Guest Blog by Akshay Maiya ,
Akshay is a graduate of UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School in MSc Supply Chain Management. While sharing this travel experience, he also mentioned about the challenges he is facing to find a job during Covid.
A Personal Journal – Dublin to Mumbai via KLM. (Travelled on 9th-10th
November 2020) – Vande Bharat Scheme
Things to be done prior to travel:-
Complete the three forms below and take at-least 2 print outs.
- Air Suvidha Form
Take printout of the email you receive. One of the things they ask for is to fill this form 72 hours prior to departure however in form seat number is mandatory option which with current job situation to block a seat by paying a premium is a challenge. But luckily they are not fussy about the details, so do not panic.
- Registration to the Indian Embassy in Netherlands –
Fill out this google form and take printout of the email you receive. One of the options in the form I was panicking about was reason to travel, However no one enquired about the reason during my entire journey.
- Undertaking cum Indemnity Form.
This is a basic form which you can print and write on it manually.
- Carry multiple face masks. That is enough. No need for face shields or PPE if you are not a germaphobe :-P.
- Then the usual passport, and the rest of documents like IRP.
- Download and register Aarogya Setu App.
Boarding at Dublin Airport:
Dublin Airport is similar to the empty football stadiums, that too if you have a 6am flight like I had. Every airport counter was empty and there was no one except a steward. The counters opened at 3:30am 2 hours
before boarding so you have ample amount of time for duty free shopping.
At the counter, all three forms mentioned above will be checked by the attendant. If you haven’t filled out, no biggie there are multiple times you might get an opportunity to complete the paperwork.
All tech savvy guys/gals, and I am still shocked to stress this out, MUMBAI Immigration still roll their eyes when you have your boarding pass on your phone. Since your boarding gets stamped by health officials in India kindly request the counter attendant to print your
boarding passes even if you have back up on your phone or the KLM app.
Layover at Amsterdam Airport:
Before boarding, you are directed to a gate where they will check your temperature. You must fill out a health declaration form and keep it with you (so above 3 +1).
Before boarding all documents will be checked at your boarding gate. Face shields will be provided at that time. If you have 3-hour layover, I suggest dedicating 1 hour to shopping/food and 2 hours for the above process.
Landing at Mumbai Airport
- Once you land and get out you need to submit the Undertaking cum Indemnity form.
- They will direct you to a screening area, remove your face shields and they scan your body temperature. Advise to be relaxed and remove your winter clothes before screening since that increases body temperature and you will need to do it again which is frustrating. If its below 99F they consider okay and your boarding pass and air suvidha form will be stamped. As I mentioned earlier print the boarding passes or you would have to fill air suvidha form offline again. Then your stamped form will be photocopied, and you will be given both.
- At immigration you will submit the stamped air suvidha form and then the usual immigration, baggage collection and customs stuff.
- Before baggage, do the self-assessment on Aarogya Setu app since they ask you to show it.
Covid Test or leaving the airport – Applicable only to residents of Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Maharashtra or outside Maharashtra who plan to go home via car/taxi.
Kindly ask someone else for domestic connecting flights.
- After customs you have two options –A. IF you have a negative RT-PCR covid test
report 72 hours prior to departure or B. you intend to test at the airport.
B. Test at the Airport
- Once you leave customs, you must stand in the queue for registering your name with the
officials. Mumbai queue is noticeably short, fill out another form. Outside Mumbai within
Maharashtra has the longest queue (I waited 1.5 hours). Outside Maharashtra has a short
queue as well. All they do is they have your name on a printed sheet and write on it ‘Covid
negative result to be shown’.
- Then you stand in the Covid Test queue. If you have booked online doesn’t matter you don’t get any leeway, you still must stand in the queue (again 1.5 hours). The price has increased now and its two parts –
CST Airport charge – Rs 2500 – Forex, International cards and Indian banks cards accepted or cash.
Test charge – Rs 1400 – Only Indian banks cards accepted or cash.
So total Rs 3900 (making money) and since both card readers had NFC so I am guessing Gpay/UPI works.
The test is RT-PCR, and the result takes 8 hours (do the waiting time math). So, either wait at the airport or book a room at Niranta Airport Hotel.
I would also recommend do the covid test first and then register your name with the officials.
Niranta – Rs 4000 for 12 hours including one meal. Air suvidha form to be shown at reception.
A. Peeps having covid test 72 hours prior to journey, you can just register at Step 2 and see below for exit.
After Report generated.
After 8 hours, collect your 2 negative reports from the testing reception, go to the officials and show them the report. Peeps with covid test 72 hours prior to journey, obviously no need to wait 8 hours just register and your pass gets created. They will create exit form pass which includes the details, and you need to enter the driver name and phone number as well. So kindly schedule your pickup accordingly.
I have no clue what happens if the report result is Covid positive so may the universe be with you.
At exit airport security you must show them the negative result and exit form pass.
You can not go home yet, remarkably close, you must report at the designated hotel first. For Thane, its Hotel Vihang Inn besides Vijay Sales, Majiwada, Ghodbundar road Thane west. It’s the same for every suburb and area in Mumbai Metropolitan Region.
There submit the following: –
i. Passport Copy
ii. Air Suvidha Form
iii. Covid Negative Test Report
iv. Exit Form token
v. And you need to sign these documents plus the one the official fills out.
They stamp your hand with ink detailing some info and the date. The home quarantine has reduced from 14 days to 7 days. And now you can finally go home and according to SOP, stay at home for 7 days and then roam around if you want to. Stay safe and happy journey to everyone who is planning in couple of days. Festive wishes in advance.
This is the current process, be on the lookout for any new government
Kindly DM me on Instagram if you have any extra questions which I might be able to answer (For now the account is on private mode, so send a request and I will add on insta).
Akshay is planning his travel back to Dublin by Jan 2021 and pursue his job hunt. In case anyone have leads to suitable openings , please refer his LinkedIn account with the recruiters. He is looking for opportunities in Supply Chain, Production, Operations, Manufacturing and Validation.
The above article is by Akshay about his experience & suggestions to people who are planning their travel to India in the coming days.
Thank you Akshay.