal, no tissues in the washrooms, rusted pipes in the water dispensers, open waste bins near the restaurants. Lot of makeshift equipment and ladders placed around. No 'wet floor' sign used when cleaning. The sign board to 'Terminals' is hidden by a Police barricade as you approach the airport from GST road. Commendable part is the immigration which is quick and to the point. Security needs to be more faster or more lanes to be added. More variety in the restaurants is needed. Long wait to travel between domestic and international terminals. I am sure the airport can be made a lot better than what it is now.



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  8 August 2014 by V Sitaraman    (India)

Rating : 2/10

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Recommended

The new international terminal that looks grand from outside is badly planned inside. Construction dirt and grime are seen on all white-painted columns and girders. The lounge is located on a higher floor and is accessible only by lift. An escalator would have moved people more conveniently. Anyway, the lounge is pathetic compared to the lounges in the old terminal. There is no arrival immigration in the new terminal and passengers are forced to walk some 500 m to the immigration counters in the old terminal. The smelly toilets seem to have been transplanted from the old terminal and are maintained just as filthy. One cannot help comparing this airport to the cleanly maintained private airports at Bangalore and Hyderabad. Wonder when immigration and baggage handling facilities will be available in the new terminal.



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  7 July 2014 by Jay Kumar    (Singapore)

Rating : 0/10

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Recommended

I was there a couple of months ago, and was shocked to see carpets instead of tiles in the new departure lounge. Needless to say, they were badly stained. Everything else was lousy, I asked at the book-shop about Indian news- magazines and was snobbishly told that only foreign publications were available. The food and drink available is expensive and awful. Truly, a disgusting experience.



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  30 May 2014 by Prasad Kishore    (USA)

Rating : 1/10

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Recommended

The brand new terminal is falling apart. Tiles broken/cracking all over the place. Who was the genius that recommended fabric seats-they are very badly stained. Bathrooms smell and flood all over the place.



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  8 April 2014 by Alan Whelan    (India)

Rating : 0/10

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Recommended

This airport is a dump. It's meant to be brand new. There are signs for a food court - no food court, just some terrible looking lounge that you can only enter if you have a certain type of Visa card. There used to be one bar but someone in their infinite wisdom decided to shut this down without providing an alternative facility. What sort of person presides over this fiasco of a facility?. It's filthy dirty and the staff have no idea how to deal with customers. Unfortunately as with any airport, one doesn't have a choice but to use it. Shame on this airport and the management of it.



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  31 March 2014 by M Gomes    (UK)

Rating : 0/10

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Recommended

Filthy (even the new international terminal), chaotic, and certainly not recommended, if you can avoid it. The so called business class lounge (La Meridian) is a joke and no matter how much the airlines pay to use it I assure you it is 100% too much. Food is terrible and drinks limited. If you are arriving here try to do it without checked in baggage, baggage reclaim can take more than 60 minutes! On the plus side some of the staff I found helpful on the departure side. At all costs avoid.



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  26 March 2014 by U Vamsi    (India)

Rating : 1/10

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Recommended

Cant say more about an airport that has been built only as a "Show put up". I travelled by an AI flight (International) from Mumbai to Chennai that was already 1 hour late. Landed at 12am in the morning only to be kept waiting for baggage that didn't come out for 30 mins. I saw a baggage security point that has been put just immediately near the downward escalator. There was a huge line of people trying to put their baggage in the security screening area but there could have been a big disaster with all the people coming down on the escalator and the crowd ahead not moving beyond the baggage screening. Luckily, nothing happened. I travel often to Chennai on work. Must say that I have stopped using the Washrooms in this airport as they have become dirtier than before. The so called garden inside the airport is all dried up. The same old shops that have been moved from old terminal to the new one.



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  10 February 2014 by Vijayakumar Arumugam    (Australia)

Rating : 2/10

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Recommended

I visited Chennai a few times in the last month (Bangalore - Chennai domestic leg - Jet Airways, Chennai - Pune domestic leg on GoAir, Pune - Chennai domestic leg and Chennai - Delhi international Air India en route to Sydney. The new domestic airport is functional and it's good to see aerobridges being used for domestic flights. They have segregated the arrival and departure at the domestic terminal across two levels. However, they still don't have the in-line baggage for the GoAir domestic flights. The biggest disappointment is the international section of the airport. The bathrooms are nothing to rave home about. The gates are still in the old terminal, with a long walk to them. There is not a single good bookstore with a good collection of books. The shops try to fleece the customers with different prices for different passenger, based on nationalities. This doesn't happen in New Delhi or in Hyderabad or in Bangalore. They don't give receipts for the purchase in the stores, unless you ask for it.



