Chennai Airport Sleeping Pods Guide

Navigating a layover or an overnight stay at Chennai Airport can be a tumultuous affair, as evidenced by the varied experiences of travellers over the years. From being coined as a ‘silent airport’ that promises a peaceful wait, to horrifying tales of being locked in rooms without food, water, or information, the spectrum of stories paints a complex picture of transit through this airport.

Amidst renovations and service improvements, there still lies a ground reality of insufficient facilities, unpredictable security measures, and sometimes, outright hostile treatment of passengers. This guide aims to offer a beacon of insight and advice for those finding themselves needing to rest, recharge, or simply survive a stint at Chennai Airport.

From the secrets to securing a comfortable spot for the night to navigating the sparse amenities, we weave through the labyrinth of passenger reviews to arm you with knowledge for a less daunting airport experience.

Overview of Sleep in Chennai Airport:

For in-transit passengers, Chennai Airport presents a stark contrast. Some reviews describe significant hardships, including being held without access to food or water for long periods and dealing with indifferent or even hostile security staff. However, other testimonials highlight more positive aspects, such as the availability of sleeping areas in secure zones during international transits.

Despite these pockets of comfort, the overall picture suggests that the airport experience urgently needs systemic improvements to meet the basic needs and ensure the dignity of transit passengers. This inconsistency in service quality could significantly impact Chennai Airport’s reputation if not addressed promptly and effectively.

Is it true airside access is restricted with overnight sleep being limited to landside areas

Yes, it’s common for airports, including Chennai Airport as indicated in the reviews, to restrict access to departure areas until three hours before a flight. This policy means that travelers who arrive at the airport many hours before their flight or those who are in transit overnight often have to find places to rest on the landside of the terminal.

At Chennai Airport, this situation has led passengers to use facilities like retiring rooms or seek out less formal sleeping arrangements in landside areas. If the security policies do not allow entry to airside departure zones until closer to flight time, landside becomes the primary option for overnight stays. This can be challenging as landside facilities may be less comfortable and have fewer amenities compared to airside areas designed for longer waits.

Landside Amenities and Spots to Catch some Zs Overnight in Chennai Airport

Here are some landside amenities and locations that are mentioned as being useful for overnight sleep:

  1. Retiring Rooms and Dormitories:
    • Location: The retiring rooms and dormitories are typically accessed from the landside, located between the International and Domestic Terminals.
    • Amenities: These facilities offer beds, charging points, secure storage, and sometimes separate accommodations for men and women. Toilets and showers are also available, providing a more comfortable and private option for overnight stays.
  2. Bench in the International Terminal Landside:
    • Location: A bench in the international terminal landside area, specifically mentioned as being before check-in and baggage drop.
    • Amenities: This bench does not have armrests, making it possible to lie down. It’s described as comfortable and located in a quieter part of the terminal.
  3. General Seating Areas:
    • Location: Various general seating areas throughout the landside sections of the terminals.
    • Amenities: Seating in these areas often includes benches and chairs. While these are not always ideal for sleeping due to design features like armrests, they can still be used for resting when no better options are available.

In addition to these specific spots, amenities like restrooms, free WiFi, and occasionally food outlets that operate late or 24 hours are also useful for overnight stays. However, it’s important to note that the comfort and availability of these amenities can vary, and access might be restricted during late hours due to security policies or maintenance activities.

Airside Areas to Sleep in this Airport

  1. Sleeping Chairs in the Secure Zone:
    • Location: Right after clearing security in the international transit area.
    • Amenities: The airport provides about ten sleeping chairs that are available free of charge. These chairs are designed to allow passengers to recline and rest more comfortably than standard seating.
  2. Sleeping Area Near Gate 18:
    • Location: End of the hall past gate 18, in a food court area.
    • Description: This area has a gazebo-like structure with flat, padded seating suitable for lying down and also features charging spots.
  3. Bench in the International Terminal:
    • Location: Far end of the International Terminal, before check-in and baggage drop.
    • Description: A lone bench without armrests that allows for lying down, described as quite comfortable and silent, though it’s the only one available, making it necessary to secure it quickly.

