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vivekman2006
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Namaste Delhi – The Terminal 3 Experience

Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:08 pm

Namaste Delhi – The Terminal 3 Experience


http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/DIAL-GMR-LOGO.jpg

BACKGROUND


Delhi’s much awaited Terminal 3 opened for International operations from 14th July 2010. T-3 as it is popularly known as was expected to be a game changer as far as Indian aviation is concerned.

Traditionally, domestic and international flights in India always operated out of separate terminals. These terminals were usually located next to each other, but in case of major hubs like DEL and BOM, they were located miles apart – and on opposite sides of the airport. Connections and transfers used to be a nightmare. Passengers had to deplane from their inbound aircraft, complete formalities, and then board a bus to the connecting aircraft, which was parked at a terminal situated miles away. No wonder then that neither BOM nor DEL could become real hubs for airlines like Air India or Jet Airways which have sizeable International as well as Domestic operations.

T-3 was going to change all that. It was planned to be a jumbo sized “Integrated Terminal” with domestic and international operations under the same roof. This was essential if you wanted to make transfers and connections seamless for passengers.

Bangalore based GMR group along with their partners Fraport & Malaysia Airports built DEL Terminal 3. It is currently the eighth largest airport terminal in the world with a capacity of handling 34 million passengers annually. Barring a few hiccups here and there, the construction of the terminal was completed pretty much on schedule. However, last minute problems such as lack of a dedicated high capacity power line prevented domestic operations from starting from T-3. Currently the terminal only handles international operations with domestic operations scheduled to start in late October 2010.

Here are a couple of illustrations of T-3 from the DIAL website.



Another view



Welcome to a slightly different Trip Report on the Delhi Terminal 3 experience. This time, I am going to focus mainly on the experience of arriving and departing from T-3 from a passenger perspective rather than the flight itself.

THE ARRIVAL EXPERIENCE



Air India operates its flight – AI 348/349 on the BOM-DEL-PVG route. This flight is operated by AI’s A330-200 and originates in BOM. It has a stopover at DEL before heading to PVG. One can buy tickets on the domestic BOM-DEL leg. Considering only international flights were operating from T-3 currently, this flight was my only option (without leaving India) of experiencing the new terminal. So, I booked myself on AI 348 and AI 349 on the BOM-DEL and DEL-BOM sectors respectively.


Sector: BOM-DEL
Airline: Air India
Flight: AI 348
Aircraft: Airbus A330-223
Registration: VT-IWA
Scheduled Departure: 0750 Actual Departure: 0815
Scheduled Arrival: 0955 Actual Arrival: 1020
Seat: 34J



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Photo © Vivek Manvi
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Photo © Vivek Manvi



Our departure out of BOM was delayed by 25 minutes because we missed our pushback slot. The flight was 100% full in Y class with a majority of the passengers getting off at DEL. The AI A330-200s are leased from Novair, and have a dense seating configuration. The toilets are situated below the main deck. Here are a few photos from the flight:

Legroom

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/P2.jpg

Toilets situated below the main deck



The cabin:

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/AI-A332-cabin-01.jpg

We landed on Runway 29, and I could see that it was sunny outside. Delhi had been experiencing heavy rains for the past couple of weeks, and this clear weather was a welcome change. We docked at an aerobridge at one of the green coloured contact stands.

T-3 has four differently coloured stands. Yellow & Orange coloured ones are for domestic operations whereas Green & Red coloured ones are for international operations.

Right next to us was another AI A330, VT-IWB which had arrived from JED.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/P3.jpg

At first glance, the terminal appeared massive. Its piers seemed to stretch for at least a mile on each side.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/P10.jpg

It took atleast 15 minutes for me to deplane, considering the large number of passengers getting off at DEL.

A view of our plane from the aerobridge.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/P4.jpg

View back towards the aerobridge.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/P5.jpg

There was a boarding pass check at the entry/exit point of the gate, to ensure that everyone who had deplaned was indeed a DEL bound passenger. This check caused a longish queue to form.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/P6.jpg

Once my boarding pass was scanned, I entered the arrival section of the pier. This is one long section and looks like a daunting task to walk. Thanks to the travelators, you can cover this distance with minimum efforts.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/P8.jpg

The entire pier floor has a brown coloured carpet, which reminded me of Changi Terminal 3. The views from the glass walls are fantastic.

The toilets at T-3 have a very interesting theme. Each toilet (Men & Women) depicts a man and a woman in traditional Indian attire from various regions of the country. I think this is a pretty cool idea.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/P7.jpg

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/P9.jpg

After travelling a distance of a couple hundred metres, you arrive at the intersection of the two International piers.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/P11.jpg

This leads to the escalators that take you down to the main Arrivals area.

