Should you take a short-duration flight or opt for an alternative way to reach your India destination? Mentioned in this post are some pros and cons of taking short-haul flights in India.
Domestic flyers often contemplate if flying for a short duration is better than other forms of transport such as a road-trip or train journey. Let’s evaluate this by looking at some of the disadvantages and advantages of taking short-haul flights.
- The Non-flying Time is more than the Flying Time: Whether you take a short-duration flight or a long one, the formalities involved remain the same. From reaching to the airport to checking-in, clearing security and immigration (in case of international travel), you still have to go through the set protocols. Moreover, with airports of most cities located on the outskirts can still make you wonder if flying to the destination that may be just a few hours away by road is worth it.
- The Risk of Delays is Higher: Short-duration flights usually do multiple rounds back-to-back between the cities within a day. A slight delay in one cycle can upset the schedule of the entire day. In comparison to long-duration flights, that only do 1 round, or at the most 2 rounds in a day, the risk of delays is more in short-duration flights.
- The Small Cabin: Many short-duration flights connect metropolitan cities to smaller towns such as Dehradun or Udaipur. Most of these airports are much smaller in comparison to the big airports of a metropolitan city. Hence, you’ll often find smaller aircraft plying between such cities. These small flights have a smaller cabin which means lesser leg-room and more noisy co-passengers sitting tightly with you. However, some actually look forward to the experience of flying in a small aircraft as they fly lower than the big ones giving you a better view from the window once up in the air.
- Total Travel time is still much lesser than other forms of transport: While the non-flying time is higher than the flying time in short-duration flights, in most of the cases they still save you much more time than taking a road trip or travelling by train. For instance, a Delhi to Jaipur road journey could take anywhere between 6-7 hours depending on the number of stops you make along the way. On the other hand, a flight journey, including all the non-flying time, could take around 3-4 hours (1-hour flying time + 2-3 hours of non-flying time).
- Everything is taken care-off: The best part about taking a flight is you don’t have to worry about anything. From your luggage being boarded and deboarded to your meals and even entertainment is taken care of. All you have to do is hand over your luggage at the check-in counter and then follow the on-ground staff’s instructions. Once in the flight, you can sit, relax or even enjoy a movie as the cabin crew makes all the arrangements for you.
- Get Rewarded for Flying: Another big advantage of flying is the rewards you can earn in the form of miles. If you are part of a travel loyalty program, you can accumulate miles on every flight bookings made through the program website. These miles can later be used for flight bookings or availing other benefits such as upgraded cabin, in-flight meals, etc., that can make your journey even more comfortable.
- Low Rates: One of the myths people have about short-duration flights is that it can be expensive. However, this is not at all true. With airlines competing for market share for this important segment of passengers, the rates have dropped quite a bit in the recent past. For instance, Delhi to Jaipur or Goa to Mumbai flights rates can be cheaper than a road-trip many times.
While the advantages outweigh the disadvantages clearly, you can also sail through the cons by being a smart traveller. For instance, opting for good seats, taking travel insurance or carrying your own in-flight entertainment will help you have a more comfortable journey. Thus, book your short-duration flight and get ready to fly.