Experiencing the all-new terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport

I chose to fly from Chennai, as prices from Bangalore were almost double

BHPian vigsom recently shared this with other enthusiasts.


This is an account of my experiences at the all-new Terminal A at Abu Dhabi International Airport. As a bonus, one more new Terminal of an Indian airport will also be featured here - Buy one get one free

What's in scope and what's out of scope

This account covers my experiences at arrival and departure areas but does not include lounge experiences or transfers. I'd urge readers to chip in with their experiences with transfers at Abu Dhabi International (AUH) and, one of the USPs of this airport - the US preclearance.

This was an impromptu trip

I have been yearning for quite some time to leave the shores of India on a break, but it took me over six years to execute that; and when an opportunity presented itself, I seized it and the first task was to look for tickets. There were only two daily flights to Abu Dhabi ex-Bengaluru (BLR) and on all my choices of dates, they were astronomically priced - INR 95k for two for a round trip BLR-AUH-BLR. It's a similar scene for BLR-DXB-BLR by Emirates. However, on closer look, I found that there was this connection BLR-MAA-AUH by Indigo that was turning out quite competitively priced.

When I dug deeper, I realized that Chennai (MAA) had three airlines operating direct flights to Abu Dhabi - three daily flights by Etihad Airways, two by Air Arabia Abu Dhabi (on a few days, it was one flight), and one daily flight by Indigo. I then went on to the Etihad Airways site, and with some adjustment of dates, managed a round trip for two of us at just INR 49.6k, almost half of what was offered ex-BLR. I grabbed the tickets without delay.

Three days to departure

With tickets done, I wasn't sure if it was worth attempting visas via the airline given the fewer days at hand. I got the visas issued by my relative in Abu Dhabi - application in the morning, and visas in hand in the evening via a travel agency. No extra charges at all.

How do we go to Chennai?

Does the trainman have to worry about that? I was able to manage tickets by Vande Bharat Express onward and the evening Shatabdi Exp on return.

Journey to Chennai and the brief stopover there

An uneventful 4 hours 15 minute ride by the Vande Bharat Express and we were in Chennai Central. We managed our bags ourselves, found our way out of the station to a friend's waiting Zen Estilo, and got dropped off at our folks' place. We relaxed there for a few hours before setting off for the airport in the wee hours. Ola's pre-booked cab ditched us as expected, but we used Uber and were well on time at the airport.

Continue reading BHPian vigsom's airport review for more insights and information.

Redlining the Indian Automotive Scene