Nov 032012

With the expansion of airlines operations to tier-2 and tier-3 cities in India, the entire country is now connected on an extensive flight network. As competition is growing day by day , the airlines are offering cheaper air tickets and more in-flight services to attract the passengers and thus, domestic air travel in India is becoming very popular. Flying in the air is no longer a status symbol and it is becoming an absolute necessity in day to day life. More and more people wish to fly in the air now and they need more awareness on the certain procedures before their flight. In the hustle and bustle of life, some times we are in so hurry that we forget to follow necessary steps while taking a flight. This post will brief you on the points to remember while travelling on domestic flights in India:

Make a complete itinerary: Prior to buying an air ticket, make a complete itinerary of your journey. At least be sure about your onward and return journey dates and as far as possible try to book a return ticket always. Booking the tickets for onward and return journey together are generally cheaper than booking two separate tickets for onward and return journey tickets.

Book a cheaper air ticket: Unless the travel expenses are sponsored by someone, majority of people try to book cheaper air tickets. Just because of the availability of cheaper air tickets, air travel became so affordable in India Although the income of a middle class man also increases considerably, but still everybody wants to save as much as possible. This habit always inspire the passengers to look for the lowest air fare availability in the market. Many travel websites do a comprehensive analysis of the lowest air fares availability on different airlines and show the best result suited to the passengers.

Apart from the lowest air fare, these websites also show the other relevant options for your search that include full service carriers like Air India, different time combinations and different combinations of non-stop and direct flights. So, if you wish to travel by Air India in its B-787 dreamliners or Air India Express, you can also book those tickets using a service of many online travel agencies (OTAs) in India.

A Boeing-787 Dreamliner at Delhi Airport

Fill correct information while booking a ticket: While booking a ticket online, always ensure that the name and other information entered in the form is matching exactly with your name and other details on the identity documents. If there will be any mismatch in name or any other information,it may cause you a problem during travel and sometimes it may turned in to a costly affair or denial of a boarding pass.

Make Sure that you are having a valid identity document: All travelers must present valid identification at the time of airport entry and check-in. The valid photo identification documents allowed are: Valid Passport / Driving License / Election Voter Card / Ration Card/ Aadhar Card/ PAN Card/ Photo Identity cards issued by Government, Public and reputed Private sector organizations / Photo Credit Card.

For school going children and students, college/school identity card is acceptable as a proof of identification. If infants are travelling with their parents, they are allowed to travel provided that the parents should have a valid identity proof. But, since children below 2 years of age can travel free (without an extra seat), airline staff may ask for the birth certificate of the child to cross-check their age.

If there are many travelers in a group travelling together, they all must have a separate identity proof, even if they are travelling on a single ticket/PNR. If anybody doesn’t possess any kind of identification documents, he/she can produce an identity certificate issued by local M.P./M.L.A/D.M/S.D.M. etc.

Mention your Frequent Flyer Number: If you are a frequent flyer and the members of any air-miles programmes of the airline or credit card company, please make sure to mention it in your ticket booking to avail the benefits.

Buy a travel insurance: Buying a travel insurance is absolutely a customer’s choice. It helps you to prevent from the losses in case of baggage theft, flight delays or any unwanted situations as per the term and conditions.

Inform Airline about any Special Needs: If you are travelling with a minor, or you are pregnant or you have requirement of the all these cases you need some extra attention from the airlines staff during the travel. You should always inform the airlines well in advance about any special needs, preferably at the time of booking a ticket. Sometimes, it may cost you some extra bucks.

Rules regarding the infants and children: You should have the knowledge of the latest safety regulations regarding the infants and minor, while travelling with the infants or minor children.

Tickets Booked, Now time for packing:

Cabin Baggage: You should be aware of the cabin baggage rules of your airline. Every airline have different rules regarding the weight and dimension of the cabin baggage. Generally, a medium backpack or trolley bag with a laptop bag are allowed at every flight. However, always confirm it with your airlines to avoid any difficulty at the airport.

Check-in Luggage: Always try to pack as light as you can. Again, check with your airlines regarding the weight and dimensions of the free check-in luggage. If your luggage limit will be beyond that, you have to pay extra fee for your luggage.

Leave Gifts unwrapped: If you are travelling with any gift pack, as far as possible, leave it unwrapped. If any security official wish to inspect your packet, it will be easy to access and inspect and thus, save your time at security checks.

