USA to India Travel Plans – A Brief Overview
India is one of the most sought-after travel destinations in the world; hence it is not easy to get the cheap USA to India flights. All parts of India, from North to South and East to West, are full of rich cultural heritage in the form of stunning architecture and its history. So those who come to India fall in love with it so much that they either come back to visit the same year or even settle down in various parts of the country like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, etc.
Check out the eligibility criteria for visiting India here. When you are planning to visit India from the United States, a lot of planning is required so that your trip fits into the budget that you have in mind. Amongst all the expenses involved, airfare constitutes the most significant percentage, and this is one area where one can save a lot of bucks if one stays active online and keeps a tab on certain things, which we will discuss in this article.
Airfare pricing is a complex affair, and the algorithms which change the fares are constantly in a state of flux every minute. A trip from the USA to India is a very daunting one both from a price point of view as well as the time it takes to reach the destination. By just acting-wise, you can crack the best deals available out there. You can also leverage Google Flights Explore Map to get some great deals on flights!
So let us unwrap some of the tips and tricks of getting the cheapest flights.
Best Practices for the USA to India Flight Booking
• Flexibility in travel dates – Unless you are travelling for a specific purpose, you must keep your travel plans flexible to get cheaper flights. Some websites claim travelling on a particular day of the week will save you lots of dollars, but it is not always the case if you look into it carefully. So we suggest you check out how the price fluctuates for a whole month. Some of the major online sites where you can check the best prices are Skyscanner, Google Flights, or Hopper. When you track the pricing of a whole month, you have a clearer picture of when the prices hit the lowest range. Here is how you should go about checking the pricing:
• Feed-in your city of departure and city of arrival.
• You should first check for a one-way fare. Click on depart, and rather than entering a date, select the whole month.
• Now click on search flights which will display a whole list of flights for the entire month.
• From the above list, you will figure out the days when the airfare is the lowest.
• Follow the same steps for your return flight ticket to find out the cheapest rates.
• Book early – It goes without saying that a sure-fire way to get the USA to India cheapest flights is to book your air tickets much ahead of their travel date. This fact is tried and tested that the closer you book to your travel date, the higher the rates would be. When you are booking early, you get special deals, discounts, and the best offers on your tickets.
• Go incognito while you search for flights, i.e., search in private – You must have noticed that each time you search for a specific flight in your browser, the ticket price keeps increasing after each search. The culprit is the cookies in your browser that keep track of your online activities. The website keeps raising the fare on each search so that you book your flight then and there. To avoid this issue, it is advised to do your search in private browsers. This means you open a new incognito window each time you want to search so that your previous searches are not stored, and you do not have to see increased prices. Another way to work around this problem is to clear your cookies or search from different devices.
• Choose the best time for booking the USA to India flights cheap tickets – There is no scarcity of places to visit in India, no matter what time of the year you choose to travel from the USA. In general, February or June is found to be the month when the USA to India flights cost much less than other months. So, ensure to keep that in mind while finalizing the USA to India flight booking. If your month is not flexible, then you can choose the cheapest day to fly within your month of travel. Usually, weekdays are more inexpensive than weekends, but that might not always be the case, so a bit of research would lead you to the desired rate and date.
• Select a low-cost airport – Airfares also vary based on the airport that you choose to land at. Based on your itinerary, try to select a less expensive airport to fly out of the US and into India. Some cheap airports in the US fly out from Cincinnati, Atlanta International (GA), and Dallas Love Field (DAL). In India, the cheapest airports to fly into are Mumbai (BOM) and New Delhi (DEL).
• Book non-refundable tickets if you are absolutely sure of your travel plans – It might sound surprising, but non-refundable tickets are definitely always cheaper than refundable ones. So only when you are entirely sure of your travel dates can you go for booking non-refundable tickets to get a more affordable deal. Even if you do need to cancel your trip, there are chances that your travel insurance might be able to cushion the blow.
• Look for connecting flights – It is always convenient to book the USA to India direct flights, but connecting flights can often cost you much less. Connecting flights might require a little extra physical effort and waiting time, but it is always good to stretch your legs a little while you are on a long journey.
• Choose budget airlines – The USA to India international flights are cheaper when you travel with budget airlines. You can go on sites that give you comparisons between the prices of different airlines and decide on the cheaper one you are comfortable with.
