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Delhi T3 transfers [merged questions and experience reports]

Delhi T3 transfers [merged questions and experience reports]

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Old Sep 19, 22, 12:33 pm   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: TheBagman
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Terminal 3 at DEL handles all international flights as well as domestic flights of Air India, Vistara and Air Asia India.You can transit D-I, I-D, I-I and D-D.

I-I transfer desks are open as of August 2022.

Below are the details for transit within T3.

A. Domestic to international transit at T3:

If both your domestic and international flights are on a single ticket, your baggage will be checked through at the origin airport itself and you should get your onward boarding passes there as well.
At DEL there are 5 ways to get from arrivals to departures (one level up), listed here in order of least walking to most walking.

1. Domestic - intl transfer gate: After you deplane from your domestic flight (or get off the bus) and go down the escalator (or stay on the same level coming from a bus) there is a special facility for transit passengers in the hall with the copper hands on the wall (red gate in the image below). It leads directly to immigration counters and security check after which you can access departure gates, lounges etc. Service on this entry point are hit or miss, but will save you a lot of walking. There are AI and AF-KL agents roaming the queues and will fast track you if running late. However, this only works if you already have your boarding pass for your International flight, have checked your luggage through from your point of origin, and have less than 4 hours between your domestic and international flights. If you are on separate tickets, have more than 4 hours for your international flight, or the lines are too long try one of the other options below.

2. Transfer desk in the middle of the arrivals concourse: always crowded. Here you could theoretically drop your bags and take the lift up to the security or checkin desks. Its a night mare, never used it due to crowding.

3. The escalator & lift on the international end: collect your bags, turn LEFT when you exit the first set of doors after the baggage belt. At the complete end of the concourse a lonely CISF jawan polices that way up. S/he will check if you have a international onward ticket/BP or send you packing to the other ways. Once you go up you get into a glass walled holding pen with yet another CISF checkpoint that will only let you nto the checkin area if your flight is in 4h or less.
4. Escalator & lift on the domestic end: collect your bags, turn right when you exit the first set of doors after the baggage belt. At the complete end of the concourse a lonely CISF jawan polices that way up. S/he will check if you have a domestic onward ticket/BP or send you packing to the other ways. Once you go up everything is cordoned off and you are shown out the terminal by the CISF guy sitting at the glass door to the checkin area you end up curbside and have to enter the terminal again.

5. Just walking out as if you want to go to Delhi: here you exit the terminal and pretend to be a regular pax arriving in Delhi. Once you exit there are walk escalators where you push your cart on and get transported to the departure level. Select one of the many gates where there are no major lines and enter the checkin area.

B. International to domestic transit at T3:

For Air India I-D flights where your domestic flight is from AI 010-399 or 900-999, you will follow the procedure for I-I transfers (see this for details). Otherwise follow the procedure given below.

For all other flights, you will go through immigration in Delhi. After immigration you have to collect your bags and go through customs. Then follow steps 3, 4 or 5 in the section above.

Security will generally not allow entry into the domestic terminal until T-4 (four hours before the departure of your flight).

Transit hotel: For overnight transit (int'l flight arriving at night and domestic connection departing following morning), the transit hotel within Terminal 3 (IHG Holiday Inn Express) is perfectly acceptable. And the views of the tarmac when having the included breakfast aren't bad. You need to have a domestic flight departing from T3 in order to use it. The T-4 restriction does not apply to use the transit hotel. But it goes for quite a premium in rates over what the other hotels in the area cost (if willing to exit the terminal building for overnight stays). To reach, turn right after Customs and look for the Holiday Inn Express help desk inside the terminal. Staff will escort you to the hotel and help with other formalities.

For other terminals:
T2 is a (long) walk from T3. Exit the terminal, turn left and follow the signs.
T1 is ~8km by road and takes about 15 minutes by taxi. There is also a shuttle bus outside the terminal which is free if you are a woman or have a boarding pass for an onward flight, and costs INR 25 otherwise. There are no airside connections.

C. International to International transfer

After landing look for the board saying "International Transfers" (DO NOT go through immigration).

