How much time is needed from New Delhi Railway Station to IGI Airport?

#1 Oct 20th, 2011, 08:18
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  • jkccheng is offline
#1
I will be in Agra on Nov 29, 2011 and taking a flight back to my home country at 23:00 hrs on the same day.

A travel agent has advised that I need to allow 5-hour time gap between New Delhi Railway Staion (NDRS) and my departure time of 23:00 hrs (the checkin time advised by the airline concerned being 3 hrs beforehand, ie, 20:00 hr).

My intention is to take the 15:30 hrs U Abhatoofan Exp (#13007) from Agra Cantt, arriving NDRS at 19:40 hrs. But the time gap is just 3 hrs 20 mins.

I was wondering if it is possible to catch the 23:00 flight, having regard to:

a) the time taken from NDRS to the New Delhi Metro Station;

b) the time taken by the Metro to reach IGI Airport;

c) the security check and crowdiness of IGI Airport; and

d) when the checkin counter of India Airline will be closed (the 3-hr checkin is just an advice).


Grateful for whatever comments you may offer.
#2 Oct 20th, 2011, 08:32
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#2
I think the danger here is assuming the train will arrive on time. What happens to your plan if it pulls in an hour late?

There is train 12803 that leaves at 14:05, just a bit earlier, and arrives a 17:05 at the Nizmuddin station, also in New Delhi. It might be a better bet.

Agra is my last stop before hitting the airport for home, but I am arriving in Delhi a day earlier. Gives me time to rest up and buy last minute gifts.
#3 Oct 20th, 2011, 08:45
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#3
Indeed, Drews. Remember trains as well as other transport regularly get delayed there, not rarely massively so (or canceled altogether, say under adverse weather conditions, or due to whatever, basically).

Maybe that agent has some idea of what they're talking about?

It's just a crazy suggestion of mine. (Knowing traffic and delays indeed and stuff there, I can't say I think that agent is wrong. Me personally, I'd seek to spend the night in my place of departure before leaving, and coming from not too crazy far away. This way, if anything goes wrong -- and it won't just in India, it does in Spain where I like to travel or in the Netherlands where I live --, you can hopefully find alternative means of making it to that departing plane.)

You yourself recognize you need to check in three hours before. I don't know about the newly-opened metro connection, but I'd say getting between downtown and the airport by other means will take at least an hour if not substantially more, depending on time of day and winter fog and etc. of course. I've stood, er, well, just still there on the ring road in heavy fog in early January. Not covering much of a distance at all, but it nonetheless taking quite a while.

Perhaps late Nov. this shouldn't be much of an issue yet, but just to give a general idea.

Then getting moving after 19:40 if you are on time, yes, count on traffic jams being in full swing, and not relenting until say somewhere after midnight.

Unwise, if you ask me. Arrive Delhi the night before (or in the morning or early afternoon if you must; if all else goes wrong, Agra shouldn't be more than a few hours by taxi), now use that last day to say goodbye to the country. You'll have to get moving early enough.

That three-hour check-in or whatever it may be in India isn't just a joke, btw. They mean it. And so in that sense:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkccheng View Post c) the security check and crowdiness of IGI Airport;
Well, expect it all to take (potentially quite) a bit.
#4 Oct 20th, 2011, 09:35
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#4
Thanks a lot for your helpful inputs. This is my first trip to India; and it's too late to change my itin. Up to now, I have ruled out other railway stations than New Delhi Railway Station for ease of connecting to a metro to reach IGI Airport (metro travelling time = 28 min). The 12803 arriving 17:05 is a good suggestion as there will be a time gap of close to 6 hours. BTW, would you kindly enlighten me as to how to connect to a metro station for onward transmission to IGI Airport (T3), arriving there at about 20:00 hrs. From the Delhi map now available to me, the closest metro station seems to be JL Nehru Stadium, doesn't it?
#5 Oct 20th, 2011, 09:46
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#5
I don't know the metro system there well, at all; check http://www.delhimetrorail.com/. Keep an eye there on lines that may be under construction, I've found this difficult to figure out in the past, but the site may have improved (and I think it has).

If you can't change anything else around or can't make that earlier train, how's about indeed arranging a cab from Agra to Delhi airport? Drivers worth their salt will know how long you should reasonably leave it. (I'd count on a few hours, indeed. But that might now see you bang by the airport.)

