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If I enter the Mumbai international airport and decide not to fly even before checking in, can I leave the departure premises? What would be the procedure?

I am asking because at Mumbai airport there are a few guards that check ID and confirmed plane ticket before letting you into the check-in area.

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Provided you haven't checked in to your flight, you can just walk towards arrival area. If a guard (CISF) stops you, you can explain the circumstances.

If the bags are checked in, contact airline agents also, as they have to offload your luggage.

Note: It is a very suspicious thing to walk out of airport deciding not to fly without a valid reason. Hope you have a good explanation on doing so.

For people who are not familiar with Indian airports - We have an id check by a para military person (CISF), before allowing in airport building. He/She will check the ID and tickets thoroughly (not Visa), before we can even approach an airline counter. In most of the countries, checks only start before immigration

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Yes, you can exit the terminal to the street by just walking out the door you came in. They may ask you if it is your intention to leave, since you will need to clear security at the entry once again, but that's it.

Note that at least in 2023, the international terminal does not have ticketing counters inside the terminal building. There are ticketing counters outside the terminal where you would buy a ticket and re-enter the terminal after passing through security at the entry again.

If you are leaving because plans changed while inside the terminal (say you were denied boarding), it's more efficient to buy a new ticket on a phone from inside the terminal. Staff at the airline's operational counter will happily print out the ticket for you with a name or confirmation number.

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Airports are split into "landside" and "airside". These are separated by security. In almost all airports you can enter and leave the "landside" area at any time.

In order to get into the secure (or "airside") area, you need to have checked in for an actual flight and have a boarding pass. Then you need to go through security where they will check your boarding pass and ID before you can enter.

In most airports you can simply walk out of the secure area by following the signs towards "EXIT" or "Ground Transportation". To re-enter you will have to go through security again.

Things are more complicated if you have an international flight and need to pass through exit immigration. To leave the airport without flying you will have to go through entry immigration again.

CAVEAT: It's always possible that there entry controls at the airport entrance. These can be triggered by Covid or specific or general security concerns. It's rare but it happens. In this case you will not allowed into the airport without some proof of a flight booking. However, you can always leave once you're inside.

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    Almost all, yes, but in many Indian airports your tickets are checked before you're even allowed into the terminal. Can't recall if this is the case for BOM though. Jun 17, 2022 at 23:20
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    Yeah! that is the case for BOM as well and that’s my question too, if i can exit right after that as well? Jun 18, 2022 at 18:00

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