Hat tip for the Indian airfare deals goes to Live From A Lounge, a travel blogger based in India who has first hand knowledge of what’s happening there. He has a coupon code that can be used on Clear Trip so please refer to his blog.
When I was there in Sept 2011, I used Clear Trip to make my airfare bookings as it is otherwise difficult for non-Indians to book online. The problem I had was that they require an Indian mobile phone # which most tourists don’t have. Over the next week I will be focusing on Kerala as a birding destination and showing you how to get there cheaply on miles and points and which eco-lodges to stay in.
India is once of my favourite places to visit, rich in both wildlife and culture! It’s a great place to go if you have a non-birding spouse since there is so much to do and see there and it’s also pretty easy on the budget. I’m planning a trip back there in 2015 as there are some other birding hotspots I missed the first time like Wayanand Sanctuary and SAI Sanctuary (these will be covered in more detail in a separate post).
Kochi aka Cochin (COK) is the airport you need to fly to and once you are there, it’s very easy to get to other places in Kerala. You won’t be able to fly direct to Kochi using Star Alliance, but once Qatar and Sri Lankan are in One World, that will be an option. So you will need to fly to one of the main international airports such as Mumbai or Delhi and get a domestic connection to Kochi. I will cover how to get to India/Central Asia on miles tomorrow.
I’ve personally flown on Spice Jet (KTM-DEL), IndiGo (BOM-COK) and Kingfisher (COK-BLR) which is unfortunately out of business. I was happy with all three airlines I traveled on, they all gave good service and arrived on time. There isn’t really a lot to choose between them so I would check the airfares on Clear Trip and see who has the best fare and the most convenient schedule. Here’s a sampling on a random date next month from Mumbai to Kochi.
Plan to arrive in COK before 2pm so you have time to get from the airport to the sanctuary and get settled in before dark.
Other posts of interest:
Hornbill Camp Review (coming soon)