I had a miserable experience with the Kuwait Mosafer app returning home from a short trip to Jordan. At the Kuwait Airways counter, I was asked if I had the Mosafer app on my phone. I replied: “What’s mosafer?” I have a negative PCR test report. I have a vaccine certificate from Kuwait. Plus health insurance. Plus my passport. Plus the flight ticket. So why do I need this Mosafer app?

And if I don’t have it, what happens? The response from the man at the check-in counter: “Simply, you cannot return to Kuwait.” At this moment, I freaked out. I told him, “OK I will download it”, though I did not relish the idea that a silly app could prevent me from returning home. Anyway, I searched for the app and started downloading it. My companion did the same.

Then I looked behind me and saw a couple of young Kuwaiti men who also didn’t know that the Mosafer app was required, and they started trying to download it and fill out the details. Some of the passengers were angry and yelling, but honestly it’s not the fault of the people at the check-in counter. They were apologetic and nice and helpful, but noted that: “This is from your government and the civil aviation in Kuwait, and there’s nothing we can do about it.”

Several of us in the queue couldn’t believe it, but we tried. We tried and tried and tried. But all our attempts failed because the program is not user-friendly, doesn’t work properly and most of the time kept giving an error message when we tried to make it work. All of us in the queue wanting to come to Kuwait had negative PCR test results, our passports and everything required – except the Mosafer app.

I was forced to call my son in Kuwait and communicate with him about 20 times to get his help. Luckily my son is a tech guy. It took two and a half hours of back and forth with him on the phone and his expert IT skills to get the app to work. Even the Kuwait Airways staff at the airport had to talk to my son to help us and others get the app working properly.

I thank the KAC station manager in Jordan because he extended the check-in time, and we were finally able to make the flight in the last 15 minutes. But now my question – this Mosafer app is a nightmare. Many passengers returning to Kuwait have faced difficulties trying to get it to work. I heard it was even discussed in parliament, about how difficult the app is and why should we as citizens be barred from returning to our homeland because we cannot fill in the details on an app? I understand if I was deported or barred or exiled due to political issues. But for an app? I think not.

If there is a question about the PCR test or health concerns, let it be resolved at Kuwait airport when we arrive. This is our country and no one has the right to bar us from returning home. I hope that the parliament and ministry of health and civil aviation will take measures to fix this problem for good.