Navigating the Delhi Airport

Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) in New Delhi can be a bit overwhelming! Here is your visual guide on how to exit the Delhi airport, from Immigration, Baggage Claim, Customs, and Pickup.

Upon disembarking your plane, follow signs for Immigration | Baggage | Exit.

Take the Escalator or Elevator down to Immigration

All Foreign Nationals will head to the right upon exiting the escalator. Pick up an Arrival Card on your way into this door (there should be a table of them to your right) and complete it. Have a pen handy!

Pro tip: If there is a long line, take the card and complete it while standing in line as a time-saver. You can just use the name of your hotel and the city for your “Address in India.”

Head to an e-Visa counter.  When you get to the Immigration counter, you will hand the immigration officer:

  • your passport
  • your completed arrival card (the one you got on the plane or that you picked up just outside the immigration area, pictured above)
  • the ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) print-out from your e-Tourist visa confirmation email.

After you pass through immigration, you will have to show the entry stamp in your passport before passing through Duty Free and into Baggage Claim.

After exiting Duty Free, you will see a screen detailing which conveyor belt your luggage will appear on. If immigration took you a long time, there is a chance that your luggage has already been taken off the belt and placed beside it; please do check to see if that is the case.  Luggage carts are free at this airport.

After you collect your baggage, you will head toward Customs.  Presumably you will have nothing to declare, so take the Green Channel and exit that way.

Upon leaving Customs, there is the first meeting point where most hotels will pick you up; please do double check with the hotel or agency picking you up (or us!) where they intend to meet you.

The other meeting point is outside the main doors; if you leave, you cannot come back inside, so it is important you meet your driver before you exit if you are told they are meeting you inside.

For our late 2022 India groups: You will be met OUTSIDE Door #4 by someone holding a NOVOTEL sign. We will send you videos of what to expect. 

If your hotel gives you a door number where they are going to meet you, this is where you find the numbers (circled below, on the red wall). Typically it will be Door #4. 

There are ATMs (Indus & SBI–if one does not work, try the other), coffeeshops, and restaurants upon exiting Customs but before leaving the airport. There is also an Airtel counter to purchase an India SIM card if you wish (although please remember that this SIM card will NOT work in Ladakh).

For those not on our tours or who are arranging their own pick-up: There is a pre-paid taxi service kiosk just outside the airport if you need to secure a ride. While it is much more convenient to arrange pick-up through your hotel, it is relatively easy to get a ride here. It is MUCH cheaper to book through this pre-paid kiosk than anyone who is offering you a ride. This is a good way to proceed so you’re not forced to haggle after such a long journey.

Need advice on departing from the Delhi airport?

Looking for video instructions? Check out both of our videos below!

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