I'm an Indian citizen, travelling from Kolkata to Detroit via Delhi and Amsterdam. I've a flight with Air India from Kolkata to Delhi and a flight with KLM from Delhi to Detroit, with a stop at Amsterdam. The Air India flight (AI-23) leaves from the domestic terminal at Kolkata but arrives at the international terminal in Delhi. Am I to complete customs formalities at Kolkata or Delhi? I spoke with two airline representatives over phone, and they gave different answers.


Immigration controls always happen when exiting or entering a country, unless you're transiting through a country without actually entering it. Therefore:

  1. The Kolkata-Delhi flight will have no passport/customs control, as it's an internal flight
  2. At Delhi airport you will go through Indian immigration
  3. At Amsterdam airport you won't go through passport control or customs, as you're only there for transit
  4. Finally, at Detroit airport you will go through American immigration control, followed by American customs, and enter the United States
  • That is not exactly so. There is at least one exception I know. AFAIK, if you fly with Thai Airways from an international airport in Thailand with a layover in Bangkok, you pass exit immigration in the airport of departure.
    – ach
    May 20 '16 at 8:49
  • 1
    This need not be true, see for example flyertalk.com/forum/india-based-airlines/…. However, my flights are with different airlines, so it's really different.
    – adrija
    May 20 '16 at 9:05
  • @adrija Didn't you buy them on a single ticket? I remember that you asked about buying your ticket last week. May 20 '16 at 9:06
  • 1
    @adrija It doesn't matter if it's a single ticket, since the Kolkata-Delhi flight is a domestic one.
    – JonathanReez
    May 20 '16 at 9:17
  • Yes, it's a single ticket, but not bought directly from the airlines.
    – adrija
    May 20 '16 at 9:50

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