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  8 January 2014 by D Williams    (India)

Rating : 1/10

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Recommended

Every time I enter this new so called 'swanky' terminal, I keep looking (at regular intervals) at the roof and the glass panels just to make sure I'm not in way of something falling off. Surely this is the lousiest and dirtiest 'new' terminal built in the recent past. The end product is a big disappointment for those of us who have been waiting for a new terminal for over several years. This is not an 'international' airport to feel proud about. The funniest part of this airport is that only the check-in is in the new terminal and then you are led in a 'smelly' pathway (without AC) that connects the old airport for boarding the flight. The (striking) AAI staff neither want to keep this terminal clean nor allow private interested parties to maintain this airport - too bad. If I were to rate this airport on a scale of 1-10, I would definitely rate it at '1' just because when you look at it from a distance (from the roadside), it looks swanky especially when the lights are on at night!



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  23 December 2013 by Shiva Sitaraman    (USA)

Rating : 3/10

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Recommended

Compared to the airports in Bangalore and Hyderabad the international terminal here is a joke. Arrival is in the old smelly terminal. Once outside chaos reigns while trying to get to your pre-paid taxi. I was pleasantly surprised while departing to see a spanking new terminal. However, once inside, this "new" terminal is already looking old with dirty carpets and glass windows. The worst part was that this new terminal is just a facade. One goes down the escalator to the boarding gates and finds oneself back in the old terminal once again. This so- called gateway to South India needs a new airport privately built and managed. Definitely not recommend this airport.



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  21 December 2013 by J Nithin    (India)

Rating : 1/10

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Recommended

Charging Rs.60-70 for vehicles dropping of passengers is outright daylight robbery. Either they should keep guards like in Mumbai or Hyderabad to ward off vehicles who park on the road or they should just increase the time at least for taxis. Every time I go to the airport, I get annoyed. I don't even want to go into the toilets issue and lack of eating joints.



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  29 November 2013 by Vishwanath Mahapatra    (India)

Rating : 0/10

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Recommended

I don't think I have ever been to a worse airport. I don't know why they have wasted money in revamping the whole place. Just giving it a bigger structure doesn't mean renovation. All those old worthless shops are still there. Food is bad. Toilets are as bad as they were in the older airport. There's no proper bar or smoking lounge. There are no food chains. The baggage counters are a total disaster. Staff are bad. My advice: avoid using this airport if you can.



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  8 October 2013 by Arya Viswanathan    (UK)

Rating : 1/10

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Recommended

I cannot think of any airport worse than Chennai airport. There is a constant smell in the building and the biggest nightmare are the toilets which are almost always wet and unclean. The airport resembles a bus station. Add to this, arrogant security personnel and semi-educated staff, it amounts to the worst airport in the world. What is sad is that these un-inspired people just need to compare with Hyderabad to see how bad they are. The pain just continues when you go outside to be cheated by the auto/taxi people.



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  31 July 2013 by S Menon    (India)

Rating : 7/10

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Recommended

The new domestic terminal seems to be improving by the day. Ample space at the drop -off area on the departure side with separate entrances for airlines clearly marked . Couple of coffee shops outside which is welcome if you have friends / relatives seeing you off. Inside there are multiple options now in terms of coffee shops, restaurants (couple of them are due to open), book -shops and other small shops. Ample seating space and the quality of announcements is also very clear. The washrooms have received a lot of bad press since the terminal opened but that seems to be improving now. Not everything can be blamed on bad maintenance here, some of it is also dependent on user behavior. Also noticed that there was no regular cleaning of the trash bins and most of them were on the verge of over flowing. Something needs to be done about this. The arrival side has an easy access to the car park with a luggage ramp which is quite helpful. Only minus point is the long walk from the gates to the baggage claim area. Overall an airport which is improving by the day.



