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Old 8th September 2010, 06:11   #31
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Originally Posted by simply_sunny001 View Post
These Arab countries and their laws are just crazy and they can do anything so jus stay away from these guys.

thats the reason after reading so many horror stories, i have never taken a flight with their carriers and airports.

take a direct flight and if not possible transit thru Europe and use a europeon or indian carrier.

Try to save some 100 bucks by flying with these middle eastern carriers can turn nasty.

cheers
While i agree with you on their laws and craziness, i would surely fly their airline rather than fly Air India or Jet Airways.

This is from crazy experiences with AI and JA, especially while coming from India. The only good thing about Indian carrier is good food, still Emirates has a very good Indian veg meal too. Another advantage is flying time that Emirates take. While it takes 24 hrs+ to fly in AI/JA/SA it takes less than 19 hrs to from SFO-AMD. And its around 150 bucks expensive than Indian/European carrier.

This is strictly speaking my experience flying from USA-IND. The problem is with the airport authorities and terminals. The airlines are just fine as far as i am concerned.
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Old 11th September 2010, 03:00   #32
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Originally Posted by ramki067 View Post
Hi Guys,
Yesterday, I came to know of a case from a friend of mine which is very scary. One of his friends was traveling to UK via Dubai. Unfortunately he was carrying a packet of Khas Khas which is a commonly used spice in some Indian curries and sweets. Khus Khus is also known as poppy seed which can be sprouted to grow narcotics (afeem etc.).

This innocent person did not know that recently the laws in UAE and other Gulf countries have been revised and carrying Khas Khas is punishable with minimum 20 years of imprisonment or even worse with death penalty. Currently, the person is in a jail in Dubai for the last two weeks. His friends are frantically trying hard for his release but are finding that this has become a very very serious case. Lawyers are asking huge fees amounting to AED 100,000 even to appear in the court to plead for his innocence.

Please forward this email to all you know specially in India. They should know the seriousness of this matter and should never ever carry even minutest quantities of the following items when traveling to Gulf countries:

1. Khas Khas whether raw, roasted or cooked.
2. Paan
3. Beetle nut (supari and its products, e.g. Paan Parag etc.)

The penalties are very severe and it could destroy the life of an innocent person.

/- Ramki
Actually, Indian authorities are aware of this issue. I have been travelling from Mumbai's International airport and have seen a sign prominently for passengers travelling to/through airports in the middle east. They have explicitly said that xxx items are banned (i do not remember the entire list but it includes khus khus) in the middle east and advising passengers not to carry them.

The first time i saw it was earlier this year and saw it again when i travelled out in the end of august. The board is behind the customs desk
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Old 11th September 2010, 04:27   #33
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Originally Posted by chevelle View Post
While i agree with you on their laws and craziness, i would surely fly their airline rather than fly Air India or Jet Airways.

This is from crazy experiences with AI and JA, especially while coming from India. The only good thing about Indian carrier is good food, still Emirates has a very good Indian veg meal too. Another advantage is flying time that Emirates take. While it takes 24 hrs+ to fly in AI/JA/SA it takes less than 19 hrs to from SFO-AMD. And its around 150 bucks expensive than Indian/European carrier.

This is strictly speaking my experience flying from USA-IND. The problem is with the airport authorities and terminals. The airlines are just fine as far as i am concerned.
well to each its own, i would still fly Air India or Jet if i were in your place and save 150 quids as well and spend 5 hrs extra, no problem, rather than taking a chance to take a stopover in these countries with these crazy laws. it scares me a lot more than the thought of spending 5 extra hrs in a plane.
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Old 11th September 2010, 04:42   #34
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I will travelling to India from the U.S. from San Francisco to Bangalore next weekend. Flying through Cathay Pacific. I have a 19 hour transit in Hong Kong. I'm planning to roam around Hong Kong in that time. Do anyone foresee any issues?
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Old 11th September 2010, 09:26   #35
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Man, No issues. stay 14 days without a visa

@ others - Forget about news articles on Dubai - Indian customs has taken a strict view and now wishes to inform its people.

Customs Instructions-2009-CBEC

Of course, GoI is faster in passing laws than in (ever) implementing them. So there is definitely a grain of truth in the argument.
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Old 11th September 2010, 10:31   #36
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Regarding the liquids, it is a safety issue and also a bit of draconian measure to promote sale for the last port of departure.

