The past few years may have been filled with highs and lows for travelers flying in India, but air travel is only set to get better. Of all the domestic airline markets in the world, air traffic in India has experienced the highest growth, with passenger traffic increasing by a whopping 12.47% in 2015. Not surprisingly, airlines are looking to cash-in on the boom and fliers stand to gain. From innovative business practices and concessions for travelers, to improvements in aviation technology and better service, Indian fliers can rest assured that they will have plenty to look forward to when it comes to air travel and vacationing in the future.
1. Spot Payments for Seat Upgrades
Many air carriers allow passengers to choose their seats at the time of check-in on a First Come First Served Basis. Some airlines like Air India now take this further by also giving passengers the option to upgrade their seats. The ‘Get Up Front’ scheme allows fliers to make seat upgrades with spot cash payments at the airport itself and this feature is available on both domestic and international sectors. Now you can travel in style with a last minute upgrade to business or premium class. But hurry, as upgrades are subject to availability.
2. Jet Airways Partnering with Delta Air Lines and KLM for Wider Coverage
Travelers flying to and from various destinations in India, Europe and North America can look forward to better connectivity in the future, as Jet Airways has entered into a codeshare partnership with Delta Air Lines and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. This means that travelers will now have convenient connections from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, without any of the hassles associated with connecting flights. Whether you are flying from Toronto or New York to Mumbai or Delhi, or vice versa, you can expect coordinated customer service, just one ticket, and ‘through check-in’ of baggage right to the final destination.
3. Air India Launches Non-stop Flight to San Francisco
For the first time ever, Indians travelling to and from the Silicon Valley will not have to cope with long stopovers and connecting flights. This move will be most beneficial to students and their parents, NRIs, and business travelers. Indian Diaspora, living on the US West coast, will be able to make direct trips for the first time ever and with Air India’s extensive domestic network, travelers can even expect seamless connections to and from other major cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Hyderabad.
4. Advance Purchase Scheme for Economy Class
Indian travelers, weary of long railway journeys in sleeper class coaches would usually consider a switch to 2AC tickets. Now, thanks to competitive pricing via advance purchase schemes, travelers can instead upgrade to air travel! The scheme, which was recently rolled out by Air India only applies to economy class seats. On select routes, air fare is actually on par with 2AC prices if you make a booking at least 90 days in advance.
5. ‘Order to Chef’ Service
In-flight meal services have started to get a lot better in the past year and many carriers offer travelers greater choice, especially for those who suffer from ailments that require them to follow specialized diet plans. The ‘Order to Chef’ service, introduced by Air India takes this personalization to the next level, giving premium and business class passengers a more lavish spread. These elite travelers can choose from a wide variety of Indian and continental dishes, in advance, and the meals of their choice will be made available by the airline’s catering partners.
6. Indian Pet-owners will Never Have to Leave their Pets Behind!
It isn’t uncommon to see dogs, cats and a variety of other pets accompanying their owners on road-trips across the country, but pet-owners have had little luck when it comes to flying with their beloved furry companions. Complicated guidelines and vague requirements among different carriers made flying with pets a daunting task, but that’s about to change. Pet Fly now comes to the rescue, simplifying the procedure and helping make all travel arrangements for your pet, including vaccination, and medical certification. The company includes a team of skilled veterinarians, with expertise in treating and relocating pets internationally. They now even have a counter at Delhi’s airport to assist harried pet owners.
7. India’s First-Ever Private Air Travel Company JetSetGo
Jetsetgo Aviation Services Pvt. Ltd is all set to usher in a new age of chartered flights in India. The company simplifies the process of booking private jets, giving customers great flexibility and convenience. Users can book their private flights directly on the company website and they already have a client base that includes corporate houses, celebrities, and sports stars. With chartered flights you can also enjoy connectivity to locations not served by commercial flights. For the jet set who don’t mind spending a bit more on comfort and luxury, it doesn’t get much better than flying in a private jet. You can book flights to ferry guests for weddings, or even throw a bachelor or bachelorette party at 30,000 feet.
8. Airline Flash Sales
As the price wars heat up, with competing airlines vying for a bigger share of the market, travelers are certainly in for a treat. From Vistara and Spice Jet to Jet Airways and Indigo, it seems like there’s no end to the flash sales and discounted airfares. A true bonanza for travelers, flying is likely to be not just more comfortable, but also a lot cheaper.
Despite all the groaning about boarding queues and endless checks, air travel is undoubtedly the most comfortable and efficient mode of transport. From improved and value-added services, to intense price wars among airlines, the incentive to fly just keeps growing. For Indian travelers, the sky can quite literally be the limit, so make your holiday plans and book your tickets now.