India flights - cheap international flight tickets and hacker fares to Delhi, Goa, Kolkata

India is open to international tourism

India reopened for tourism on November 15, 2021. Leisure travelers from all countries are allowed to enter India quarantine-free. Fully vaccinated visitors are not required to provide a negative PCR test result, while unvaccinated passengers must present a PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure.

To enter India, you must have a valid passport, an Indian visa and a return/onward ticket. For tourism-related visits of 30 days or less, you can apply online for ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) prior to arrival.

Transiting through Indian airports is allowed for a period no longer than 24 hours. You should have an onward ticket and stay inside the airport’s authorized Transit Area.

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Things to know before flying to India
Best airlines flying to IndiaAir Canada, Air France, Air China, Air India, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Finnair, Flydubai, IndiGo, Japan Airlines, KLM, LOT, Korean Air, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, SAS, Saudia, Scoot, Singapore Airlines, SWISS, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, Vietnam Airlines
Indian airlinesAir IndiaAir India ExpressIndiGoVistara, SpiceJetGo First, AirAsia India, Jet Airways, Akasa Air, Alliance Air, Star Air, FlyBig, IndiaOne Air
Main airportsIndira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) – New Delhi,
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (BOM) – Mumbai,
Kempegowda International Airport (BLR) – Bengaluru,
Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (HYD) – Hyderabad,
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (CCU) – Kolkata,
Chennai International Airport (MAA) – Chennai,
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport (AMD) – Ahmedabad (AMD),
Goa International Airport (GOI) – Goa,
Cochin International Airport (COK) – Kochi
Best stopoversBali, Hong Kong, Fiji and Pacific Islands, Sydney, and Singapore (from US)
Bangkok, Dubai, or Phuket (from Europe)
Regular price (roundtrip)✈ €600 – €900 (from Europe)
✈ $700 – $1200 (from USA)
ATC price✈ 40% — 80% off regular price
Official websitesIncredible India (official tourism website)
India, The Land Of Festivals (events, fairs and festivals)
India Travel Advisory (for US citizens)
Smartraveller India (for Australian citizens)
Foreign travel advice India (for UK citizens)


Tips, tricks & hacks
for flying to India

Know your time zone

India has only one time zone, despite being a large country that stretches almost 3000 kilometers and nearly 30 degrees longitude. It observes Indian Standard Time (IST) all year, which is UTC+05:30 time zone. As a result, clocks in India are 5 and half hours ahead of London and 9 hours and 30 minutes ahead of New York. IST does not have an associated daylight saving time.

When checking flights and airport transfer times, ensure you know the local time zones. The departure time on your plane ticket is always listed based on the time zone of the departure airport. We suggest resetting your watch during the flight – it will help your brain adjust to the new time zone and to deal with jet lag.

Book a seat in a quiet zone

Some airlines (for example AirAsia X) start to offer child-free "quiet zones" for a peaceful flight experience. Children below 10 years old are not allowed in this section. Those seats are usually located in front of the plane (bonus: less noise from the engines) with soft ambient lighting and early meal service.

Next tips

Airports in India

India has more than 100 commercial airports, which includes over 30 international airports – New Delhi DEL, Mumbai BOM, Bengaluru BLR, Hyderabad HYD, Kolkata CCU, Chennai MAA, Ahmedabad AMD, Goa GOI, Kochi COK, Pune PNQ, Lucknow LKO, Srinagar SXR, Jaipur JAI, Varanasi VNS, Kozhikode CCJ, Thiruvananthapuram TRV, Raipur RPR, Amritsar ATQ, Leh IXL, and Madurai IXM.

As in any country, airports with the largest volume of flights are located near major cities – about 10 to 20 kilometers from the city center – with public transport and airport shuttle service available. These are hubs for major Indian airlines, with large passenger terminals, first class lounges, shops, and restaurants.

New Delhi from

Mumbai from

Chennai from

Best airports for populartourist destinations

Whether planning a trip or just exploring possibilities, here’s a list of the best places to visit in India and the nearest (or most convenient) airports to fly into.

Destination in IndiaBest airport
Taj Mahal — AgraAgra AGR or New Delhi DEL
Varanasi — Uttar PradeshVaranasi VNS
Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple) — PunjabAmritsar ATQ
Amer Fort — Jaipur, RajasthanJaipur JAI
The Beaches of Goa — GoaGoa GOI
Periyar National Park — Tamil NaduMadurai IXM
Ellora Caves — MaharashtraAurangabad IXU
Kanha National Park — MaharashtraJabalpur JLR or Nagpur NAG
Kashmir Valley — Jammu and KashmirSrinagar SXR
Darjeeling — West BengalSiliguri IXB

Flights from Russia to India (airports nearby Moscow)

Here are some examples of the real-time economy class airfares from Russia to India in October 2022. All prices are for one-way flights.

