I won’t lie, this is not the most exciting post I think I have made yet, however this one is completely in line with the “I wish someone had told me that” purpose of this blog, so bear with me.
I really wish I knew: that leaving the airport requires a toll, and it is not included in the taxi fare. Cost is INR 120.
Best hack: hold small denominations for this toll – they are distinctly unimpressed if you give them INR 500 note!
Entry requirements: At time of writing this, India had introduced the E-visa tourist visa for some country’s – NZ, Australia, Canada, USA & UK among eligible country’s. You need to apply at least three days before travel, and make sure you print it out for presentation at Immigration
Entering Bangalore Airport
We got off our flight all starry-eyed, and actually completely surprised at how clean and modern the airport was … Makes me a little embarrassed on reflection 😏
Anyway, we were so taken aback about how exciting it all was, we missed the teeny tiny sign segueing e-visa tourist holders into a different immigration line some time before the “official” looking immigration area. Specifically it’s pretty much opposite the toilets near immigration. The beauty is, pretty much everyone one else missed it, so there was no line. Entry into India requires a photo of you, and also fingerprint scans… Serious stuff.
Pretty standard stuff, walk to get your bags, and mosey on out of the airport to your next destination.
Bangalore had specific taxi companies that they use, so once you leave the airport (International and domestic) head towards your left, ignore anyone offering you a taxi ride, till you get to the official Airport Taxi stand, where you will be directed to taxi.
I do recommend downloading a good offline GPS app (we have Sygic GPS). It comes in handy as Bangalore doesn’t really use street numbers in any consistent manner, and google maps/Apple maps seem to really struggle finding the places you are looking for. We ended up making an international call on our mobiles to get a friends brother to explain to the taxi driver where we were going.
Taxi cost is pretty reasonable, although by Bangalore standards it is the more expensive option for transport around.
Leaving Bangalore Airport
International / Domestic
At the time of writing this post, entry into Bangalore Airport, either for domestic or International travel requires you to have a printed copy of your itinerary and a photo ID of each traveler. There can be delays entering the airport as this is checked prior to your entry into the Airport. If you don’t have a printed copy of your itinerary, you may get denied entry.
Standard stuff, and reasonably relaxed all things considering, although the armed customs officials lounging around seem to help keep things calm…
This is where things get serious. You are required to go through bag search for domestic and international travel, and these are in two different areas. We did have a random issue with regard to which line to use when we went to Goa. Our flight was technically an international flight, so despite us never leaving India, we needed to go through customs etc. It definitely pays to double-check which bag search you need to go through as it is a little easier to go through than come back out – trust us!
There is a line for males and for females, which is a bit of a first for me. In front of me for our flight back to Melbourne, was a woman from Ireland. She was traveling alone with her 12-year-old son, and although she was very calm, she was obviously nervous about her son being in a different line from her, and undertaking a reasonably formal process.
Anyway, you put your bags on the conveyor, take a number, and then get patted down. For the women, the pat down is undertaken in an enclosed area, which for me made me nervous as you lose site of your bags during this check. The pat down was very efficacious, but maybe a little more “invasive” than I am used to – that being said, I haven’t traveled to the States since pre 9/11, so it may now be a bit of the norm in areas where there is a reasonable concern around terrorism.
Once you are patted down, and you provide your number to receive your bags, you get a tag for each carry on bag. This tag gets checked when you reach the gate, when you present your ticket to board, and again when you are entering the plane – pretty serious stuff, so don’t lose your ticket!!
Beauty about this, is that this is not mentioned/described anywhere in the airport, so you end up kind of bumbling along looking a little startled at all times … good demeanor to have when traveling overseas right?!?
So there you go, getting in and out of Bangalore, thrilling stuff right!!