Knowledge of Restricted and Prohibited Items: If you have doubt on any of your possession, please always ensure that they do not fall under the list of restricted and prohibited items during air travel. You can not take some items in your cabin baggage, but you can take them in your check-in baggage. So, always pack cabin and check-in baggage accordingly to avoid any inconvenience at the airport.

Packing Done, Travel to the airport:

Check your flight status: On-time performances are the major issues for the airlines. But still, flight operations are dependent on the various other factors like weather and air traffic congestion. So, before leaving your home to the airport, please ensure that your flight is on-time, especially in the foggy weather at the airports like Delhi, when flight delays are frequent for the hours.

Check the arrangements at the destination: Though not necessary always, it is good to have a prior arrangement of airport transfer and hotel booking at your destination. You can also book these facilities online with the help of numerous booking portals.

Knowledge of Departure Terminal: At the larger airports like Delhi, domestic flights operate from the different terminals in case of different airlines. For example, at Delhi International Airport, Spice Jet, Indigo and GoAir operate its domestic flight from Terminal -1, while Indian, Jet Airways, JetKonnect and Kingfisher Red operate its domestic flights from Terminal-3 and both the terminals are at least 5 kms apart. So, always make sure and check that your flight operates from which terminal to avoid last minutes delay.

When I was going to catch my first flight of Air India from Delhi to Mumbai in 2005, I thought that the flight would operate from the domestic terminal-1. When I reached there, the security guard informed me that the flight was scheduled from terminal-2. Both terminals were 7 kms apart at that time and I hurriedly reached to the Termial-2 in the late night. Even today I got regular calls from many friends asking about their flight terminal. So always make sure that you are going to depart from which terminal at the bigger airports.

Always prefer Web or Mobile Check-in: As far as possible, preferably if you travelling with a cabin baggage only, try to check-in online or with your mobile phones. You can also print your boarding pass after online check-in. This way, you can avoid the long queues at the airport check-in counters.

Carry your travel documents: Make sure that you have your tickets, your identity card and other related travel documents with you before leaving your home to the airport. Try to keep these documents in your cabin baggage, so that you can easily access them.

Reach airport on time: Generally, check-in counters at the airport close down 45 minutes before the departure for all domestic flights for all classes. So, always try to reach the airport on time to allow the sufficient time for check-in and security checks.

At the airport check-in counters: Always bring your photo identity card with your ticket. After verifying your identity, the customer representative will provide you a boarding pass that states your flight’s departure gate and your seat number. Airlines staff will check-in your bulky luggage and charge, if any extra fee will be required for your check-in baggage. At the time of check-in, please make sure that your baggage is identified correctly with placing baggage identity card, so that the airlines staff could not misplace your baggage during your flight

In the flight: Follow the instructions of the airlines cabin-crew members regarding the handling of electronic equipments, seat belts and flight safety.

At the destination: Do not forget to collect your check-in baggage from the luggage belts.

Know your rights as a passenger: Last, but not the least, you should always know your consumer rights as an airline’s passenger in case of flight delays, baggage mishandling or any unwanted situations.

I hope this post will help you to plan your domestic air travel conveniently. Enjoy your flying in the sky.

Have Queries regarding Domestic Air Travel in India, Ask here at Transportation in India Forum

  174 Responses to “Points to Remember while travelling on Domestic Flights within India”

  1. Hi, I booked a ticket of Indigo airlines for me and my wife but due to some problem I am unable to travel so is it possible that my wife can travel on that ticket as her name include in ticket? Also can some other person travel on behalf of my ticket?

  2. My mom has booked my domestic flights within India using her credit card on Indigo airlines. The airlines website says that customers may be required to present the credit card or a photo copy of the card used to pay (copied below). What are my options in case they ask for the credit card to be presented? I will have my US passport with me for photo ID.

    Important Information: In addition to valid photo identification customers may be required to present the credit\debit card or a photo copy of card used to pay for their booking, at check-in.

    • Yes, They may ask for that. Please arrange a scan copy of the credit card. If possible, also arrange a scan copy of the signed undertaking letter stating that the payment against this ticket is done by the credit card number belonging to …(your mom). This will help you a lot. All airlines are not strict about the credit card copy. I have booked many tickets for my friends using my credit card, and they never had any problem. But, one of my friend faced problems during check-in with Indigo Airlines at Delhi Airport, because of this issue. They are authorise to ask it anytime, so better to have the copy in advance.

