Asia's aviation is primarily focused on military purchases, though over the last few years, domestic carriers have also been making purchases among the big aircraft manufacturers, such as Boeing and Airbus. This has led to the rapid development of tourism in the Asian countries.
For example in India, Indian Airlines, the main domestic carrier, flies to most major cities in its fleet of Airbuses and Boeing 737s. More obscure regional points are now being serviced by a smaller airline, Vayu- doot, named after the Hindu god of speed. Flights on both airlines generally cost about double that of a first-class rail ticket, but the investment is usually worthwhile for covering vast distances that take days by train.
Try to buy tickets well in ad vanceand ensure that seats are confirmed, as flights are typically overbooked. If you purchase your ticket with rupees, you will be asked to produce a bank receipt to prove your foreign currency was changed at a bank. Foreigners pay 50 percent more than residents, but are given a higher priority on flights and greater flexibility in changing tickets.
Political extremism has made tight security a facet of Indian air travel, so ensure that any pocket-knives are stashed inside your checked Travelers' Tips luggage, and expect batteries to be confiscated as these are designated as capable of powering a bomb.
Indian civil aviation is very overstressed and it is best to give yourself plenty of time between connections as planes are frequently delayed.
Indian Airlines offer several discount travel schemes. The "Youth Fare", restricted to 12- to 30-year-olds, gives a 25 percent discount on the US dollar fare for any internal flight for up to 90 days. The "Discover India" scheme offers 21 days' unlimited travel for a flat US$400. The "Tour India" ticket is similar (US$300 for 14 days spread over six sectors of the country), as is the "Wonderfare" ticket (US$200 for seven days). With all these schemes, you are allowed to visit no airport more than once, except for the purpose of a connecting flight or when in transit.
India is different for everyone. Some people swear that a rough-and-tumble style of traveling is the only way to get close to its soul. Others enjoy adventurous sightseeing, but not at the expense of comfort.
Perhaps the best strategy is the middle ground of traveling independently with an emphasis on comfort. Try to strike a balance be- tween insulation from India's grand panorama that comes from the cloistered atmosphere of organized tours and five-star hotels, and being snared in by the day-to-day hassles of tight budget traveling.
Most people underestimate India's size, and many travelers' itineraries have been thrown out of kilter by failing to appreciate the considerable time it takes to cover distances. The country has a remarkable transport infrastructure that somehow always gets you where you want to go, and mostly it is a trade-off between time by train and money by plane.