COVID 19-Traveling Experience from Kuala Lumpur to Cochin and back

Arun Surendran
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Sharing my traveling experience during the COVID-19 situation which I made my travel from Kuala Lumpur to Cochin(in India) on Dec 17th, 2020, and returned back from Cochin to Kuala Lumpur on Jan 21st, 2021.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

The document comprises of some highlights that you can keep note of and some heads-up that you can expect in both the airports on your travel.

Travel Process from KL to India

Below are the steps that I have followed to get my travel smooth to Cochin.

  1. Get DGIM approval via HR of your employer. (better to get the return and entry approval which have a validity of 60 days)
  2. Then online register in HCI (High Commission of India) with your travel plans. You will receive a 5 digit number after registration.
  3. Contact “Oscar travels” and book the tickets. You need to provide the HCI registration number in order to book the tickets. The flight fare for me towards Cochin was RM 950. (Normal luggage you can carry in hand is 7kg and check-in luggage will be 20kg)
  4. Get the print outs of the DGIM approval letter, Flight ticket. (keep the HCI registration number with you)
  5. Now you can go to the airport on the travel date and get a flight to India. (no Covid test required for the travel)

Changes in Airport?

  1. Pretty standard process in KLIA airport, but you need to fill an extra form related to COVID SOP in KLIA airport and you need to carry that all the way to the destination airport, where they will ask you to submit it.
  2. Whoever gets a seat number with B & E should wear a PPE kit, the rest of them will be provided with just a face shield and mask.
  3. Apart from that everything is straight forward, you will get some bread and cake on the flight. Note that most of the flights to Cochin have a transit in Bangalore which takes your travel time to 6 hours.

Travel Process to return KL from India

  1. Book the return tickets via AirIndia Express online portal for a date that is within the 60days as stated in DGIM approval letter. The flight fare is flat this time, which is INR 20,000/-. Again the normal luggage you can carry in hand is 7kg and check-in luggage will be 20kg. You can also add extra luggage to the ticket if necessary.
  2. Fill the LOU form with your personal and travel details. You need to sign the document and scan it back.
  3. Now you need to get the Permission to travel letter, which you need to email your Passport Pages(with front, back, and visa page), DGIM approval letter, Flight Tickets, and LOU to the Chennai embassy people ([email protected] and [email protected]).
  4. Once you receive the “Permission to travel” letter, that’s it! you are 90% set for the travel.
  5. You can now go to site and book the hotel for your quarantine stay and pay all the fees. This includes operation fee(RM2600) + Hotel Stay(RM 1050 = RM150 x 7 days)+ Covid test(RM 250), which will sum up to RM 3900.
  6. 3 days before the travel, you need to take an RT-PCR test and the result should be negative before travel. The current charge for the test is INR 2500/-
  7. Now take two copies of the DGIM approval letter, LOU, Permission to travel, Flight Tickets, “myeg” booking receipt, and RT-PCR test results.
  8. You are set for the travel, and reach the airport just 3 hours before the travel

Note: the overall expense incurred to travel from Cochin to Kuala Lumpur will be around — RM 5,150/-

Changes in Cochin Airport?

  1. You need to present the flight ticket and passport in order to enter the airport. An airport official will provide you with a form to fill in your details and the flight details which you need to submit at the check-in counter.
  2. Walk towards the counter displayed in the LED screen where KL flights check-in.
  3. There was a person to check all the documents before reaching the counter. He is basically verifying the DGIM approval letter, LOU, Permission to travel, Flight Tickets, and RT-PCR test results.
  4. Once the verification is done, you can walk to the counter to drop your check-in baggage and submit the form and get the boarding pass.
  5. Immigration and Security check is quite normal and you can wait at the gate and board the fight on time.

Change in KLIA Airport?

The whole process in KLIA airport has changed and it’s NOT the normal flow.

  1. After offboarding the flight, passing a bit, you need to scan a QR code by mySejahtera application and fill the form that gets popped up. It’s basically your travel details.
  2. Now you will not go to the immigration counter directly but to a new line where you first need to submit the RT-PCR result. If all good, they will give a letter stating that you need to just stay quarantined for 7 days.
  3. Then you need to the next counter where you need to submit the LOU letter and that is to get verified.
  4. After that, you will be directed to the “myeg” counter to check your booking and hotel stay.
  5. Then you are asked to the immigration office (and not the normal immigration counter) and only Malaysian people are said to go to the normal immigration counter.
  6. At the door of the immigration counter, you need to submit a DGIM letter, Permission to travel and other documents as they request and they will give another paper that states that we can clear for immigration.
  7. Then we are asked to go to the immigration office and drop the passport into a box where they are served in a first come first served manner.
  8. (from here onwards everything starts getting dragged and delayed, you might even need to wait for more than 30–45 minutes to pick your passport.
  9. Once your passport is picked, the officer will get the passport stamped and ask you to proceed to the immigration counter (mine was 57) and the counter is just a gateway, nothing asked.
  10. Then you are asked to scan one more QR code which is related to “myeg” booking for stay and you are asked to wait until the hotel peoples come to pick you up. (again a 30 mins wait)
  11. Once the hotel people arrive, you are asked to line up and they will take us towards the belts where our luggage will be dropped. You need to go and find your luggage from your flight belt and join back the line.
  12. Now you are at the exit gate of the airport, where you will be asked to drop your luggage near the hotel bus and all the luggage gets sanitized.
  13. You will be boarded on the bus and taken to the respective quarantine station. (mine was Ibis hotel, near KLCC)
  14. Once you reach the hotel, you will be asked to fill another form which is a disclaimer letter from the hotel on the stay.
  15. Now offboarding the bus, you need to line up to start the hotel formalities, where you need to submit your boarding pass together with your passport and get the room key.
  16. You might also need to fill a couple of forms in the hotel based on their discretion.
  17. Once all done, you are ready to start your quarantine days, where you won’t be even allowed to step out of the room for the next 7days.
  18. A Covid test will be conducted on the 5th day of the stay and if all good you can leave the hotel with your belongings on the 7th day.

Hope this helps some of you in your travel! Have a safe journey !


This article was originally published in Arun’s blog and re-shared in

Arun Surendran

Architect | 2x AWS Certified Solution Architect & DevOps| Certified Scrum Master | Full Stack Lead for DevOps & Automation

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