OK so basically the situation is this:
flight leaves Nov 5th for thailand from the states on United Airlines, and I have a return ticket for April 1st.
A: Will a flight to Malaysia within 30 days be enough to satisfy the airline onward travel requirement since the return is so far away...
B: If I opt to go with a visa instead of a cheap airasia flight, will the consulate give me a visa even though the visa will not cover until my return?
Im doing a 7 country trip so it makes showing the planning difficult!
Brucemoon could have given more advice on this. When I flew with Quantas from the uk they were happy enough that I verbally said I was leaving Thailand within 30 days before returning. Ask your airline what their policy is, some are strict. Living in the land of the ahem,..free, I'm guessing they'll be understanding. I'd also email the Thai embassy and get clarification from them - take the email with you to the airport.
A. Yes, I'm almost certain your airline will be fine about letting you board a flight to BKK if you have a ticket out of the country within 30 days. If you want to be 100% certain, just phone them and ask what their requirements are.
B. Some Thai consulates (not all) also require an onward ticket when issuing you with a tourist visa. Again, just call them and ask what you need to provide them with to obtain a tourist visa.
Sparts: Haha... "ahem" free made me laugh.
SBE: I gave the airline a ring and got the run around..... on said i need a return ticket.... next said onward within 30 days......
I think perhaps ill fork over the small amount on a cheap air asia ticket to be safe and just apply for a tourist visa anyway and see what happens. if for any reason have visa trouble ( which i shouldnt since ill now have onward travel to show them ) ill have a ticket to show the airline...
any other info or advice would be great guys
You got two different answers from the same airline? Try and get in in writing then. I've never had a problem if I've had a ticket out of the country within 30 days.
Your onward ticket complies with the "official" Thai immigration requirements so the US airline runs no risk of being fined or having to take you back home at their expense. That is all they are worried about. I've never been asked for proof of onward travel by Thai immigration on arrival ... ever. There's no reason for them to not let you board.
Here's the official text on the Washington DC consular website.
Your post was very helpful!
sorry for the mis-wording maybe.
what I meant by by any other advice I was aiming more at someone who had dealt specifically with that airline.
I apprecaite anyone who takes the time to help give there info.
No worries, I was wondering why I got thumbs down vote for my reply that's all. From what you said, you weren't the one doing the voting!
Hope you manage to get things sorted with United Airlines anyway... sorry I can't help with that specifically but I've never flown with that airline.
Sparts is right. Some airlines are more strict than others, and United can be one of the picky ones.
On our last trip, my wife had a Baltimore to Los Angeles to Tokyo to Bangkok ticket on United Airlines. She was almost denied boarding on her flight out of Baltimore by the check-in agent because she didn't have a Thai visa in her passport and her return flight was for more than the 30 days visa waiver period United's policy allowed. She had to plead just to get a seat on the flight from Baltimore to Los Angeles, but the check-in agent refused to check her bags through to BKK or give her boarding passes for the additional flights.
However, once she got to LA, the gate agent could have cared less and happily checked her luggage and issued boarding passes. I wish it were clearer, but sometimes it just depends on the individual airline employee working the desk or gate that day too.
Aren't the Thai consulates issuing no-cost or near-no-cost tourist visas these days? You could pick up a 60-day tourist visa, which should at least solve the problem of boarding the aircraft in the states and also give you much more flexibility in booking your onward travel once you arrive in Thailand.
Thanks for the info on united. ;-)
I will definitely purchase a flight from BKK to KUL to be on the safe side as it will cost me next to nothing.
and since your right visa's are free atm i mine as well try and get one. I'll just bring my cheap flight with me to show the consulate also to make sure I have no problems ( btw thanks SBE because I emailed the colsulate and they told me depending on who issues the visa, some personal might require a ticket )
So i feel i'm pretty much covered now.... I have an appointment for my visa in 2 days so ill let you know how it goes .
I know i must seem way over paranod but been planning this trip along time and would hate to have something silly like not having an onward travel ticket ruin it....
SBE - I think someone has been messing around with the thumbs up/down thingy. I have seen some negatives on comments that could be nothing but helpful, and other strange results.
Somtam - are you sure the counter thing is working correctly? I do wonder about it sometimes...
The thumbs counter works fine and I think things will settle down once people get bored clearing the cookies or using different browsers over and over again ... or maybe not!
I wouldn't take individual ups and downs personally -- the intention was that they'd be useful over longer periods -- which should move to a trend and erode trivialities.
think87, I don't know how what your exact plans are or how long you want to stay in Thailand, but unless you go to an immigration office and extend your visa, you are going to have to leave the country after 2 months anyway, even with a proper visa.
You might as well buy a "real" ticket on Air Asia within 60 days as opposed to within 30 days if that suits you better.
You can fly straight back again if you like. That will give you a 30 days free entry stamp when you arrive at the airport and this would save you having to pay 1900B for a 30 day visa extension and the hassle of having to go to an immigration office.
Air Asia doesn't bother with checking onward tickets or visas. Unless they change their policies drastically you'll have absolutely no problem boarding the plane with them.
If you enter Thailand overland you will only get a 15 day entry stamp so flying in doubles the time you can stay for free.
Just a thought.
Yeah my only real concern was being able to board the plane.... I'm actually only going to be in thailand for a month or so, then a month in laos, month in vietnam etc through SE asia.
Got my visa today so im all set as far as being able to get on the plane out of the US lol.
The lady at the consulate wanted to give me a dual entry since i had the airasia ticket leaving thailand. I was like no thank you ill be traveling again within the first visa.... She looked at me like " WTF! this guys doesnt want an extra entry? " lol but all went well
thanks everyone for your help.
Ah, so they aren't giving free multi-entry tourist visas in Washington then! That's useful to know.
Try Vientiane (Laos) if do need another visa ... free 3-entry tourist visa, no "service charge". ;-)
PS I think the lady looked at you thinking WTF why does he think he needs a visa AND an air ticket.... but that's just a hunch.
She probably flies Thai Air only, not crappy American Airlines, and has no idea what a pain in the butt they are. Asian airlines are generally far more accommodating. :-)