Tuesday, March 02, 2021

UAE: Family forgets Covid info form; barred from boarding India flight

Dubai: An Indian citizen and his aged parents missed their Dubai to Mumbai flight on Tuesday morning as they didn't fill the Air Suvidha self-declaration form, Khaleej Times has learnt.

Media professional Aakash Chaturvedi and his parents, aged 63 and 58 respectively, were not allowed to board the Air India flight AI1948, which departed from Dubai at 11.30am to Mumbai, Maharashtra. The family was in Dubai for a month to visit their relatives.

Chaturvedi said he and his parents, and at least eight other passengers, were not allowed to board the flight since they had not registered on the Air Suvidha portal and were not carrying copies of the mandatory self-declaration form.

Meanwhile, top Air India officials pointed out that as per the new travel regulations set by the government of India, which came into force on February 22, passengers will not be allowed to board the flight if they are not carrying the required documents.

An official in Dubai told Khaleej Times: “We are following the practice set out by the national carriers in the UAE. It is mandatory that all passengers carry two copies of the self-declaration form and the RT PCR report.”

Though Chaturvedi tried to register on the website while he was at the airport with the help of airport staff, the site kept crashing causing the family to miss their flight. “We arrived at the airport at 9am. At the check-in counter, we were told we cannot board the flight unless we have the form. I tried to register at the airport, but unfortunately, the site kept crashing. We could not even reach the immigration check counter,” said a distressed Chaturvedi.

When he requested for help, ticketing officials at the airport directed him to a counter where the staff were offering to fill the form and provide copies for Dh35 per passenger. “I paid the money as well, however, due to technical glitches on the website, we ended up missing our flight,” he said.

02/03/21 Dhanusha Gokulan/Khaleej Times

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