Our experience of air travel from Mumbai to Dubai during COVID pandemic.
Day 1 - We applied for Dubai visa through Dnata by 10.00 hrs. Ajinkya from Dnata immediately submitted our applications.
Day 2 - We got the Dubai visa by 11.30 hrs next day. Meantime we kept our appointment ready for COVID test. Lab person arrived at 12.30 hrs. Our swab samples were submitted in 14.00 hrs batch. Because of which we got our report on the same day at 20.30 hrs. It was a PCR test approved by ICMR approved lab. We got our tests done by Sahyadri Hospital. As soon as we got our negative test reports, we booked Indigo flight. for the next day.
Day 3 - We carried below documents:
1] Print out of Indigo self-declaration form
2] Print out of Heath Declaration form from UAE authority
3] Print out of quarantine Approval form of UAE authority
4] Negative test report print out valid for 96 hrs. [We took a coloured print out of a soft copy of the report.]
No need to have stamp as it was electronically signed by the doctor.
5] Ticket copy
6] Visa copy
7] COVID covered insurance from TATA AIG
8] COVID 19 DXB smart app - With all details filled up such as flight details, passport details and a local number in Dubai
At Mumbai airport:
1] Online web check-in was compulsory but we could not get boarding pass online.
2] We went to Mumbai airport 4 hrs before departure time.
3] Before entering the airport building, they gave us one more form to be filled up manually.
We found that form quite irrelevant and time-consuming as it was asking us about our last China and Wuhan trip history if any.
4] We wore hand gloves, face shield and N 95 mask [Brand - Mankind / 3M] which we found very effective and perfect fit.
Unfortunately, our hand gloves were loose fit and were getting stuck in baggage zip. So if you wish to wear hand gloves better choose good fit gloves.
5] We would not recommend PPE kit as we found it impractical using it at the airport. Very few travellers were using it.
6] Indigo check-in was smooth. When in a queue, one person from Indigo, was checking our documents and putting OK remarks on our paper.
7] It was written on our ticket that 7 kg cabin is allowed but bag size should be such that it can be kept below the seat and not in an overhead compartment.
8] Therefore we carried no cabin bag [those typical 55 cms in size] but instead carried backpacks] But to our surprise, most of the travellers were carrying 55 cm cabin bags and airline also accepted those bags
9] I think they must have relaxed this rule as we all kept our cabin baggage in overhead compartments.
10] After dropping our baggage - security and immigration were very quick as there was absolutely no one at the terminal.
At Dubai Airport
1] On arrival at Dubai airport, they first collected our COVID test report [ Just collected but no one checked our reports]
2] Immigration was quick with strict social distancing norms of 2 meters.
3] After immigration, it was a 1.5 hrs of the process for COVID test at Dubai airport.
4] First they checked our passport and boarding pass and issued a sample bottle for swab collection with our name and bar code on that bottle.
[They also noted our local Dubai MOBILE Number to send our test report. This is very important to have a local Dubai MOBILE number with you as you will receive your test report by sms]
5] Then actual swab sample collected from the nose. and then we were allowed to collect our luggage and go to the hotel
6] We stayed in the hotel for 3 days to self isolate our selves and once we received a negative test report by SMS we went to our home in Dubai.
7] Even after 4 days we have not received any test report update on Smart App so I strongly recommend to have a local mobile number to have your report SMS.
We are finding Dubai quite safe and free as everyone is wearing a mask and keeping safe distances. All restaurants, malls and public transport are open but we are taking all possible precautions to keep ourselves away from the crowd.