A view of the famous Mudras from the escalators.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/P12.jpg

The Immigration counters are directly below the Mudra sculptures. For passengers arriving on a domestic leg of an international flight, there is a separate area that bypasses the Immigration counters, and takes you directly to the arrival Duty Free zone.

Here, your boarding pass is inspected once again and stamped “Domestic Cleared” by Delhi Immigration. The arrival Duty Free at T-3 is huge, and filled with the usual duty free stuff.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/P13.jpg

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/P14.jpg

FIDS showing Arrival Information

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/P15.jpg

Once you pass through the Duty Free zone, you arrive at the Baggage Reclaim area. T-3 has a total of 14 baggage belts, out of which six are for domestic operations; three are for mixed use – meaning they can be used for domestic or international operations as per need, and five for international operations.

Out of these, Belts no. 13 & 14 are high capacity belts suitable for Code F aircraft like the A380.

Some pictures of the Baggage Reclaim

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/P16.jpg

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/P17.jpg

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/P18.jpg

Beyond the baggage reclaim is the Arrival hall, and then the customs declaration area just before the Exit.

Once you exit the sterile customs area, you walk into a Meet & Greet area where visitors who buy an entry ticket can meet arriving passengers. The entry ticket for visitors costs INR 80 (approx 2 USD)

The area is air-conditioned and has a variety of food and drink options.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/P19.jpg

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/P20.jpg

Finally, you reach the main exit of the terminal.

Right ahead of you are dedicated lanes for the airport taxis and the normal black & yellow Delhi taxis. There is also a bus that takes you to the main Airport Bus Station situated a mile or so ahead. From here, you can transfer into a bus that takes you to your destination in Delhi.

The Airport Express Metro line is currently undergoing finishing touches. This will be a high speed train service between DEL Terminal 3 (actually Dwarka Sector 21) and the New Delhi Railway Station.

Once operational, the journey from DEL airport to the New Delhi station is expected to take 20 minutes. The Airport Express line is expected to open by the end of September 2010.

So, this is the experience of arriving into Delhi’s Terminal 3. Now lets move on to Departures.


THE DEPARTURE EXPERIENCE


Here are a few pictures of the departure level of Terminal 3 that I had clicked earlier during the day.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R1.jpg

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R2.jpg

The grey building in the background is the multi-level car parking. This is connected to T-3 by a skywalk.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R3.jpg

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R4.jpg

A view of one of the piers

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R5.jpg

One of the drawbacks of AI 349 to BOM is its horrible departure time from DEL. It leaves at an unearthly time of 0335 hours. However, I had no other choice as this was currently the only domestic flight to BOM leaving from T-3.


Sector: DEL- BOM
Airline: Air India
Flight: AI 349
Aircraft: Airbus A330-223
Registration: VT-IWA
Scheduled Departure: 0335 Actual Departure: 0420
Scheduled Arrival: 0540 Actual Arrival: 0620
Seat: 07A


Such odd timings meant that I reached the airport midnight, giving me plenty of time to explore the terminal.

The drop off area

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R6.jpg

As is the case with all Indian airports, a massive crowd of people had come to drop off their loved ones.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R7.jpg

FIDS showing Check-In Information

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R8.jpg

On entering the terminal, you come across a large spacious check-in hall. There are a total of 7 check-in islands with 14 rows of counters.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R10.jpg

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R9.jpg

Air India was assigned Check-in island G

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R11.jpg

The Domestic Departures area, which was not operational yet.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R12.jpg

The International Departures area. Beyond the glass partitions are the Immigration counters.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R13.jpg

The huge crowds at the Lufthansa counter.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R14.jpg

Just ahead of Immigration is Security. Once you clear these formalities, you enter the Duty Free area.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R15.jpg

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R16.jpg

Pretty good selection of Duty Free stuff

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R17.jpg

One level up from here are the lounges and food court.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R18.jpg

Traditional Indian design on the walls.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R19.jpg

FIDS showing Boarding Information

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R20.jpg

Currently, the dedicated airline and alliance lounges are not open, and shared lounges are being used.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R21.jpg

A view of the food court.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R22.jpg

The famous Delhi Daredevils Sports Bar

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R23.jpg

This is the end of the main terminal building and the intersection of the two International piers.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R24.jpg

View towards one of the two International piers

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R25.jpg

Themed toilets. Just love these!

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R26.jpg

Gate 1-A is one of four gates with provision for secondary security screening and an enclosed security hold. These are used for US bound non-stop flights.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R27.jpg

FIDS showing Departure Information

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R28.jpg

View towards the other International pier

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R29.jpg

Arguably the most popular attraction in T-3.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R30.jpg

Travellators to take you to your gate.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R31.jpg

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R32.jpg

Gate 20B assigned for our flight today

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R33.jpg

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R34.jpg

Once boarding is announced, you have to walk down through a ramp to the aerobridge one level below.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R35.jpg

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R36.jpg


SUMMARY


Delhi’s T-3 is a fantastic passenger terminal as you can see from the pictures. It has a combination of aesthetics and functionality, modern architecture and traditional Indian design.

