Disclaimer – Helpful for Those who wish to choose Vande Bharat Mission Air India / Express flight from Muscat to Mumbai (and Pune)
Well – Never thought you will also be a part of it… But seems, we are all in someone else’s movie… I am back home (Pune) on vacation via repatriation flight mission by Hon Government of India via Air India Express. This is travel advisory from Muscat to Mumbai via Air and onward travel from Mumbai to Pune via Road and getting exemption from Mandatory Institutioanl Quarantine as applicable in Mumbai..
Well, everything may change from October 2020 oward when airspace is open.. But yet – seems, it’s worth a share.
If you are optin Vande Bharat Mission flight, do ensure a simple registration via the Indian Embassy Muscat Link, https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSemIALP9dIETqaFZO…/view
Go to Air India Office, CBD Muscat with copy of your passport and you can choose the flight of your choice and make payment. One advise here would be, to check with them whether the flight you choose is having 50 PC occupancy without which there are chances of cancellation. My flight got cancelled and when the allot a new one, I have ensured this. (My Gratitude to Mr. Manish Kumar, NLG and Mr. Manoj Mishra, Air India for helping me)
Now the most important part –
Go to Air Suvidha option and complete self reporting of arrival
You will get a registration number.
Now, you will have to complete RT PCR Test 96 hours before travel and if negative, you have to upload report as well as complete another form filling in Air Suvidha with in 72 hours of travel (Travel time shall be taken as the flight time as indicted in the airline ticket)
You have to mention the registration number as mentioned above here and upload further details. Keep the passport and RT PCR Copy handy for upload.
Important Now, you have only 24 hours window from test and uploading of results to apply for exemption. Hence, choose lab accordinlgy and ensure the time of swab collection shall be mentioned in such a manner that it should be 96 hours before travel (lesser than 96 hours are also fine)…
If you dont get report, you shall apply for exemption by uploading the proof of RT PCR test done and carry the reports with you.
(Mr gratitude to Dr. Sandesh, NLG and Precision Health Science Laboratory Muscat who helped me imensely in this regard). I have got exemption with in a few hours from Health Department, Maharashtra and the entire process via online mode went pretty smooth
You have to report 4 hours prior to your departure. Advise you to wear N 95 Mask provided you can hold on to it during entire travel (Thanks to Dr. Sandesh again who helped me in this regard to arrange masks a day prior to travel). Air India Express gives you 3 Ply Mask, Face shield (for all) and full PPE Kit also (for those who seats in middle seat)
No further formalities in Muscat Airport rather than chcking documents. You shall carry full set of documents of RT PCR Test report, Self Reporting in Air Suvidha, Exemption from insitutional quarantine Note as mentioend above (Carry 3 – 5 sets as you may require it).
Also, one small form filling need to be done in Muscat airport again (carry pen with you)
Be gentle with Air India express staff – the Air Hostess and all take lots of effort to manage passengers and I have seen them struggling a lot as passengers are not giving heed to their instructions and start changing seats etc.. Please appreicate that, it is a special flight with limited services but all facilities humanely possible to ensure safety of passengers are being done.. One request here – Have a heart
Up on arriving Mumbai , keep all records and boarding pass with you ready to inpsection. The processes I have to undergo are
> First counter, checks your records and stamp boarding pass (Health Department)
> Second counter, the stamped boarding pass will be photcopied ( A humble process.. but let it pass)
> Immigration as usual…
> Baggage Collection, customs inspection as applicable
> And a final counter – various windows to check you exemption. You have to choose your counter appropriately… They will consider your address in passport as base as mine being address in Thiruvananthapuram, I have to report at Kerala counter and establish the fact that I am resident of Pune (Handed my Aadhaar card to prove it). Nut shell, you need to carry place of residence proof which is a must.
And they will make certain entries (Especially the vehicle number which carries you and driver’s number). Then they directed me to report at Hotel Sadanand, Pune and complete another forality of form filling and get stamping of institutional quarantine exemption and permission for 14 days home quarantine.
> I completed this formalities and was directed to exit path which I never took before and I reached P4 parking lot of Mumbai International Airport. Your private cab / own vehicle can come to P5 and I waited there
> My friend Dr. Kedar C Berde arranged the cab and I was pleasantly surprised to note, he himself came in that cab and accompanied me all the way to pune.. A gesture which no one dare to extend during these tough times.. I take a bow
> In an hours time.. Nodal Officer Pune called me and reminded me to report to Hotel Sadanand and call him also.. Surprised.. there are people who work selflessly through out to ensure contact tracing as well as pandemic precautions are taken
> On way – had dinner (Well – I was feeling pretty tired due to less oxygen supply due to prolonged use of N-95 and almost felt like vomiting – Thanks, I was under medical supervision always).. And the Banjara Kebab, Rice, Chicken Bhuna and Chickens soup from Sunny Da Dhaba, Lonavla – Well, never had such tasty food in ages.. Thanks to my friend again for this..
> Reported Hotel Sadanand… another form filling and Home Quarantine stamp on hand (Like entry to Pub ) and I called my nodal officer.. He asked me to send scanned copy of all forms.. Done… I completed proedures
And… I reached home…
Nut shell – I was immensely supported by quite a few friends and well wishers… Along with acknowledging them.. my civic sense compels me to share my experience.. which may be helpful to a few.
PS – One of my colleagues travelled with out RT PCR Test and still got faciltiy of home quarantine as he reasoned with authoriteis in Mumbai Airport. Well, as it is not a routine procedure and is fullu dependent upon the discretion of officials and your persuasive skills, I am not recommending this. Why to choose difficult path when there is a detailed plan already in place
2 thoughts on “Air Lift (Muscat – Mumbai during Pandemic)”
Kedar C. Berde says:
Sajith Nair says:
Most welcome Doctor… You also played a crucial role 🙂 Thanks