Mumbai Airport - International to Domestic transfer + Customs


Active Member
I'm heading to Bangalore via Mumbai and since I have a 3 hour layover in Mumbai, I was planning to meet some of my friends there. Since Mumbai is my port of entry, I'm assuming I will have to go through customs there. I'm carrying a few things - 1 laptop, 1 ipad, 1 DSLR with 3 lenses, 3 cellphones (1 old one which I will check in, 1 nexus 4 which is my phone and 1 new nexus 5)
I'm planning on carrying all of these in my carry on luggage. Is it advisable? Any way to avoid getting frisked by mamu's over there?

And between avoiding attention from customs folks and with the new terminal that they've constructed, how much time do you think I have to meet my friends? Will I have to exit the terminal and go through security check again? In which case how much time will that take?

PS: yes there were old threads on this topic but I didn't want to bump them.


Well-Known Member
Those items seem fine if you had one less phone though it might not cause any issues. Dump the boxes/packaging of all items and carry them as 'personal/used' items. Someone who has traveled through Mumbai should be able to guide which phone to carry and which to keep it the bag etc. Checking/frisking is at random so don't worry about it.

If a 3 hr layover means time between your flight's scheduled landing and next flight's scheduled departure, then you will have very less time. Exiting the terminal after the international flight will take at least an hour due to luggage, customs, checking etc. Later you have to check-in for the domestic flight a minimum 40 minutes before time. You can transfer from international to domestic internally but if you exit the terminus to meet friends the you'll have to take a cab which will take about 20-30 minutes based on traffic. The new SEAR (Sahar elevated access rd.) will reduce the travel time. GMaps shows 6 minutes travel time. (Check here). The best possible way would be for your friends to travel by taxi with you from international to domestic and meet/chat outside the domestic gate. I wouldn't suggest a car as parking would cause additional delays for the person driving.
All this does not account for a delay in you international flight. Plan accordingly, check with your domestic flight about the check-in time. Online check-in is preferable as your check-in might be delayed further if there is a queue at the airline counter. A friend was not allowed to check-in due to this even though he had reached the terminus before time.
The time available is less but you can squeeze a meet in between if all goes well. Good luck.


Active Member
None of the things except the nexus 5 and one lens are 'new' - My laptop is 2 years old, iPad is almost 4 months, nexus 4 is 1 year+, other old phone is 4 years old :p (which is why I wanted to just check it in) but I've heard stories about the Mumbai customs folks being rude and stuff..

And yes when I say layover, I mean the time between the landing and take off. So it does seem that 3 hours might be cutting it close...that's bad :(