Airport Guide: Kempegowda Airport Bengaluru
Kempegowda Airport Bengaluru is the international airport of the important tech city in India. The airport was opened in 2008 and is one of the most modern and efficient airports in whole India. As there are domestic and international flights, Kempegowda Airport Bengaluru comes with a split terminal for up to 20 million passengers a year.
With the raising importance of Bengaluru in India and internationally, the city decided to build a new airport in the early 2000th. Kempegowda Airport Bengaluru was opened in 2008 and now serves Bengaluru as the only airport. As it’s located relatively far outside of the city, you need to plan at least one hour to get the airport by car or bus.
As of now, there are four airlines fighting for market dominance at Kempegowda Airport Bengaluru. These are Air India, Jet Airways, SpiceJet and IndiGo. The latter has the most destinations on offer. Passengers departing from Bengaluru can not only reach several cities in India and Asia, but also three destinations in Europe. Lufthansa serves Frankfurt with direct flights, British Airways is flying to London and Air France offers services to Paris.
Most important carriers at Kempegowda Airport Bengaluru:
- Air India: flights to several cities in India, Dubai and Male
- Indigo: flights to several cities in India
- Jet Airways: flights to several cities in India and Abu Dhabi
- SpiceJet: flights to several cities in India
Shopping and dining at Kempegowda Airport Bengaluru
As Kempegowda Airport Bengaluru is relatively new, it is very well designed and quite nice for some shopping and dining. While there are not too many shops and there is also a limited number of restaurants in all areas, you can easily have a snack or shop necessary items for travel.
There are also some fashion shops, but you shouldn’t expect to find a real “shopping paradise”. What you’ll definitely find at Kempegowda Airport Bengaluru are several snack bars and cafes!
Sleeping at Kempegowda Airport Bengaluru
Bengaluru’s new airport doesn’t have dedicated sleeping facilities and also is not recommended as a place to spend the night without booking a hotel. However, the airport is open 24 hours and so are some lounges. This includes the Day Hotel, which is part of the Plaza Premium Lounge.
Rates start at 2.500 INR (~ 33 Euro / 37 US-Dollar) for a single room and 3.500 INR (~ 46 Euro / 52 US-Dollar) for a studio for a period of three hours. Other than that, there are no real airport hotels. However, there are a few properties in a range of 15 minutes of the Kempegowda Airport Bengaluru. Also, Starwood plans on opening an aloft Hotel in January 2017 right next to Kempegowda Airport Bengaluru!
Lounges at Kempegowda Airport Bengaluru
There is a total of four lounges at Kempegowda Airport Bengaluru. Priority Pass holders can use all lounges, while passengers flying Business or First or holding a frequent flyer membership might need to use the contracted lounge. In the domestic as well as the internatonal section of the airport, you can find a Plaza Premium Lounge and an Above Ground Level Lounge each.
I had the pleasure of checking out both lounges in the domestic section and was very pleased with the Above Ground Level Lounge, while I found the Plaza Premium Lounge to be average. All SkyTeam and oneworld airlines flying to Bengaluru invite there passengers in the Plaza Premium Lounge, while Thai Airways and Lufthansa invite their First Class passengers in the Above Ground Level Lounge, while sending Business Class passengers in the Plaza Premium Lounge. Air India uses the Above Ground Level Lounge for all passengers.
Lounges at Kempegowda Airport Bengaluru:
- Plaza Premium Lounge Domestic: $, PP, 9W BC, 9W FF
- Plaza Premium Lounge International: $, PP, 9W BC, 9W FF, OW BC, OW FF, ST BC, ST FF, *A BC, *A FF
- Above Ground Level Lounge Domestic: $, PP, AI BC, *A FF
- Above Ground Level Lounge International: $, PP, *A FC, AI BC
Transportation at Kempegowda Airport Bengaluru
Transportation from Kempegowda Airport Bengaluru to the city center is still a problem till today. There is no rail connection between the city and the airport as a planned high-speed railway system was eventually scrapped due to high costs. As of now, there are plans for extending the relatively new Bengaluru Metro to the airport, but there is no fixed day for the beginning of constructions as of now.
If you want to get from Kempegowda Airport Bengaluru to the city center, there are four options. You can book a transfer with the hotel, use a taxi, use Uber or take the bus. The latter option is the cheapest and the buses are relatively luxurious for Indian standards. Taxis are relatively small and must not be very comfortable. Rides to the city center should cost around 700 INR (~ 9 Euro / 10 US-Dollar). Uber might be a little cheaper, while hotel cars are definitely more expensive.