Delhi Airport Departure Tips
Air travel is relatively similar all over the world, but those slight differences in a new place can throw you off your game! Here is a brief preview as to what you can expect when checking into Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, India.
Entering the Airport
You will need a printed flight itinerary (or a screenshot of it on your phone) to even enter the airport. It must show your name, flight date and time and number. You will show this and your passport to enter the airport.
Check the monitors for your flight to see what counter you should be checking into. Remember that international flight counters don’t open until 3 hours before the flight, typically.
If your luggage weighs more than what is allowed, you must pay for more weight. Sometimes you can pay at the counter, and sometimes they will direct you where to go to pay this fee. It’s neither cheap nor fun, so do be mindful of the weight limits on your ticket.
If you are leaving the country, you’ll first have to go through Immigration, which has the potential to have long lines. You don’t have to fill out any paperwork for this (as of Summer 2018), simply present your passport to the Immigration officer. If this is a domestic flight, you’ll go straight to security, instead.
You will show your passport and ticket to an officer who will direct you to a screening line. You must put all carry-ons and personal items through the scanning machines, as with any other airport. Definitely remove your laptops, but you may wish to remove most larger electronic items, including cameras and tablets, as they will often rescan the bag if they detect these items. You can leave your shoes on, but do take any jackets off.
Women and men will separate as they go through the metal detector and pat-down. Please bring your ticket and passport with you and present to the security officer. Men are pat-down next to the carry-on scanning machine and women go into an enclosed booth where a female officer will pat you down. Your ticket will get stamped here by the officer.
After your pat down you will retrieve your carry-ons and electronics. Sometimes an officer may want to see your ticket, but oftentimes not.
Enjoy the shops & restaurants of the airport, but keep your eye on monitors for gate changes and departures. Delhi is a quiet airport, so no announcements are made. India is also the only place we’ve been where planes tend to leave EARLY, so definitely be at your gate at the listed boarding time at the very latest. In Terminal 3’s domestic departure area, the walk can be pretty far (for any gate numbers below 30 or above 39), so please allow yourself 10-15 minutes to get to your gate from the central shopping/eating area.