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Points to remember when traveling alone to India

Discussion in 'General Discussions - USA & Canada' started by jayana, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. jayana

    jayana Senior IL'ite

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    Hi,

    I am recently married and next month I will be going from USA to India.
    This is the first time I will be traveling alone and that too in Flight. When I came to USA for the frist time, I did not pay much attention about how to check-in, track the gate, laguage...etc as I was with my husband.

    But this time I will be going alone, and there is a stop in between in Paris.......

    So any suggestions on how to go about all this.

    I would also like to know about the custom check....i.e., when we go from USA to Mumbai, when is the custom check and will we be given some kind of form in the flight before we land in Mumbai to fill out.

    And after we land in Mumbai, is the desk for exchanging currencies close-by......

    I guess there are 2 airports in Mumbai....international and local(domestic) airports...
    cheers..
    Jay
     
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  2. Vidya24

    Vidya24 Gold IL'ite

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    sharing some experiences

    Hi jayana,

    I assume u r travelling AIr France since u have mentioned a stop over in PAris. I wld suggest that much before u leave, get yr travel agent (or call the airline office directly) to request an Asian vegetarian or non vegetarian meal. If not there is a possibility, that you get a Western kind of meal. And since there are two long flights, it is better to get the meal sorted out.

    If u r only on transit in Paris, then yr luggage will be checked in from US straight to Bombay. So in all likelihood, once u check yr luggage in the US, you will get two boarding cards.And all you have to do in Paris is check the gate number in the overhead screen and report there.

    I ususally fly AirFrance to Bombay. In Bombay, if you are coming from Paris, you will land at Sahar International airport. So this is how it goes for me.

    Inside the aircraft, we will be given a form (called disembarkation card, I think, not sure) to be filled b4 u land in BBay. It is a simple form, filled in ten mts.

    Once u land in Bbay, the first queue is immigration. The officials are efficient and helpful.

    Then check in the baggage screens as to which conveyor belt is bringing yr luggage. Run and grab a trolley, go and wait by that conveyor belt. Get your luggage.

    Walk out thru the Green Channel, if you have no dutiable items or nothing to declare.

    if walking out thru Green channel, you have to put yr luggage thru the Xray. There are usually loaders to help in lifting. This X ray check is to make sure that one is not smuggling stuff. Usually after the X ray check, on the other side, you can put yr luggage back on the trolley and walk out.

    As you walk out, an airport official will take one detachable part of the form filled inside the plane. Now u can go out and meet yr people.

    There are many banks offering 24 hours exchange facilities, so that is no problem at all.

    Sometimes, when the luggage is passed thru Xray, they will see something wrong. For eg: last year I took a long sponge mop for my mother and in the Xray screen, it showed like some dangerous device. So if something like that is seen, the Xray guy will ask u to open yr luggage to customs. Once the doubt is cleared, u can go out. Sahar functions automatically, so no problem.

    Pls tell yr relatives coming to receive you- to check as to in which terminal yr flight is arriving. There are ,I think, 3 arrival terminals in Sahar. Once u get out in Sahar, the area is crowded and well-lit. There is also a pay phone booth (one rupee coin, I think) ten steps ahead. So in case, ur relatives are in the wrong terminal, u can choose to call them on the mobile and tell them where u are. Keep in the well lit area, and if any one asks u if u need a taxi etc, tell them firmly that ur people are coming. There is usually no danger there.
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    If u have a ong stop over in Paris, and you need to buy coffee or food, u need Euros. Work that out before u leave the US. I usually carry an extra snack in hand.
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    When coming back from Bombay, if u r travelling Air France, pls remember not to carry any pickles in hand baggage. They are not allowed inside the cabin.
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    It is all very easy, you will have a safe and easy trip. Ask if I am not clear on anything.

    cheers
    Vidya
     
  3. rathi

    rathi Bronze IL'ite

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    Few more to remember...

    Hi Jayana,

    Usually the international flight travel from outside country into India should not be a big hazzle comparitively. Reason being, final checkout in India and customs/immigration or whatever checks back in your own country is pretty simple. Only when you are an alien (while you are back in the US) you need to be extra careful.

    If you are carrying eatables - like choclates, biscuits, tinned foods, nuts, etc. from US to India, while you declare in the customs form, don't declare it as generic food items. For customs think food items are those perishable and they start checking you for oil items, whether preserved, etc. Declare them as is - choclates & nuts within a reasonable value.

    Do not have any sharp items like scissors, safety pins, paper knife, etc. in hand baggage. It is safe put them in your checked in luggage nicely packed inside clothes, if at all you have a need for carrying them.

    When you land in Mumbai and go for clearing your baggage and find that it is not arrived, go to the airlines counter and give your baggage number and lodge a complaint. If it is missed in transit they will take care of it to put it in the next flight and send it to your address.

    Have a safe trip!

    Rathi
     
  4. jayana

    jayana Senior IL'ite

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    Thanks guys

    Hi Vidya and Rathi,

    Thank you for your concerns.....I appreciate it.

    Luv,
    Jay
     
  5. priyavenk

    priyavenk New IL'ite

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    hi everyone,
    the above post was very useful for me since i am also travelling with my son 31/2 yr old for the first time and also tensed abt the procedures .hope some of u will clear my doubts.
    1.i am travelling thru jet airways so how was the experience,if anyone have travelled.
    2.what r the things that r to be showed at immigration check.i am PR(permanent resident)so i wud be carrying the pr card ,passport .what else wud we need to carry.
    3.what r the things i need to collect frm airways counter.2 boarding passes since i'll be changing flight at brussels airport(uk).how difficult is it to manage with a toddler and get the transit flight(i have 2 hrs in between)share u'r experiences.
    4.regarding the baggage loss i read that we shud report the baggage no.
    where will be the baggage no.on bording pass r where
    sorry for my long posts and though it may appear silly to many.pls do reply to my posts
    hope i find some nice companions since i am tensed abt travelling with my toddler
    expecting u'r replies:bowdown
    priya:hiya
     
  6. priyavenk

    priyavenk New IL'ite

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    hello ladies
    no replies.am waiting
     

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