Getting There and Around

written by | Posted on May 2nd, 2012

This article originally appeared in the 2012 India Travel Planner. It has been extracted from its original format. To read the full travel guide, visit the digital edition.

A string of airlines offer convenient air transport to India from the United States, including India-based Air India and Jet Airways.

Air India (airindia.com) offers daily nonstop service as follows:

  • New York nonstop to Delhi (DEL), continuing to Mumbai (BOM)
  • Newark nonstop to Mumbai, continuing to Ahmedabad (AMD)
  • Chicago nonstop to Delhi, continuing to Hyderabad (HYD)
  • Toronto nonstop to Delhi, continuing to Amritsar

From Delhi, travelers can make connections to over 50 major cities throughout India. All flights from/to North America are via Boeing 777-200LR or 777-300ER aircraft.

Air India pays a 4 percent commission to travel agents on the base fare for both passenger 1 and companion; fuel surcharge (YQ) and taxes are not commissionable.

All of Air India’s 777 flights offer economy, executive and first class service. With the introduction of the New York-Mumbai service to India, Air India is the only carrier to offer both first class and executive (business class) seating on this route. The 777-200LR aircraft is configured with eight seats in first class and 35 seats in executive class. Executive class passengers enjoy the comfort of flat beds with a seat pitch of 76 in., with privacy partitions and 15.4-in. LCD screens. First class cabins boast individual compartments with flat beds with a seat pitch of 80 in. for the ultimate comfort, a built-in massage system, buddy seat, and a large 23-in. LCD screen. Economy class seats with a pitch of 34-in. for comfort, a therapeutic footrest and built-in 10.6-in. LCD monitor.

Other amenities on board Air India’s Boeing 777s include personal entertainment systems offering nearly 400 hours of individual, on-demand audio/visual entertainment, USB ports, laptop connectivity, and satellite telephone service in every cabin. Topping the list of most popular features is the choice of award-winning Indian or continental cuisine and complimentary liquor service in all classes of service.

Jet Airways (jetairways.com), meanwhile, flies nightly from Toronto, JFK and Newark. All three flights arrive in the morning in Brussels, where there is a Jet Airways lounge, and continue 90 minutes later to Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai (MAA). Jet Airways pays travel agents 2 percent commission.

All flights are via Boeing 777-300 (first, premiere and economy) and Airbus A330-200 (premiere and economy). First class offers fully flat bed in a “private bedroom” with dual sliding doors and night sky mood lighting system, as well as a 23-in. flat-screen TV, while premiere, or business class, offers lie flat beds surrounded by a wall of privacy and a 15.4-in. touch-screen LCD TV. Economy offers a hammock headrest and foot net as well as a 10.6-in. touch-screen TV.

Lufthansa, too, offers a plethora of options when booking travel to India, with flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, and Bengaluru (all flights are via Frankfurt). Lufthansa offers the eXperts program, the official Lufthansa service and information platform for travel agents. Here you will find all current offers, information you need for booking flights and special offers for you.

Emirates also offers its fair share of connections to India beyond Mumbai and Delhi. In fact, from its Dubai hub—where U.S. flights connect before flying on to the final destination in India—Emirates serves several destinations across India: Bangalore, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram.