The former Bangalore International Airport at Devanahalli was recently renamed to Kempegowda International Airport or KIA after Kempe Gowda, the founder of the flourishing city, a chieftain under the Vijayanagara empire during the 16th century. Renaming the landmark airport was a huge tribute to the 16th century ruler indeed.
The KIA has phenomenal architecture and has a truly world-class outlook. As quoted by many- “The new Bengaluru airport is a nice thing to happen at last!” It was also awarded the title of “India’s Best airport” in 2011 by a Skytrax survey. The Bengaluru terminal has also been upgraded to meet the expectations of its customers. Built over an enormous area of about 4000 acres, this place boasts of being the third busiest airport in the country, owing to its facilities and traffic.
Along with breathtaking architecture, the Kempegowda International Airport also provides a number of facilities to passengers. There is free wireless internet access inside the terminal building, the password for which is sent to the mobile phones of users post registration. It also caters to passengers with special needs by providing separate access lanes and wheelchair assistance to them. There are porters available for hiring to carry your luggage too.
If you happen to have a few hours to kill at the KIA, then you need to worry about dying of boredom. There are ATMs and money exchange terminals to make a start. Besides, the terminal also has a number of shops, an exclusive shopping area and many duty-free outlets. There is a spacious sports bar and also five airline lounges including Kingfisher Airlines Lounge, Jet Airways Lounge, Air India Lounge, Oberoi Group Lounge and Reserved Lounge. The Kingfisher, Reserved and Oberoi lounges also have showers.
You can rent cars right at the airport or grab a bite at various restaurants within the terminal. Some of the ones you must try out are Baskin Robins, CCD, Cookie Man, Pizza Hut, Time Out Bar, Gangotree, Kaati Rolls and Nukkad. There are also a number of hotels around the airport for you to get a good night’s rest such as Hotel Royal Orchid, Leela Palace Kempinski, Shilton Residence and Clarks exotica.
The KIA is open round the clock. To sync with the present generation, it also has a Twitter account and a Facebook page where you can post your reviews and feedback easily. The airport is located at 40 kilometers from the center of the city, which takes an approximate time of one to two hours to traverse. There are taxi services available besides the preferred airport shuttle buses by the BMTC. These shuttle buses are air-conditioned Volvo buses which depart at intervals of 15 minutes each and ply to various parts of the city for a much lower cost.
One of the present major drawbacks of the KIA is the costly user development fee. It is presently Rs. 1070 for all departing international passengers and Rs. 260 for domestic passengers. This fee has been incorporated into the ticket price.