India Flight Update
April 27, 2021
Last week our EWR-DEL flight landed and the crew was asked to take a COVID-19 test. This test had not been, and was not supposed to be, required for crew entering the country of India.
The captain of the flight refused the test on behalf of the entire crew, because there was insufficient and unsatisfactory information about what might happen if any of the crew were to test positive and be required to quarantine in India. As you may be aware, India is in the midst of an unprecedented surge in the instances of COVID infection at the moment, where medical care is scarce and oxygen is in low supply.
The crew did not take the test, and did not clear immigration and customs, and instead returned to the United States. Due in part, to the uncertainty of what expectations may be when entering India, United temporarily halted flights into the country to determine solutions.
As of tomorrow, Wednesday 28, there will be pre-departure COVID-19 testing for all United crews headed to DEL.
AFA along with ALPA are in contact with United corporate medical and Medaire to ensure there is mitigation for crew safety. Pre-departure testing is a simple procedure that reduces the opportunity for any ill Flight Attendant to enter India and potentially end up requiring medical care or end up in quarantine.
Additionally, there are currently steps in place in case a crew member does become ill while on a layover in DEL.
AFA, ALPA and United corporate medical will continue to monitor and evaluate the safety of this destination. Additionally, United published two Safety Alerts with updated information about travel into New Delhi (and other countries with restrictions), with comprehensive information, including a Q&A. We encourage you to be familiar with the information prior to checking in for any international pairing