Air India allows Haj pilgrims to carry holy water on flight

Air India

New Delhi, July 10: Air India on Tuesday said that pilgrims returning from Saudi Arabia after Haj will be allowed to carry holy water from the Zamzam well within the permissible baggage allowance.

The well of Zamzam is located in Mecca in Saudi Arabia and many Haj pilgrims bring the holy water from the well for family and friends.

On July 4, the sales team of Air India's Jeddah office reportedly wrote to all travel agents stating that till September 15, due to change of aircraft and limitation of seats, Zamzam cans will not be allowed on flight Numbers AI966 (Jeddah-Hyderabad-Mumbai) and AI964 (Jeddah-Cochin).

Air India tweeted on Tuesday, "With reference to instructions regarding non carriage of Zamzam cans, on AI966 and AI964, we wish to clarify that passengers are allowed to carry Zamzam cans within their permissible baggage allowance."

"Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience caused," the airline added.

Later, Air India also issued a statement.

"Baggage allowance on all Commercial flights operating out of Saudia Arabia (UAE) is uniformly 40 kg. Special 5kg allowance is given to those passengers who may carry Zam Zam (holy water). This special allowance cannot be converted into baggage allowance (it is exclusively for Zam Zam only),'' the statement by Air India read.

"Earlier AI operated B747 and 777 aircraft from Jeddah. For 747 passengers, baggage allowance was 45 kg (inclusive of Zam Zam) i.e. passengers could carry 45 kg baggage even without Zam Zam. While for passengers who booked on B777, aircraft baggage allowance was only 40kg (including Zam Zam)," it added.

The website of the national carrier states that as per a notice issued by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, passengers will not be allowed to carry in their hand baggage liquids exceeding 100 ml, except medicines, inhalers accompanied by prescriptions and baby food.

"These items (in hand baggage) will be carried in one clear transparent re-sealable, one litre size plastic bag and will be subjected to the prescribed screening and security checks," the website says.

There is no restriction on how much liquid can be carried in a check-in baggage.

PTI

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