Hats off to DIAL and GMR for building a fantastic facility which will go a long way in making DEL a proper hub for India’s airlines. I am eagerly looking forward to the domestic operations moving to T-3. Once this is done, we will be able to see the true benefits of having an integrated mega terminal.

Hope you enjoyed reading the report and viewing the pictures. I am sure you have a fair idea now of what to expect on your next trip to DEL!


My Previous Trip Reports:


Experiencing Emirates Business DXB-BOM A340-500
Discovering Emirates - BOM-DXB - 777-300ER
Flying The Good Times: BLR-BOM On Kingfisher A320
To Bangalore on Jet Airways B737-800
The Kingfisher Experience: BOM-SIN-BOM A330-200
BOM-HKG-BOM Cathay Pacific B744/A333
Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air
BOM-HYD-BOM On Kingfisher + Spotting At HYD
BOM-DEL On Air India, Brand New A321
BOM-GOI-BOM On IC. A320/A300B4
BOM-DEL-BOM On IC A320/AI 743 Combi DEL Fog
BOM-KUL-PEN-KUL-BOM On MH/Air Asia
BOM-AMD On Air India 743 Combi Upper Deck
BOM-CMB-BKK-CMB-BOM On SriLankan Airlines
 
fortunerunnner
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:31 pm

RE: Namaste Delhi – The Terminal 3 Experience

Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:20 pm

Great report and fantastic pictures. Though I have seem hundreds of these by now, I still can't get enough of them  .
 
ojas
Posts: 1119
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:23 am

RE: Namaste Delhi – The Terminal 3 Experience

Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:21 pm

Hi Vivek excellent TR of T3!

A swanky new world class terminal   

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
he toilets at T-3 have a very interesting theme. Each toilet (Men & Women) depicts a man and a woman in traditional Indian attire from various regions of the country. I think this is a pretty cool idea.

True, I was impressed by it as well.

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
One of the drawbacks of AI 349 to BOM is its horrible departure time from DEL. It leaves at an unearthly time of 0335 hours. However, I had no other choice as this was currently the only domestic flight to BOM leaving from T-3.

Yes and from winters you have almost 22 weekly flights of similar fashion with aircrafts like A321, A332, B77W and maybe the B744 if deployed to JED.

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
Gate 1-A is one of four gates with provision for secondary security screening and an enclosed security hold. These are used for US bound non-stop flights.

Sorry to nitpick but the entire gate number 1 including 1A, 1B is enclosed. Similar gates 3 (3A, 3B), 24 (24A, 24B), 26 (26A, 26B) are enclosed. Gate 1 is for CO; Gate 3 is for AA and gates 24, 26 is for AI. AI uses gate 26 for JFK as gate 24 still had some unfinished work. From October end gate 24, 26 will be for AI's ORD and JFK flights.

As you know that every gate at DEL has been split into A and B and depending on the size of the aircraft (to be specific the codes like Code C, Code E code F) they use the entire gate for one flight or use A, B for separate flights.

BTW how was the catering and crew on AI?

Thanks for sharing your T3 experience.
Great leaders don't tell you what to do ... they show you how it's done!
 
reifel
Posts: 1538
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 12:53 pm

RE: Namaste Delhi – The Terminal 3 Experience

Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:29 pm

Very interesting, T3 looks great and I think I could spend all day there. Now, that's what I call a nice Terminal... Will the old terminals till be in use once the domestic flights will have switched as well to T3?
 
AwysBSB
Posts: 450
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2005 2:58 am

RE: Namaste Delhi – The Terminal 3 Experience

Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:53 pm

vivekman2006,
Congratulations for this report! You were fairly meticulous and it was the first time I saw detailed images of DEL T3.

I wonder what is the use of that road close to the pier in this picture:

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/Terminal3/R5.jpg
 
egyptair269
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:41 pm

RE: Namaste Delhi – The Terminal 3 Experience

Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:38 am

Wow, DEL Terminal 3 is breathtaking! Those pictures are eye candy, can't stop looking at them!

Nice TR, thanks for sharing.

Salam,
EgyptAir269
 
777ord
Posts: 680
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 12:04 pm

RE: Namaste Delhi – The Terminal 3 Experience

Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:06 am

very interesting trip! Definitely a beautiful terminal. Guess that just makes my desires to visit India that much more convincing!  
 