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  18 July 2013 by Prayash Giria    (India)

Rating : 0/10

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Recommended

Had to use the airport to take a 5am flight, reached the airport at 1.30, hoping to have some dinner before checking in. Surprisingly, the airport terminals were shut! The cityside has no passenger facilities - no toilets, no food outlets, no phone booths and no security. For a crowd of 300 about to catch the first few flights, there were just 4 security guards. Terminals opened at 3am. This 'new' airport has just two outdated X-ray machines for baggage screening. Horrible queues. Airside area is equally pathetic with horrible loos. No clarity on boarding gates as there were no announcements, the screens spent an unusually long time displaying information in Tamil. Additionally, the design highlight of the new terminal, an in-terminal garden, is hardly viewable for dust on the glass curtain walls. Charging points seemed to be inactive through the terminal, and the so-called food court is yet to open. All in all, the most pathetic airport I've had to use.



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  6 July 2013 by V Uppu    (India)

Rating : 0/10

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Recommended

This airport never changes. The new terminal is less than a year old and its already showing its age. Especially, the washrooms. I hate using the loos of this airport with Wet floors, leaking taps and worst of all, the staff don't care. This airport is definitely not at all up to the mark. The staff are particularly disinterested in managing the show! Brand new class exteriors are the only thing good to see.



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  7 May 2013 by Arun Koneri    (USA)

Rating : 5/10

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Recommended

Back to MAA again after 4 months. Pretty much the same as before. Long lines at the airline counter but no lines at immigration. Security was ok. Immigration staff were pleasant on both directions. One complaint I have is that there are no announcements in Tamil in this airport. None of the airlines bothered in my 2 hours waiting.



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  14 January 2013 by Arun Koneri    (USA)

Rating : 5/10

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Recommended

Flew into and out of the airport in December, a year after my last trip. Arrival, pretty much the same as before. Immigration queues are long and slow. Bags took a while to arrive and no issues with customs. Crowd management outside the airport can be better, hopefully the new terminal will work better. On departure, I did not have a print out of my boarding pass, but the security personnel accepted the ticket on my tablet but with a warning. Immigration is long and took an hour to get through, security was quick. They have moved the location of security for the better and airside is much more spacious with lots of seats. I've always found immigration personal friendly in Chennai airport and have never encountered a grumpy one. Overall standard Indian airport, with not many amenities, hope they open the new terminal soon.



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  19 October 2012 by A Munnings    (Netherlands)

Rating : 4/10

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Recommended

Chennai Airport will hopefully be replaced with the new terminal in the near future, honestly I found the business class really poor, and very over crowded, with limited choice, and poor options. I did not stay long, preferring to walk the terminal than sit in an area that I did not feel welcome. The terminal for departures is not particularly clean, but does seem to work, most staff are polite, but not particularly friendly, although I did not find the rude either. They do love rubber stamps though. The arrivals process was quick, although immigration did seem to take longer by western standards, it is not that bad for the rest of the world. Roll on the new terminal - it must be better than this.



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  6 August 2012 by P Val    (Singapore)

Rating : 8/10

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Recommended

Flew on the night AI flight from SIN to MAA and back. Overall, this is an airport that gets you in and out without nothing much to do in between unlike Changi. Having said that I prefer MAA over BOM, DEL, CCU or BLR simply for the small size, closeness to the city and the un-chaotic nature of the airport. Immigration and customs have been pretty decent. Some construction going on and can't wait to travel through the new terminal. Hopefully it will be better! Only gripe is the lateness of baggage arrival, especially during nights when most international flights arrive. They need more handlers, customs officers and most importantly more conveyor belts!



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  13 June 2012 by Vijayakumar Arumugam    (Australia)

Rating : 3/10

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Recommended

I recently used Chennai airport's international and domestic terminals for transit to Madurai from Sydney, as well for the return trip back to Sydney. The international terminal has some improved facilities, with the inline baggage scanning system reducing the time to check-in. The immigration, customs and baggage arrival are quite smooth, though the customs and immigration officials could be groomed a bit to be passenger- friendly. They let domestic passengers enter the terminal, even if the flight is 5 hours away, which is a positive. However, the biggest gripe is about the toilets. The toilets are smelly, unkempt and very poor, both in the international as well as in the domestic terminal. The domestic terminal doesn't have enough seats, which forces passengers to sit on the floor. They still use the buses to get the passengers to the aircraft on the domestic side of the terminal.



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  25 April 2012 by N Vijayanand    (India)

Rating : 3/10

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Recommended

I have flown from Chennai 5 times (all international travel). I saw some expansion works in Dec 2011. Every something is being expanded but at a very slow pace. When I entered the airport, the floor was not clean, was not able to enter the toilets - everywhere smelt. When I complained airport staffs behaved in a very rude manner. Security checks were impressive and very strict, cleared everything in 10 minutes. Immigration at departure and arrival in Chennai is always a nightmare. Immigration officers spend more than 10 minutes on each person. Hope to see improvements in the near future.