Remember it's not just taking transport, right, but it's also finding and arranging it and waiting for it to leave and etc. Now any possible delays and stuff, indeed (subways get stuck and buses break down where I live. As of course might that taxi get a flat tire.) I know travel forums that will advise Schiphol airport is "just" 10 minutes by train from Amsterdam (so apparently or according to those forums it follows you can see it on a layover of no time at all); I'd say it's more like 20 to the city center, but either way they run like 4 times an hour, and now it's a large airport to get around, and you won't know your way around it nor around town, and far from everything will be signposted in English, etc. I mean getting to my doorstep from around there and living somewhat centrally but not quite downtown and knowing my way around I'd say takes me easily 1-1.5 hours. I've also stood here with the subway or train line indeed broken, now my flight is leaving in 3 hours. Right. (Oh, one tends to get there of course and just in time with some frantic bus or indeed taxi action and stuff. Or then I guess one well might not.)

Now that's the Netherlands; expect India to be a little more confusing and generally overwhelming.

In short really: That agent probably advised you well, and I'd advise to give it more time, not less. (And note they advised you on getting between NDLS and the airport, and that's probably realistic, but not on whatever happens before you make it to NDLS. Probably because that wasn't your question.):

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkccheng View Post A travel agent has advised that I need to allow 5-hour time gap between New Delhi Railway Staion (NDRS) and my departure time of 23:00 hrs (the checkin time advised by the airline concerned being 3 hrs beforehand, ie, 20:00 hr).
Last edited by machadinha; Oct 20th, 2011 at 12:37..
#6 Oct 20th, 2011, 14:47
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#6
ps Another of those afterthoughts: I don't know about the current situation, but it's often been said the metro doesn't allow you to travel with more than say a simple shoulder bag.

So this could pose issues if you mean to catch your flight with all your luggage. You'd think with that new airport line if it's open at all this would have been made amends for, but I really don't know about it. Perhaps some others can add.

It of course wouldn't resolve the time issues discussed.
#7 Oct 20th, 2011, 14:55
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#7
pps Hm, regarding catching the metro to the airport then, I guess here's the relevant link, the Airport Express: http://www.delhiairportexpress.com/.

I would then assume the luggage issue should indeed not count for them, as was to be expected.

Edit: Although then in their FAQ's they note, and so in fact it doesn't seem to be all that simple:

Quote:
How early can I check in?

You can check in 6 hours prior to your airline departure time.

How can I check in?

After buying ticket at the station you can proceed to the check-in area. To enter the check in area you have to wave the metro ticket on the panel of the Automatic Fare Gates. Thereafter, please provide your flight ticket and luggage for check-in; exactly the way it is done at the airport. While exiting the check in area you need not wave your token/pass. You need to keep the same token/card with you for entering to the paid area through AFC gates.

At which stations can I check in?

You can check in at New Delhi station and Shivaji Stadium station.

In which stations can I check in my luggage?

You can check in your luggage at New Delhi and Shivaji Stadium stations only.

I am not flying but I want to carry some luggage from New Delhi Railway station to IGI Airport. Can I check in this luggage?

No, this facility is to facilitate the passengers who are heading towards IGI airport to board a flight.
#8 Oct 20th, 2011, 15:03
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#8
1. Don't rely on toofan, it's a bad train and always runs late.

2. The metro station is just adjacent to the railway station. Board the airport express there and get doen at the IGI airport station - the penultimate station on this route. This station is just below T3 of the airport. At Rs. 80 per head, this is perhaps the best, easiest, least time consuming mode of transport between NDLs and T3.
#9 Oct 21st, 2011, 02:12
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#9
Thanks a million for the responses, esp machadinha.

@mousourik #8, re 1) what do you mean by toofan please and which train are you referring to? Re 2)which metro station are you referring to please, just adjacent to H Nizamuddin (NZM)?

Thankyou.
#10 Oct 21st, 2011, 04:06
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#10
I think one hour for transport from NDRS to the airport would be sufficient. Regarding the 3 hour check in time, my plane flight from IGI earlier this year departed about 45 minutes before the scheduled departure time due to incoming fog, so I would not recommend reducing the 3 hour window for arrival at the airport.
#11 Oct 21st, 2011, 04:07
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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mousourik View Post 1. Don't rely on toofan, it's a bad train and always runs late.

