Coronavirus Emergency Flights to India - Questions & Answers

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Thanks Anil for this , it means if we have H1B, also job in hand and need to travel on any emergency in India is not allowed ?

It depends on the ‘emergency’. If it fits in the criteria mentioned above, you should be able to travel.

I have just given some examples of emergencies to help you decide.

oci sf sent me a mail with a link to fill details.

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SFO to Mumbai/Hyd, Flight landed in Mumbai here is the flight experience so far; awaiting to board Hyd flight

First Phase

  1. We need to be at the airport 4-5 hours before the departure time. Meaning right from the checkin start time. As there will be separate line for thermal screenings then checking in and security with social distancing.

  2. They will give you 3 forms to fill and sign, 1 for US embassy here, 1 for checking in and 1 for India, so people like me make sure to carry a pen. Surprisingly, this time I carried mine, as people will be skeptical to share the pen.

  3. There will be lot of social distancing before boarding the plane, inside plane it will be regular seating.

  4. Thermal screening will be done before check in and before boarding the plane as well that is after security check.

  5. After boarding the plane, services will not be like regular, like food will be packed and kept on your seat for the entire duration of flight.

  6. I had 2 boxes of food (don’t expect tasty food, I couldn’t finish it, not that it was a lot, I guess you got the point) not complaining but just putting it out there, a pack of snacks , 2 bottles of water, 1 bag with 2 masks and handsanitizer sachets(small packets of 5-6).

  7. No extra food or drinks will be provided, except extra water bottles will be kept near the pantry area.

  8. Crew people were completely covered like in the hospital (which is good for them)

  9. Plane did not come empty from India it had passengers, so please carry extra sanitizers, some wipes so you can clean the seat handles or seat controls etc, as you will be touching them a lot…Get couple of masks, gloves etc.

  10. No blanket or pillows will be given, please carry a thin quilt or shawl as it will get little colder with the ac, you can use it as blanket, while sleeping.

  11. No entertainment so carry some books or your own devices for entertainment as it will be a long flight :slightly_smiling_face:

  12. We were asked to avoid standing or walking a lot in the plane… try to avoid using the restroom a lot, for obvious reasons.

  13. Try avoid talking to your fellow passengers, better for you and everybody else.

  14. For the specific flight I boarded SFO to Mum/Hyd we were asked to deplane at Mumbai and board a different plane to Hyd.

Second phase:

After landing in Mumbai Temp check was done and split based on Mumbai or Hyderabad destination happens

Regular security check

Hyd flight was also full. No social distancing in the flight. Breakfast was provided in a package (Banana, a piece of cake, kachori, nutrilite mango juice, a pastry and a bottle of water)

Once landed in hyd, thermal scanning done

Temperature will be noted in the self declaration form.

2 self declaration form that you would have got one in SFO and one in the flight. If you do not have it as well no worries they will give you.

Additional 3 forms declaration cum option form will also need to be filled. They will put a seal in it and send you to immigration counter.

you will need to submit the passport and the declaration form in immig counter

Immig will keep the passport and give you a letter that says they will be holding the passport and passport will be returned after the 14 days quarantine period.

Collect the baggage and proceed towards the next counter where a split happens based on the accommodation option opted.

Group of 15 are boarded into the bus and taken to the respective hotel.

In the hotel they would take a pic of the passport form and pay for the accommodation package.

In hyd accommodations provided - medium (Kamat) , premium (Sheraton -Gachhibowli)

Hi Guys, Gokul here!
I m was jet lagged so out of reach.

I m adding FAQs answers on top of previous message to have everything compiled.

  • They gave 2 bottles of water initially packed in a bag. If you need more, you need to go to the CC and grab one bottle for yourself. No service. No tea or coffee service.

  • Seating is full. Social distancing is only till you board. Then it’s assumed you are fine.

  • In my opinion quarantine is much safer than the flight itself. Because in quarantine you can choose to go to a good hotel. But in aircraft you have no option but to sit together.

For people from other districts - they had arranged buses to travel. They already had a list of people travelling to that district. So one had to go and register there. Then they take you in a government arranged bus. I saw counters for Pune, Nagpur, Nashik,konkan Newmumbai ,panel and outskirts of Mumbai. Their ride was charged. Mumbai ride till hotel was free.

Some people had prior AI ticket which got cancelled earlier. For them they only had to pay the difference amount.