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  24 April 2012 by Elza Varughese    (India)

Rating : 4/10

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Recommended

2012 and I'm not sure this airport has budged in terms of quality ratings. It's about relativity and considering the time gone by, a lot of airports in India have come a long way, not just gleaming glass and steel structures also aesthetics, amenities, cleanliness and just looking like it belongs to the right time period. Chennai airport in 2012 reminded me of Mumbai's in the 90's, if you don't see the signs to the toilet, your nose can rescue you.



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  7 March 2012 by M Shukry    (Sri Lanka)

Rating : 1/10

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Recommended

Officials are awful, security staff make the traveller uncomfortable and keep scolding passengers. Immigration process takes too long by staff with a long face but luckily they don't scold the passengers. Duty free has good options. Airport floor and washroom are extremely unclean. Not enough signs and flight information boards.



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  2 March 2012 by Kennet Foeh    (Denmark)

Rating : 2/10

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Recommended

This is a very poor airport. Toilets are disgusting. After check-in, it gets even worse. A very dark and old- looking place. No signs or information of any kind. No view of the planes. Only upside is, that nobody arrives early, so we were quickly through security and check-in. There are no restaurants or shops. Just a very strange bookstore and a small "cart".



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  28 February 2012 by N Jebamoney    (Australia)

Rating : 2/10

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Recommended

I flew in and out of Chennai last week. Traveled to Tuticorin during the week and back to Chennai to catch the international flight. I had 5 hrs before my flight, was not allowed into the international area for at least 2 hrs, no suggestion of where you could rest. I spoke to the security staff at the visitors viewing gallery and was let in and sat around for 2 hrs, unable to use the washroom facilities as I was unable to leave my baggage unsupervised. Once International check-in was completed, had to sit in the gate lounge for nearly 2 hrs. Washroom facilities were filthy, toilets were filthy, awash with water, no soap to wash hands. Terrible experience - please clean up your act.



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  27 January 2012 by A Milossavlyevich    (Turkey)

Rating : 4/10

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Recommended

Chennai airport is a disaster. Visitors not allowed inside the terminal, oppressive security staff everywhere whose rationale is impossible to grasp. Had to wait for several hours outside the terminal unable to re-enter the terminal after arriving on a night flight an hour ago. This airport is definitely to be avoided although I've noticed similar measures and problems in other Indian airports as well.



CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review :  18 January 2012 by Darryl Knight    (Australia)

Rating : 3/10

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Recommended

Flew in and out of Chennai International and domestic four times in Dec 2011 and Jan 2012. Arriving from Singapore was the worst, it was a wet night and after purchasing the prepaid taxi voucher, I exited the terminal to a scene from hell. Fifty or more taxis trying to load passengers in the rain. There was no proper queue arranged and it was a free for all. I last used Chennai airport in 2004 and it has just deteriorated since, filthy toilets, piles of rubbish swept into heaps beside overflowing rubbish bins with dirty chairs.



Chennai International Airport customer review :  25 August 2011 by Dhabi Vala   (UAE)

Customer Rating :  4/5

4 Star Rating   

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Things are improving, although slowly. Airport terminals are becoming larger, newer with more international arrival and departure flights. Passengers have to be bear the brunt, queuing time at immigration and security is too much. With more flights, there is no increase in immigration and security counters, no priority for women, children or elderly passengers. Passengers spending so much time queuing only increases anxiety of the already stressed traveler. An increase of seating and cleanliness can be improved.


Chennai International Airport customer review :  26 July 2011 by A Syed   (USA)

Customer Rating :  1/5

1 Star Rating   

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Chaos is the one word which encompasses Madras airport. I think the people of this city ought to be ashamed of this gateway to this city. Filth, grime, poor hygiene and generally impolite staff make this an awful airport to arrive or depart through. The security staff are terrible. If you can avoid this airport then do so. I doubt if the modern new terminal is going to be any different since the staff running it will be the same.


Chennai International Airport customer review :  7 December 2010 by Arun Koneri   (USA)

Customer Rating :  4/5

3 Star Rating   

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No change since last visit. Terminals are not the most modern. Bathrooms are not very clean and food options very limited. Seating options are very less as well for there are many international flights leaving within a small window. Security was quick and as always, immigration officials are pleasant and chatty. This airport is not one where you want to be stuck for long. Can't wait for the new terminals to open up.


CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review : 11 December 2009 by Vijayakumar Arumugam

Customer Rating :  1/5

2 Star Rating

I recently used visited MAA via Cathay Pacific from Sydney and left for Sydney on Thai. The airport still has the staid look on it, though the number of immigration counters seems to have increased. The luggage took a while to arrive. On the return leg, the immigration and the security were a breeze; however, the allocation of gates and the announcements leave a lot to be desired. The food items are overpriced and the toilets are quite unclean.


CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review : 8 November 2009 by D Epstein

Customer Rating :  1/5

1 Star Rating

Used Chennai airport (arrival from BKK at 23:30) and departure to BKK at 0025. Security checks on arrival and departure are very strict, but well organised, and going through is relatively swift, taken into account the ageing building. My flights being at night, both on arrival and departure, I could experience on arrival a problem for locating an exchange booth, which is operated by Thomas Cook, but in a remote corner stall. When outside, the crowd and dim lights give a feeling of unsafety. On late night departure, after the process of check-in, airside hall is a shame for regular travellers, ie. the ones not holding a pass to use VIP rooms. Ranks of dirty seats (check before you seat down) probably never cleaned up. No facility except one small food stall selling bad veg sandwiches and few drinks at extravagant price for India. No restaurant, despite a sign showing there has been one, may be 2 centuries ago - toilet and drinking water also to be avoided. All in all, an unpleasant experience as no comfort, and dirty place.


CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review : 5 November 2009 by A Swamy

Customer Rating :  1/5

1 Star Rating

Used Chennai Airport for International arrival at 2330 and Domestic departure at 0555. Swine flu, Immigration and Customs checks very swift as ours was the only plane arriving. The baggage though took more than 15 minutes to arrive on the belts. Had to walk just 5 mins to the domestic terminal for the early morning departure. "Tired looking" is an understatement for the domestic terminal. There were more than 100 passengers waiting for morning domestic flights after international arrival. No proper seating arrangements and many were sitting or sleeping on the floor. Toilets were awful and stinking. The whole terminal building is in a miserable condition.


CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review : 13 July 2009 by Arun Koneri

Customer Rating :  4/5

4 Star Rating

Used Chennai airport for domestic arrival and intl departures last week. The new domestic arrival is now part of the intl terminal and is new. Took 10 minutes from plane to curb side (no checked bags). very impressed. The arrivals hall is spacious and well lit. Intl Departures has been a consistently good experience over the past 2-3 years. My flight departed at 21:30 so customs, immigration and security all deserted. Immigration officials in Chennai more civil and polite than Delhi. overall good experience.


CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review : 26 March 2009 : by Jonathan Kelly

Customer Rating :  2/5

2 Star Rating

From plane to car took no more than 20 minutes which was great but airport itself looked very old and tired. Flew home from different airport (the modern but awful Cochin) so was spared the departure experience.


CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review : 12 March 2009 : by G Barnes

Customer Rating :  2/5

2 Star Rating

The facilities for transfer passengers, domestic flight to international, with a long wait between flights are poor. There is only one very small and not good quality restaurant. There is no where to rest in reasonable comfort.


CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review : 10 March 2009 : by K Müller

Customer Rating :  3/5

3 Star Rating

I used Madras Airport twice in the space of five days: once for an international departure and once in transit. Departing at noon, the airport was not particularly busy. Nevertheless, checking in at the Jet Airways counter (Premiere) took forever - it seemed the party ahead of me with more than one piece of checked baggage per head completely brought down the entire system. Lounge comfortable, security swift, but I fail to understand how so many passengers passed security and boarded our flight with three or even four pieces of hand baggage. Boarding through Gate 5 (bus gate) which is absolutely awful in terms of state of disrepair and trash all over the place. A few day later, I was in transit from Colombo to Frankfurt, and upon arrival was asked to leave my ticket and passport with a member of ground staff, who eventually returned with my boarding card in hand more than two hours (!) later. Why not have a simple transit desk as everywhere else in the world?


CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT customer review : 5 March 2009 : by Arun Koneri

Customer Rating :  0/5

No Star Rating

Chennai Intl terminal is vastly improved since I last visited. Immigration counters on arrival side were staffed well and special attention was given to passengers traveling with children (like us). We were asked to move to an empty line meant for special category of travelers, the staff made sure no one else piggy backed on us and other passengers with similar needs were also helped. The baggage area is more spacious and well lit. Exiting the terminal is also a little better, as you are buffered from the meet and greet crowd very efficiently. But it was the Intl departure area that has improved more, there are more shops and duty free (most items are over priced, but they were running 2 for 1 deals on some brands of liquor). A new section has opened up which houses the AI Maharajah lounge as well as the BICA lounge. Security is still a big pain with long queues and the odd passenger trying to break in. Make sure you have a baggage tag on all carry on items (the ones where you write your name for ID that you find at the airline check in desk), security uses this to stamp on. If you don't have one, then they will send you back. There is a smoking room past security. For the male traveler restrooms are just barely acceptable, not sure about the ladies room. Jet Airways doesn't require you to Xray your bags before check in as they do it inline after check in.



Chennai Airport review by S Srinivasan

5 November 2008   Customer Rating : 3 Star Rating

Recently went through MAA for an international flight for the first time in a long while. The interior is still rather drab, much like the Indian airports of yesteryear, but the airport is much less congested than Delhi or Mumbai. Upon entry, signage for the baggage screening machines (i.e. which one to use for your airline) is poor, so you end up having to guess. Immigration counters were well-staffed and took no time at all, and customs no longer goes out of their way to harass you like they used to 10 years ago. Shopping/food is dreadfully limited inside the terminal, so if you need something to eat, try the small food court outside the departures entry gate (the Anjappar restaurant serves decent local fare) or the restaurant on the second floor between the international and domestic terminals. The best thing about MAA is that unlike BOM or DEL, the domestic and international terminals are next door to each other, so if you have an inbound/outbound domestic connection, it's a short 5 minute walk over - thus saving you from getting harassed for tips by the touts running the terminal shuttles, or getting ripped off by the taxi/auto drivers.


Chennai Airport review by S Narayan

25 September 2008   Customer Rating : 4 Star Rating

Arrivals has continuously improved in the past 4 years. Passport control quick. Luggage arrival may take a while (30 mins to 1 hour); Customs is quick and easy. Smoking permitted inside terminal - a nuisance. Duty free can be purchased upon arrival, not much of a choice though. Basic stuff. Foreign exchange - Thomas Cook office within the secure area available. Free local phone call permitted from assistance booth near baggage collection area. Most staff speak good english and respond well. Long-distance / international calls can be placed from telephone booths (labeled ISD/STD) which are manned and you can get receipts. If you have someone to pick you up at the airport: Clear customs; Exit immediately after customs and wait there. You will turn left to exit the "secure area". Do not do this unless you have seen the people waiting to receive you. If you have do not have someone to pick you up: Clear customs; Exit, and as you turn left, you will see two private travel agencies within the secure area (one is Akbar travels and the other is Airport Express). Both of them are prepaid, safe, reliable. Akbar costs 350 rupees (less than 10 USD) (as of Aug 2008) to a ride anywhere in to Chennai city. Tip the person who rolls your luggage (about 20 to 30 rupees); and tip the driver about the same. Walk very closely to the person who takes your luggage to your car, since you might get lost in the crowd outside. MAA International Departures: Arrive at least 3 to 4 hours prior to departure time. Must have a ticket / itinerary printed and in your hand with passport to get in to the airport. No other options allowed. Check-in queues are very long and slow. Elite status helps (depending on airline). No food for purchase prior to check-in. Passport control is usually quick (max 30 minutes with a 100 people in line). Duty free available. Overpriced food available prior to and after security check (for your handbags, etc). The food is actually good in the mornings (between 6 to 9:30 AM), and after that, its not that great. Make sure you have a luggage tag for your hand baggage - this is true for all Indian airports. They will make you leave the line and go and get one. Also, make sure you have exactly one piece of hand baggage...no matter what it is.(so fit everything in to one bag). Did not use any lounges. MAA Local airport: NEed ticket with ID to enter airport. Some food available prior to check-in. All luggage is screened with X-ray machines similar to international airport. These queues are long. Otherwise, its generally quick to get through to check luggage and clear security. Individual airlines may be slow depending on quality of service. After security check, there is extremely overpriced stuff to eat. A coffee dispensing machine. Its pretty boring otherwise. Nothing to do, except people-watch. Most airlines need you to take a bus to the plane. Watch for the gates being called out. You could easily miss the call - but they track you down anyway if they know you checked-in.


