Airports are cities in them self and people are can get lost in them, they are like 7 star hotels with every thing thrown in them, I can not say the same about airports in India. I am writing this for people who will travel to India in the near future so that they have a before hand knowledge of the airports.I will start with domestic airport.
Most of the Indian airports are of vintage class, they are like Spitfires and not like the advanced Raptor, the Delhi airport from where the Private airlines depart is a vintage WW-2 era airport , Delhi is getting a new airport and work is going on at a killing speed the government has asked a private consortium GMR-FRAPO to make this airport by 2010 and it will be one of the best in Asia and far east, till then we all have to make do with what we have, a patched up airport with basic amenities. The IGI Delhi domestic airport is divided in three parts.
Terminal -1-A Departure: All domestic flights of the Indian national carrier now known as INDIAN (earlier known as Indian Airlines) and Kingfisher Airlines fly from here, so remember when you book a flight by Indian or King Fisher then go to Terminal- 1A- IGI Domestic Airport,most people miss there flights as they land at the wrong terminal.
This a relatively a well organized and a small departure terminal , this building was build when the old terminal was destroyed in fire, it has got a small parking, it has a ATM inside (only one) and has coffee shops and a business class lounge inside.
Both Indian and King Fisher have ticket and information window's before you enter inside the terminal. Immediately after entry you will see the X-RAY machines, show your ticket and get your baggage X-RAYD make sure you get it strapped and they put a security clear sticker on it. Then get your boarding card and head for the security hold area, once inside relax and enjoy (Alcohol is not served on any flight in India however you can have a drink at the King Fisher lounge. Also remember to carry your passport and show it at the gate when you enter the terminal building.
Terminal-1 B Departure: This is the vintage WW-2 departure terminal where a lot of patch work has been done and if you are looking for some peace of mind forget it when you come here it is a battle and you have to win it, this terminal has all the private airlines departures like Jet airways, Jet Lite, Deccan airways, Spice jet, MDLR airlines ,Go air and Indigo. Apart from Jet airways all are Low Cost Carriers, it is a royal mess on a day when flights are delayed or late or canceled due to fog, by the way we are at fog stations as of now.
This is the most crowded terminal, you will see long lines (during rush hours) to get inside and once inside then another line to get your baggage X-RAYED and then a line at the counter, it can drive you mad, so have an I-POD or a book to maintain your sanity or you will go crazy. You can not smoke inside the terminal and if you want to go outside ,forget it once you have a boarding card you are not allowed to go out of the terminal building. Now if you are like me who is a chain smoker and need your dose of nicotine, then you head for the Business class lounge or head for the toilets, there are the only two place where you can smoke when you are land side.
The moment you get down from your cab look a little up and you will boards hanging from the top where you will see the names of the airlines and the gate numbers, so head for the gate show your passport and ticket and head for the airline controlled X-RAY, get your baggage strapped and make sure the security check sticker is put on your bag.
Keep this in mind, DO NOT KEEP ANY KIND OF CASH, JEWELRY, IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS or VALUABLES IN YOUR CHECKED BAGGAGE, in case of loss the airlines don't take any kind of responsibility for it also they do not allow alcohol in hand baggage, some people land up at security check with bottles of alcohol in there hand baggage and all hell breaks lose because the person does not want to part with it and the security wont allow him in.
Head for the counter and get your boarding card don't forget to get your hand baggage tags, the lines for security check are quite long once your hand bagge is x-rayed, then head for the frisking booth ( ladies are frisked separately) get your boarding card stamped and your hand baggage tag's stamped by the A.P.S.U. (airport security unit) Remember you don't have a stamp on your boarding card or hand baggage tag, you will not be allowed to board, we don't have aero-bridges here, so it will be a bus ride till the aircraft.
It is a very small security hold area so first grab a seat and wait for your boarding call. During delayed flights due to fog the airlines provide light or heavy snacks, tea and coffee.
Departing from Delhi's terminal 1B can be an experience of a life time. Be at the airport 3 hours before the departure due to security reasons.
Before I close this beware of touts when you get down at terminal-1B, there is no charge for trolleys don't let any one hold the trolley for you or take it till the gate... these guys are touts, look out for any airline staff to guide you.
When you face the terminal building, the Airport Managers office will be on your left just after the Nescafe coffee booth. (there will be a duty airport manager there, if you have a complain or are facing a problem they will help you out)
Arrivals: The domestic arrivals terminal is next to the departure, it is plain and simple place with not many baggage belts but the most important part to remember is "Cabs" there are prepaid "yellow black cabs" you pay for your destination inside the terminal building and you get a small receipt, come out and you will see a line of cabs on your right hand side just sit in them and tell them where you want to go, when you reach your destination hand the receipt back to the driver that's all you don't have to pay them any thing extra even for your baggage.
Any question then leave comments and I will reply back .…. Here's wishing you a happy landing….sky high.
Please don't follow this word by word, this is as real as it gets, as the airport is under construction, actual places may change and for that please don't hold me responsible.