Complaints about sleep in Chennai airport:

Based on the reviews, flyers have several major complaints about the sleep situation at Chennai Airport, particularly highlighting issues with facilities, staff behavior, and access limitations. Here are the major complaints detailed along with location specifics where applicable:

  1. Limited Availability of Comfortable Sleeping Spots:
    • Location: Throughout both landside and airside areas.
    • Details: Passengers often find the sleeping facilities inadequate, particularly noting the lack of reclining chairs or sufficiently comfortable benches that allow for lying down. This includes areas with seats designed with armrests that prevent more restful lying positions.
  2. Restricted Access to Airside Overnight:
    • Location: Transition between landside and airside.
    • Details: Travelers have expressed frustration with policies that restrict access to the airside areas until three hours before their flight. This limitation forces passengers to seek overnight accommodations on the landside, where facilities are often less comfortable and less secure.
  3. Unavailability of Retiring Rooms Due to Renovation:
    • Location: Previously between the International and Domestic Terminals.
    • Details: There were instances when retiring rooms and dormitories were unavailable due to ongoing renovations, leaving passengers with fewer options for comfortable and private resting spaces.
  4. Poorly Maintained or Uncomfortable Seating:
    • Location: General seating areas in both terminals.
    • Details: Complaints about the general cleanliness and comfort of seating areas are common, with some seats being broken or too uncomfortable for long durations, which is particularly challenging during overnight stays.
  5. Indifference or Unhelpfulness of Security and Staff:
    • Location: Various, particularly at security checkpoints and information desks.
    • Details: Security personnel and other airport staff have been described as indifferent or even rude, not assisting passengers looking for places to sleep or directing them to appropriate resting areas.
  6. Noise and Disturbances:
    • Location: Across the airport, but especially in common areas.
    • Details: Airports are inherently noisy, but complaints about insufficiently managed noise levels at night, including announcements, cleaning activities, and other passengers, are prevalent, making it difficult to rest.
  7. Lack of Basic Amenities:
    • Location: Landside and airside waiting areas.
    • Details: Some reviews pointed out the absence of basic amenities like water, food, and clean restrooms available during night hours, which complicates overnight stays and affects comfort.

These complaints highlight the challenges and discomforts faced by travelers trying to rest at Chennai Airport, suggesting a need for improved facilities and better management of passenger needs during overnight stays.

Surprisingly there are a few positives:

While there are several complaints about the sleep situation at Chennai Airport, some reviews also highlight positive aspects that flyers appreciated when needing to rest at this location. Here are a few things that fliers liked about sleeping at Chennai Airport:

  1. Retiring Rooms and Dormitories:
    • Location: Conveniently located between the International and Domestic Terminals.
    • Details: Flyers appreciated the availability of retiring rooms and dormitories that offer private and semi-private sleeping options. These rooms are equipped with beds, clean linens, and sometimes include amenities like water pitchers and secure storage. The provision of separate dormitories for men and women was also noted as a positive feature.
  2. Availability of Sleeping Chairs:
    • Location: Secure zone right after clearing security for international transit.
    • Details: The free sleeping chairs available in the secure area after security were particularly appreciated by passengers with long layovers or overnight waits. These chairs are designed to allow for a more comfortable rest compared to standard airport seating.
  3. Quiet Zones or Corners:
    • Location: Various, but typically at the ends of terminals or less busy gates.
    • Details: Some travelers found quiet corners or less frequented areas within the airport where they could rest without much disturbance. Although not official sleeping areas, these spots provided a respite from the busier central areas of the terminals.
  4. General Cleanliness in Certain Areas:
    • Location: Specific parts of the airport, particularly around newly renovated areas.
    • Details: Cleanliness in certain parts of the airport, especially in newly renovated sections or specific retiring rooms, was noted as a positive aspect, contributing to a more pleasant rest environment.
  5. Value for Money in Paid Facilities:
    • Location: Retiring rooms and paid lounges.
    • Details: Some flyers felt that the cost for accessing retiring rooms or paid lounges was reasonable, especially compared to external hotel options. These facilities often include additional amenities like showers, which are particularly valued by travelers in transit.

