For the short hops from Mumbai to Indore and Indore to Bangalore, I chose to go with the low cost carrier IndiGo. Overall, I thought the flights weren’t too bad considering the price.
IndiGo is a low cost carrier that is a great option for short flights. The seats are tight and not really conducive for working so an upgrade may be well worth the price. However, for short flights, I think it’s a perfectly doable option.
So I took IndiGo twice. First on my flight from Mumbai to Indore and then a second flight from Indore to Bangalore. The experience on both flights was similar so at least they’re consistent.
Before you get to check in, you should know that India takes security very seriously. At all the hotels I stayed at, there was a metal detector for the person as well as your bags. This applies to going to malls, taking the subway, or entering the airport. Before you’re allowed to enter the airport, you’ll need to show your ID and boarding pass (or proof of travel). Know that if you’re going to want to give yourself extra time to get through security (at the door) because the line could (and probably will) go out the door. This is in addition to the security you’ll need to go through before boarding your flight.
So anyone who buys their ticket with an overseas card (basically a card that isn’t based in India) will be unable to check in online or at the kiosk. You’ll need to have the credit card you used to book your flight so make sure you bring that card with you when you come to India.
Your baggage allowance is 7KGs (about 15.5 lbs) so you may be forced to check our bag (like I was unfortunately). But know that I was never charged extra and this meant there was PLENTY of overhead bin space. That doesn’t mean you won’t be forced to gate check your bag but it means you won’t be charged extra. This also means you’ll be able to put your small item like your purse, backpack, etc. in the overhead bin with tons of room to spare.
The seats are tight. Not gunna lie there. To be honest, I don’t think it would have been possible to work on my laptop with the tray down without having baby arms so I didn’t even bother trying.
However, I was surprised that the crew tried to do a full drink and meal service on the hour flight from Mumbai to Indore. It was probably less than an hour by the time they started and although they never got to my seat, I was really impressed. I also didn’t care since I’m not the type of person who is flying for the food (although there are some flights where I really DO care about the food). But I’m definitely not going to be disappointed over missing a meal on a low cost carrier.
That said, it never ceases to amaze me how some people want something just because it’s free. I actually felt bad for one of the flight attendants because she was being berated by someone who didn’t get her drink/food/ whatever since we were getting ready to land. I believe they ended up getting some hot water and a tea bag as they disembarked (really…was that worth it?).
Anyways, overall I thought the flight crew was really professional and hard working especially considering the demands of some people. Since this is a low cost carrier, I don’t think “self upgrading” to an emergency row during a flight is going to pass without comment. They did make an announcement saying something to the affect of “if you’d like to be upgraded to an exit row seat, please speak to flight crew.” I imagine that’s their way of saying let them know and they’ll be happy to reseat you for a charge.
I was pretty happy with IndiGo. For short hop flights around India, I think it’s a very good option. It may also be the only viable option if you’re trying to get to smaller cities if you’re looking for a direct flight. For the price, I thought it was pretty good value.