Staying at the Airport in India Travel

If your layover is more than few hours and you need a proper shut-eye with a shower too, then a lounge may not be an ideal solution, especially if you are travelling with your family. Some years back, in Indian airports, there used to be retiring rooms controlled by the Airports Authority of India (AAI). The rooms were always in demand, even though there was lot of scope for improvement. I remember seeing passengers queuing up at the airport manager’s office with their ticket and trying to convince him that they really needed the room We have come a long way since then and now T3 terminal in New Delhi boasts an airport transit hotel.

Transit Hotels. A transit hotel is a short stay hotel at international airports in the transit zone within airside or sometimes outside. If it is in the transit zone, it can be used by passengers to rest between flights. Usually, the rooms are allotted in blocks of 3 to 12 hour stays. No entry visa is required to stay in the transit hotel. There are transit hotels in many major international hubs like Singapore, Dubai, Istanbul, London etc. Recently, the transit hotel at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport was in the news when the US NSA operative Edward Snowden was reportedly staying there. Transit hotels will have all the usual facilities of a hotel like bed/s, bathroom, TV etc. so you can rest and recoup before your next flight.

Airport Cubicles. They are also called as ‘sleep boxes’, ‘sleep pods’, ‘snooze box’ and so on. This concept was first seen in Japan and then an entrepreneur in London Heathrow started Yotel after which it is now seen in many international airports, including New Delhi’s T3. They are no frills ‘rooms’ (or rather boxes) with a bed, a TV and perhaps Wi-Fi and hence cheaper than transit hotels or lounges. They are also rented hourly.

Staying at the Airport in India Travel Photo Gallery

Getting to your local airport is not much of an issue for anyone. It is at the destination that one needs to be careful for transportation from the airport to your place of stay or other way round – careful in terms of not paying too high a cost, or being taken for a ride or maybe even conned by an unscrupulous cab driver. Here are some of the cost effective ways to get that ride peacefully:-

Airport Shuttle or Coach. Almost all major international airports have airport shuttles or coaches. Shuttles are usually 6 to 12 seat vehicles and maybe shared by passengers. Airport coaches are big buses (40 seats and more) usually operated by the airport authorities or by city transport authorities. In either case, the shuttles or coaches will take you to a scheduled point which may be the city center or transportation hub, from where you can take a short ride by local bus or cab to your place of stay. There are dedicated websites which allow you to book your tickets on the shuttle / coach online where the costs are lesser than when you buy them at the airport.

Airport Rail. Some major international airports like Heathrow, KLIA etc. have rail connectivity which take you from the terminal to the city center and back. The main advantage is of course speed since you are avoiding the traffic. As far as the cost is concerned, if travelling in a group / family, it is best to compare the rates with other modes of transport. Some airports are served by multiple rail links e.g. London Heathrow has three kinds of rail – one is the London underground or metro as we call it and which is cheapest since it will stop at all intervening stations. The second is the Heathrow Connect which is faster than the underground but slower than the last type which is the Heathrow Express which stops only at the destination. The cost of express is of course higher. The KLIA Express at Kuala Lumpur even allows you to check-in your baggage at KL Sentral – how convenient. A full list of airport rail links across the world is at

Airport Transfer Cabs / Cars. There are some taxi companies which usually specialize in airport transfers. Since the rates are known on their website, it is best to book for airport transfer online rather than rent the vehicle when you reach the destination – at which time they will simply ask for a higher rate. Perhaps the only exception is Singapore where the cab driver will never overcharge you and may also give you various tourist tips. Our driver there even told us that if any cab driver misbehaves, the telephone number on the dashboard which is of the tourism ministry can be called and the driver’s license will be cancelled. Now that is one representative of Singapore!

Your Hotel Coach / Car. At Dubai, we got an excellent deal with Radisson Blu (Club Room) which included two-way airport transfer in a Lexus Limousine! So look out for hotel packages which may include complimentary airport transfers in their car or coach. Of course most 4 and 5 Star properties also provide airport transfers on payment – it may be worthwhile to check their rates and compare it with other modes of transportation. e.g. if that airport express + short cab ride is just a few rupees less than the hotel car, why not consider the hotel transport in the interest of saving time and the bother of changing modes of transport.

Airport Transfer For India Travel

In recent years, travelling by air has become a bother especially due to the security checks and regulations (which although are an absolute necessity). We all agree that we have no choice but to fly long distances due to convenience it offers in terms of time saved. But, what if you could have alternatives, especially for short distances? I think many will prefer the alternative if it means not braving the traffic to reach the airport at the outskirts of the city almost two hours earlier, going through security ‘hoops’ and then again get a ride to your place of stay. More so if you are travelling to Europe or Japan where the relatively small distances between cities make us look even harder for that alternative. One of those choices is train travel which is an easy and relaxing way to explore Europe or Japan. Heck, if you want to explore any country at your leisure, there is nothing better than rail travel. In the US though, train travel is more expensive as compared to flying and driving.

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