These positive aspects suggest that while there are challenges, there are also certain facilities and areas within Chennai Airport that cater well to travelers looking to rest and refresh during their journeys.

Summary of Chennai Airport Sleep:

The sleep situation at Chennai Airport presents a mixed bag for transit passengers, with experiences ranging widely across the board. On one bleak end of the spectrum, passengers have shared distressing accounts of being sequestered in barren rooms lacking basic amenities such as food, water, and timely information during their layover, as captured in the woeful tale.

Such narratives highlight a grim reality where passengers, including those from international flights, find themselves bereft of comfort and hospitality, fostering an environment of neglect and sometimes hostility from airport security.

Chennai Airport Safety Summary for In-Transit Passengers

Based on numerous guest reviews and experiences dated from 2014 to the present, Chennai Airport presents a complex picture regarding safety and comfort for in-transit passengers. It appears that majority of the complaints are inhumane treatment of fliers especially those from other South East Asian countries with some reporting being locked up for hours. There are no notable reviews of landside areas being unsafe for overnight sleep.

There have been instances of inadequate facilities, such as the absence of retiring rooms or dormitories due to renovation, and unavailability of basic amenities like food and water during extended waits. Several reviews highlighted concerns over the treatment received from the security and airport staff, ranging from indifference to outright rudeness, and in some severe cases, instances where passengers felt like they were being treated like prisoners without adequate communication or assistance.

However, it’s important to note that there have also been improvements and positive experiences reported. The introduction of silent terminals, operational retiring rooms offering a comfortable waiting experience at a reasonable cost before renovations began, and the availability of free sleeping chairs for passengers in transit internationally, indicate that efforts have been made to enhance passenger experience.

In conclusion, while Chennai Airport has areas that require significant improvement, especially in the humane treatment of in-transit passengers and the provision of essential services, there have been sporadic efforts towards betterment. Prospective passengers, particularly those in transit, should be prepared for varied experiences and consider these reviews when planning their travel through Chennai Airport.

Resting Rooms at Chennai Airport:

Resting rooms at Chennai Airport, known as “Retiring Rooms,” are intended to provide travelers with a space to rest during layovers or delays. These rooms are generally located between the international and domestic terminals, offering basic accommodations.

  • Location: The rest area is situated inside the Chennai Airport Metro station, approximately 10 minutes on foot from both the domestic and international terminals.
  • Cost:
    • Single occupancy room: ₹2,000 (excluding GST)
    • Double occupancy room: ₹2,500 (excluding GST)
  • Short Stays: Rooms are also available for rent for a few hours.
  • Availability: The facility includes 20 rooms.
  • Occupancy Rate: Currently at about 80%, with many bookings made online as per thehindu.com.
  • Passenger Profile: Officials from the Airports Authority of India (AAI) note that many transit passengers are either from other cities in India coming to catch an international flight or international arrivals continuing to other districts.
  • Duration of Stay: These passengers often need to stay at the airport for extended periods ranging from six to twelve hours.
  • Passenger Preferences: While some passengers may choose to walk around the terminals during their layover, most prefer to rest.
  • Visibility Issue: There is a significant lack of signage and advertising for the rest area facilities, which could aid passengers in finding these options more easily.

