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Airport Procedures for International Flights in India
The number of Indian travellers flying internationally is increasing every year. Gone are the days when people dreaded expensive international flights. Introduction of low-cost carriers in the aviation sector has made it easier for Indian passengers to travel overseas. Among the rising crowd of international tourists from India, there are a large number of first-time travellers who are often not aware of the processes of security check-ins, immigration, customs, and others. This article explains in detail the various steps passengers need to go through while boarding international flights from India.
Baggage Packing before International Travel
Before packing for a trip abroad, it is important to go through baggage guidelines as mentioned on the website of the particular airline one has booked tickets with. Every airline company has its own baggage rules in terms of weight and size of cabin/ carry-on and check-in bags. While packing, one should also check the list of prohibited and restricted items on the flight.
On the day of travel, it is advisable, especially for first-time travellers, to reach airport 3.5-4 hours before departure of the flight. Seasoned travellers with less luggage can risk a narrower window period for checking-in before flight departure. Pre-weighing baggage at the airport is a wise decision to avoid extra charges in case bags are heavier than the permissible weight limit.
Getting Boarding Pass and Checking-In
At the respective airline counter, passengers need to show their copy of purchased tickets along with travel documents to receive their boarding passes. After verifying the travel documents and weighing cabin and check-in bags, airline staff would hand over boarding passes. The boarding pass should be kept securely until the time of exiting the destination airport.
A passenger needs to head to immigration counter along with his/ her boarding pass, travel documents, and cabin baggage. At immigration counters in Indian airports, the queue is usually long. At the counter, an officer will be verifying the passenger’s passport and visa and might ask a few questions about the end destination. After verification, the passport is stamped with the departure date from India for the ongoing trip.
After immigration, a passenger goes through a security check at the airport. During the security check, carry-on baggage is checked for any prohibited items. All electronic devices such as laptops, cell phones, power banks, external hard drives, and others are required to be put in a separate tray available before putting them under x-ray scanner. Coats and jackets should be also put in a separate tray before scanning. Passengers will be frisked by security personnel before they are allowed to collect their scanned belongings. Boarding passes and scanned bags are stamped by security personnel.
After the security check, passengers are required to move towards the boarding gate as mentioned on the boarding pass and wait till the flight departure announcement is made. It is to be noted that at any point, airline staffs or security personnel can re-verify documents and check bags. Passengers should cooperate with them as it is for their own safety during the flight.
Once boarding starts, airline staffs will scan boarding passes and check security stamps on them before letting passengers board the flight.
Immigration at Destination Airport
For first-time travellers from India, it might be a bit daunting while going through immigration procedure at destination airports. Every country has its own way of verifying inbound passengers at immigration counters. For example, in the U.S, Indian passengers need to arrive at the queue designated for particular visa types for non-U.S. citizens at immigration counters. An immigration officer will verify details of the passenger, his/ her travel documents and the issued visa. The filled customs form by a passenger is also checked by the official. The passenger might be further asked about the duration of stay, the intention of stay and place of stay in the U.S. Once satisfied with answers, the immigration official would stamp the passport with a date, defining the duration of passenger’s stay in the country. The stamping process is an important part of immigration at international airports.
Collecting Checked-In Luggage
After immigration, passengers are asked to head towards the designated baggage pick-up belts to collect their checked-in bags. After collecting the baggage, passengers are free to leave the airport. In case, your baggage is missing, the boarding pass is an important document to retrieve lost baggage and hence, it is advised to keep the boarding pass till the end of the journey. While planning for international travels, it is important to buy an international travel insurance policy to take care of any untoward incidents including loss of checked-in baggage. Buy RHI’s Internatioanal Travel Insurance Plan to travel with peace during any overseas trips.