Best thing to do is to purchase either in good old Bangalore or purchase on your last leg of journey
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Old 11th September 2010, 11:17   #37
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Originally Posted by simply_sunny001 View Post
well to each its own, i would still fly Air India or Jet if i were in your place and save 150 quids as well and spend 5 hrs extra, no problem, rather than taking a chance to take a stopover in these countries with these crazy laws. it scares me a lot more than the thought of spending 5 extra hrs in a plane.
The thing is, Jet Airways has stopped operating from West side of USA. So to board a JA, i have to go to east side - possibly NY, NJ. So it takes additional 10 hours to get there and from there it takes anywhere from 18-24 hours. So i am looking at ~34 hours of flight time. When i came to USA in 2007, i flew AI and the experience was horrible to say the least. I tried getting tickets in Singapore Airline, Cathay Pacific, Korean Air, but all of these were booked or took 32 hours to reach Mumbai and then additional 7 hours to get to AMD or Baroda.

And since the situation is very tight, i have to be there asap. That's why i went for Emirates. I didn't knew this was a serious issue then, else i would have gone for other airline.

The least flight time i was getting was 25 hrs from SFO to BOM in Singapore and Korean air with rates being $2300 and $1810 resp. While Emirates gave 18 hrs time from SFO to AMD and rate was $1790. And while return both the flights took 32 hours plus.

As a student who works part time, $400-$500 is a big amount and so is the time difference of 7 hours plus.

I am not justifying my purchase, its my situation that forced me to calculate all this and book Emirates.

Sorry for long post Sunny.
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Old 11th September 2010, 11:40   #38
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No food stuff in my bags ever, damn sacry, i really hope the said person managed to get out of jail!

@chevele, as far as i know, if the medicines/food items are in the 'checked-in' baggage which have been checked in through to your final destination at the port of departure (irrespective of your stopovers), you should'nt have a problem even if you are changing planes in dubai!!

In the said person's case, i think he was caught with the poppy seeds while entering dubai, even otherwise if you are just on transit and changing gates, why would authotities frisk/check a person or his hand bags?? does'nt make much sense to me!
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Old 11th September 2010, 15:57   #39
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It reminds me of the last time that I did travel through a middle-east (eurocentric label, there!) country.

For various reasons, I had not really slept for two nights before leaving Heathrow for India. In those days, when there were not so many "security" issues concerning carry-on, I liked to be independent of the airline times for eating, and always carried a snack and my own water.

I was sitting in Kuwait (I think) airport, munching my snack, in that empty, light-headed state that tiredness and air travel induces, when I suddenly had a fit of panic:

I was sitting in a 100% Muslim country, eating a ham sandwich!

Surely, my fears that the some sort of food police would swoop at any minute were entirely ridiculous, and I have laughed at my fear ever since.

Mind you, I guess it was a bit like wearing shoes in a temple, disrespectful to the religion, and I wouldn't do it again.
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Old 11th September 2010, 16:03   #40
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No food stuff in my bags ever, damn sacry, i really hope the said person managed to get out of jail!

@chevele, as far as i know, if the medicines/food items are in the 'checked-in' baggage which have been checked in through to your final destination at the port of departure (irrespective of your stopovers), you should'nt have a problem even if you are changing planes in dubai!!

In the said person's case, i think he was caught with the poppy seeds while entering dubai, even otherwise if you are just on transit and changing gates, why would authotities frisk/check a person or his hand bags?? does'nt make much sense to me!
That does make sense Raamki. I am gonna be doubly sure of not carrying any food/medicine in cabin bag. Hopefully, everything falls into place.
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Old 12th September 2010, 23:32   #41
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Me and family had gone to UK via Dubai on the emirates last month.It was our first trip abroad. We had all sorts of foodstuffs(No khus khus though) in the checked-in baggage. Somehow, a bag of pepper was there in the my father-in-law's cabin baggage. The security at Calicut airport had seen and passed it. We didnt have any problems in Dubai as well.
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Old 26th May 2011, 15:20   #42
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Default Re: A serious warning .. in DUBAI!!!

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I agree, but it is as a matter of principle that I won't take those airlines, just as I won't support the Sri Lankan national airline either. We must admit that thousands of people are flying by middle-east airlines, and passing through those airports, every day. I have done a couple of times, some years ago. Let's not overestimate the "dangers".