Chennai Airport review by H Jana

1 April 2008   Customer Rating : 1 Star Rating

I have lived in Chennai for over 25 years and currently reside in USA, my home for the last 10 years. Frankly, Chennai airport is a nightmare. Having lived in India for long, I can put up with less-than-sparkling toilets, but what amazes me is the perennial air-conditioning problems in the airport. It is not that air-conditioning technology is rocket science. It has been in vogue for almost 100 years now. Why then is it so difficult to make the air-conditioning effective? The nearly year-long hot and humid weather of Chennai makes the airport suffocating. I really pity the westerners who have to put up with this, fuming and sweating. Other attractions of Chennai airport include glum-faced immigration inspectors, who cannot smile or even utter a word of welcome to foreigners visiting our country, indifferent and unhelpful airport staff etc. The sooner all airports are privatized in our country the better.

Chennai Airport review by Arun Koneri

2 July 2008   Customer Rating : 3 Star Rating

I have lived in Chennai for over 25 years and currently reside in USA, my home for the last 10 years. Frankly, Chennai airport is a nightmare. Having lived in India for long, I can put up with less-than-sparkling toilets, but what amazes me is the perennial air-conditioning problems in the airport. It is not that air-conditioning technology is rocket science. It has been in vogue for almost 100 years now. Why then is it so difficult to make the air-conditioning effective? The nearly year-long hot and humid weather of Chennai makes the airport suffocating. I really pity the westerners who have to put up with this, fuming and sweating. Other attractions of Chennai airport include glum-faced immigration inspectors, who cannot smile or even utter a word of welcome to foreigners visiting our country, indifferent and unhelpful airport staff etc. The sooner all airports are privatized in our country the better.

Chennai Airport review by S Wilson

31 May 2007   Customer Rating : 4 Star Rating

We have gone through Chennai Airport recently, in 2006 and again just a few weeks ago. Even last year, the airport was better than I had expected. This year the improvements to the International Terminal main hall are immense, more seating, gleaming floors and it seemed slightly less chaotic than our previous transit through it. Tea, coffee, cold drinks and snacks are available and the facilities are clean enough. Even the arrival and baggage collection on our inbound sector was fine. Despite the fact that the A/C isn't up and running yet, I would certainly have Chennai as my airport of choice for entering/leaving India.

Chennai Airport review by Kurt Mueller

27 April 2007   Customer Rating : 3 Star Rating

With major renovation works almost complete, MAA is now more convenient particularly for domestic travellers. There are now two separate check- in areas for all domestic carriers as opposed to only one previously (which was always overcrowded). So checking-in (and particularly baggage screening) is less stressful. Also: new are separate airline lounges, but I am not sure whether they are a real improvement. For one, the combined Paramount/Sahara lounge does not serve any beer, whereas the airport restaurant does. Second, all the new lounges lack windows - the airport restaurant offers a spectacular view across the tarmac and runways. Security uncrowded, despite my flight departing at 18.50. I checked the prices at the refreshment stand in the departure lounge, and the prices are effectively daylight robbery (Rs 60 for a can of Coke). Still a lack of airbridges, and most domestic pax have to be taken by bus. At Madras, as at most Indian airports, there seems to be a competition among airlines as to who can offer the most inaccessible airport bus - with some having you negotiate 4 steps to get on and off. Underslung bus chassis have been around since before WWII, so what happened?

Chennai Airport review by John Lumby

27 February 2007   Customer Rating : 3 Star Rating

Not a bad little airport. Always a scrum before check-in unless you are travelling in business class but generally ok facilities and duty free a bit sparse but fairly clean.

Chennai Airport review by Praveen Babu
26 February 2007

I arrived late at night and had an early morning flight to Hyderabad so had to spend the night in the Domestic terminal. Airport itself is quite clean compared to others in India. Airconditioning ineffective, so the airport itself was very humid. There seems to be a real mosquito problem in this airport. Overall, it was clean, security is a joke. Not too many shopping options or food options but tea and coffee as well as candy are available. There is a full time restaurant on the 2nd floor although I didn't try it out. International arrivals hall is surprisingly clean - okay airport for Indian standards.

