Getting tested positive for Covid-19 before flight

By | 27th October 2020

I had to deal with a rather unfortunate circumstance of getting tested positive for Covid-19 just before a vacation. I was due to travel to Dubai and Serbia. I would have had no way of knowing I was actually positive if I didn’t have to take the mandatory RT-PCR test necessary for international flights. I have zero symptoms and am completely fine, but have to go through the mandatory 17 day home quarantine.

I decided to document this episode as information on the internet about this was scarce. Hopefully this should help out anyone who stumbles upon this.

Getting refunds

Although it isn’t in Terms & Conditions AFAIK, most airlines and hotels are kind enough to help you out. For this you would need to get a copy of your positive report and any additional documentation that could help. I attached my positive report from the hospital and home quarantine certificate from the state government. I had three different things that I had to get refunded.


I had a 9 day room reservation in Dubai from Airbnb starting the next day from when I got my positive report. The refund process was super smooth. I called them up and explained my situation. The lady on the other side was super sweet and assured me she would do her best to help me out. She asked me to send her my documentation and she refunded me the entire amount in a day! No questions asked. 🙂 Can’t recommend Airbnb enough.


I had a Flexi Plus ticket from Indigo booked for GOI(Goa) – DXB(Dubai). I called up the customer care, who weren’t very helpful about my predicament. So I tried pinging their Twitter, which too wasn’t successful. The next day, less than 24 hours before my flight someone from the airport called me up as a routine gesture who told me to be persistent with customer care phone line. The customer care agent helped me get a part refund(because it was Flexi Plus) & helped me submit docs that helped me get the full refund. Not as smooth but happy at end of the day.

Fly Dubai

I had DXB(Dubai) – BEG(Belgrade) and return booked with Fly Dubai 10 days out. I called them up on their Dubai phone number, where they told me to email them my information. I also tweeted out my concern to them, after which they gave me two options.

  • Move the dates forward and pay difference in fare(if any).
  • Pay cancellation fee of AED 200 per sector(AED 400 total) and get balance refunded to voucher.

I decided to take the first option and ended up paying AED 185 extra to move the date forward to 20th Nov 2020/12th Dec 2020. Being a full service airline I expected better.

When can you fly again?

This is a tricky question. From what I’ve been told, most people test negative on RT-PCR test(needed to fly) within 17 days, but around 24 day mark is safe enough to plan for. You can never be sure. My plan is to travel again around this time-frame.

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