8 Things to Consider Before Booking Flight Tickets to USA ( from India )

In this article, I will walk through some of the challenges you could run into with your flight reservations, if you don’t pay close attention to your tickets, routes, connection times and baggage allowance.

I took a set of questions about flight reservations and explained the various scenarios you could encounter and what can be done to avoid them.

Question 1 :  I am trying to book my flight to Wichita. My dates of recommended arrival is First Week of January. I tried all the dates that I can book. The best offer is INR 45,000 in Make Makemytrip for Lufthansa 2 hauls.  I tried going to Lufthansa website itself for even cheaper rates, but flights were not available in their website. Will it be cheaper if we can directly contact airlines and get a deal?

Sometimes, airlines give the same fare they offer travel agents. But, with Lufthansa I doubt you will see the same low fare from agent. Jet airways and Emirates have low fares on their website.

Question 2 : For lufthansa my Port of Entry will be Denver. Is it OK?

Denver as Port of Entry is not a problem.  In fact, your port of entry can be different and most cases you have to get a connecting flight within USA.

Question 3 : The connection time between landing in Denver and next  flight is check in time is 2 hrs and 40 mins. Will it be sufficient for Port of Entry procedures?

2 hours and 40 minutes between connecting flight at port of entry will be good time to clear your immigration and customs. Denver airport will not be as busy as New York, Atlanta or other major airports. But, when traveling first time to USA, try to have atleast 3 hours between the connecting lights at port of entry in USA.

Question 4 : And If my miss my connection flight will I get another one for free?

If you miss the connecting flight, they will book you in the next available flight.

Next available flight could be same day or next day. Please DO  NOT book flight tickets where you have to change airports to for the connecting flight.

Such instances can happen when you have transit in London and New York (JFK, LGA, EWR).

Question 5 : Also, for further inquiries after booking, should I contact Lufthansa or makemytrip? The makemytrip staff are not good in customer care. Most of them only know Hindi and not English. I had experiences with ’em.

It’s unlikely you would have to contact them again. But, if in case you have to change the schedule, you have to contact the agent where ticket was booked. If you book the ticket via Make My Trip and call Lufthansa to reschedule, they will ask you to contact Makemytrip.

If you have any questions related to baggage, flight timings, ticket confirmation, you can contact Lufthansa (or their website)

Also, if you can give some tips and caution while booking flights, it will be good.

Question 6 : I tried booking a ticket via BA.COM, they charge 46439 INR. They assure no baggage check in charges and also a backup connection flight if we miss the first one due to POE procedures and BA delays.The same deal when taken with makemytrip.com comes with 43890 INR with baggage free check in at the US domestic flight not guaranteed (they told to contact BA), also the connection flight is not guaranteed if we miss it.

So is it the same flight that BA.COM offered me with assurances (the date of flights and arrivals are same) or will it be different one charging me for checking in when at the US? Can we trust makemytrip.com or will they dumb us with checking in charges and no backup connection flights?

If they book the complete complete travel under single reservation, you will not have any problems. There are few travel agents who have no clue about problems international travelers will encounter.

They might book separate ticket for domestic. So, your international ticket is not connected to USA domestic flight. Try to avoid such booking.

Even in that case, if you miss the flight they put you on next available flight. But, you might end up paying for baggage fees within USA.

Question 7 : Jet airways has an offer to the students (Edujetter kit), we can take 3 bags of 23kgs. However, it is connected by United airlines. In the United Air website they state they charge for every checked in baggage. So will it be mere loss if we are charged checking in for 3 bags ? I found an offer of 42013 for Jet airways at makemytrip.com, but in the jet airways website, the minimum is 112000.

I usually don’t believe in the fare quoted in makemytrip.com. Call them or chat with them to get the exact fare. Often, when you click on the quoted fare, it will show increased fare. I have purchased tickets from them, but through phone or via chat.

Tip – you can bargain for ticket proce with Make My Trip. So, use your haggling skills to get lower ticket price. But, don’t expect great customer service from them.

Question 8 : Do we need a transit UK visa for our connection at london which will take 3hrs time. VFS said we need transit Visa if the Terminal is going to change at London. Also, do we need a transit visa when connecting at Brussels with same connection time.

Additional Air Travel Tips

I have traveled via Brussels (Jet Airways) and transit visa is not required (at time of this writing).

London is always tricky. You have to read the transit visa rules carefully. Usually, if you have valid visa and onward journey to USA doesn’t require transit visa. But, check their website for correct information. I never had transit via London just for the same reason.

I have traveled recently (within 1 year) via Jet Airways (twice) and Emirates (very recently) to India. I did like Emirates A-380 experience much better. Having said that, Jet Airways is also good.In future, I will consider paying extra money to travel via Emirates (A380).

But, you have to see which airline, connection, baggage allowance will work for you. Jet Airways with 3 bags will be useful for you.Taking additional 23 Kgs will come in handy.