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Tips, tricks & hacks
(continued)

Avoid currency exchange kiosks at airports

Airports are infamous for making an exuberant amount of money from their currency exchanges due to the extremely high margins, and Indian airports are no exception. Airport kiosks usually charge higher fees which are sometimes hidden within the poorer exchange rates they offer – their business is based on charging extra for being a convenient, last-minute option.

Plan ahead and exchange some money for the Indian rupee at home.

Trains are the cheapest mode of transport

Unless you travel from one end of India to another, trains are more affordable than flights. India has an extensive railway network that covers almost the entire country. Train fares are priced at least 30 percent less than the cost of a one-way flight ticket (there are several classes with different levels of comfort to choose from). You can book a train ticket through the IRCTC website, at a local ITB (International Tourist Bureau) office, or in person at the railway station.

Please note: it may not be a viable option if you're in a rush. For example, the train journey from Delhi to Bangalore takes 33 hours, compared to just two hours and 40 minutes by air.

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Stopover options for traveling to India

Direct flights to India can be expensive. So if you’re looking at a long-haul trip with at least one connection, rather than simply transiting an airport, why not take an opportunity and plan a longer stopover? It won’t only break up your journey but will become a legitimate part of your vacation.

When booking flight tickets, many airlines include a stopover en route to your final destination. Those flights are usually cheaper than non-stop flights, and they can be a great way of seeing more than one place on your trip. You can often add it at no additional cost, just by looking for multi-city flights with longer layovers.

Check flight prices and other details for these great stopover options when traveling to India:

Flights to India fromUnited States and Canada

  • Most flying routes from North America to India are over the Pacific, even if the departure airport is on the east coast. Travel times for these routes vary between from 14 to 18 hours depending on the point of departure, length of layover, etc.
  • For long-haul flights choosing a reputable airline is crucial. Comfortable seats, inflight entertainment, food and drinks, and just the general atmosphere of the flight can make a big difference to the trip. For flights from the United States or Canada to India, we recommend legacy carriers such as Air Canada, Air India, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines, and United Airlines.
  • There are no direct flights from the United States or Canada to India. However, most main hubs in SE Asia have direct flights to India, as do some larger airports in the Middle East – your journey will have at least one stop.Direct flights from the US to India are about 13-15 hours long. When opting for a nonstop flight, American travelers can only choose from a limited range of flight operators: Air India, American Airlines, and United Airlines.
  • When flying to India you have plenty of convenient layover or stopover options. Flights with one or more stops depart from most major North American airports, including Atlanta ATL, Dallas DFW, Denver DEN, Chicago ORD, Los Angeles LAX, Las Vegas DFW, Miami MIA, Seattle SEA, Houston IAH, New York JFK, and San Francisco SFO in the United States and Toronto YYZ, Vancouver YVR, Calgary LAS, and Montreal YUL in Canada. Your chosen airline will most likely dictate which airport you transit through – among the best stopovers are Bali, Hong Kong, Fiji and Pacific Islands, Sydney, and Singapore.
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Tips, tricks & hacks
(continued)

Consider stopovers: see extra destinations for free

Layovers are the perfect opportunity to visit an additional destination. Some airlines offer significant discounts and travel perks for passengers to break up their trips: free luxury hotel stays, complimentary domestic flights or exclusive rates for activities. If you're prone to extremely severe jet lag, the extended stopover would help minimize its adverse effects.

Start checking for layover deals with government-owned airlines (looking to attract tourists to give the country economic benefits), such as Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines. A side benefit of a stopover is that it makes you less likely to miss your connection. Such in-direct routes are usually much cheaper than direct flights too!

Find the best economy seats

Contrary to the popular view, not all economy seats on a plane are created equal. Some seats have slight advantages over others. It all depends on the aircraft, so we recommend visiting the SeatGuru website, where you will see a detailed seat map after entering your flight number. Hover over individual seats to compare quality and check other travelers’ reviews.

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Airlines of India

Most domestic routes in India are operated by local airlines. When traveling within India to popular tourist destinations – such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Agra, Goa, Jaipur, Kashmir, Ladakh, or Varanasi – you’ll be flying with one of the Indian airlines.