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HAWK21M
Posts: 29867
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:05 pm

RE: Namaste Delhi – The Terminal 3 Experience

Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:07 am

Fantastic Report Vivek.
Very detailed & excellent pictures.
T3 looks great.
regds
MEL.
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
9MMAR
Posts: 1728
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2006 7:18 pm

RE: Namaste Delhi – The Terminal 3 Experience

Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:07 pm

Outstanding review of what travelers can expect upon arrival and departure at DEL's spanking new T3. Now this one is definitely going to change the long standing stigma and negative perceptions about Indian airports once and for all. I see a lot of elements from other airports as well - the carpet is so Changi T3, the landside glass wall and airside windows are so KLIA while the ramps that lead to the aerobridges one floor below is so Suvarnabhumi.
 
abrelosojos
Posts: 4050
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 6:48 am

RE: Namaste Delhi – The Terminal 3 Experience

Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:14 am

Thanks for your report of T3. I get to head back to Delhi soon and am hoping it is finally done. I want to also take the train to town - and do an international-domestic transfer.

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
karan69
Posts: 2699
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 7:57 pm

RE: Namaste Delhi – The Terminal 3 Experience

Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:39 pm

Thanks for the report Vivel , seems your last minute plane worked out well indeed

How were the loads on the incoming flight

Karan
 
User avatar
vivekman2006
Topic Author
Posts: 400
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 5:19 pm

RE: Namaste Delhi – The Terminal 3 Experience

Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:00 pm

Quoting fortunerunnner (Reply 1):
Great report and fantastic pictures. Though I have seem hundreds of these by now, I still can't get enough of them  .

Thanks fortunerunner!

Quoting ojas (Reply 2):
Hi Vivek excellent TR of T3!
A swanky new world class terminal   

Haha yes! Swanky and world-class indeed. 
Quoting ojas (Reply 2):
Similar gates 3 (3A, 3B), 24 (24A, 24B), 26 (26A, 26B) are enclosed. Gate 1 is for CO; Gate 3 is for AA and gates 24, 26 is for AI. AI uses gate 26 for JFK as gate 24 still had some unfinished work. From October end gate 24, 26 will be for AI's ORD and JFK flights.

Thanks for this info, Ojas!

Quoting reifel (Reply 3):
Very interesting, T3 looks great and I think I could spend all day there.

Thanks! Yes, one can easily spend hours at T3.

Quoting reifel (Reply 3):
Will the old terminals till be in use once the domestic flights will have switched as well to T3?

The old international terminal T2 is not being used currently. Once the domestic operations (full service carriers i.e. Air India, Jet Airways, Kingfisher) shift to T3, the existing domestic terminal 1-D will be used as a LCC terminal. Terminal 1-A will not be used anymore.

Quoting AwysBSB (Reply 4):
vivekman2006,
Congratulations for this report! You were fairly meticulous and it was the first time I saw detailed images of DEL T3.

Thanks so much!

Quoting AwysBSB (Reply 4):
I wonder what is the use of that road close to the pier in this picture:

I think it is a service road leading to the terminal.

Quoting egyptair269 (Reply 5):
Wow, DEL Terminal 3 is breathtaking! Those pictures are eye candy, can't stop looking at them!

Thank you!  
Quoting 777ORD (Reply 6):
very interesting trip! Definitely a beautiful terminal. Guess that just makes my desires to visit India that much more convincing!

Thanks!

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 7):
Fantastic Report Vivek.
Very detailed & excellent pictures.

Thanks MEL!

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 8):
Outstanding review of what travelers can expect upon arrival and departure at DEL's spanking new T3. Now this one is definitely going to change the long standing stigma and negative perceptions about Indian airports once and for all.

Thanks 9M-MAR. Yes, it is a path-breaking development and a benchmark for upcoming airports.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 9):
Thanks for your report of T3. I get to head back to Delhi soon and am hoping it is finally done. I want to also take the train to town - and do an international-domestic transfer.

Thanks Alex!

From what I heard, domestic ops are planned to shift to T3 around October 30th.

Quoting karan69 (Reply 10):
Thanks for the report Vivel , seems your last minute plane worked out well indeed

Yes indeed! Looks like I need to plan all my future trips at the last minute. LOL! 
Quoting karan69 (Reply 10):
How were the loads on the incoming flight

The flight was completely full in Y class even with the odd departure time. The fare must have been the deciding factor.
 
PlaneHunter
Posts: 6512
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: Namaste Delhi – The Terminal 3 Experience

Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:04 am

Hi Vivek,

very interesting report with nice pictures, the new terminal looks great. Just too bad there's no observation deck...

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
The AI A330-200s are leased from Novair, and have a dense seating configuration.

But legroom looks generous.

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
The toilets are situated below the main deck.

Interesting, I have only seen that on LH's A346.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
akhmad
Posts: 2498
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:20 pm

RE: Namaste Delhi – The Terminal 3 Experience

Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:44 pm

Hi Vivek,

Thank you for putting so much efforts on covering DEL T3 with lovely photos and useful details.

The DEL airport management should reward you for that.  

Cheers,
Suryo
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