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Choosing Flights Abroad

The aviation industry has now entered a golden era, with skyrocketing air passengers every single year. The need for secure and home-like travelling has peaked at an unprecedented high, with convenient travel journeys as the ultimate goal.
Millions of students have chosen to further their education in institutions outside their home country. Data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics show that the figure is rising as young people become savvier about their travel and education options. Many international students also travel during the school year with their friends or to gain new experiences.
However, students must back these decisions with rational and mindful considerations before booking a flight online, as it would lay the ultimate basis for a complete travel experience.


Airlines flying from Delhi to New York (JFK) as of 20th January, 21

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Airlines flying from Delhi to Chicago (ORD) as of 20th January, 21

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Airlines flying from Delhi to Dallas (DFW) as of 20th January, 21

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Airlines flying from Delhi to San Fransisco (SFO) as of 21st January, 21

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The above airline schedules are for reference purpose.

For a better understanding of which airline best suits your travel intent, the following are some key factors to look out for while booking a flight abroad:

Travel Fare

A significant population of air travellers (students), especially from India, considers flight fares the most crucial factor while travelling abroad.

During international travel, the price difference can easily be around 5k-10k (INR). Most airfare search engines can tell you if the fare you’re considering is likely to get cheaper or not. Use the Google Flights calendar options to see which dates have the best prices, and subscribe to fare alerts that will alert you about the new low fares as they arise.

Booking flight tickets 3-4 months before the travel date can save a significant amount of airfare if you are a cost-conscious passenger.

Flight fares are also associated with airport fees. For instance, in the tables above, flying out of Delhi airport may prove to be more economical than another airport such as Bangalore due to the geographic benefit it possesses.

Non-Stop Flights VS Hopping Flights

An added benefit of Non-Stop flights, apart from zero hassle of conveying from one to another, is the removal of uncertainty associated with missing a connecting flight at the airport. However, with that uncertainty gone, there is an added fare amount for the time saved and the comfort that comes with it. Notice how the travel fare from Delhi to New York spiked in the table above while taking a non-stop flight with Air India! In contrast to the above-stated facts, student travellers usually opt for connecting airlines for the sole reason – they pose to be more economical. With more layovers on the way, there is a reduced airfare.

Luggage

When it comes to carrying luggage, we often find ourselves over-bagged from time to time. However, the best airlines have always got your back and your baggage too.

Numerous airlines are known to provide student benefits such as extra baggage and subsidized airfares. For instance:

  • Air India offers a special baggage allowance to students under its Scheme Maharaja Scholars’ offer, i.e. Free 1 additional piece, weighing not more than 23kgs to all points where Air India operates direct flights and Interior points via those stations.
  • British Airways has introduced special offers for students travelling from India to the UK, US or Canada. The offer is available in the World Traveller Plus premium economy and World Traveller economy class. Under this new offer, students enjoy a discount of seven per cent on all published fares. In addition, students can carry an extra piece of luggage weighing up to 23 Kgs along with the current allowance of one checked bag of up to 23 Kgs.

Note: Depending on the airline policy, the offers and schemes may not be valid round the year since they are offered more around the fall semester. For the most current baggage policies, kindly check the official airline’s website.

Take-Off Time

After going through the airline schedules in the above tables, you’ll realize that all international aircraft adhere to a strict timetable for air travels.

For instance:

  • AirIndia generally flies at 2:25 AM from New Delhi, while the
  • United Airways takes off at 1:45 AM in the night.
  • The British Airways’ flight is usually scheduled in the morning at around 8:30 AM.

With such a huge difference in the flight schedules, there also comes in proclivity.

Students must evaluate various aspects before determining the right time to travel by. Reaching the airport conveniently at a specific hour from the residential address being number one, bearing in mind the timing of the connecting flight being number two and many other technical aspects that essentially contribute to it.

Amenities

After looking at more crucial factors, one can now deviate their attention to other features such as:

💺 Legroom

📶 Wifi

🔌 In-seat power and USB outlets

🍲 Food

📺 On-demand videos

Airlines have increasingly taken steps to improve aircraft services. Several considerations are involved in such decisions, including the desire to increase the customer experience, the airline’s goodwill within the industry, etc. Such improvements significantly affect the passenger’s choice among various airlines and their quality of services.

Hence, we advise on being a strategic traveller since it never hurts. Moreover, it can improve your experience as a first-time international student traveller and mitigate major costs while travelling to distant locations.