India is the world’s third-largest civil aviation market and has seven main airline carriers. The government-owned Air India is the largest international carrier, while its low-cost subsidiary Air India Express offers no-frills flights on domestic and short-haul international routes. IndiGo has the largest fleet size and is ranked the best Indian airline. The newest addition to the Indian domestic market – Vistara – is quickly becoming popular for its affordable airfares coupled with premium hospitality.

SpiceJet is ranked fourth in the country (in terms of the number of domestic passengers carried each year) and despite being a low-cost airline it also offers premium services under the banner of SpiceMax fare. Another budget carrier, Go First (previously GoAir), has a frequent flyer program GO CLUB which offers a free upgrade to business class. Incredibly low prices can be found at AirAsia India (a subsidiary of Malaysia’s AirAsia) – repeatedly named Asia’s best low-cost airline.

Flights to India from Europe

  • There are no direct flights from Europe to India. Direct flights from Europe to India are about 7-9 hours long. Only some of the largest European hubs have a nonstop connection to India - among them are Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Paris, Warsaw, and Zurich. Those flights arrive at either Delhi or Mumbai, and are operated by Air India, Air France, British Airways, KLM, LOT, Lufthansa, SWISS, Vistara and Virgin Atlantic.
  • To break the trip and stretch your legs, consider transit through popular Asian airport hubs, extending your total journey time by 1–3 hours. A 1-day stopover in Bangkok, Dubai, or Phuket will be a great option to reduce your jet lag at the final destination and do some extra sightseeing.
  • The best chance for a cheaper flight is when you are flexible about the departure point. Especially look for larger cities with airports that serve as hubs for multiple airlines: London LHR and Manchester MAN in the United Kingdom; Frankfurt FRA, Munich MUC and Berlin BER in Germany; Paris CDG and Nice NCE in France; Munich MUC and Berlin BER in Germany; Amsterdam AMS in the Netherlands; Madrid MAD in Spain; Stockholm ARN in Sweden; Zurich ZRH in Switzerland; Brussels BRU in Belgium; Oslo OSL in Norway; Warsaw WAW in Poland; and Dublin DUB in Ireland.
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Tips, tricks & hacks
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Two+ flights on a single ticket

Fly on a single ticket if your itinerary involves two or more flights with the same airline. Typically, any connecting itinerary booked as a single ticket conforms with whatever connecting times apply. At big hub airports, the airlines try to ensure that their flight gates are close to each other. Also, a single ticket usually allows for checking baggage from origin to destination, including transfers.

Fly early in the morning

Early morning flights (6 am or earlier) are usually cheaper than other day schedules. It's because of lower demand – most people are not willing to go to the airport so early. Use it to your advantage.

Moreover, airports are also less crowded, and there tend to be fewer delays if you fly early in the morning. Due to increasing air traffic, delays get worse throughout the day - starting around 8-10 am and reaching a peak at 4-6 pm.

Next tips

Air Traveler Club.How to book a superdeal to India?

Every superdeal you receive from Air Traveler Club includes a link you can use to book a flight. It always directs you to the website that offers the lowest price. Sometimes it’s an airline website; in other cases, Google Flights or a similar flight booking platform.

This video explains how to use Google Flights to book a plane ticket.

YouTube video
Booking cheap plane tickets to India with Google Flights.

Flights from Asia

Flight prices can vary considerably. Here are some real-time examples:

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Tips, tricks & hacks
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Proof of onward travel – a simple hack

Travelers who go on long trips often don’t have a set itinerary and fly on one-way tickets. The problem? For many Asian countries, proof of onward travel is a legal requirement. If you arrive at the airport without an onward ticket, you’ll either be forced to buy one online or forbidden from boarding the plane altogether.

The cheapest solution? Renting an onward ticket! Use the websites such as OneWayFly or OnwardTicket to get a flight reservation for a limited amount of time (usually 2 to 14 days). They work by actually booking you on a real flight and giving you a confirmable flight reservation with a PNR (Passenger Name Record) under your name. After the time limit, your spot on the flight is automatically canceled. Such "temporary tickets" tend to cost anywhere from $10 to $20.

Why is it so cold on planes?

The airplane interior is usually kept cold to prevent hypoxia – a medical condition that may occur when the body tissue does not receive enough oxygen (high cabin pressure can trigger this reaction). Since body temperatures vary, airlines keep the temperature on the low side just to be safe; they would rather keep the cabin too cold for some passengers than have even one passenger faint.

Some budget carriers don’t provide free blankets or charge an extra fee if you want one. So be prepared: dress in several layers of clothing, wear a hoodie, and pack an extra pair of cozy fuzzy socks in your carry-on to keep yourself warm on the flight.

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