  3. I have purchase ticket from kolkata to port blair, I have booked a ticket named Mina Shasmal, but in ID proof there is Shasmal Mina, Is it make any probleme. Or need for correction???

  4. i booked a ticket with air india and have entered a wrong date of birth as what is in my id proofs..will it be a problem?

  5. Also in addition to my previous question, what are important things i should remember as a first time flyer!
    Pl reply as soon as possible.

  6. Hello,

    I am travelling for the first time from Bangalore to Jaipur to attend a three day exam with Air costa airlines. I am planning to take a laptop bag along with small luggage bags having total weight less than 15 kg. can i take these two bags with me in cabin?, if yes what are things i should not kept in bag to allow it as cabin luggage? also if i am not allow to kept these bags in cabin what are the things i need to follow for check – in type and whether check – in option is safe as i have admit card and all other important things, and from where i can get my luggage after landing at Jaipur. Is their is any other security check i have to follow at jaipur.
    Waiting for your reply!
    Thanks you in advance.

    • Hi, As per Air Costa Baggage Policy, only 7 kgs of hand baggage is allowed in the cabin. Additionally, you can carry a laptop (without bag) also. Now, it depends on the check-in staff, whether they allow both the bags inside the cabin or not. Since, you have small bags, they may allow it in the cabin. If they will not allow, then also you can surely carry your laptop bag with you. Keep all important document in the laptop bag. Your another bag will be in the cargo hold as a checked-in baggage. Just hand over that bag to the guy on check-in counter. He will do the needful. After landing at Jaipur, go to the relevant conveyor belt to get your bag and come out from the airport. No security check at Jaipur. Hope this answer will help you. Have a nice trip and good luck for the exam. 🙂

  7. I have purchase a ticket of 6 person from kolkata to port blair. But unfortunately I have done a mistake to spell a name. I spell Nemai Shasmal instead of Nemai Sasmal.
    Will it harassed at the time of boarding?

  8. Hi i have lost my all documents and only have my student identity card with photograph in it isof govt college but very old whn i was studying so now can i show this as identity proof or else should i create a bank certificate from the one where i am holding my account.

    • Hi, Old college ID will not work. Better to get a bank passbook from a national bank, affix your photo and put a bank stamp on the pic. It will work as a valid photo id proof.

  9. Hii…gonna travel from delhi to pune on july 1st. Its d first time I’m gonna travel in a flight so m a lil nervous. I mean I donno where to go. I can book a cab to reach domestic airport and d terminal (whichever it would b). But what after that?
    Where to go after this? I’m very nervous. I dont wanna get into any embarrassing situation like I donno where to go, where to collect the boarding pass n all. And after getting d boarding pass wats d next step. How to find my seat n where to keep my luggage (small bag).
    Any suggestions will b of some help 🙂

    • Hi, I already answered a similar query of Prashanth on Feb.17, 2014. Please check that answer. It will solve your query also. If you have more queries, I will be happy to answer. Have a nice trip.

  10. If you don’t have a surname you can not travel via flight in India no Airline allows to book ticket without a surname.However Indian laws do not force a person to have a surname.If you do not believe me go and book an airline ticket without a surname (just do not proceed with payment part)

  11. We booked a ticket on indian airlines fromm New delhi to Jammu so how to know which terminals is ours___???

    • Hi, Indian Airlines (now Air India) is flying from Terminal 3 (all domestic as well as international flights) of Delhi International Airport. You should go to Terminal 3, which is also the International Terminal.

  12. Sir I’m first time traveling in flight , I have taken ticket by online, but the problem is my full name is arun Kumar Singh as per documents and in ticket my name is only arun singh , so wants known that is there any while boarding

  13. me my wife and my two sons are travelling in spice jet flight from new delhi to goa what are the documents required for my sons there age are three and a half years and seven years please assit..

  14. I booked 8 airtickets in indigo airlines for me and my family…can we exchenge our seats or do we need to sit in our seats?

    • Hi, eight members of the family can exchange their seats among themselves. You can also take a vacant seat on the airplane, once it is in the air. For courtsey, you can request to the air hostess before occupying the vacant seat of the plane, it is OK otherwise also.

  15. Next month I am going to mumbai from kerala in indigo is my first flight and can u say the procegures that should be followed

  16. Hi friend i hav pancard and icici bank atm thats it acpected thid dociments

  17. first time i am have bought indigo airline ticket online.(from kolkata to ahmedabad). me,my wife .but i did a mistake. my name is sanjoy mondal, wife name is uma mondal. but my wife’s all id card named uma halder, which is before marriage i card.. my question is if i take marriage cirtificate with her old id card, indigo authority will allow us for boarding?

