Domestic Travel through India by Train or Plane, which is best? Train travel can be wonderful way to see India if you have the time and the patience. Unfortunately, trains in India are often late. Despite the train travel class you choose, it would still be wise to bring toilet paper. On the other hand, if you want to get somewhere quick then air travel is the way to go. My Flight from Varanasi to New Delhi was about an hour and we arrived two hours before whereas the train is about 12 hours given it is on time.
Currently, India has about five different domestic travel air carriers. By 2020, India is set to be the third largest aviation market (US And China are one and two). According to a report prepared in 2016 by KPMG and Ficci. On my recent trip to Varanasi, I used air travel to get back to New Delhi. Of the many air carriers, I chose Vistara. Their tag line is: Fly the New Feeling.
My Flight Experience
As we were boarding, they opened up the back and the front of the plane. How smart is that? My assigned seat was 17C so I went to the back of the plane. I was seated in my seat, leg room was good as well as the comfort of the seat. I thumbed through my seat pocket and found a newspaper. Since the fight was an hour, I thought it would be good to catch up on some Indian current affairs. All of a sudden, I saw a light. One of the attendants noticed I was reading and she turned on the light.
We began to take off and once we were settled in the air, the attendants started wheeling their carts. I was wondering what snack they would give as most hour domestic flights in the US barely give you a drink and perhaps they may through some pretzels at you. Not on Vistara, they actually give you a real snack and a beverage. They had a vegetarian option and a non-vegetarian option. I chose the vegetarian option. It had a Samosa like savory snack and a sweet muffin. I also got a coffee and a sparkling water. The attendants offered beverages, not once but twice. I was so impressed with the level of service and the kindness each attendant displayed.
For me, plane travel it is
If I am traveling domestically through India again, Vistara will be my airline of choice. The other domestic flight I took was from Delhi to Kolkata through GoAir. I was not as impressed with them. They seem to be the “Spirit Airline” of India. No complimentary food or beverage. Also, the seats did not have much padding on them. The only downfall to air travel versus train travel is to mind the weight limits domestically. One bag to be checked (20kg) and some flights state that 7kg is the limit for carry on. Keep in mind that Vistara has non-economy options that allow up to 12kg for carry on and 25kg for checked. However, I found they can be a little forgiving if they know you are flying internationally through another carrier.
Have you travelled domestically through India by plane or train? Which do you prefer? Share your experiences.