Pros:

  1. Accessibility: The retiring rooms are conveniently located between the new International and Domestic Terminals, making them easily accessible for transit passengers.
  2. Affordability: Compared to off-airport accommodations, these rooms are reasonably priced. For example, an air-conditioned dormitory spot can cost around 700 rupees, providing a cost-effective option for travelers.
  3. Basic Amenities: These rooms offer fundamental amenities such as beds, charging points, and sometimes even a pitcher of water and storage compartments. Bathrooms are available, providing essential comfort to weary travelers.
  4. Quiet and Controlled Environment: Unlike the general terminal areas, these rooms offer a quieter environment which can be beneficial for rest and relaxation.

Cons:

  1. Inconsistency in Availability and Quality: Reviews indicate that the quality and availability of retiring rooms can be inconsistent. For example, during renovations, there may be no rooms available at all.
  2. Limited Resources During Stays: There are reports of rooms not having adequate food or water available, especially during extended stays or unusual hours.
  3. Variable Staff Interaction: The attitude and helpfulness of the airport staff can significantly affect the experience. Some reviews noted unhelpful or even rude behavior from security personnel, which can create an unwelcoming environment.
  4. Safety Concerns: Some passengers have reported feeling unsafe or poorly treated, particularly when confined to rooms without clear communication from airport staff or during emergency situations.

Summary:

While the Retiring Rooms at Chennai Airport offer a practical solution for travelers needing rest, the overall experience can vary widely. Prospective users should be prepared for potential variability in service and availability. It’s advisable for travelers to have a backup plan, especially during the airport’s renovation phases or peak travel times. Being informed about the existing conditions and knowing what to expect can help mitigate some of the drawbacks of using these facilities.

Zleep Pods

The introduction of sleep pods, hailed as a modern solution for weary travelers, initially garnered positive attention. Passengers expressed gratitude for the privacy, quiet, and convenience they offered—a stark contrast to the often chaotic and uncomfortable waiting areas.

However, criticisms soon emerged, pointing to issues with accessibility, limited numbers, and occasional maintenance oversights that dampened the overall experience.

Despite these concerns, the existence of sleep pods is frequently mentioned as a step in the right direction towards improving passenger comfort, suggesting that with improvements, they could be a critical asset in transforming the transit experience at Chennai Airport.

  • Sleeping Pod Facility at Chennai Airport:
  • Launched to provide comfort to weary travelers, especially those in transit.
  • Comprises four bed-sized capsules, termed ‘Sleepzo’, enhancing the airport’s capacity to serve transiting passengers.
  • Located in the Arrivals Hall, near Baggage Belt 1, of the Domestic Terminal, enhancing convenience for incoming passengers.
  • Equipped with an array of amenities for passenger comfort including reading lights, a charging station, USB charger, and space for luggage storage.
  • Designed to accommodate one adult and one child under 12 years, making it a practical option for family travelers.
  • Offers flexible booking with hourly time slots available, catering to the varied schedules of transit passengers.
  • Each capsule is designed to accommodate an adult and a child under 12 years, ensuring family-friendly accessibility.
  • The initiative is a step towards improving the transit experience in Chennai Airport, addressing the need for privacy and rest.

Features:

Based on the reviews provided, here are some locations within Chennai Airport that flyers found suitable for sleep:

  1. Retiring Rooms and Dormitories:
    • Location: Between the new International and Domestic Terminals.
    • Description: These are referred to as “Retiring Rooms” and offer a more private and comfortable place to rest than the general terminal area. Beds are available in both shared dormitories and private rooms. These spaces require a boarding pass and booking at a dedicated office which is not located inside the domestic terminal.
  2. Sleeping Chairs in the Secure Zone:
    • Location: Secure zone right after clearing security for international transit.
    • Description: About ten sleeping chairs are available free of charge. These are specifically mentioned to be beneficial during a long layover.
  3. Sleeping Spot at International Arrivals:
    • Location: Near the baggage pickup belts at the International Arrival area.
    • Description: While these seats have armrests and do not allow for lying down, they provide a somewhat quiet area where one is less likely to be disturbed.
  4. Sleeping Area Near Gate 18:
    • Location: End of the hall past gate 18, in a food court area.
    • Description: This area has a gazebo-like structure with flat, padded seating suitable for lying down and also features charging spots.
  5. Bench in the International Terminal:
    • Location: Far end of the International Terminal, before check-in and baggage drop.
    • Description: A lone bench without armrests that allows for lying down, described as quite comfortable and silent, though it’s the only one available, making it necessary to secure it quickly.

