Are you a first-time traveler from the Delhi T3 airport?
Read this before you go and be a pro! I will guide you through the entire process, from entering the airport until you board the plane. Indra Gandhi International Airport (T3) Delhi, India – is one of the world’s best airports.
1. Both, Domestic and International flights take off from T3. If you are traveling domestically then get down at the initial gates and if, traveling international then get down after the half stretch. This is suggested because the check-in counters are located according to the said arrangement (first domestic and then international). There are boards specifying the “domestic” and “International” outside the airport.
It is a small thing but if you don’t pay attention to this then you will have to walk quite a while.
2. Once you are at the entrance gate of the airport, keep your passport and air tickets ready. It is okay to carry a soft copy of your air tickets on your mobile.
Upon entering, you will find a set of displays for information on different flights. Usually, the counters are open 3hrs prior to the departure for international flights and 2hrs prior, for the domestic flights. Each check-in counter row is defined by a letter.
Look at the flight number specified in your ticket and search for that number on the display. There will be 7 columns on it, which will provide the following information:
a. STD – Scheduled Time of Departure
b. ETD – Expected Time of Departure
c. TO/VIA – Your destination city (if it is a via flight then look for the 1st stop)
d. Airlines – The airways with which you are flying
e. FLIGHT – Your flight number
f. STATUS – Check-in (open/ closed/ boarding/ delayed/departed)
g. ROW – Specifies the counter row
Make sure you complete web check-in in time, this will help you in avoiding long queues at the check-in counter. You get the privilege to choose your seats and the meal. You will also find kiosks near the counters to do the web check-in. The web check-in starts 48 hrs prior to the departure and closes approx 5 hrs prior to the departure.
- if you have completed online check-in then
Go straight towards the check-in row, look for “Baggage Drop” or a board that says – queue for online check-in. Such counters are usually at the beginning or at the end of the row. Such queues are short and the process is quick as half of the work is done by you.
- If you have not done online check-in
Go to the row and find a decent queue to stand in. Wait for your turn and get your boarding passes. You can request for your desired seats, you might get it (subject to availability).
- Baggage size
Each airline has a specified baggage limit per passenger. If you think you have extra luggage then you can weigh your luggage at any empty check-in counter before proceeding to collect your boarding passes. In case you can’t exclude extra luggage then you have an option to pay for every extra kilogram. The price is different for each airline.
Keep track of the size of your hand luggage, it should not be huge. Large bags are not allowed. You can cross check the dimensions on the site Airline’s site.
- Prohibited items
There are restrictions on the items you carry inside your hand luggage and check-in luggage.
Inside the hand luggage: Bottles of 100 ml liquid/cream are allowed, not more than that. Even half-empty bottles of 125 ml will not be allowed. The bottle size should only be for 100 ml liquid. Sharp things and dairy products are not allowed.
You can carry sharp things and liquids inside your check-in luggage. Nail paints, batteries or power banks are only allowed inside your hand luggage and not in your check-in baggage.
I remember buying amazing nail paints from Shanghai, I packed all of it in my check-in baggage. Later, while checking in at the airport, my bags were opened and all of them were thrown. 🙁 The security officials don’t allow people to carry such things, upon request, I was allowed to carry only 2 bottles/person in my hand luggage. I have similar stories for all the items I have listed above, haha…
5. After collecting your boarding passes proceed towards the domestic departures or the international departures section.
(a) International departures (Domestic travelers can skip this section and continue from point 6):
i. Move towards the Immigration counters. There is no need to fill any form these days, earlier it was a compulsion. Immigration takes the maximum time, out of the entire process but if you are 3 hours early(before departure) to the airport then chances are there will be short queues.
There are many immigration counters and these are divided into the following categories:
Foreign passports, and
Choose your suitable category and join the queue. It is always wise to stand in the correct category queue. You will not be attended if you are standing in the wrong queue. You will need your passport and your boarding pass at the counter. The officers might ask you general questions about your trip but nothing tough. Members of a family can stand together at the counter but that will not speed up the process. It is better to go one by one.
The officer stamps your passport and clicks your picture, that’s all and you are good to proceed further for the Security check.
6. Security Check
A security check is where you and your hand luggage is scanned. No water bottles will be allowed beyond this point. Show your boarding pass to the officer, join the queue. Put your jacket, belt, phone, watch, bags and laptop in the blue baskets. Feel free to distribute the stuff in 3 – 4 baskets, if required.
After leaving your luggage on the belt, move towards the body scan section. Get your boarding pass stamped, collect your luggage and proceed towards duty-free shopping.
7. Duty-Free shopping!
You will find a lot of liquor, chocolates, perfumes, and cosmetics here. I always buy some Lindt and Werther’s chewy toffees from the airport, if I am not traveling to Europe(because In Europe, these chocolates are cheaper). There are brands like MANGO, Victoria Secret, Gucci and similar luxury brands to fulfill your shopping needs. You will also find a medicine shop, a gadget shop, a bookshop, and shops to buy Indian souvenirs.
There are foot joints like Cafe Delhi Heights, Costa Coffee, Hegan Diaz ice cream station, Sports Bar, Starbucks, Dominos, and many more to take care of your hunger. Indian food giant- Haldirams is soon going to be a part of the court.
If you are flying domestically then you cannot buy things from the duty-free area. Though some shops allow purchases over a minimum amount like Victoria Secret – you can buy things if you spend atleast 80 USD.
Once you are done shopping, move towards your departure gate.
8. The first gate that you see will be after the Starbucks outlet – Gate no. 15. On one side of the gate, numbers increase(16 to 30 & so on) and on the other side of the gate number starts from 1(1 to 14). So, if you think that Gate no. 14 is nearby then no, it is not. This has happened to me and I had to run to catch my flight, haha. You will have to walk till the end to reach gate no.14. The gates are far from each other, so keep track of time.
There are wheelchairs and carts to drive the elderly or the specially abled people, till the gates. Toilets are near all the gates and vending machines as well. There are a few shops near the gates like – a small Haldiram counter for taking away snacks.
If you have a lot of time or a halt at the T3 then you can take rest in the sleep cells for a decent price or lay down for free at the long bed type seats (I really don’t know what are these called, let me know in the comments, if you know. :)). I remember I had a long halt at the Abu Dhabi airport, I couldn’t find any such seat. So, I slept on the floor in one corner. That day I truly felt like a traveler. haha!
The boarding time starts 45 mins prior to the departure and remains open for 25 mins approx.
Now you might be a First-Time Travellers from Delhi T3 Airport but you will definitely not feel like one! Want to know how your flight looks from inside and what facilities it offers?
- Get down at the domestic/international board, according to your flight.
- Show your passport and air ticket at the entrance of the T3 airport.
- Check the row of check-in counter and other flight-related information from the displays.
- Collect your boarding pass and drop your luggage. (skip point 5 if you have a domestic fight)
- Move towards the immigration.
- Clear Security check.
- Shop and eat your way through Duty-free.
- Move towards the departure gate (keep track of time)
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