Check-in Baggage Rules:
Normal Sized Check in Bag cannot exceed 62 inches or 157cm, in linear length (Length + Width + Breadth).
Normal Sized check in bag cannot exceed 90cm x 75cm x 43cm (or 35.5cm x29.5cm x 16cm).
Actual Size of my 32” TV Box
65.5 inches in Linear length (exceeding by 3.5 inches for Continental Airlines)
92.5cm x 23cm x 5cm (exceeding length by 2.5cm for British Airways).
Now, all systems are go! According to me, all was set, ready to go, but I was still to change many flights, pass customs offices, receive check –in TV box on baggage belt at many airports.
I had to travel back to India after visiting Mexico for 2 days for business purposes. I entered Quertaro, Mexico Airport with question on face whether Mexico customs will allow TV as duty free baggage as Mexico baggage allowance is just USD 300. But probably due to my several visa stampings and transit stay of 3 days, Customs may have ignored my luggage. Hence, I was relieved at first junction.
At Mumbai Airport, the box was received in perfect condition from British Airways. A luggage handler tried to influence me by asking for bribe to take box out of customs. I obviously with my “Puneri” face and expression dejected him. Since the TV was below TV baggage allowance of Rs. 25000, I passed all luggage and TV box through screening. Although Invoice value was below Rs. 25000, market value should be between Rs. 40000 to Rs. 50000 and I was prepared with “legal story” of showing the item as “Second Hand Purchase” for argument purposes. A custom officer did ask me about what is in the box, but with my Puneri – “Born to rule the world, Ek damdi denar nahi, Vaidya ahe mi, Punyatla etc” face, he preferred to focus on other “Bakras”.
2. I carried 32” TV, but box had to be cut down to avoid oversize baggage charges, although airlines did not questioned me on the same.
3. If value is less than Rs. 25000, you may take the TV in India without any hassle. Else, consult me on provisions of Customs Law in India.
4. USA TV can work in India using Dish TV STB. Per my understanding aka digestion of technical discussion on various forums, it is normal cabel network which cannot support this TVs and hence give up your Rs. 100 per month all channels Pack of “cabelwalla” and shift to Hathway or Dish TV to become a rich citizen.
5. I am still using Gold Pack of Dish TV with some ala carte additions and seeing no issues.
6. Finally, it is 4.00am now, I am watching “Ye Pyar Jhukta Nahi” on Zee Premier and my TV has completed first day of his (in Marathi “To TV”) life!
Disclaimer: Writer of blog post is not baggage handler at any airport, but an accountant by profession. All south Indians and Punjabis are great people. Objective of this blog post is to answer all those who have written thousands of pages on how to bring TV to India and use that USA TV in India.