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Traveling/Flights to Canada from India during COVID 19

pkhare23

Hero Member
Sep 25, 2019
411
265
AI keeps saying tickets sold out. Don't understand how that is possible when bookings just opened 2 hours ago? I give up!!! I will just go for an extension and wait for international flights to start.
Bhaijaan you have enough validity on your COPR to travel as late as September end. There will definitely be option available to you by that time.
 
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mage

Star Member
Jul 24, 2020
63
39
What are the various options where we can quarantine ourselves in Canada?
I only know of same options that one would otherwise use for a stay: Airbnb, hotels and other long-term vacation booking sites like Vrbo, etc.
Onus of making sure that chosen property is good enough for quarantine and that owner is comfortable with you quarantining in their property is on you, so it's better to chat with them first before booking anything.
 

pkhare23

Hero Member
Sep 25, 2019
411
265
Just an landing experience from a guy who travelled recently:

Journey- PNQ-DEL-DOH-YYZ
Airlines - Indigo and Qatar Airways
I travelled on 27th July, started from my home arnd 4:30 am, I had booked indigo to go to Delhi from Pune, had purchased excess baggage online. If you book excess baggage for international travel, you cant do webcheckin, as they mention they need to verify my international ticket, hence I had to reach 3 hrs before.
Once I reached, they provided me with the boarding pass. Airport experience was good, social distancing was followed, in flight I think it was occupied arnd 65-70%. We were 2 ppl, no one else was in our bay. At security check u need to remove ur belt and all, so more touching the bags and the surface around will happen, be careful.

Once I reached Delhi arnd 10:15 am, I decided to wait near the baggage belt itself. Had taken home food that I had during my halt, there are vending machines where you can buy water or snacks. I dint see any restaurant near the baggage section.
I decided to take porter service to carry my luggage, also heard that they might help to skip the queue. That wasnt the case though, one advantage I had was he called me arnd 5:30, so that we dont have to wait there from 4:30 as its hot outside. At Delhi airport they check ur passport and copr, I had filled health declaration form from my home. They stamped it, one was taken at the entrance and other one at immigration check. Immigration was smooth, by the time I reached immigration it was arnd 7:30, guy helped me to do my immigration fast and then he told me to rush to security check. At security check I was told to take out laptop from the bag and belt as well. Not sure why during this time they are being so strict about it. I had heard that since Del Doha is a charter flight it at times wait for all the passengers, however when I was going, a guy mentioned to rush as final call is going on for qatar airways. We boarded the flight arnd 20: 10 and the flight departed arnd 20:20. No inflight entertainment but food was provided.

Overall experience till Delhi was okay, queue had moderate social distancing and security check was something where I felt that you would touch bags more, so be careful.

DOH- YYZ
Once landed in Doha, we followed our way to go the international transfer, in between baggage screening happened, we were told that liquid is not allowed, either you carry empty bottle or throw it, we drank one bottle and kept incase to fill it, rest we threw.

Once it was done, I started looking for quiet rooms, these gets filled very fast, I did not manage to find place for 2. I decided to wait, after few hours got one place vacant, then after an hour or so got other seat as well, slept arnd 2-3 hrs and then was ready for next boarding. They have closed water due to covid, so had to buy bottle, cheapest I could found was 500ml for 3 QAR.
After getting up went to food court, had a cup of coffee at burger king.

Boarding was smooth at Doha, they had divided it into 3 zones and were sent phase wise. Flight was almost full I would say 90%. My bay was fully occupied. There was inflight entertainment and you get 1 hr complementary wifi as well. Snacks were provided during regular intervals and they serve alcohol as well, overall qatar airways was smooth and nice. You will be given a medical form where you need to mention ur details and where you will be staying for quarantine.

