Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (BOM IATA) is the main airport of Maharashtra, India. Located in the central suburbs of Mumbai, it is one of India's busiest airports and one of the main international gateways to the country.
The airport is divided into two commercial terminals: Terminal 1 at Santacruz for domestic flights and Terminal 2 at Sahar Gaon for both international and domestic flights. Although both of the terminals are part of the same airport, they are 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) away from each other, requiring a 15–20-minute drive between them. There is another terminal in the airport for private flights.
Formed in the 1930s as an air force base, CSMIA had only one terminal at Santacruz till 1981. Therefore, it was historically the most crowded airport in India. A new terminal was formed in 1981 to reduced the crowd.
As of 2021, the two commercial terminals have been assigned as follows:
|Terminal 1 (Santacruz) |
Air Asia India, IndiGo and GoAir
|Terminal 2 (Sahar) |
Air India, SpiceJet, AirAsia, Vistara, British Airways, Delta, Emirates, Malaysia Airlines, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines
Mumbai has excellent connectivity with most of the major cities around the world, including New York City, London, Dubai, Tel Aviv, Singapore, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur to name a few. If you are flying from Europe it is generally cheaper to fly from London, and there are many frequent flights available. All domestic sectors are linked to Mumbai, making it the second busiest hub in the country next to Delhi.
Travellers are advised to take a prepaid coupon taxi to minimise hassle. Never pay more than ₹600 for a prepaid taxi. This amount should suffice to arrive at the southernmost point of Colaba, the main tourist district. While it is possible to take metered taxis to a destination, it is always a safer bet to take the prepaid taxis, in order to avoid the use of a longer, indirect route to increase the fare! While it is not mandatory to pay extra charges for luggage, a tip of ₹50-100 will be appreciated. Be careful with the main prepaid counter on the left upon leaving the terminal. The ₹100 bill and the ₹500 bill were very similar at one time. The old ₹100 is still valid, but the old ₹500 is not, so inspect the bills being paid with and being received.
There are many prepaid taxi offices lined up near the airport's exit. If one offers a high rate, search for a fair fare at other offices. Go to the taxi office and purchase a coupon to give to the driver. The coupon will have the taxi registration number written on it; only enter that taxi. Do not accept a lift from someone claiming to be a taxi driver as they may charge much higher prices to tourists. The charges will depend on the general area you need to get to and will include all tolls to be paid.
While most drivers should not have any problem delivering you to major hotels and intersections, do not assume your driver will be familiar with lesser-known hotels. Before departing, indicate the full address of your destination, thus avoiding delays. If a driver insists on agreeing on a fare before boarding the vehicle, insist using the meter.
A common scam directed at tourists is when a taxi arrives at the airport, a man will remove luggage from the trunk, put it in a cart, transport it towards the terminal and along the way ask for a ₹500 baggage fee. There is no baggage fee, so decline to pay and push the cart without assistance.
It is possible to take a bus/taxi/auto to Vile Parle Station and take a local train from there. This may require walking 200 m to the intersection of the road to find an auto. Travel first class to avoid hassle. Do not try this during the morning rush. It's a good option in the evening, since it's off-peak direction then.
Whileis planned to served the airport directly, for now stops at Airport Road. It is not directly connected to the airport, so while it might make for a cheaper taxi ride, it is still inconvenient.
The airport is some 10–12 kilometres (6–7.5 miles) north of Old Mumbai. Most premium hotels arrange private chauffeur driven cars. They are the most trusted, secure and comfortable way to get in the airport.
Paid parking is available at the airport. The charges are ₹60 per four-hour block for cars. Longer-term parking is available in a "premium" area but it is expensive, costing up to ₹600 per day.
A free shuttle bus runs between T1 and T2 for those who have a valid ticket. As the terminals are far apart and separated by runways, the bus has to go outside the airport and drop passengers at the departure complex. You will need to re-clear security, when changing terminals, have a long enough layover, as the transfer process can take hours. Going from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 requires leaving the airport and re-entering through International Departures.
- Air India Lounge (Terminal 2). 9:30AM-6PM.
- GVK Business Lounge (Terminal 2).
- Jaya He GVK New Museum (Terminal 2).
- Kenya Airways Lounge (Terminal 2).
- Malaysia Airlines Lounge (Terminal 2).
- Oasis Lounge (Terminal 1).
- Smoke Lounge (Terminal 1).
- Singapore Airlines Lounge (Terminal 2).
- Kailash Parbat (Terminal 1). 6AM-midnight.
- Theobroma (Terminal 2). 6AM-9PM.
- Cafe Coffee Day (Terminal 1).
- Costa Coffee (Terminal 1).
- T2 Starbucks Coffee (Terminal 2).
- Travel Club (Terminal 2), ☏ .
- 1 Taj Santacruz (Terminal 1). Hotel featuring four restaurants, bars, a spa, a gym and a pool.
- 2 Niranta Airport Transit Hotel (Terminal 2), ☏ .
- 3 Hotel Sahara Star (near Terminal 1), ☏ .
- South Mumbai is the obvious destination for the travellers who are still trapped in this airport.