New Delhi
Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport

Everything you need to know before departing from or arriving to New Delhi Airport

Transfer at New Delhi Airport

Krystof Hajek updated 1. 10. 2023

Delhi is the largest airport in India and consists of three different terminals. The individual buildings are not interconnected.

However, Terminals 2 and 3 are very close and can be walked between in 5 minutes, while Terminal 1 is on the other side of the airport and can be reached by the free airport shuttle bus that runs 24/7.

Best Hotels near Delhi Airport

  • Terminal 1A: arrivals-only terminal for IndiGo (except flight numbers 2000-2999 and 5000-5999) and Spicejet (except flight numbers 8000-8999)
  • Terminal 1C/1D: Departures for IndiGo (except flight numbers 2000-2999 and 5000-5999) and Spicejet (except flight numbers 8000-8999)
  • Terminal 2: Akasa Air, IndiGo (flight numbers 2000-2999 only)
  • Terminal 3: All other airlines, IndiGo (flight numbers 5000-5999 only), Spicejet (flight numbers 8000-8999 only)

The airport is large but uncluttered and modern. All terminals were extensively renovated between 2005 and 2023 and meet all international standards.

Security checks

In Delhi, you will be subjected to the first security check as soon as you enter all terminals from the outside. Have your passport and especially your ticket or boarding pass ready, either in mobile or paper form.

The usual waiting time to enter the terminals is up to 10 minutes.

The next check is the classic security screening between the public and transit area, as you know from all airports in the world.

The queues for security checks in all terminals can take up to 45 minutes.

How far in advance should I arrive at the airport?

Even with double checking (and extra passport control for international flights), it is recommended to arrive at Delhi Airport 3 hours before departure.

Transfer between flights

Delhi Airport is the largest transfer point for international and domestic flights in the whole of South Asia. The connecting flights at Delhi Airport are clearly signposted with signs "Transfer".

International transfer

International flight transfers (i.e. arriving in Delhi from abroad and departing to another international destination, e.g. Dubai -> Delhi -> Bangkok) will always take place within Terminal 3 only.

When connecting internationally, you never have to move between terminals.

If you have purchased a ticket with a transfer in Delhi, your transfer is guaranteed and you do not have to go through immigration or leave the transit zone at all.

  • Baggage - will be automatically transferred and you don't have to worry about it
  • Visas - you do not need an Indian visa for the transfer, no passport control is required

Domestic transfer

Transferring between domestic routes can already be tricky, especially if you're travelling with IndiGo or Spciejet airlines operating from Terminals 1 and 2.

Other airlines (such as Air India, Vistara, Air Asia) operate all their international and domestic flights from Terminal 3.

No change of terminal

You will not need to leave the transit area if you are only connecting within a single terminal.

If you are connecting within Terminal 1, all arrivals take place in a separate building 1A, from which shuttle buses run along the tarmac approximately once every 3-5 minutes to Terminals 1C/1D (journey time 5 minutes).

Change of terminal

However, if you are changing to another terminal, you must always leave the transit area and go completely outside the airport building.

A free airport bus runs between all terminals. Once outside, follow the signs "Shuttle Bus".

The bus runs at intervals of 20 minutes for 24 hours a day.

  • Terminal 2 <-> Terminal 1: 25 minutes
  • Terminal 3 <-> Terminal 1: 25 minutes
  • Terminal 2 <-> Terminal 3: 3 minutes on foot on the pavement

For official information on the inter-terminal bus, please visit the airport website: newdelhiairport.in/inter-terminal-transports.

Transfer from international to domestic flight

If you are travelling with one booking from an international destination and continuing from Delhi to another Indian destination, you must always leave the transit zone.

If you have to change terminal, the process is the same as for a purely domestic transfer see above.

  • Baggage - you must always collect your baggage and re-check in at a dedicated check-in counter marked "Transfer".
  • Immigration - you go through immigration at Delhi airport

Transfer from domestic to international flight

If you are travelling with one booking from an Indian destination via Delhi to an international destination, you must always exit the transit zone.

If you have to change terminals, the process is the same as for a purely domestic transfer see above.

  • Baggage - you do not collect it on transfer, it will be checked in from the point of departure to the final destination
  • Immigration - you go through immigration only at Delhi airport
Krystof Hajek

Krystof is the editor-in-chief of Cestee. He is also an avid traveller with 574 flights and 73 countries visited.

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