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We spent two years travelling around India and stayed at over a hundred hotels. The Tripzuki collection represents the best of the best. We met the owners and the staff, took our own photos, and tried the breakfast in the morning. We know EVERYTHING about these hotels. We also negotiated some incredible deals!

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Travelling to India from overseas is unlikely to be cheap, but you’re in luck, because once in the country you can get around by using low-cost domestic airlines, which offer flights at what are, at least to most westerners, budget prices. Sometimes a flight can be less than a 2AC train ticket (see India Someday’s excellent guide to Indian train classes) so it’s always in your best interest to check the price of flights – even if it’s a couple thousand rupees more it could be worth saving you a day on a train.

There are a handful of domestic airlines in India but some have better amenities and baggage allowances than others. Many don’t allow any checked luggage for free and some have very strict weight limits on carry-on luggage. Although their websites say they ALL check a certain amount of luggage for free, I know from personal experience that sometimes at check-in they change the rules and charge you. That’s India!

Tip: keep in mind that if you are flying internationally and then catch a domestic flight within 24 hours of landing, you are often permitted an increased checked luggage allowance on the domestic flight. Most often, the counter staff will deny this, so when you book your flight check on the airline’s website’s FAQ about baggage and keep a screenshot on your phone as proof.

Note: one exception is flying from the state of Jammu & Kashmir, from where no airlines allow carry-on luggage.

To book domestic flights in India, look at cleartrip.com (the app is fantastic) and makemytrip.com. Of course, you can book direct as well, but those two websites do make it easy to mix and match return flights using different airlines, and booking direct will not save you a noticeable amount of money. Both booking sites charge a very low fee to make flight changes and if you change to a less expensive flight they will even refund you money. Note that if you book a combo deal you can NOT change your flight.


Here are some of the top domestic airlines in India, some of the significant destinations they fly to (and links to their destinations pages), and their amenities.

Air India plane on take-off

Air India
This is the government airline in India. Personally, I encounter delays often when flying with Air India, though their cheap prices sometimes make it worth it. This airline has had 12 accidents involving deaths, which I feel is worth mentioning, although statistically they fly a lot more than other airlines in India as they go internationally. They fly to most destinations in India. You can have 25 kilos checked luggage and 8 kilos carry-on luggage. There are no free meals domestically.

IndiGo plane on take-off

I love this airline! They tend to run on time and have friendly staff. They are based in Delhi and fly to approximately 30 destinations, so they will not always show up as an option. I would go so far as to say this is the best ‘cheap’ airline in India. You will not get free meals domestically. You can have 15 kilos checked luggage and 7 kilos carry-on luggage.

Vistara plane on take-off

This private airline is brand new and often has it’s own security check line in airports, which helps smooth the process. It can be pricier as it’s a ‘fancy’ airline in comparison to the rest, so make sure to compare if price is an issue for you. They only fly to about 18 destinations (but including Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Goa) so will not often come up as a search result. You may carry 7 kilos carry on luggage and check 15 kilos of luggage.

A Jet Airways plane on the runway

Jet Airways
This is one of my favorite airlines and has so many flights around India that often this will come up as your best rate no matter where you are searching to and from. They also fly internationally and when you go abroad with them you get 2 free checked bags, which is rare these days! On a domestic flight you can check 15 kilos and carry on 7 kilos. Food is often provided on longer domestic flights free of charge.

GoAir plane on runway

This is another airline that I really enjoy flying with. They are smaller than IndiGo but at the same level of customer service. They fly to about 21 destinations, all of which are major hubs. No free food on these flights unless it goes across the entire country. You can have 7 kilos carry-on luggage and 15 kilos of checked luggage.

SpiceJet plane on take-off

I almost didn’t mention SpiceJet because I’m at the point of boycotting them! Delays are so common these days, as they seem to schedule far too many flights and are having financial problems. If I can avoid using them, I do. They fly extensively around India, the staff are great and the planes are clean, but the delays are almost guaranteed. They don’t offer free food and drink. Again, you can have 15 kilos checked luggage and 7 kilos carry-on luggage.

Air Asia plane in India

Air Asia India
A stroke of luck for travellers in India, Air Asia has set up over the last two years and they are slowly adding more domestic destinations as well as some international flights, all at very affordable prices. They have very nice planes and it’s a great experience to fly with them. They fly all over Asia but their hubs in India are few. There are currently 11 destinations in India and these include all the big cities plus Goa, where they have now begun with some international flights. You can check 15 kilos and carry on 7 kilos.