2. The metro station is just adjacent to the railway station. Board the airport express there and get doen at the IGI airport station - the penultimate station on this route. This station is just below T3 of the airport. At Rs. 80 per head, this is perhaps the best, easiest, least time consuming mode of transport between NDLs and T3.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkccheng View Post @mousourik #8, re 1) what do you mean by toofan please and which train are you referring to?
Mousourik will have been referring to your Abhatoofan Express:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkccheng View Post My intention is to take the 15:30 hrs U Abhatoofan Exp (#13007) from Agra Cantt, arriving NDRS at 19:40 hrs.
Quote:
Re 2)which metro station are you referring to please, just adjacent to H Nizamuddin (NZM)?
No, they mean adjacent to NDLS, which is New Delhi Railway Station (not NDRS, that was a typo of yours or your agent).

Refer also to those metro luggage notes of mine above; it looks like you wouldn't get your luggage to the airport by the metro, save for checking it in at either NDLS or Shivaji Stadium station. Not at any other stations. (Can we assume this checking in will take some time again?)
#12 Oct 21st, 2011, 08:22
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#12
machadinha, many thanks. I'm sorry to have confused with another train #12803 Swarnajayantiex Agra Cantt(AGC)/H Nizamuddin(NZM) 14:05/17:00.

If I take this train (and I have yet to get a ticket), there will be a 6-hour time gap between arrival time at NZM and the flight time of 23:00. The options open to me upon arrival at NZM are taking a cab to either IGI Airport or NDLS meto station (for checkin there and then connecting to IGI Airport.
#13 Oct 21st, 2011, 09:00
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#13
If the attached article is correct, you can only check your bags in at the Metro station for domestic flights.

http://goindia.about.com/b/2011/06/1...n-now-open.htm
#14 Oct 21st, 2011, 09:30
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#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drews60 View Post If the attached article is correct, you can only check your bags in at the Metro station for domestic flights.

http://goindia.about.com/b/2011/06/1...n-now-open.htm
As I'll be taking an international flight by Air India, I'll not be eligible for checking-in at New Delhi Metro Station by way of your link.
#15 Oct 21st, 2011, 09:56
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#15
Goodness grief. This is not getting any easier on poor Jkccheng, no? (That's also absurd btw, if it's really not allowed for international passengers. Can anyone confirm this? It is just an About.com itemette; does that http://www.delhiairportexpress.com/ not say anything about it? I had a glance now, but don't want to go all over it again.)

--> Well, they do mention at http://www.delhiairportexpress.com/p...tro-guide.html that:

Quote:
Airlines with city check-in facility at Airport Express Stations
•Air India
•Jet Airways
•Kingfisher Airlines
That would indeed seem to indicate domestic; and probably fairly limited for it. (Though since you say you're flying Air India, why not give them a call to ask them would this work for you? I guess you'd still need to be careful of them telling you "yes" when in fact it is "no," btw.)

(And if it is so btw, why does that site not say in big fat neon letters This is for domestic passengers only, not international passengers??!! Just @#$ typical. "Incredible India," right.) <-- Jkchheng, I'm just ranting, pay it no mind. That's the Ministry of Tourism's (yes, there exists such a thing) slogan there.

Anyway, I don't know; I'd consider that taxi (and well in time) Agra-Delhi airport; or (ditto) anywhere in Delhi-airport.

Other than that and with all due respect, I think you've just been confusing yourself from the start by asking "I've been advised to leave it 5 hours, but now would like to make that 3:20." I guess any answer would have been obvious. (And now again with that eternal important question, anywhere in the world: But will your train or any other mode of transport to get to your place of departure arrive in time at all.)

But your six hours now with your renewed plans should cut it I guess (Again, assuming that train does arrive somewhat on time.) But so I'd grab a cab for it; imagine yourself transporting yourself to some stations through this crazy busy metropolis, looking around there for where you need to be, now trying to figure out does or doesn't this service work for me, then finally being told "no," now having to come up with an alternative, etc., and now the clock ticking away with your flight about to leave. Should be a lot of fun.

Save yourself the hassle. And bon voyage!

(Incidentally, outside New Delhi Railway Station, Paharganj side, inside the parking lot there, there's a pre-paid taxi booth. Ignore all the drivers besieging you, and strike your deal at that little booth. I don't know if they do airport rides, they may or may not; it could be prevented by say competing unions or so. If they do, you pay, now get assigned one of those drivers. There may or may not be a similar service at Nizamuddin, I just don't know. Certainly worth looking and asking around for.)

If you'll be carrying a cellphone, there are dial-up taxi services there. Or if not, perhaps use one of plentiful STD shops (offering public phone services) for it. See Radio Cabs / Dial-a-Cab in Delhi; and always take note of posting dates, things will just change.

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