Moving in India: lovely domestic flights and secure pre-paid taxis

When you are not staying in one place but moving around and moving with long distances, other vehicles than rickshaws, about what my previous text “Moving in India: What to choose or How I was driving a tuk-tuk” was telling about, become essential. And this time I want to discern those, for which you pay more: airplanes and taxis.

Moving in India by plane…
To have domestic flights in India is really very interesting experience. And everything starts with a life in airport. First of all – from people, scurrying around. When you are sitting in tuk-tuk and observing life in the Old Delhi, you are creating one image of Indian people. When you are waiting in the train station and watching around – one more painting appears in head. But when you are in the airport, cleanliness changes the dirt, starched shirt alter unwashable clothes, and a light smell of perfume – lack of water and soap. Sadly, but its true. And all the situation could be explained by mentioning the existence of social castes, classes. ‘Cause such a big part of Indian people do not have any possibility to use planes as an affordable transportation, or even – do not think at all about a chance to move a bit further from their slums…
So, when you are in the airport of India – you are getting into different reality. Have some time to wait in between your flights? So why not to get, for example, a foot massage in mini spa centre inside the waiting lounge?
Of course, in Indian airport could happen not very planned things as well. Like once for us in Goa, when we were waiting for our flight. Electricity in all the airport just gone, and it really took time for things to get back in work. As I remember, everybody were acting really calmly and there was no panic at all. I just have in my head this image, how we are sitting in cafe and everything what you can see around is simply dark…

Once you are putting your feet into a plane, appears one more image of life in this country. First of all eye catches the palette of colourful turbans, due to religion issues as well as for signifying profession, class or caste, worn by Indian men. Secondly, you must know that alcohol is not being served on board, but selection of snacks and alcohol free drinks is similar like everywhere else, just with more of Indian taste. And the third thing I want to mention, that it was absolutely funny when on March Christmas songs were being played from the airplane speakers.
I used domestic flights in India twice. We’ve tried “Jet Airways” airlines for reaching Cochin in South-West of India and “Go Air” – to get back from Goa to New Delhi. Both of them were really nice.

Moving in India by taxi…
I remember ourselves using taxis just a few times during our trip in India. One thing I can tell, that it is definitely more expensive than going by tuk-tuks or buses, but at the same time it is really very cheap, when comparing with taxi prices in Europe.
Mainly all our usages of this type of transportation were related with going to / from airport, and just one – after the party in Goa. So always when there was too complicated to find better solutions and never – for a simple city sightseeing.

Official taxi companies are usually offering pre-paid service. You just need to tell your exact destination and they will calculate the price, ‘cause they are fixed. It is really safe way to go comfortably and not to be afraid of being deceived. Beware of shady non-official taxi drivers!
One of the most pleasant and memorable taxi drive I had after landing in Cochin airport. Our first destination in South-West India was Munnar, famous for its tea plantations. However this small village up in the mountains is accessible really not easy. This condition and extremely hot weather very quickly dictated to act immediately and just grab a taxi. And what we are getting: air conditioning, speed, which you could never get while going by bus, privacy, breathtaking views and only around 35 Eur paid for distance of more than 100 kilometres, due to everlasting geographical upgrade covered in nearly three hours. And yes, that price was for two persons!

To be continued…

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2 thoughts on “Moving in India: lovely domestic flights and secure pre-paid taxis

  1. Pingback: Scenic views: Munnar, proud of its tea plantations | ladyvoyage

  2. From staying one month in Northern part of India I have learned that nothing is safe and it’s best to be prepared for unexpected. In New Delhi I booked a pre-paid taxi from the airport office which cost me a lot, but i wanted to have safe trip to my hostel so it was worth!
    Unfortunately, I ended up stopping at some creepy travelers registration office under the bridge. At first, I thought it was just some regulations that I have to go trough on my arrival, but when they let me wait for 10min. for the manager of the office to show up and finally when I saw mouse running on the floor – I got really suspicious and left the office but my bl**dy pre-paid taxi which had to wait for me was already gone!
    Solution?
    I stopped a tuk-tuk driver by the name Happy. Yes! His name was Happy and I was more than happy to overpay him to take me straight to my hostel on a “slo-mo” speed.

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