Singapore is strict too, even over stuff like chewing gum. Their immigration form says "death penalty for drug smugglers" which is enough to make you feel nervous even though you've never been near an illegal drug! (oh, I think it is just life in prison for chewing gum )
Here's what happened when I had to fly to Katowice (Poland). Katowice is a small place & the connecting flight from Frankfurt is typically those chartered type planes.
On our return journey to Mumbai, me & my friend went through security at Katowice airport, my friend had forgotten to dump his cigi lighter, so he hurriedly pulled it out of his jacket in-front of the security officer. Surprise surprise, officer tells him it's ok to carry it till Frankfurt & asked him to dump it there instead. Friend says "OK, THANKS" & walks away happy.
Reached Frankfurt, we were very tired, walked to our terminal expecting another security check, SURPRISE SURPRISE again, no security check for connecting flights. Can you beat that!! My friend actually got on a Lufthansa Boeing 747 aircraft with a lighter on him & carried it all the way back to Mumbai.
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Old 26th May 2011, 15:37   #43
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Originally Posted by mb_jg View Post
Here's what happened when I had to fly to Katowice (Poland). Katowice is a small place & the connecting flight from Frankfurt is typically those chartered type planes.
On our return journey to Mumbai, me & my friend went through security at Katowice airport, my friend had forgotten to dump his cigi lighter, so he hurriedly pulled it out of his jacket in-front of the security officer. Surprise surprise, officer tells him it's ok to carry it till Frankfurt & asked him to dump it there instead. Friend says "OK, THANKS" & walks away happy.
Reached Frankfurt, we were very tired, walked to our terminal expecting another security check, SURPRISE SURPRISE again, no security check for connecting flights. Can you beat that!! My friend actually got on a Lufthansa Boeing 747 aircraft with a lighter on him & carried it all the way back to Mumbai.
Indeed it is! I have flown several times from the US via a European airport between 2007 and 2009 and the ciggarette lighter has never been a problem. I guess the little lighter has flammable fluid well below 100ml and hence is allowed. On the other hand, Indian airports (domestic or international) always had me dispose off the lighter at the security check.

Another very frustrating experience at Dubai airport is the retina scan on a different floor and two security checks before boarding the aircraft! This was when I flew in to and out of Dubai. Not sure about transit flights though.

And, not to mention the unruly behavior meted out by the immigration officers at Dubai airport. I had a very bad experience while visiting Dubai for the first time - the immigration officer started off with "tumm kidher se aaya?" (where have you come from) "line mein peeche jao!" (go stand at the end of line) for no apparent fault of mine. I replied back saying "I have been standing in the queue, what is the problem?" The officer then flipped through my passport and saw the multiple US and European stamps, stamped my passport and simply said "You may go."

I believe the immigration officers at Dubai are by default rude when they seen an Indian pass through and think everyone is there for the cheap labour. US, Canadian and European immigration officers, on the other hand, are very polite and never turn rude or hostile without a reason.

Cheers!
DueLLeR
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Old 26th May 2011, 16:14   #44
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I believe the immigration officers at Dubai are by default rude when they seen an Indian pass through and think everyone is there for the cheap labour. US, Canadian and European immigration officers, on the other hand, are very polite and never turn rude or hostile without a reason.

Cheers!
DueLLeR
I can relate to what you saying, on my first visit to Doha-Qatar the immigration officer made such a disgusting face when I asked him for a pen to fill in a form, it did damage my first impressions about the local people even before setting foot on their land. But, it's not always bad, I've had more good times than bad while travelling by air
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Old 26th May 2011, 21:00   #45
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Default Re: A serious warning .. in DUBAI!!!

why anyone would want to travel through the god forsaken toilet that is the middle east, UAE, etc, is beyond me. legalised human rights abuse on an epic state sanctioned scale, of both imported cheap labour, and if you happen to fall foul of their draconian laws, tourists too. the last time i flew through there was 10 years ago, and it was bad then, from then on i decided to pay the extra, screw the stop over and go direct.

i see better shopping in hong kong, singapore, kuala lumpur, etc. hell even a wander around the back streets of mumbai is more fun that some anonymous "any mall" they have there.

as for carrying contraband on board a flight. many years ago, i was working the station office in a west london police station, next door is a very well known club, frequented by aussies, kiwis and saffars, one of the door staff had a young man detained, there was a bit of an arguement, and i was called round. the young man had just arrived from jo'burg that morning, dropped his gear at a friends, and straight out for a few beers in the club, on entry he has been stopped and searched, as is normal. in his back pocket was a can of high strength CS spray...something you can apparantly buy in any shop out there for pennies, and is totally legal to own and carry.

he had carried it on board, though customs etc at the SA end, and somehow through the heathrow side too.

in the UK though, it comes under the same legislation as firearms, young man spent his first night in the UK in a police cell, the next day in a court, and by the weekend was on his way back from whence he came...

Last edited by jai-uno-t : 26th May 2011 at 21:26.
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