• Guide to Budget Airlines for Domestic Flights in India

Guide to Budget Airlines in India for Domestic Flights

Budget airlines in India for domestic flights are lifesavers. Sometimes, it’s cheaper to fly to Bombay than to take the bus!

There is one thing you need to know before you book your flight to India:

ONLY book it to your first port of entry.

If you are flying London to Goa, book your international flight London to Bombay OR London to Delhi (whatever you find cheaper) THEN go onto an Indian booking site and book your connecting leg. You will love the price you get.

Budget Airlines in India for Domestic Flights

I personally use for almost all bookings. They search all budget airlines and if you miss a connection, they cover you with a FREE new flight.

The Domestic Airlines in India:

Unlike budget lines in Europe like Ryanair, these airlines in India actually have LESS fees and offer MORE luggage weight than many international flights I’ve taken.

I’ve been overweight in my checked luggage and wasn’t asked to pay a fine many times. Also, on a variety of Indian airlines, I have checked multiple bags and not paid a fee.

Best yet, although check in for ALL domestic flights in India close their counters 40 or 45 minutes before departure, I have showed up with 12 minutes before flight take off and been ushered onto the plane! They screened and checked my bag for me and told me to run.

I’m not going to do a break down of all the airlines and debate them, but really it’s a toss up. My favorite is IndiGo, and most people will rave about this airline. Go Air is a close second. They are newer and kind of hip, I haven’t had as many delays with them.  Jet Airways (good food) and JetKonnect (discount Jet Airways) are good options as well as SpiceJet.

I’ve probably had the most delays with Air India and like their planes and service the least, but they have bumped me to business class (for free) when flying to Singapore… although on the shittiest plane ever!

Obviously Air Asia is going to be a new awesome option to fly domestically. I’ve taken it once already and it’s all brand spankin’ new. I love it! They were efficient, super cheap, and played great music when we landed.

You’ll find random positives and negatives with each and none is notoriously bad. Air India is operated by the government and let’s be real, the Indian government operated offices usually are slow and get nothing accomplished, so actually the airline exceeds expectations.

Checked Baggage Allowance per protocol (as of June 2015):

Guide to Budget Airlines for Domestic Flights in India

Air India 15 kg

 

Guide to Budget Airlines for Domestic Flights in IndiaIndiGO 15 kg

 

Guide to Budget Airlines for Domestic Flights in IndiaSpiceJet 20 kg

 

Guide to Budget Airlines for Domestic Flights in IndiaJet Airways 15 kg

 

Guide to Budget Airlines for Domestic Flights in IndiaGo Air 20 kg

 

For more budget tips check out this 20 USD per day budget breakdown on India travel.

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2017-02-08T14:54:48+00:00

About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.

16 Comments

  1. Lily November 26, 2014 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    Hey Rachel, I’m a nervous flier. Any insight about the safety of these airlines?

    • Rachel Jones November 27, 2014 at 7:39 pm - Reply

      hmmm I mean I don’t ever hear of crashes and such. People joke about Air India but I think they’re all fine!

  2. Andrea Anastasiou November 26, 2014 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    Great tips. We never took an internal flight during our trip, but we used Make My Trip to book our tickets to India from Thailand. They generally have the cheapest deals.

  3. Ashley November 26, 2014 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    Thanks for these tips! I’ve been looking at domestic airlines in India and was wondering if they had the same restrictions and fees as European budget carriers since the prices were so cheap. It’s so convenient to find all the information in this post instead of having to search each airline individually!

  4. Megan November 27, 2014 at 5:15 am - Reply

    Thanks for the tips! I’ve already booked flights on IndiGo, but I’ll definitely keep MMT in mind for the next time around. Either way, tickets from Bangalore to Goa were priced decently, so I can’t complain! Now, to decide how to spend our time in Goa over New Year’s…without losing my mind (traveling around the holidays can be so fun, and also so frustrating haha.) I’ll be combing your site for info ;-)

  5. Tim | UrbanDuniya December 1, 2014 at 9:19 am - Reply

    I <3 Jet and IndiGo!

  6. Amélie @ mostlyamelie.com February 2, 2015 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    Rachel, you have been pretty much my sole reference for planning my trip to India, so, THANKS ;) Leaving in 2 dayssssss, iiiiihhhh!!!

  7. Felicia June 13, 2015 at 4:52 am - Reply

    hai Rachel :)
    what a nice travel blog u have! i will go to india in september, and alone!! your blog is really helpful!
    by the way, how is about the safety of these airline? like i mean the bagage safety? and do they have often delay the flights ?

    Thanks :)

    • Rachel Jones June 15, 2015 at 5:47 pm - Reply

      never had india lose a bag & yes there are delays often

  8. Kathryn January 3, 2016 at 8:06 am - Reply

    Can you typically book flights super last minute? Like 2-3 days in advance? I want to keep my travels as flexible as possible but will definitely need to fly from south India to Rajasthan.

    • Rachel Jones January 3, 2016 at 1:56 pm - Reply

      Yes, you can. usually I don’t see a huge rise in price but maybe I have just been lucky. It’s more a seasonal thing so dec/jan will be more expensive. if you book way early they will be less, but once it’s already dec/jan the price pretty much stays high at the same rate anytime.

  9. Tracey February 23, 2017 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    Thanks so much for this list…just planning a trip this month with many short stops in between so needed a good reference for cheap airlines.

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