These spots offer various degrees of comfort and privacy, from free sleeping chairs in secured zones to retiring rooms that offer beds and amenities for a fee. The availability of these options can significantly ease the strain of long layovers or early flight schedules.

Hotels Near Chennai Airport

Here is a table summarizing 15 hotels near Chennai Airport with relevant details such as hotel name, address, distance from the airport, review rating, and key review highlights:

No.Hotel NameAddressDistance from AirportReview Highlights
1Trident, Chennai1/24 G.S.T Road, Chennai (Madras) 600027 India0.6 milesExcellent service, proximity to airport, great food
2Hotel Southern Comfort5 Old Station Road, GST Main Road Near BMW Showroom, Chennai 6000270.5 milesIdeal for short stays, close to airport
3Radisson Blu Hotel GRT531 G S T Road St. Thomas Mount, Chennai (Madras) 600016 India0.7 milesNear airport, excellent staff, good food
4Zingle Stay Airport12th Street Amman Agam, 18, B.V. Nagar, Pazhavanthangal, Chennai 6001141.1 milesBudget-friendly, clean rooms, helpful staff
5Feathers – A Radha Hotel4/129, Mount Poonamallee Road Manappakkam, Chennai 600089 India2.0 milesGood ambiance, neat maintenance
6Hablis HotelNo. 19, G S T Road Guindy, Chennai 600032 India2.3 milesGreat for team dinners, appreciated food quality
7Lemon Tree Hotel, Shimona31/3, Mount Poonamalle High Road Manapakkam, Chennai 600125 India1.9 milesExcellent hotel near airport
8Le Royal Méridien Chennai1, Grand Southern Trunk Rd St Thomas Mount, Chennai 600016 India2.0 milesAttentive service at the restaurant, luxury amenities
9Tranquility InnNo. 1 River View Enclave Vaigai Street River View Colony, Chennai 6001251.4 milesQuiet location, neat rooms
10NK Grand Park Hotel8/100 – C Shandy Road Cantonment Pallavaram, Chennai 600043 India2.4 milesVery neat and clean, excellent for family functions
11Hilton Chennai124/1, J.N.Salai, Guindy, Chennai 600032 India2.5 milesGood restaurants, helpful portier
12Hotel Mars Deluxe8 Shandy Road Pallavaram, Airport Road, Chennai 600043 India2.3 milesClose to airport, courteous staff, good in-room dining
13OYO 19021 Grand Tiara21, 1st Street, Sripuram Colony, Viralur, Chennai 600016 India1.9 milesNear metro station, clean bathrooms
14Itsy By Treebo – Rithika Inn BlossomsNo:75, 3rd Cross Street CRR Puram, Chennai 600125 India1.6 milesSmall but tidy rooms, residential area, limited transport options
15OYO 4189 Rose Flower Service Apartment25 OYO 4189 Rose Flower Service Apartment Vembuliamman Koil Street, Chennai 600114 India0.8 milesClose to airport, basic amenities provided
This table provides a comprehensive overview of some of the best-rated hotels near Chennai Airport, including their proximity to the airport and key features based on guest reviews. This can help layover passengers or visitors to Chennai select accommodations that best meet their needs and expectations.

Image of Nathan Kip Rotich

Nathan helps travelers find the most comfortable sleep setups during layovers, from cozy airport hotels to futuristic sleep pods. His insights aim to transform layovers into rejuvenating sleepcations, offering travelers an alternative to costly hotels and uncomfortable benches.