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Air India vs IndiGo Airlines: Finding The Best Option

In India's fast-growing aviation industry, there's a big competition in the sky between two major airlines: IndiGo Airlines and Air India. They are both fighting hard to be the top airline in India. So which one is better?

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By Eglė

Published: Dec 18, 20234 min read

Air India vs IndiGo Airlines: Finding The Best Option

Fleets & Destinations

As the national carrier of India, Air India traditionally has a more diverse and larger fleet, including a mix of wide-body and narrow-body aircraft. This allows them to operate both long-haul international flights and domestic routes. Meanwhile, IndiGo, primarily a budget airline, operates a fleet consisting mostly of narrow-body aircraft. They focus more on domestic and short-haul international routes. Their fleet is known for being modern and fuel-efficient, primarily comprising Airbus A320 family aircraft.

Air India operates flights to 37 international destinations and 44 destinations within India to every corner of the world. IndiGo boasts a broad domestic reach, flying to over 60 destinations in India. Internationally, they connect to over 40 locations across Asia and the Middle East, including major cities like Dubai, Bangkok, and Kuala Lumpur.

In-Flight Experience

Air India, as a full-service airline, provides a more comfortable in-flight experience. This includes complimentary meals with a variety of dishes to suit different tastes. The airline also ensures extra comfort by offering more legroom, which is especially nice on longer flights. For entertainment, Air India has a great selection of movies, TV shows, and games available on personal screens, helping pass the time during long journeys. Overall, the service on Air India is focused on making sure passengers have a comfortable and enjoyable flight.

IndiGo, on the other hand, operates as a low-cost airline. Their main goal is to offer affordable flights, which means the in-flight experience is simpler. Passengers have less legroom, and there are no free meals or entertainment systems on board. However, you can buy snacks during the flight. Despite these limitations, IndiGo is well-known for being on time and providing efficient service. This makes it a good choice for travelers who are looking for a budget-friendly and reliable way to fly.

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Baggage Allowance

Air Asia provides a baggage allowance policy that varies depending on the ticket type and destination. Generally, for domestic flights, passengers can purchase a checked baggage allowance that ranges from 15kg to 40kg, without any limitation on the number of bags as long as the total weight is within the purchased allowance. The dimensions for each checked bag should not exceed 319cm in total. For carry-on baggage, Air Asia allows passengers to bring one main item and one additional small item, with a combined weight of up to 7kg. The main carry-on bag should not be larger than 56cm x 36cm x 23cm.

Being a low-cost airline, IndiGo has stricter baggage policies with lower weight limits and often charges for checked baggage, especially on domestic routes. It offers a check-in baggage allowance of 15kg with maximum dimensions of 158cm on domestic flights. Infants, however, are not permitted any check-in baggage. For carry-on luggage, passengers are allowed one bag weighing up to 7kg, not exceeding 55cm x 35cm x 25cm in size. Additionally, infants may have a stroller as hand luggage without any extra charge. Passengers can also bring one personal item such as a handbag or laptop, provided it weighs no more than 3kg.

Extra Fees

Air Asia charges extra for various services. If you want to pick your seat, especially the ones with more space, you have to pay more. For meals, you need to pay if you order them before your flight, and special meals cost a bit extra. If your bags are heavier than what your ticket allows, you'll be charged for the extra weight. Changing or canceling your flight also comes with a fee, which depends on when you do it and what kind of ticket you have. They also offer a service for getting on the plane faster, but this costs more.

IndiGo's Extra Fees: IndiGo also has additional charges for several services. Selecting a seat in advance, particularly those with more legroom, requires an extra fee. There are no free meals on IndiGo flights; you have to buy them during the flight if you're hungry. If your luggage weighs more than what’s allowed, you'll have to pay a fee, which can be quite high for really heavy bags. Like Air Asia, IndiGo charges for changing or cancelling your flight, and the amount depends on the type of your ticket and how soon before the flight you make the change. They also offer a 'Fast Forward' service for quicker check-in and baggage handling, but it comes at an additional cost.

Final Thoughts

Choosing Air India over IndiGo can be advantageous for its full-service offerings, including complimentary meals and greater legroom, which are particularly beneficial on long-haul flights. Air India also boasts a wide international network, providing access to more global destinations. Additionally, the airline offers a higher level of in-flight service and amenities, enhancing overall passenger comfort and experience. But if the money is issue and you are traveling on a budget- IndiGO Should be Your Choice. 

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