Touchdown: our flight landed arnd 3 pm, however we were not allowed to leave as the staff mentioned that we are waiting for clearance from customs, After I think 45 mins approx, we were allowed to leave, once you go out, there is a kiosk where you have to enter the details and a slip comes out, mine came blank, but thats okay, then you need to wait in the line and they will call you. Immigration officer asked about my quarantine plan, how m going to manage my groceries, then custom related questions- are you carrying cash more than 10k CAD, are you carrying food, are you carrying cannabis? Then after answering these questions, he said “welcome to Canada” I was asked to go further where I dropped my medical forms, went further there was another line, there again was called by the immigration officer- he asked me if you were convicted for any crime? Nothing else was asked, he asked my address where I need my pr card. Once that is done he asks if I have any questions. And then “welcome to Canada” :)

Baggage belt was in a mess though, no social distancing followed, overall at the airport I felt social distancing was moderate. After collecting baggage I moved out through green channel and handed over the customs slip that I received from the officer who asked me custom related questions. Later coming out, bought one prepaid sim and then got into a pvt taxi.

Now I am at air bnb seving 14 day quarantine, let me know if you have any questions.

PS: not my story I'm posting it so that people get to know recent travel experiences and what to except during Travel.
 
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SithLord

VIP Member
Aug 18, 2017
6,781
5,100
R u checking for flights on their website or the app? Try the app.. I had found a flight for 11th aug but i dint book cuz it is from Delhi only, and for me it is not feasible to travel with 3 kids with a stop at delhi for 13 hours (from hyd), plus baggage issue..
I suggest try refreshing on the app a few times
I called AI office directly today morning and customer care confirmed tickets are sold out and I need to contact authorized agents.

As per twitter, there seems to be a major scam. AI admitted they sold tickets to agents because of the demand and these agents are selling it at exorbitant rates. People started tagging the aviation minister and have asked him to allow international flights to stop this AI monopoly
 
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SithLord

VIP Member
Aug 18, 2017
6,781
5,100
I know the situation right now seems crazy and disheartening, but if you have time till August end or beyond, it may help to keep trying for few more days. I see some positive developments overall:
  1. AI has started selling their tickets on codeshare flights. I noticed today Air Canada offering a single booking for DEL-YVR on Google flights using AI flight to CDG and then Air Canada flights for rest of the journey (CDG-YUL and YUL-YVR, though not enough time at YUL for all formalities on this route)
  2. Looking at AI's pricing chart, I feel this is their route/flight chart for at least August and maybe even beyond that, sadly not a proper time-denoted roster, but still this is a significant travel expansion
  3. Saw another interesting route for DEL-YVR. Spicejet (DELhi-Kolkata-Thailand) + JAL (BKK-NRT-YVR) some time after middle of August, IIRC. This same route with a minor change (DEL-BKK) was showing up last week also with Vistara instead of Spicejet.
I feel AI has unilaterally changed how most of us approach booking int'l flights (waiting for approvals, eligibility, etc.) while other airlines are still sticking to their pre-COVID ways of selling and marketing. New routes as well as approval-extension for existing flight agreements is happening, but not coming to light (August schedule for 'repatriation' flights is up on Lufthansa's site - no change in eligibility criteria, but it still means that they got approvals for it without it showing up in news feeds).
Net effect of this is ending up to be that we have to seek each airline or possible air traffic route out and find info across different sites to figure out whether to pin any hopes on it or not. This makes it cumbersome for us as we already have many other things to worry about in the course of immigration, but this is just how it is at the moment.
Personally this feels to me like an unfair advantage for AI, but if you have time on your side, you can ride it out. It would have helped had AI invested in improving user experience beginning right from the booking part. Anyways, things are improving, international travel is indeed opening and it may be only a matter of time, before another gov pulls up AI like US DOT did around a month ago forcing a more level playing field. Foreign carriers do need to pick up the ball though and realize the information arbitrage happening here. Good luck!
My COPR is expiring in October so I do have time but I have been staying with my parents for over 7 months now since I quit job, My parents don't mind it but I can sense I am being a burden on them.

Honestly, when Canada has already made us COPR holders eligible to enter, I don't understand why our government came up with all this stupid restrictions about holding Canadian passport to fly foreign airlines? They really need to stop with this AI monopoly.
 
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pkhare23

Hero Member
Sep 25, 2019
411
265
I just landed in Canada on the 30th by the Qatar Airways flight. It was a good experience overall barring the 10 hours layover at Doha.

The immigration formalities took arnd 20 mins at the airport.

Now I am holed up in an inn for 2 weeks quarantine
Hi can you please elaborate how you reached delhi from your hometown would be helpful.