Booking Indian air tickets – best to outsource to India

The Wandering Aramean’s adventures in booking Indian air tickets brought back memories of The Rapid Traveler’s own frustrations. An Indian colleague of The Rapid Traveler introduced him to two great resources.

Mapsofindia.com maintains an accurate set of flight schedules.

Thomas Cook India’s booking engine captures a number of Indian carriers not listed on most international booking engines. Searches for the New Delhi – Mumbai route on sites like Kayak generally only list Air India, Jet Airways, JetLite and Kingfisher. Thomas Cook throws in GoAir, IndiGo, and SpiceJet. This is more important on routes served by fewer airlines, but options are always good. It is worth checking the airline websites themselves to compare fares, but Thomas Cook is a good entry point. The Rapid Traveler enjoyed SpiceJet on a Chennai – Mumbai flight.

Thomas Cook India BOM-DEL

Air India Express does not seem to participate with third-party booking engines, but they have some great Indian and South Asia routes with low fares. The Rapid Traveler flew them Colombo, Sri Lanka to Chennai, India. Typically their flight times are limited and inconvenient. Booking with them can be a hassle, two years ago even requiring a fax of The Rapid Traveler’s credit card, but they may have improved.

Air Asia should not be forgotten if reaching India from Asian gateways Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.

Online transactions in India require Verified by Visa/MasterCard SecureCode/American Express, see this post for details. And this 3-part series on Indian visas, re-entry restrictions, and protected/restricted areas (part 1, part 2, and part 3).

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  • Sure…now you tell me. :p

    But, seriously, great resources. I’m happy to report that I don’t think I overpaid based on the numbers I see from a quick search there. Still, having that resource will be most helpful in the future.

  • The best way to book tickets within India is through makemytrip.co.in

    Make sure you select the “India” version when the page looks. It most often has the cheapest airfares and makes booking tickets very easy!

  • The best place to book tickets for travel within India is on makemytrip.co.in

    Make sure to select the Indian version of the site and you should be able to book any domestic Indian ticket very easily!

  • Bunty

    makemytrip adds their commission to air tickets. You can use it to search the lowest ticket price but use the airline website to buy ticket as it’s going to be around 200Rs cheaper.

  • Thanks for the great website recommendation!