I was looking at a domestic flight (Air India) arriving late night at DEL from BOM - arriving Terminal 3 since it's Air India.

Then, the international leg departs 3 hours later, also Air India, also T3.

Has anyone done this recently?

So, in fact do you just stay airside at DEL, or do you have to again clear border control? Security?

(Security/border waits can be incredibly long in some Indian airports.)

This question requires local, specific, experiential, recent knowledge - thank you.

(It is absolutely, completely, 100%, pointless looking at statements offered on official or other websites, etc.)

FTR I travel with zero baggage, so that helps at least.

I can't find out whether (at the moment, mid 2018) you do or don't have to again do security / border in that combination.

  • Which airport are you starting from ?
    – DumbCoder
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 9:17
  • 3
    Is there anywhere that 3 hours is not enough time? Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 14:40
  • ? Have you used Mumbai or other India airports
    – Fattie
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 14:43
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    Some BOM-DEL flights (esp Air India) are classed as "International" flights and require passengers to clear immigration at BOM too. Eg AI 101. Going from departures to arrivals will always require you to clear security and DEL is no different.
    – RedBaron
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 16:07

2 Answers 2


I do domestic to international connections through T3 at Delhi Airport often.

While the answer by user DumbCoder is correct, it needs a bit more information to be complete, as mentioned by user Mophotla in the comments.

There are two scenarios to consider here: whether the first leg is a part of a longer international flight, or a domestic only flight.

Scenario 1

In this scenario, you are flying from BOM to DEL in a flight that either originates or terminates at an international destination. An example of this kind of flight is AI101, that goes BOM-DEL-JFK. In this case, passengers travelling only on the BOM-DEL section of the flight (or those connecting forward for a domestic destination) will be given a boarding pass that has a big letter D on it. In your case, since you will be transferring to an international destination, your boarding pass will have a big letter I on it.

Since it's the same aircraft and boarding will take place from the same gate, passengers only travelling domestically will have to go through a quick immigration control, in which only the boarding pass is looked at. If this scenario takes place, in your case (with the letter I), you will have to go through exit immigration in Mumbai itself and only go through a transfer security check in Delhi.

Scenario 2

In this scenario, you are flying from BOM to DEL in a flight that is solely a domestic flight. An example of this kind of flight is AI806 (as mentioned by user Mophotla). In this case, you will simply go through the domestic security in BOM, arrive in Delhi, and be redirected to the international gates. Here, you will first go through immigration and then transfer security. You will have to follow the signs for international transfers in Delhi in this case. There will also be Air India staff when you disembark to take you to your connection.

Tips and other info

  • If you are in a premium cabin, please note that the transfer immigration and security counters at DEL do not have a priority lane.
  • If arriving at Delhi around 10:00-12:00, you may have to face a long wait at transfer security, since 13:00-15:00 is a major international departure period for Air India and a lot of passengers are connecting at that point. Most Air India flights to Europe and some to SE Asia depart at that time from DEL. In my experience, domestic to international connections at DEL have been extremely quick every time except when I'm connecting for a flight going to Europe (that is, when my connecting flight is leaving in the early afternoon).
  • If you have a big I letter on your boarding pass in BOM, you may face some issues with security not knowing which entrance you should use. In this case, follow the signs that direct you to the far left side of Mumbai's Terminal 2. This is the security check for premium passengers and those who have a big letter D on their boarding passes. Insist on going through this security and after the check, there will be an Air India representative sitting on the left side who will direct you to the right immigration counter (to make sure you go through exit immigration in BOM).
  • If you are in an Air India premium cabin on your outbound flight from Delhi (or have status), you are also eligible to use other Star Alliance lounges in DEL. The Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa Group lounges are significantly better than the Air India lounge.
  • Fantastic information.
    – Fattie
    Commented Aug 25, 2018 at 5:23
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    @DumbCoder, Mophotla mentions the cases where AI operates multi segment flights that originate or terminate in an international destination, as mentioned in Scenario 1 here.
    – crayarikar
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 7:56
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    @DumbCoder But there's a distinction between aircraft and airline (carrier). In the case of flights like AI 101 (BOM-DEL-JFK), the very same aircraft continues onwards to JFK, and immigration takes place in BOM, if your final destination is outside India even if you do not continue on to JFK. What happened in your case is similar, your flight from CCU to Delhi also originated or terminated in an international destination so your immigration took place in Kolkata itself.
    – crayarikar
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 8:09
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    It doesn't matter if you are in the same aircraft or change at Delhi, as long as your first flight to Delhi is an international listed flight, your immigration takes place at your origin airport. If not, then your immigration takes place at DEL.
    – crayarikar
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 8:11
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    No, I am unable to create Air India flight boarding policy out of thin air, (un)fortunately. What I'm trying to convey here is that AI lists some flights as "international flights". These includes multi-leg flights that originate or terminate in an international destination. Assume a pax who is travelling on AI101 from BOM to DEL and then connecting on to AI306 to NRT. Even though the first leg is a domestic, the pax will clear immigration in BOM since AI101 boards from the international concourse at BOM, this pax does not clear immigration again in DEL.
    – crayarikar
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 8:35

I flew from Kolkata to London. My immigration was done in Kolkata and in Delhi I only had a security check and a cursory glance at my passport/visa near the departure gate by the person manning the entrance to the international departure gates.

Regarding timelines, you should be fine unless your arrival flight is awesomely late. If you are checked in they will try their best to get you on your flight else the next flight like all airlines. Assumption is it is a single ticket.

  • Fantastic info DC, so just to be clear this was indeed T3/T3. Cheers
    – Fattie
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 10:03
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    "My immigration was done in Kolkata [...]": Note that this will only be the case if your domestic leg is operated by an aircraft that later continues from Delhi to an international destination under the same flight number, as @RedBaron mentioned above. Look up the flight number of your BOM-DEL flight and see if this is the case here. If the flight is only between BOM and DEL, like AI806, you will have to clear immigration in Delhi. Still, the waiting time for immigration and security would have to exceed ~2h (almost unimaginable) to cause you any problems.
    – Mophotla
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 17:41
  • @Mophotla if your domestic leg is operated by an aircraft that later continues from Delhi to an international destination No that is incorrect. I had to change planes at Delhi, albeit it was the same carrier.
    – DumbCoder
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 7:52

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