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My wife and 5-month-old baby are travelling to Delhi airport (DEL) on a domestic flight, with a connection to an international flight. The inbound domestic flight arrives at Terminal 3 at 11:50 PM, while the onward international flight leaves at 11:30 AM the following day.

The domestic and international flights are booked on separate tickets. However, our domestic airline (Air India) has a partnership with the international airline and can check the bags through to the final destination. Can we enter the international departure concourse with this much time difference to travel? I was thinking of booking a room in the internal airport hotel for about 9 hours as my wife doesn't want to leave the airport and go into New Delhi, but the airport hotel is on the secure side of the terminal.

  • Be sure to ask the Air India agents at your origin airport if the bags will indeed be interlined, and show them the ticket for your international flight. – gparyani Apr 16 '18 at 19:43
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    @gparyani I accepted your edit with one modification. It's good to include airport codes but please don't delete the name of the airport. If you just say "DEL", a lot of people will have to look up what airport that is, which is very frustrating if they have to look up the code just to find out that they don't know the answer. – David Richerby Apr 16 '18 at 19:51
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T3 is a newly built terminal for mostly international flights, with some domestic flights. As you have mentioned, domestic and international flights are booked on separate tickets (and according to you, they have partnership), you can ask the airline for the boarding passes to your final destination. If not, then you have to collect your luggage (exit) and enter the airport again. Usually (in DEL) they don't allow you to enter the check-in area until 3-4 hours prior to your flight. I would recommend to take a hotel (especially at night) if you have kids with you.

  • Thanks for this. Yup that was my intention - i am hoping they can issue boarding pass as well given that they'll check in the luggage to final destination. Since she doesn't want to leave the airport, I was trying to book the internal hotel within IGI which will be useless if she has to collect the luggage, exit and then enter the airport again. But given that the layover time is longer than 3-4 hours, she might be stuck outside. – dpresha9 Apr 16 '18 at 23:14
  • So to clarify, if she is given a boarding pass, can she transit straight away from domestic to international area within T3 and thus check into the transit hotel? – dpresha9 Apr 16 '18 at 23:14
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    An interlining agreement just means that bags will be transferred, not that the first airline can issue a boarding pass. Since the international flight was booked on a different airline on a separate ticket, Air India cannot issue a boarding pass for it (they can only do so for separate tickets). (cc @dpresha9 ) – gparyani Apr 17 '18 at 2:25
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    To be honest, I really wish Indian airports were like U.S. airports. U.S. airports allow anyone to enter the check-in area, there is no ID or document check at the door. The ID and boarding pass check takes place at the security check, where the agents will just scan your boarding pass in their machine and usually not notice a thing about it (especially true if you're using a digital boarding pass on your phone). – gparyani Apr 17 '18 at 2:31
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    A couple of years back I had to make the domestic-international connection at DEL. In my experience, there is no direct domestic to international transfer (even when bags are checked through). You have to exit the building and then enter again (short walk on the same floor as exit). This may have changed now. – RedBaron Apr 17 '18 at 6:38

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