Differences between flying in USA vs flying in India

Based on my two weeks of flying around in USA, I have compiled a list of differences between flying in India vs flying in USA. There're lots of subtle differences in flying around in these two countries. Table that follows provides a quick summary.

#
Factor
India
USA
1
Extra charge in name of convenience fee
Yes
No
2
Boarding
Random order
By groups/zones
3
Standing up soon after landing
Happens
Happens
4
Crowd at airport
Very high, only ticketed passengers can enter
Low, anyone can enter, no visitor ticket concept, passengers exclusive from security onwards
5
Cabin Crew
Usually younger staff are employed (except Air India)
No age limit- people of all ages including elder people
6
In flight WiFi
Not available yet, under consideration
Available with some airlines, chargeable in most cases
7
Automation
Low, baggage tag still reqd in many airports
High- self baggage tagging, mobile boarding passes, automated passport control etc
8
Delay, cancellation compensation
Poor to non-existent- passengers need to chase, beg and wait for compensation, alternate flights, refund etc
Very good with well defined process and prompt service
9
Transit
Need to clear security check
No need for another security check
10
Arrival
Can’t enter departure area, need to collect bag and leave- no place to sit, hardly any shops
Domestic arrival gets mixed with departing passengers- one can access all the shops in airport, can relax as long as they wish before leaving
11
Baggage allowance
1 bag, 15 kg check in & 7 kg cabin bag allowed due to DGCA rule, cabin bag only fare available
Varies- some airlines charge even for cabin bag (spirit, frontier), Southwest offers 2 check in bags free, concept of 'personal item' in addition to cabin bag.
12
Pricing models
Low cost or full service, with some minor variations like Economy Lite, Cabin bag only fare etc

For a given distance, I find fares in India are cheaper
Multiple- Spirit n Frontier have bare minimum basic fare but charge for cabin bag, airport check-in n almost everything else

Full service airlines also have a basic economy pricing
13
Immigration Standard-clear upon arrival/ before departure.

Manual.
No immigration for departing passengers

Arriving passengers can pre-clear immigration in some cases at origin airport- convenient but if you've to clear immigration during transit, there's a risk of missing your flight.

Partly automated

Fast track programs (like Global) available, faster lanes for US, Canada citizens
14
Security No special lanes Fast lanes for premium customers,
TSA Pre-check concept available for faster clearance
15
In-flight announcement Standard, often boring same stuff, have seen cabin crew make an effort to make it interesting/bit funny as possible
15
Major full service airlines Air India, Vistara United, Delta, American, SouthWest
16
Major budget airlines Indigo, Spicejet, AirAsia Spirit, Frontier, Jet Blu, 
17
Airport Services No special lanes.

Airport Fee included in ticket, most services are free

Public transport to airport may not be available in all cities
Trolley is chargeable extra, most airports offer long term economy parking in far away areas with shuttle, car rentals at airport very common

Public transport/free shuttle often available to reach city/downtown

You can take your emotional support animal with you
18
Aircrafts A320 family seems more common B737 family seems more common (Boeing is a US company)

Jennifer Kumar says she has never seen same aircraft dropping off some passengers and picking up some (hopping flights) in US.

If you have some observations to add- please do comment.

Also read: My experience with COPA * My experience with Spirit Airlines * My experience with Jet Blue * Bahamas view from above * Miami view from above *

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