Chennai Airport review by Sriram Srinivasan
18 April 2006

Chennai airport is superior to the other Indian international terminals, namely Delhi, Mumbai, and Hyderabad. You have to wait to get in through the front doors, but it's usually in the 15-20 minute range as opposed to the nearly one hour cattle stampede I had to deal with in Hyderabad. I wouldn't call the ground crews friendly, but they are reasonably efficient, and the majority of the flights leave on time. Security and immigration queues are long, but not unbearable, and definitely shorter than what you have to deal with in Delhi or Mumbai. The A/C doesn't work great, but I haven't found an airport in India where it actually does. Overall, not great, but a tolerable experience.

Chennai Airport review by T Heywood
5 March 2006

It's not that bad. Look for the "retiring rooms" bookable with the airport manager at the domestic terminal 900 rupees or 650 for a family. If your flight doesn't leave until some unearthly hour use this facility. HBO on the TV, 2 beds, fridge, air con. Hot shower. Don't want to spend money, go to the flight viewing deck on the 2nd floor. It's got a cafeteria cooling fans, reasonably quiet seating, cleaner toilets if you use the ones down the airlines office block on this floor.

Chennai Airport review by Lynne Reid
29 August 2005

We travelled through Chennai on 5 August arriving from Mumbai connecting to Columbo on Jet Airways. Incoming flight was delayed and I cannot praise the Jet Airways groundstaff who ensured we met our connection enough. They seperated our luggage out, personally escorted us through every stage of the transit and escorted is on to the plane. Everything is relative, after the horrors of Mumbai airport I found Chennai airport clean and efficient.

Chennai Airport review by Kurt Müller
20 August 2005

I often use Madras for international travel, as it has better and more frequent connections than Bangalore. In comparison, I agree that it is one of the better airports in India, particularly the international building. It is reasonably spacious given the passenger numbers, and never as chaotic as, for instance, Delhi. The airline lounges are definitely better in Madras than elsewhere in India. What is frustrating is the basic "Indian" layout of having the departure gates separated from the airbridges by a common corridor also used for arrivals, so you often find your boarding procedure interrupted by inbound passengers flowing past the door of your boarding gate. This morning, I arrived from CMB at 9.05 a.m., passed immigration, customs, and was in time to check in for a 10.05 a.m. Jet Airways flight at the domestic terminal. Hard to beat!

Chennai Airport review by Peter Yunes
29 June 2005

I fully agree with the comment from Warren Ezequiel. I couldn't believe such a long delay on immigration. The general hygiene is poor but the the toilets are the worst!!! If the local goverment wants to bring more tourist to Tamil Nadu, they should think seriosly about improving the airport image, since this is the gate to the country.

Chennai Airport review by Siva Subramanium

8 April 2005

I have travelled through Chennai airport on several occasions in the last 3 years and have found it to be best in India, so I am surprised by many of the comments. International arrivals and baggage claim facilities, though primitive, are a vast improvement on other airports in the country. On recent trips with LH, GF and BA, we were through immigration and had collected our baggage within 30mins of arrival; far quicker than at my usual LHR base. Obviously the facilities are lacking and the security formalities on departure take far longer than they should, due to the self importance nature of the Indian bureaucratic process, but things are definitely moving in the right direction. The domestic terminal is also very pleasant, and if your flight departs using one of the aerobridges, the upstairs lounge is very peaceful with light music and TV screens showing sporting events from around the world.

Chennai Airport review by Warren Ezekiel

24 February 2005

Arriving at Chennai airport on an international flight makes one sick. The long lines of people waiting to get their passports stamped on arrival is the beginning of all woes. The area around the conveyor belt is filthy with litter and the staff are not presentable whether it is their dress or even in being polite - this includes the immigration officer who stamps the passport on arrival. He looks at the passport photograph and then looks at the person as if the former was a criminal of some sort. Outside the airport there are umpteen beggars, taxi drivers, touts and the lot trying to ask one where he is going and whteher their luggage needs to be carried - even if it were a small backpack. Many NRIs of Tamil origin are ashamed of their capital city and they prefer to travel to either Bangalore, Kochi or Trivandrum. With several other cities like Bangalore getting a new airport and more international flights I feel many people even to Tamilnadu will be avoiding the Chennai airport in future. The Governments involved must have sufficient police presence at both the airport and train stations to prevent tired international travellers from being harassed. Also, the whole of Chennai needs a bit of education in how to be clean. If nothing is going to be done to make Chennai a safe, comfortable and clean place for arrival, I think it will soon lose its position as 'Gateway to the South'.




 

 

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