Kolkata International Aiport- a couple of questions

#1 Mar 6th, 2017, 16:13
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#1
Hi all,

Our plane arrives at Kolkata Intl Aiport at 10.40pm, a couple of questions for regular IM travellers please.

At that time of night how long can we expect to take to get out of the aiport (ie clear immigration, customs and collect bags)?

Will there be an ATM available or Foreign Currency booth open? We cant get INR here in Australia!

And finally, how long will the transfer take into town at that time of night, we are staying near Park St & travelling by car.

Many thanks in advance.
#2 Mar 7th, 2017, 01:36
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#2
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Originally Posted by IndiaHereIComeWooHoo View Post Hi all,

Our plane arrives at Kolkata Intl Aiport at 10.40pm, a couple of questions for regular IM travellers please.
I've not entered India via CCU, but I'll hazzard a guess. You are arriving on SilkAir from Singapore ? Depending of the day of the week, your international flight would be the only one arriving in the 2200-2300 hour window. Expect to clear immigrations within 25-45 minutes.
#3 Mar 7th, 2017, 02:57
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#3
Thank you for replying. It is Singapore Airlines and on a Saturday night.

Ps. Fingers crossed for 25mins lol, after coming from Australia, the quicker the better!
#4 Mar 7th, 2017, 03:38
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#4
You should have posted this in "Kolkata", not "West Bengal"---I have asked the mods to move it, you will get more informed replies in the correct forum.

You won't get out in 25 min, luggage comes out slowly at Kolkata airport. But if you expect speed and efficiency, India will drive you crazy, and the airport is a good place to start experiencing Indian Standard Time.

Note that to pass immigration you need to fill out a form, but forms are no longer handed out on the plane now that Indian citizens don't need the form. You will need to hunt down a form after getting to immigration.

You can't legally get INR anywhere outside India. There is a foreign exchange counter at the airport. I am told that there is an ATM but I have not seen it.

The drive to Park St will take you maybe 45 min, maybe slightly less. Traffic can be heavy even at that time of night.
#5 Mar 7th, 2017, 05:05
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#5
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Originally Posted by IndiaHereIComeWooHoo View Post
... staying near Park St & travelling by car.


landing to hotel room about two hours .. if hotel car pick-up, don’t need cash .. visit atm in the morning
#6 Mar 7th, 2017, 15:45
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#6
Thanks so much for your helpful replies, much appreciated. Good idea re hotel transfer, this will save any the need for any INR funds that night.
#7 Mar 8th, 2017, 12:46
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  • kolkatakol is offline
#7

Talking Kolkata Airport

Have travelled to Kolkata that time of night many times. Yep bank on 45 mins-1 hour to clear immigration/customs, then keep walking straight until you get to the foreign exchange counter. I always take US dollars cash & change US$100 note (best rate for bigger denomination but have smaller notes for emergency)-don't take Aussie cash they don't like it and will give you the run around- at the exchange counter outside customs. It is open 24 hours & that time of night is quiet. Then go to the prepaid taxi counter -two/three counter along(usually has a que of Indians so can't miss it)- next to exchange counter-and book a prepaid taxi with your exchanged cash; that way you won't get ripped off with taxi fare, then take chitty to booth out front, all well signposted, hop in taxi & settle back and enjoy the ambience of Kolkata-usually that time of night is not busy traffic wise & is a pleasant 30-45 drive to hotel. I prefer to change a little US$ at airport and then find 'open' ATM in central Kolkata in morning on way to train ticket office-Fairlie Place (which is another adventure!!). Don't expect things to happen in a hurry, as previous post said-Indian 'standard' time!
#8 Mar 8th, 2017, 15:49
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#8
Great tip re the USD, I was also wondering about AUD vs USD & was planning another post to IM! Thanks for replying & letting me know.

Getting excited now, our trip is only a week and a half away
#9 Mar 8th, 2017, 18:19
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#9
My experience is a bit different to Kolkatakol's as I have not had any problems changing Australian dollars at moneychangers in India (including in Kolkata). However, to be on the safe side given Kolkatakol's experience at the airport I would probably take some USD to change at the airport (but would still rely on AUD most of the time).

Since demonetisation, I have heard of a couple people having difficulty changing $100 AUD notes, but not other denominations. I think the problem with $100 notes arises because of the rumours that Australia would withdraw $100 notes from circulation - given the demonetisation chaos in India the moneychangers did not want to take the chance that they would end up with worthless $100 notes.
#10 Mar 9th, 2017, 16:27
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#10
More great tips, thank you. Will avoid the A100 note! Cheers

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