1. If you are on a single ticket and already have boarding pass in hand with "DT" (Direct Transfer) printed on it, walk past the transfer desks and go through transit security. Then you can proceed to the departure lounges and gates. Note: if your boarding pass does not have "DT" printed on it, you need to talk to the transfer desk, otherwise the I-I security checkpoint will likely not let you through and send you back to the transfer desk.

2. If you have separate tickets or don't have your onward boarding pass in hand, you have to go to the transfer desk where the airline staff will check documents and issue your onward boarding pass. You cannot check-in online or get an e-Boarding Passes for international flights out of India. Check-in generally opens 4 hours before and closes 60-75 minutes before departure. Then go through transit security as in point 1.

3. There are no priority security lanes in transit security so it is advisable to keep adequate time (>2 hrs) between connecting flights even if you are in F or J.

4. If you have separate tickets, in addition it is advisable to hold an Indian visa or e-visa as you may be denied boarding at origin otherwise.

5. A transit hotel for overnight stays (up to 24 hours) is available after transit security.

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Old Sep 7, 22, 9:33 am
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 9
Thanks, Oliver2002. I will look into the T3 PP arrival lounges then. Last question, can I access either of PP arrival lounges - domestic or international regardless of the fact that I arrive in a domestic flight to T3?
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Old Sep 7, 22, 2:16 pm
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Whichever has space, they don’t care.
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Old Sep 19, 22, 10:02 am
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: DEN (ex-MCI)
Programs: UA Gold
Posts: 279
New Dehli connecting to Kathmandu experience

Experience report based on my trip as described in post #597 above. Note that I did not check any bags on this trip, which "helped" on the inbound.

The outbound went as expected.
  • Had to check-in in-person at DEN to show proof of Indian e-Visa.
  • When deplaning at DEL they had a person in the hallway telling people that all passengers had to get checked bags. eVisa printout worked fine, no issues or questions. Had to show BP for flight just completed.
  • Next day checked in for Vistara in person and received that BP, no issues.
  • Side note: when you enter the KTM immigration hall and can see the lines and desks, you actually need to turn hard left to see a desk on the wall where you need to pay the USD$ cash fee for the eVisa you applied for online.

The inbound was a bit more interesting, although ended up working out as expected.
  • Was able to check-in online with Vistara and "received" three electronic boarding passes for KTM-DEL-EWR-DEN (the latter two flights being UA listed/operated). Allowing OLCI was a surprise to me because I knew you had to have a paper boarding pass for various "stampings" in this part of the world. Also this didn't go so smoothly as the OLCI gave me several choices for receiving the boarding pass. I could choose email (which I should have chosen) or add to my apple wallet. Unfortunately the Apple wallet sub-option gave three separate links, and after clicking and adding the first flight, the app went back to the home screen and I couldn't access the others. I decided not to risk messing with it since I had to get paper passes at the airport anyway.
    • Side note: I was intending to change my DEL-EWR seat to be next to an expected empty middle seat, but after I did OCLI with Vistara/Amadeus, it locked me out of any changes to my UA flights. Old lesson remembered.
  • At the KTM check-in desk, there was confusion because the desk person had no idea what was going on and believed I needed a new Indian eVisa despite that 1) Indian eVisas are double-entry and the visa stamp in my passport was clearly marked "1/2 entries", and 2) I was a I-I transit passenger anyway and didn't need an eVisa. She ignored my explanations and eventually a supervisor came over and mostly ignored my explanations and asked me if I had any checked bags, pushed some buttons and all my boarding passes printed out. I'm not sure which of the reasons got me through but they seem mostly convinced that since I had no checked bags they were ok with it.
  • At DEL, I walked past the transfer desks as described by the wiki (since I had my BPs) and on to the I-I security checkpoint. There were two security guys and one other transit passenger, just the four of us in total. They checked my backpack and wanded me, but then the security guy with the ink stamp paused and said I had to go back because my BP didn't have the letters "DT" for Direct Transfer printed (or written?) at the top. I turned on my best confused-foreigner personality and offered up my other boarding passes. He saw that I came from KTM with the proper ink stamps all over it and mumbled "oh, hmm, Kathmandu", saw that I only had a 5 hour layover. He asked if I had any checked bags and then very cautiously decided to finally stamp by BP and let me through. While wiping the virtual sweat off my brow and repacking my bag, his supervisor guard wandered toward me and asked something like "You did talk to the transfer desks back there right?" and I falsely indicated affirmative and he decided to leave me alone. Perhaps they paid me more attention because they were bored.
  • When boarding my UA flight at Gate 1, the first person looked at my Vistara BP, and seemed confused that I was an I-I transfer, asked me where I had come from, I answered and received the same "oh, hmm, Kathmandu" and let me by.
  • At the BP scanner, I was gently rejected and had step to the side and show my BP and passport to the desk for re-checking. I was asked again if I had any checked bags and they again seemed happy the answer was zero.
  • Side story: I used by Vistara paper BP in the TSA-pre line at EWR to see what would happen. It actually scanned but she said I was in the wrong line, so I feigned ignorance and pulled my phone out with the United BP w/TSA-pre that had shown up in my app at some point and got through. The Vistara paper BP did work to board my plane back to DEN.
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Old Sep 19, 22, 12:05 pm
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Oh dear you insulted the DT god… always get DT from the transfer desk in DEL.
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Old Sep 19, 22, 8:34 pm
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Originally Posted by oliver2002 View Post
Oh dear you insulted the DT god always get DT from the transfer desk in DEL.
I added this information to the wiki in the I-I section, feel free to edit further since you seem to be "in the know" regarding the DT.
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Old Sep 22, 22, 2:11 pm
Join Date: Oct 2021
Posts: 14
I have what seems like a pretty vanilla situation coming up next month but after perusing the thread and wiki it is not clear to me what I should expect.

