Health Alert – U. S. Embassy Islamabad, Pakistan (April 18, 2020)
Location: Pakistan (country-wide)
Event: Update #25 – FAQs for Upcoming U.S. Government Charter Flights to Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
The U.S. Mission to Pakistan continues to call U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents to confirm seats on upcoming U.S government charter flights departing Karachi and Islamabad to Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) for the week of April 20. We have already spoken to hundreds of travelers, but we have more than 2,000 seats on these charter flights.
Below are some frequently asked questions we have received about the U.S. government charter flights next week:
Q. How do I get on one of the U.S. government charter flights next week?
A. Members of the U.S. Mission to Pakistan are contacting those who fully completed our Traveler Interest Form. If you are in Pakistan and want to return to the United States, ensure you have completed the TRAVELER INTEREST FORM. Please read the directions carefully as incorrect data will prevent us from being able to schedule you for a flight. Also, register for the Smart Travel Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive updates.
Q. I filled out the form already. Should I fill out the form again?
A. No. If you have already submitted this form, do NOT resubmit. We have your information; duplicate information will delay us contacting you.
Q. Why must I provide a phone number?
A. We need to speak to at least one traveler in each family group in order to check details and confirm seat reservations. So make sure your phone is on, monitor it, and be prepared to answer it.
Q. How much do the flights cost? Are they free?
A. The flights are not free. Cost is approximately $1000 from Karachi and $1450 from Islamabad per person.
Q. How do I pay for the flight? Do I need to bring my credit card to the airport?
A. Travelers are required to sign an “Evacuee Manifest and Promissory Note,” which will be provided once we confirm your seat. By completing and signing this form, the traveler is agreeing to reimburse the U.S. government for costs associated with the flight once they return to the United States. Information about how to repay the cost of the flight is provided to the traveler. It is not possible to pay for this flight at the airport or in advance.
Q. Can I book these flights online?
A. No. These flights are not available for on-line/individual booking.
Q. What is the luggage allowance?
A. Each passenger is permitted to bring two pieces of checked luggage and each bag cannot exceed 23 kgs. One carry-on and one personal item are also permitted. As the flights will be full, overweight or excess luggage will not be permitted.
Q. Will you be arranging other charter flights to other U.S. cities?
A. There are no plans to offer charter flights from Pakistan to other U.S. cities. If you want to return to the United States, the only option offered by the U.S. government is to take these flights to Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). From Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), travelers should make their own onward travel arrangements to their final destination.
Q. Will you arrange a charter flight from Lahore?
A. No. Passengers in Punjab should plan to take a flight from Islamabad or Karachi.
Q. Will I have to go into quarantine on arrival to Washington Dulles (IAD)?
A. No. Once travelers arrive at their final destination in the United States, they should follow CDC guidance for all travelers returning to the United States after international travel.
Q. How do I know if I am on one of the flights?
A. A member of the U.S. Mission to Pakistan will call you to check details and, then, confirm your seat reservation. All confirmed travelers will then receive an email with the complete details of the flight within 48 hours of the phone call. Your patience is appreciated.
Q. Why can’t you just email me?
A. We must speak to all travelers by telephone in order to confirm seat reservations. Please ensure your phone is on and be prepared to answer it. There are no exceptions.
Q. I filled out the Traveler Interest Form, when will you call me?
A. We expect calls to continue through the weekend and into early next week. Our goal is to fill every seat; so please be prepared to answer your phone the first time we call.
Q. Will there be other U.S. government charter flights?
A. These flights will be the final flights arranged by the U.S. government out of Pakistan. If we contact you and you decline the seat, please understand this may mean you will remain in Pakistan until commercial flight options become available.
Q. When will commercial flights resume in Pakistan?
A. We don’t know. On April 18 the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority extended the suspension of international and domestic flights through April 30, see our April 18 Health Alert #24 .
Q. I have decided I don’t want to return to the United States, what should I do?
A. Please send an email to ACSIslamabad@state.gov to inform us as soon as possible so we can offer your seat to someone who wants to return to the United States. In the Subject Line, put “Cancelation Request.” Be prepared for the possibility of remaining in Pakistan until commercial flights resume.
Q. I can’t decide if I should stay in Pakistan or return to the United States.
A. We can’t decide for you. However, on March 31, the Department of State issued a Global Health Advisory Level 4: Do Not Travel instructing U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel and return immediately to the United States or be prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.
Actions to Take:
- Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)to receive alerts and updates.
- Seek medical care right away if you believe you may have COVID-19.
- Review the CDC’s latest recommendations to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19.
- Monitor flight availability.
- Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.
- Review the Embassy’s webpageon COVID-19 for Pakistan specific information.
- Visit the Department of State’s COVID-19 information page for the latest information.
- U.S. Embassy Islamabad, Pakistan
- U.S. Consulate General Karachi
+(92)(21) 3527 5000
- U.S. Consulate General Lahore
+(92)(42) 3603 4000
- U.S. Consulate Peshawar
+(92)(91) 526 8800
- State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
- Pakistan Country Information
- Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates
- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter