Tips for Domestic Air Travel in India

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In the last article, I shared my brief experience of domestic Air Travel. Today, I will share with you some of the tips I feel which could be useful for other fellow travellers.

  • 1. Always book your air ticket with a name that you have on some valid National Photo Identity Proof to avoid any kind of fuss at later stage or getting on-board.
  • 2. When you book tickets on discounted rates, specially the return tickets via Travel Portals other than Airlines itself then always make sure that you check the Rules of Cancelation on the Airlines website as well as Travel Portals for any kind of mismatch or disconnect or hidden clauses. Sometimes even the tickets which are Refundable have clauses. I had a case with Yatra guys where I booked a discounted price return ticket and they told me I cannot cancel the return because I have boarded the one way flight. I could only reschedule with charges and that too on their will. But, the status of the ticket was REFUNDABLE when I booked. I had a big argument with them and would never want to go back to Yatra for any of my bookings as they were too setback in replying to my emails as well. I generally prefer makemytrip but do take care of this point of checking the rules at both websites (airlines as well as theirs).
  • 3. If you are interested in taking any Air Travel insurance along with ticket while booking it (lured by very small amount generally), make sure you cross-check with travel insurance company about the rules first. In one of the case, there was a clause of delay of flight and some amount associated with it will be paid after more than 6 Hrs of delay of my flight. My flight got delayed for few hours first but eventually got cancelled which practically delayed me by 2 days because the rescheduling was done after 2 days by the airlines. When I requested for a claim on the delay of 2 days (exceeding 6 Hrs limit) the Travel Insurance company told me that the flight was eventually cancelled not delayed, so they cannot pay anything. Now, just imagine or maybe I could be wrong – Will a flight get delayed for two days without cancellation? Not sure, what is the upper limit of cancellation of a flight, I am not sure or aware about it. However, for you it might be something to know before you pay that little extra for Travel Insurance.
  • 4. While bookings the Airline tickets, know the rules for facilities that airline will provide you in case flight gets cancelled and you do not belong to that city or place. In one of the incident, while the Jet Airways arranged for a day’s accommodation for their passengers but GoAir did not have any such facility or offerings, although the price was not different too much.
  • 5. Try to Web Check-in if possible or available with the airline or after reaching the Airport try to book them as soon as possible. Sometimes, really helpful in cases when you want to experience a golden sunrise like over Himalayas or to avoid getting the last row seats which might have even tighter leg space. I experienced it badly in an Indigo flight while traveling from Srinagar and got sprain in stomach due to tight leg space and wrong posture of seats. Though you can live without seeing golden sunrise but a long journey with wrong posture might trouble you a lot. Comfort wise, I still feel Indian Airlines is way better though a bit costly sometimes
  • 6. While packing your stuff, know beforehand what you are allowed to carry in a flight and what not especially when some things are specifically mentioned for certain airports like Leh, Srinagar where even any kind of hand baggage is not even allowed. Try to sensibly pack your stuff with categorization of electronics, fragile items, money or other valuables etc.
  • 7. Make sure you reach well in reporting time as mentioned or asked by the airline and get your boarding pass in time to avoid any kind of last minute fuss. I had an incident when my baggage was taken from security check by another passenger and got checked-in by him. It took so much time to identify where the baggage got lost that all the counters were closed. It was assurance by the attendant there which got me the tickets and the baggage back. It is always better to keep a check on flight status too before leaving or a previous night especially in winters in North India as it proved useful for me once when I checked Air India flight status a day before only to know that flight timings had changed/delayed by few hours.
  • 8. Do not forget to carry the National Photo Identity Proof with you and also ask other passengers traveling with you to carry theirs. It always help to have it handy.
  • 9. If you have booked your tickets from Credit Card number then do not forget to carry your Credit Card copy with CVV cut off from it.
  • 10. Always try to carry any fragile items as your hand baggage because sometimes items are ill-treated or specifically ask them to make it fragile marked. I got my tripod broken when I was traveling with a GoAir flight to Ladakh in 2012.

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