Kempegowda International Airport (BLR IATA) is the major airport serving Bangalore, India. Situated in Bangalore Rural, it is the third busiest airport in India, behind the airports in Delhi and Mumbai.
The previous airport serving Bangalore was at 5 km (3.1 mi) from the city centre, operated by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). However, due to the rise of the passenger traffic, the state government decided to form an airport in Bangalore Rural since the HAL Airport could not be expanded.
The airport is host to 10 domestic airlines and 21 international airlines connecting the city to about 50 destinations. It has an international and a domestic terminal. They share the same building, but are on different sides - the domestic gates are on the west side while the larger international gates are to the east. There is another terminal under construction.
International airlines include Air India, Air France, AirAsia, Malaysian Airlines, Air Mauritius, British Airways, Dragonair, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Scoot Tigerair, SriLankan Airlines, Qatar Airways and Thai Airways.
When departing from the airport, make sure to check restrictions on times for baggage check-in, and make sure to bring a printout of your boarding pass with you to the airport. For flights leaving in the early hours of the morning (such as 3AM), you may need to check in your bags as much as 2½ hours in advance.
The airport is occasionally subject to operational restrictions due to fog from 15 November to 15 February between 3AM-8:30AM (IST). Flight delays and diversions may occur on some mornings due to the morning fog.
Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) operates buses from various points of the city every 15 minutes to the Kempegowda International Airport. 156 buses ply to and from the airport. Of these, 40 are air-conditioned Volvo buses, called Vayu Vajra. The cost for each trip in these buses ranges between ₹50 and ₹250 depending on the distance. This is the cheapest and an extremely convenient way to get to the airport. Moreover, this service is available every day, day and night. While taking this mode of transport, be aware that to get from the bus stop to your final destination, you will need to take an auto rickshaw ride or to get a lift from someone.
- Airport-approved taxis There is a dedicated taxi holding area for travellers arriving at the airport. Taxis at this holding area use meters at the rate of ₹19.5 per kilometer. You will also have to pay the toll charge of ₹120 when you enter the highway. It costs approximately ₹600 to get to Bangalore's central business district, and about ₹700 to Koramangala. These taxis are operated by either EasyCabs, Meru Cabs or KSTDC. However, readers have reported that Meru Cabs is unreliable as some cab drivers have been known to cancel reservations at the last moment if they find a better deal from a street pick-up while on the way to an airport pick-up. Journeys to anywhere in Bangalore should not cost more than ₹800–1000. More information can be found on the airport site.
- Unofficial taxis You may be able to find a ride into Bangalore at a much cheaper rate by taking a taxi not approved by the airport, but only if you are willing to take a risk. Taxi drivers driving such taxis will attempt to negotiate with you a much lower fare than that charged by EasyCabs and Meru Cabs, sometimes as little as ₹200–300 for a ride to the central business district. These taxis can be found just beyond the terminal plaza at the covered walkway that leads to the car park. Once you leave the walkway, some taxi drivers may become fairly aggressive, and may try to take your luggage without your permission. The best thing to do is to keep track of, and be in control of, your belongings. Even the most aggressive taxi driver or tout will leave you alone if you stand firm and make it clear that you do not want his help. You should only use such taxis if you have an idea of what the appropriate taxi rates are, and are willing to bargain very hard to avoid being swindled. It is recommended that you agree on a price before you enter the cab; no tip is necessary once you arrive at your destination.
- App-based taxis Smartphone app-based taxi services operate in Bangalore and many provide services to the airport. These operate from a pickup point a little further outside the terminal building. You can follow the signs for app-based taxi pickup. You will need to download an app to your smartphone and have an Internet connection to be able to use these services. If you don't have and Indian SIM card or cheap roaming data, you may be better to use one of the other taxi services, as the Airport WiFi can be overloaded at peak times.
Kempegowda International Airport is situated at Devanahalli, 40 km (25 mi) from the central business district of Bangalore and 30 km (19 mi) from the Bengaluru City Railway Station.
By rental car
- Limousines and self-drive cars Hertz and Akbar Travels provide pre-paid limousine and car rental facilities through counters at the airport terminal building. These cost above ₹1,200 for travel to the central business district. There are generally a few ranges of self-drive cars: the compact range (Suzuki Swift), the intermediate range (Ford Fiesta), the standard range (Toyota Corolla), multi-utility vehicles (Toyota Innova) and sports utility vehicles (Ford Endeavour). Cars are given to renters with a full tank of fuel, and have to be returned with the fuel tank full. A flexible pick up and drop off facility in town and at the airport are offered. Renters can pick up their cars at the airport and drop them off anywhere in the city or in Chennai or Hyderabad. Similarly, cars can be picked up at any of these cities and dropped off at the airport. Conditions apply – for example, renters must be over 21 years of age and possess driving licences valid in India. It may be necessary to complete a lot of paper work and, depending on the company and type of car to be rented, a large deposit may be required. Please check well in advance before making plans.
- Hotel pick-up You can arrange with your hotel to have a driver pick you up at the airport. Some hotels, especially the higher-end ones, provide this service for free if you are staying with them, although some may charge you anything around ₹2,500 (far higher than just taking a taxi). This may be a good option if it is your first time travelling to Bangalore. The driver will be waiting in the arrival area of the airport with a sign bearing your name.
Eat and drink
- 1 Barista Lavazza (Terminal 1).
- 2 Cafe Coffee Day (Terminal 1).
- 3 Chai Point (Terminal 1).
- 4 Urban Food Market (Terminal 1).
- 1 Canara Bank.
- 2 Kotak Mahindra Bank ATM (Terminal 1).
- 3 Relay (Terminal 1).
- 4 State Bank of India ATM (Terminal 1).
There is a multi-faith prayer hall in the international terminal.
- Bangalore is the obvious destination for travellers stuck in the airport.