• After comparing, buy flight tickets – The travel search engines mostly give inflated flight rates as they take a cut from the airlines. So we recommend you look into sites such as Skyscanner, Google flights, JetRadar, and Airfarewatchdog that will show you lower flight rates. You should try out each of these sites and find out which one offers the lowest price and then go ahead and book that USA to India cheapest flight.
• Book flight tickets directly from the airline’s website – You begin your search generally on search engines to get a general idea about which airlines offer lower prices than others. Then move on to the airlines’ own websites and check out the prices listed there. The flight aggregators and other online booking websites mostly include a profit margin; that is why you would most probably find the flight rates cheaper on the original websites.
• Try to make payment in a currency that is cheaper than your currency (USD in this case) – A lot of travellers are using this tip to make the USA to India flight booking at a more reasonable rate. Generally, airlines ask for payment in the currency of the country that you are travelling from. But next time when you are planning to book the USA to India international flights, try to see if you can book your ticket in a currency which is cheaper than your country’s currency. However, you must exercise some caution here. If you are paying through a credit card, you need to ensure that your credit card is not levying any foreign transaction fees on this transaction.
• Take help from a travel agent – A layperson might not get all the discount options that a travel agent might have access to. Reach out to a travel agent and ask them to give you a cheaper deal than what you are already getting. You might have to pay a particular amount as part of their service fee, but that would be much less than the difference in the price of the ticket if you buy it by yourself.
• Avoid booking round trips – The to and fro charges involved in the USA to India flights are not always the same. Some airlines have lower fares to fly you out of the USA, and there could be some airlines who charge you less for flying out of India. You must check for these patterns before you choose the same airline to book to and fro tickets.
• Fare alerts could be handy – While visiting the airline pages, do not forget to set fare alerts. If you do that, you will get first-hand information about changes in price, special offers, etc., before the tickets sell out, and you can book your flight at a much cheaper rate. Another thing you could do is to follow some of the budget airlines like AirAsia, Go Air, Indigo, SpiceJet, and JetStar on their FB pages or Twitter to learn about special offers and deals as and when they announce them.
• Your flight points can be put to use to get a cheaper rate – Many airlines have loyalty programs where they offer air miles points to their frequent flyers. If you are part of any such airline’s list of frequent flyers, then you can avail of a discount based on the points earned. An example of such a loyalty program is JetAirways, where they offer JetPrivilege miles which can be used to get discounts on ticket fares. These points mainly apply to domestic flights, but you can qualify for an international flight if you earn enough points.
• Stay Active – You must keep an eye regularly on the airlines’ websites to catch any attractive offers, discounts, deals that they offer from time to time. Apart from following the websites, you should also track them on FB, Twitter, and various other social media sites where nowadays airline companies are announcing their cheapest deals.
• Travelling with a group? Then book one ticket at a time – You would observe that if you add two tickets for booking and then reduce the number of tickets to one, there is a drop in price. This happens because when people are booking for a group airlines like to put the entire group in a single fare bucket. A fare bucket is used by airlines to denote your privileges included with your ticket, the cabin you are in, whether your ticket is refundable or not, or if your ticket is eligible for an upgrade. The number of tickets available in a fare bucket needs a bit of digging to do. For example, if there is only 1 ticket available for a 199 USD fare bucket and two in 299 USD bucket, then if you try to book for 2 tickets simultaneously, the airline would automatically skip the 199 USD bucket and put both tickets in 299 USD bucks and charge you 598 USD. Whereas if you book only one ticket at a time, you will get the first one for 199 USD and the second one for 299 USD, thus making the total fare 498 USD 100 USD less than if you had booked both the tickets together.
• Cash on schedule changes in airlines – Airlines are often prone to change their schedule, allowing you to avail yourself of better deals. As per federal law, if an airline either cancels your flight or significantly changes its itinerary, then you are eligible to get a full cash refund. The airline would rather move you to a different flight than give you a refund. This opens up a window for you to improve your flight. Let us say you booked the USA to India non-stop flight early in the morning at 6, but the airline changed it to a one-stop flight. In such a case, you can choose a more covenant time of travel without paying a penny extra. Similarly, if you had booked a connecting flight and the airline announced a change in flight timing, you could opt for the USA to India direct flights without incurring any extra cost.