Monday, April 11, 2016

Cochin Airport to city: Bus timings and other budget options!

Cochin Airport is 35 kms from city and taxi fare can cost you as much as a budget airline ticket. For example, my Chennai-Cochin ticket fare was Rs 3400+ round trip and Cochin airport to Bharat hotel in city cost me Rs 600 at night in Ola, day time will be more expensive. Two ways, Taxi expense could be as much as half of airfare, so I was looking for budget alternative. While there are cheaper alternatives such as buses, information about the same was not easy to find and implement.

In this post, I am sharing the city bus time table and related information, as I observed during my last weekend trip to Kochi. Using these budget alternatives - buses, autos etc can easily save you 60-80% of the amount you would have otherwise spent on taxi. I hope this helps those visiting Cochin to save a few hundred rupees.
Cochin International Airport- Main facade
City Bus time table from Cochin airport to Fort Kochi, Ernakulam, Calicut etc. Bus pickup point is near the entrance to International Departure Area.
KSRTC, KURTC bus timings to and from Cochin international airport
While there are adequate buses during day time, you may not find direct buses to your destination in the night.

Essentially, you may even be able to take a bus directly to your final destination from Kochin airport- which may be Alappuzha, Kumarakon etc, instead of having to take a room in Kochi, spend more on taxi etc.

What to do if you don't find direct bus from Cochin airport to your hotel/city or vice-versa?

You can take any available bus or Auto (which might be coming in to drop off passengers) or taxi till a place called Airport Junction, which is near Athani on NH47. Airport Junction is about 5 kms from Cochin International Airport and from here you will find lots of buses to Kochi/Calicut or other destination you may have in mind.

Autos charge Rs 110 from Athani Airport Juction to Kochi airport or vice versa- try your luck bargaining. If you can get any of the bus above, it should be costing Rs 10-20 per person (Not sure of exact fare). From Airport junction, any AC bus that goes towards Ernakulam or Fort Kochi would cost about Rs 45-50 per person. Non AC buses are still cheaper.

Same for return- from Kochi city to Cochin airport- if you can't get a direct bus, take any bus that goes to Airport Junction (usually buses destined to Trissur, Calicut, Guruvaur etc (northern cities) go via Airport Junction. From here take an Auto or if you have time wait for airport bound bus.

If you are a team of 4-5 people then taxi might be reasonable and quick instead of trying auto-bus-auto combination to reach your destination. But if you are just one or two person, taking public transportation + auto where needed can save you a lot. 

Friday night while reaching city, I paid Rs 600 to Ola. Depending on surge pricing, per minute charge, this Ola can cost more. Hiring pre-paid taxi at airport could have costed 25-40% more easily. Sunday evening while returning, we took Auto To Ernakulam bus stand (Rs 40), AC bus to Airport Junction (Rs 96 for 2 people) and Auto from Airport junction to Cochin Airport (Rs 110)- effectively about Rs 250 for 2 pax. Could have saved a bit more if we had waiting for a bus for last leg as well.

Time factor- How much time it takes to reach Cochin city from Airport?
Friday night 10 PM, our Cab ride lasted for full one hour. Sunday evening, it took us about 20 minutes to reach bus stand, some waiting period, about 75 minutes to reach airport junction and another 15 minutes to reach airport- totally close to 2 hours. Factor more time for week day peak hours.
Sunset at Cochin International Airport
There is no train service to Cochin airport but a metro construction is underway. Do share your experience/any tips/related ideas to save some money at Cochin Airport.


R Niranjan Das said...

Such a helpful post, Shrinidhi.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Niranjan

Tomichan Matheikal said...

Let's hope Kochi metro will find its way to the airport.

Shrinidhi Hande said...


Mridula said...

Is the construction related jam still bad if we go into Kochi?

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Mridula- NO. In the town it was fine, no issues. Work in progress along the airport route, so yes, do expect some delay, but largely it is fine.

Bushra Muzaffar said...

Nothing to beat a metro ride for individual as well as group intracity travel. But I guess there's still some time for metro to run in Kochi. In the meantime I find your post valuable for anybody headed Kochi :)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Yes, metro is best, but in many cities, Airport metro also priced extra (Delhi airport metro costs about 200 Rs..)

The wild said...

Anyday metro is cleaner ,greener and faster -instead of having to change multiple modes of transport -

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Yes, let us hope for Kochi airport metro to be operational soon