There were boys to help load the luggage in buses. Senior citizens can use them if necessary but I suggest you touch your own bags.

If you have disinfectent wipes use it on the bag handles as soon as you get your check in luggage.

For interstate travel you make your own travel arrangements. Eg. Gujarat. Just make sure that there are no restrictions to enter your state. Some states have closed their boundaries for now. In that case, you may have to quarantine wherever you land.

  1. all your luggage will be with you and you can take it to the hotel. Choose hotel wisely. A good hotel should disinfect your bags before your enter.
    At all moments you have your luggage with you.

You get new local sim. There was a counter for arogya sethu register help. There you may get.

Dr. Rashmi quoted - no options given for hotel quarantine for other district passengers.

At my hotel it’s only buffet arrangement. No room service even in 5stars. Breakfast Lunch and dinner inclusive with taxes in 4K /day. Other hotels have other offers.

I’ll attach the price sheet of the new list I got below.

Payment for hotel - I booked room for 7 days. Will wait for further instructions from Govt. Hope they allow us for home quarantine post 7th day like how kerela did. Hotel payment is upfront at the time of check-in.

Cabin bags just 1kg more ie. 8 or 9 should be fine. Also laptop bag can be separate. They allowed that too.

Home quarantine is not an option at all. There are staffs to ensure you don’t escape the procedure. Also arogya sethu app will track your location at all times. So don’t try to bend the rules. It could lead to legal action. Also it’s for yours and everyone’s safety.

No one took a chance of carrying more than 23 kg for check in luggage. Try not to exceed. But my guess is they may allow max 1 kg extra max.


Hi Guys,
Thanks to your blessings, we have safely landed and some have checked in our hotels.

Quick points in contin uation to previous message tagged above.

No social distancing measures once you board the airplane.

Take your own pillow and blanket if u need one.

No in flight entertainment,
No wifi, no cabin crew service, no alcohol for business class.

2 packed boxes for 2 meals plus some snacks was given.

Everyone was given 2 face masks, face shield, some sanitizer sache. Enough for the journey.

Food was not so good. You can take your own food if possible.

Once you land, passengers for the connecting flight are asked to leave the aircraft first.

Then the rest leave the aircraft.

Your temperature is checked. If in limits you move to the next counter.

Ie. Download arogya setu app. In the app you put all your basic details. You need a local sim to register in the app. Coz it sends a pin code.

You can do the above step in the aircraft and avoid this counter. I did so.

Then you move to immigration.

From there you might be approached by some hoteliers.

Quarantine is mandatory. Weather you cry or flight doesn’t matter. It has to be taken. I saw someone fighting, they did not listen.

And also, when one signs an undertaking form which clearly states quarantine is mandatory and the cost to be bourn by them, they are not joking.

There are cheaper options too.

Note :
The list we were emailed and the list print they showed after landing was very different. This list was of one page. 12 - 15 options only. Attaching the new list.

I m not sure if you can book any other hotel from the list or not. I chose one from the new list given at the airport.

Note -
Do not book the hotel from USA. The rates after landing are almost 20 %cheaper. And you can slightly negotiate with them on their services.

Eg. Taj Santacruze was Rs 6500 in the email list.
But after landing it was around 5K.

Ask for drop home after quarantine.

Ask for minimum alternate day room service. Renaissance has it.

Make sure 3 meals are included in the deals. And the prices are inclusive of taxes.

Eg. Renaissance was 4000 per night inclusive of 3 meals a day buffet style and taxes.

For budgeted hotels like zostel - room was for 2000 Rs. But food is additional cost.

Laundry is expensive here…rs Hi 250 per piece.

Once you decide which hotel you plan to go - you give your preference hotel to a person sitting on the counter from Govt. Then you meet a h otel representative.

He will escort you to the Bus.
6 people allowed in 1 bus.

Regards,

  • Gokul

Hi,
My parents got stuck here due to ongoing Pandemic, I applied for evacuation flight but did not hear back from Embassy so I would like to know by when we need to apply for their extension of Stay.

I-94 is valid till 06/13/2020.

Please advise.

Hi @Pujitha

USCIS suggests to apply B2 extension 45 days before current i94 expiry.

I suggest to file as early as possible to make sure USCIS gets enough time to generate a receipt before i94 expiry.