Traveling KTM-DEL-WAW on Vistara and Lot, one PNR, J. 6PM-8AM layover in DEL. I will have bags.

Should I expect my onward BP to be issued in KTM and bags checked through so that I can walk through the I-I route in the wiki and go hide in a lounge (and if so, where should I aim to park myself? Also have Amex plat)? Or will this be more complicated?

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Old Sep 23, 22, 2:10 am
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Vistara will check you thru and your bags will also be sent to WAW, no issues there. Arriving in DEL you can go to the transfer desk, get the 'DT' mark on your BP, but finding an agent at 6pm for next days flight will be tough. Worst case you can write 'DT' on the BP yourself. For the location of the two 'DT' marks see this post: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/26663144-post13.html

Once airside there is choice of lounges, but do you really want to spend that much time in a lounge? I usually spend 3-4 hours in DEL T3 and after 2 hours it gets very very boring. There are napcabs in the concourse where you could theoretically go sleep. I would enter India, stay at a hotel in aerocity (short 10 min cab ride away) and come back the next morning.
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Old Sep 24, 22, 5:02 pm
Join Date: Oct 2021
Posts: 14
Thank you, I will take your advice and book myself a hotel.
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Old Sep 28, 22, 2:50 pm
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 35
I wish I never set foot in delhi airport
flew yyz-del-bkk earlier this week on one itinerary with airindia and thaiairways with an 11h45m layover in business class. I figured I could use the lounge and maybe have a shower but was met with hostility at the t3 transfer desk and after some confusion was told thaiairways agent needed to check my boarding pass and they wouldn't be at the desk until 4h before departure.
so I was forced to wait in purgatory for what ended up being 10hours only with access to a coffee shop and a bathroom there was no wifi as their guest pass machines were down and I don't have a india cell phone to get a verification code.
after finally getting through I made it to the lounge for an hour and on my way.
but when i arrived in Thailand I discovered my checked through bag was still in India and I made a claim with thaiairways but am 3 days in and my bag is still in India. I have a Samsung GPS tracker on it and it's saying it's sitting in t3 thaiairways check in area but when I use thaiairways online tool it only says bag was scanned in at Delhi 3 days ago and no further updates
I don't blame thaiairways as this seems to be a Delhi airport issue but what can I expect going forward. Will my bag ever be returned or is it going to be taken apart and my stuff sold on the streets of Delhi or something?
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Last edited by ThePopes; Sep 28, 22 at 2:51 pm Reason: Spelling
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