When is the Cheapest Time to Fly to Chennai?
The best time to find cheap flights to Chennai is from March to May or from September to November. Airfares rise during the hot summer months and close to religious festivals, such as Diwali and Christmas. This makes the shoulder season ideal, because not only will there be more deals on return flights, but the weather will also be warm and there will be fewer tourists.
When is the Best Time to Book your Flight to Chennai?
When it comes to booking your flights to Chennai, it’s always better to book well in advance of your preferred departure dates. Booking two to six months prior to your holiday should be early enough to find some great deals from various airlines. If you decide on a spontaneous trip and need last-minute flights, then travelling in the low season is your best bet for finding good rates.
Flying to Chennai International Airport (MAA)
Located 20 km away from the city, Chennai International Airport (MAA) is the fourth-largest airport in India. Currently, there is only one direct flight to Chennai from the United Kingdom (UK) that is operated by British Airways and departs out of London Heathrow Airport. However, several indirect routes are available from other airlines, and some have the option of departing from other UK airports. Although indirect flights increase travel time, they tend to feature significant savings. Qatar Airways, Oman Air, Gulf Air and Emirates all have indirect routes that stop somewhere in the Middle East. While direct flights will last around 10 hours, good indirect flights with a short stopover will take between 12.5 and 13 hours.
On Arrival and Getting Around the Airport
Chennai International Airport (MAA) consists of two connected terminals. It takes 20 minutes to walk between the two, but transport is also provided by golf cart. Terminal 1 deals with domestic air travel, while Terminal 2 deals with all international passengers. There are 48 check-in desks, and the boarding gates are dispersed over two levels. Passengers can take advantage of three different lounges and will have access to a free Wi-Fi connection throughout the building.
Getting to the City from Chennai International Airport (MAA)
Although there is no train station yet, there are plans in motion to connect the airport to the city centre by train soon. All transport to the city is found outside the terminal building and requires a bit of a walk. Bus 18A will take you to the city centre in 45 minutes; you can buy your ticket from the driver. If you have a lot of luggage, a taxi may be more convenient. Book a prepaid taxi at the taxi counter in the arrivals hall. By car, your journey will take between 40 and 50 minutes.
Why visit Chennai?
No holiday to Chennai is complete without a visit to the great Marina Beach. With 13 kilometres of sandy shores, it’s the second-longest beach in the world. It’s a hive of activity that’ll be worth a visit, if only for the people watching. So, settle back in the sand with some street food and let the gentle hush and shush of waves relax you.
A visit to Chennai is the perfect time to discover more about the ancient Indian gods or, at the very least, to marvel at their temples. Built in the 16th century, one of the top attractions in Chennai is the stunning Kepaleeshwar Temple. Featuring brightly coloured and intricate carvings, this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Parvati, his consort. If you fancy seeing more temples, then the Varadaraja Temple, dedicated to Vishnu, is located in the suburb of Kanchipuram.
Don't Forget Before you Fly
You must apply for the correct visa before travelling to India, or you risk being denied entry, deported and potentially blacklisted. You can apply for your tourist visa through the e-Visa website. Your passport must be machine readable, have two free pages and be valid for 180 days from the date of your arrival in India. You can only obtain rupees in India, so take some sterling notes with you to exchange at a bureau de change or a bank upon arrival.