Cheap flights to India for 2019

Book tickets to see the sparkling subcontinent firsthand.

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Whether you’re hoping to lay eyes on the marble-white Taj Mahal or a golden tiger, kick-start your trip by flying into one of India’s major international airports. Browse Air India for direct flights from the US, and use IndiGo to hop from place to place within the southeast Asian nation.

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India flight time

Take a peek at average direct flight times from major US hubs to New Delhi, India’s capital city:

  • From NYC — 13 hours, 55 minutes.
  • Los Angeles — 18 hours, 40 minutes.
  • Chicago — 14 hours, 15 minutes.

Airlines that fly to India

Air India and United are the only carriers offering direct flights to India, though Delta has announced nonstops to Mumbai (BOM) in December 2019.

Still, plenty of airlines can get you there in just a couple of hops:

  • American Airlines
  • Air France
  • Air Canada
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • KML
  • Scoot
  • AirAsia

The cheapest flights to India might require a stopover in Abu Dhabi (AUH), Shanghai (PVG) or another international hotspot.

Still, direct flights from NYC to India can be as low as $738. Depending on where you live, it might be cheapest to ride a discount domestic carrier like Sun Country or Spirit to JFK or EWR in New York, then book a flight to India from there.


International airports in India

India’s home to more than 20 international airports, which makes sense considering its population of nearly 1.4 billion people. Some of the most centrally located options for easy passage throughout India include:

  • Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL). The nation’s largest airport is most commonly referred to as Delhi Airport and is about a 20-minute drive from the heart of New Delhi.
  • Chhatrapathi Shivaji International Airport (BOM). This hub is about a 30-minute drive north of Mumbai on the banks of the Arabian sea.
  • Kempegowda International Airport (BLR). Located in south-central India, it’s about an hour’s drive north of Bengaluru.
  • Chennai Anna International Airport (MAA). In the city of Chennai, MAA is situated on the east coast and Bay of Bengal.
  • Kolkata Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (CCU). A 30- to 45-minute drive northeast of Kolkata, in westernmost India next to Bangladesh.
  • Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (HYD). HYD is in south-central India, about a 45-minute drive south of Hyderabad.
  • Goa International Airport (GOI). Located in the beach town of Goa on the edge of the Arabian sea.

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How to get around India from the airport

Prepaid taxis are the most efficient way to get from India’s major airports to nearby metropolises. You’ll get where you’re going relatively quickly for a set number of rupees and won’t have to worry about getting on the wrong bus or train.

Other options for getting to nearby city centers from the nation’s largest airports include:

  • Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL). The Delhi Metro Airport Express Line can get you to central New Delhi in about 30 minutes. Buses also operate regularly and are crowded but cheap.
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM). Nearby Vile Parle station has regular trains to Mumbai, but you’ll need to catch a bus from the airport to get to Vile Parle. Taxis can also take you to the station or directly to your destination. Rickshaws are also available — but agree on a price before hopping in.

You can also hire a private, chauffeured car to get you from the airport to major cities. As an example, a business-class car will take you from DEL to central New Delhi for between $40 and $50.


Bottom line

Be sure to iron out postlanding details ahead of time so you know exactly how you’re getting from the airport to your final destination — especially if you’re relying on buses and trains to navigate the nation.

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