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Bangalore Airport: Arriving & Departing
Bangalore International Airport is a construction feat that rivals the best of most International airports. Travel time to downtown Bangalore is roughly 45 minutes. Taxi rates run Rs 1200 to this area, more or less depending on which part of the city your destination lies. Taxis are plentiful and their drivers also act as porters if you require luggage assistance.
Travelers depart planes onto jetways which lead directly into the massive glass-walled reception hall. From there, turn left and follow the outer rim which wraps the entire upper level. Follow the signs leading to Customs arrival and baggage claim. Due to the open-air design, passengers are greeted by a large open space looking down onto the retail and food court. The activity can be seen and heard immediately after deplaning, a warmer greeting than IGI in Delhi where new arrivals are shuttled through starkly lit cavernous hallways until they meet Customs.
As you move closer to the Customs area, high walls block your view of the agent stations. A bank of stairs and escalators lead down into a spacious Customs hall flanked left to right with agent booths. Just beyond Customs is the baggage claim area along with duty-free shopping and toilets. Remember to keep the stub your Customs agent handed you as you were processed. After retrieving your luggage and making your way to the exit you will be asked for this stub.
If you need to use the ATM or make arrangements for ground transportation including prepaid taxis, do so before exiting the airport. Armed guards block re-entry into the baggage claim area. Passengers with car & driver service can meet their appropriate representatives beyond the exit doors. Here drivers hold signs behind a metal railing visible from inside the airport. STD phone service is provided in this area as well as food stalls should a wait ensue.
Bangalore airport follows the standard practice of allowing only ticketed passengers into the airport. Drivers, taxis, and friends/family can drop travelers outside the multiple entry doorways where armed guards check passports and tickets or reservation itineraries. My travel partner and I were greeted immediately at curbside by an Air France representative who loaded our luggage on his waiting trolley and pointed us on our way. The rep walked us through the initial passport/reservation check into the ticketing area where an agent greeted us. Tickets were processed using an automated kiosk and we were then directed to the luggage drop point. The initial rep wheeled our luggage to the end of the line. Before I could thank him he was off to gather other passengers.
After confirming luggage drop off, passengers can shop or find several food stalls before the security and Customs checkpoint. While in Customs, agents may remind frequent travelers to India of the newly imposed tourist entry policy.
If you prefer there is an executive lounge beyond the security check which offers free WiFi, meal service, flat-screen TVs, refreshments, reading material, and toilets. Check with your ticketing agent for the appropriate entry pass.
Finding your gate is very simple. Follow the appropriate signs, listen for the correct announcements and you’ll find yourself on the plane in short order.