Now, you know the answers to your questions, now go books your flight tickets.

See Also :  32 Flight Travel Articles for First Time Travelers Flying to USA

16 Comments

  1. Abhishek RoyChowdhury on October 21, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    Hello all,

    I came to US in this Fall. I also had to search for different websites for finding the cheapest fare before my journey. Air India offers a very attractive deal for the students. If you have a I-20 and VISA you will be eligible for their “Maharaja Scholar Scheme”. In this scheme you will get 10% discount on the base price of your ticket and they will also allow you to carry three 23kgs bag. Due to their own delay I had missed my connecting flight but they provide me the booking in the next available flight along with fooding and lodging during that time.

    That’s why according to me Air India is the best call for the students………Best of luck for your journey.

  2. Rahul Arora on October 21, 2011 at 4:04 AM

    Hello HSB,

    I have booked a flight of British Airways from Mumbai to Boston via London. The stoppage time is 1 hr 25 min. Both my flights, coming from Mumbai and the one going to Boston are at the same terminal. I hope it wouldn’t be any problem. Any advice please.

  3. Rahul Arora on October 21, 2011 at 12:57 AM

    Hello HSB,

    I have booked a flight from Mumbai to Boston via London. The stoppage time is 1 hr 25 min. Both my flights, the one coming from Mumbai and the one going to Boston have terminal 5 designated. I hope it shouldn’t be a problem.

    Any advice please.

    • HSB on October 21, 2011 at 8:38 AM

      If youe flight gets delayed from Mumbai, you could miss the next flight. But, you should be fine.

  4. Vijay Sankar V on October 20, 2011 at 9:23 PM

    I thank you for the tips, HSB.

    • HSB on October 20, 2011 at 10:33 PM

      Np. I fyou have more questions send email.

      • Vijay Sankar V on October 22, 2011 at 2:01 PM

        dear HSB,

        I got a BA flight for 38k (Chennai – London – Chicago – ) but the travel agent screwed up with my name. He omitted the space between my two names in the given name (i.e., my name was put ‘Vijaysankar’ instead of ‘Vijay Sankar’). However, he assured me of no problem after checking with BA. My doubt is that will this create a problem at the Port of Entry. Will the officer there put my name according to the air ticket instead of Passport. Please help.

        Vijay

        • HSB on October 22, 2011 at 2:06 PM

          Call BA. Check for yourself. You have connecting flight in US too.

          • Vijay Sankar V on October 22, 2011 at 2:22 PM

            Deear HSB,

            I called the BA also. They told me they will accommodate me as there are no spell mistakes.

            But will this be a problem at the Port of Entry. One of my friend/senior said: even if I clear the Port of E without any problem, my further documents will be updated with the error name and I will get problems while applying SSN.

            Sorry for nagging again. Please suggest.

            Vijay



          • HSB on October 22, 2011 at 2:56 PM

            Air ticket is not related to immigration and customs. So no worries about that. I’m concerned about the domestic flight.



          • Vijay Sankar V on October 22, 2011 at 2:59 PM

            Thanks for the quick reply again HSB, I will enquire about that. Again, my experience will prove to be an example of how not to book air ticket with dumb travel agents. 🙁



  5. Shah on October 20, 2011 at 4:04 AM

    Hey,
    I am going to Winona State University in Minnesota in December. However, I do like to stay in New york for a day or so. Now would that be a problem if my port of entry is in New york?? Is there any procedural bindings that might require me to head to the state where my university is?? I will be glad if anyone could help. Thanks

  6. Nasrin on October 19, 2011 at 9:48 PM

    I want to travel Bangladesh to Wichita. Which flight will be cheaper. How long will be transit time and where? What will be the cost of flight? Where I can have these information?

  7. vijay on October 19, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    Hi,

    I had booked a ticket from India to US last year on July 23. I enquired many agents and the cheapest i could get was 48000. So, I tried checking all official websites of the airlines and it was the same. I never gave up on that. I was sure, that I had seen some cheaper fare in the official site of luftansa. So, I kept pursuing it. I kept changing dates, + or – 5 days to my departure date. Finally, I got a deal for 41000(including taxes). the funny thing i learnt about lufthansa is, every 45 minutes or so, the price changes. so, one time i would see 41000, i log out and see again, it will be 48000 though out. so keep checking repeatedly. i got the deal just before 10 days of my departure. also try considering about booking a 2 way. you will get it for around 60000.

  8. yash garg on October 19, 2011 at 11:25 AM

    try out cleartrip.com its cheapest of all indian private ticket booking site

  9. soumyaranjan pati on October 19, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    i am working in a steel company as GET and my branch is Electrical. I am working in maintanance area but getting exposure to all automated equipments associated wth them. After 2 years i want to go for MS. My company is a multi national company. Can I get any advantage for my work experience. My area of intrest is Automation

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