  18. can i know how to check because this my frst time?

    • Hi, for domestic check-in, just go to the counter of your airline. Show them your printed ticket and identity card, they will issue a boarding pass with aircraft gate number and your seat number. After that,you have to pass through the security check to board your flight.

  19. We are planning to travel to Bangalore along with family member. For ID proof of my son who is 16 years old are having 10th class CBSE examination admit card issued by college principal in Feburary 2014 bearing attested photos by principal as well having the name of mother and father. Kindly inform us that this admit card of my son considered as ID proof. However college has also issued the photo Identity card in the year 2004 when he was studying in KG standard.

  20. Iam travelling with my 1.5 months old baby by go air flight from delhi to portblair…..i have birth certificate but no name is written in birth certificate ….only date of birth and name of father and mother written…
    is in case of infants name in birth certificate is complusary??????
    what documents shuld I carry ?????

  21. My son will be traveling from Mumbai to Mangalore. Can he use his US driving license as ID, since his pass port will be in US consulate at that time. Is xerox of Passport will do ?
    Please advise.

  22. can i wear more gold jewellerys and travel in domestic flight? will i have problem in security check because of wearing more gold ? plz reply ?

    • No, you shouldn’t have any problem in a domestic flight. There is no defined rules for domestic flights, but too much is too much. Sometimes, domestic gold merchants indulge in the transport of huge stocks between cities, via small domestic airports to avoid VAT and other taxes, so they raise suspicions. Just take care of your gold 🙂

  23. hi..i have booked my air ticket in indigo while booking online i typed my home address wrongly with spilling mistake while in my voter id given home address is different..will it create a problem for me ? plz gve me ur valuable comment….

  24. what is the maxi allowable cabin baggage weight for different air line operated in india.

  25. Iam travelling with my 9months old baby by indigo flight from Hyderabad to goa
    But she does not have birth certificate
    what documents shuld I carry for her

  26. First of all thank you very much explained in detailed domestic airtravels process.

    I have booked ticket from Lucknow to Chennai (SpiceJet: Lucknow to Delhi and then same SpiceJet: Delhi to Chennai)

    Lucknow to Delhi: SG518 then connects to Delhi to Chennai: SG315

    i have following doubts can you please clear me.

    1) What is the difference between connects to and Change Planes in New Delhi?
    2) I need to change flight in Delhi (SG315)?
    3) If yes for above question2 during that time I need to take my luggage back in Delhi and do again check in?

    3) Seat no allotted in Lucknow itself till Chennai?

    • Hi, I don’t have a clear idea, but I think you have to change the aircraft in Delhi (MakeMyTrip website doesn’t mention it, but it is mentioned on Spicejet website). However, you can check-in your luggage directly to Chennai from Lucknow. Seat Number should also be allotted upto Chennai from Lucknow only. But, if they don’t allow it, then you have the sufficient time to collect your luggage and catch the next flight from Delhi.

  27. i wish to carry my DSLR Camera & lenses with me in the cabin luggage. Whether it is allowed ?

  28. sir my aunt is having andhrabank passbook..does it act as identity id????

  29. I don’t have full surname in any ID Proof., I have only first letter of my surname, while ticket booking they asked full surname., if i enter my full surname is this acceptable in while airport entry check-in..? or else i have to produce my full surname’s identity proof?

  30. I want to just see aeroplane in Mumbai sahar airport. What is process . Is there any ticket available like railway platform ticket.

    • Hi, You can’t do that, unless you are flying from Mumbai. Earlier there was a visitor’s entry ticket (I think, its discontinued now), but that was also not sufficient to help you in the aeroplane sighting. Best way to sight an aeroplane is outside the airport near the landing path. You can see them closely while they approach at very low height to land on the runway at the airport.

  31. If i have enter my first name spelling wrong at the time of booking an air ticket
    What is the procedure for changing it

  32. i missed my all ID proofs & ATM with my purse. next month i am going to mumbai to madurai spicejet flight. now i have only my SBI bank passbook only. what can i do..? SBI passbook accepted in spicejet…

    • Yes, you can use a bank passbook of SBI, provided there is a photo on that. If photo is not there, go to the branch, paste your passport-size photo and asked them to put a bank stamp. It will act as a photo id proof.

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