Flights to India: practical information
Airlines flying to India
Travelling to India by air is the most popular and by far the easiest way to reach your destination. There are four international airports around the country, Delhi, Calcutta, Mumbai and Chennai (Madras). Many international cheap flights to India from London are operated by Air India, the country’s national airline carrier and British Airways. When leaving India, it is suggested to arrive at the airport 3 hours before departure and always give yourself enough time to fight traffic on the way there.
While Delhi Airport is by far the cheapest airport to touch-down in, you can find surprising deals to India's other hubs with airlines like Kuwait Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, Oman Air and even Qatar Airways.
When to search for a cheap India flight
There is at least one thing to keep in mind before booking any tickets to India, the changing seasons. On top of this, India is vast, which means the climate varies from one region to another which means when it's peak season in one place, it's low season somewhere else, which greatly affects the price of plane tickets to India.
- Peak season: Tourists flock to Delhi from mid-September to March, Mumbai from November to February, Goa from October to February and Bangalore from December to February.
- Low season: Indian summers are typically hot while monsoon season can keep flights grounded for days.
Flights to India vary in length depending on where you want to touch-down. Flights from London to New Delhi take 8h 35min. To Mumbai, expect flights longer than 9h.
Experience India: what to do, what to see
India is the crossroads of major trade routes and the cradle of ancient civilisations. Spending holidays in India has always been popular, with its very diverse landscapes (oceanside, mountains, plains and deserts) and unique traditions. It has the sort of diversity that hits you in the face, whether you love it or not, you are in for a shock upon arrival.
Essentials in India
Only one thing is certain in this country, India is unforgettable.
New Delhi: Delhi remains one of the most sought-after destinations in India, a city like none other in the world. For backpackers, Connaught Place is where it's at, the city’s geographical centre. South Delhi has stepped up with a buzzing social circle and a richer commercial atmosphere.
Mumbai: Formerly Bombay, India’s seaside city is the financial capital of the country and you can tell. Mumbai has a sparkle to it, perched over the Arabian Sea. This city is known for its art-deco mansions, bazaars, tranquil temples and relics from Britain’s colonial period. Take your India rent car outside the city to discover some remarkable places like Matheran for mountain views.
Calcutta: Also known as Kolkata, this is a city that is hard to prepare for. Once home to Mother Teresa, Calcutta is a city with many faces and a trip here is necessary if you want a thorough impression of India. It is the capital of West Bengal and is run by locals who are intellectual and animated people with wild imaginations and drive. This is the city where India’s most prominent writers, film-makers, musicians and philosophers came from.
Agra: Every tourist in this city is here to see but one thing, the majestic, pure white Taj Mahal. While Agra is an over-crowded and polluted metropolis, this elegant temple stands alone. But it's not the only thing to be seen. Don't make this a day-stop, spend at least a few days here.
Food: Indian food can be found all over the world, many of their spices have worked their way even to grandma’s spice cupboard... delicious curries, jaipur vegetables and paneer cheese are staples in most Western vegetarian’s diet. The food varies quite a lot from region to region in India, each family having its own recipes and cooking traditions.
Find more information on incredibleindia.org.
Accommodations in India
Hotels in India come in every shape, colour, style and price-range. In large cities like Delhi and Mumbai, it's essential to book months in advance during peak tourist season, this rings true when you buy plane tickets to India as well. Even mid-range hotels can be over-priced, especially in Mumbai. Always, upon arrival, ask for a discount. During monsoon seasons, hotels can become overrun with Arab tourist groups who come up to India for the cooler weather. Women are advised to stay in different hotels, away from these groups.