GETTING FLIGHTS RIGHT

GETTING FLIGHTS RIGHT

India has an excellent domestic flight network criss-crossing the country. In recent months, the government has offered subsidies for airlines to open new routes and connect to new airports. The leading airlines are Indigo, SpiceJet, Jet Airways, Go Air and Air India. In recent times, the difference in fares between low-cost airlines and full-service airlines has blurred.

The major airport hubs in India are ChennaiMumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, New Delhi, and Kolkata.

SpiceJet and Indigo have the best airline networks, connectivity, fares and reliabilityJet Airways and Air India offer meals included in the air fare and better leg room.

Air fare typically between metro cities tends to be high due to demand and can range from INR 2,500 (US$ 40) to INR 12,000 (US$ 200) depending upon (a) how much in advance you book (b) the day of the week of travel, and (c) the time of day of travel. On non-metro sectors (or tourist sectors), fares don’t change much during the week or for the time of day.

However, tourist sector fares are higher from October – March versus April-September. Book at least 3-months in advance to get the lowest fares. Travel on the weekends is cheaper than travel during the week. And morning or evening flights between metros can be very expensive. Book flights mid-morning or mid-afternoon.

On ‘low-cost’ airlines such as Indigo and SpiceJet, they offer you the choice of seat selection (no extra cost), front row and emergency row seats (at extra cost), pre-booked meals (extra), pre-booked extra check-in baggage allowance, and even fastlane check-in service at the airport at extra cost!

All airlines (except Air India – 25 kg) offer you only 15 kgs of check-in baggage allowance. Carry on luggage allowance is restricted to 7 kgs per passenger. You can pre-purchase extra check in allowance on most carriers.

Meals on board are generally of average quality and high cost. So its best to try and eat something in the airport lounge before boarding your flight.

Many airline websites will not accept overseas credit cards. Book your fares through Wonder tours and you will get the best flight that optimises time on the ground at your destination vis-à-vis flight connections and costs. We charge you typically between INR 400-450 service fee per ticket.