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onward travel proof

Posted by Alicia3 on 28/5/2015 at 00:37

Any advice on proof of onward travel with airlines when flying to bangkok?

#1 Alicia3 has been a member since 25/5/2015. Posts: 8

Posted by DLuek on 28/5/2015 at 05:30 TF writer

Well, some airlines (or perhaps some individual check-in staff) in some countries won't let you board the plane unless you have a long-term Thai visa or proof of onward travel (generally a plane ticket), or at least a tourist visa. It's a grey area and seems to depend on a number of different factors. You could help us better answer you by telling us what your plans are. If you have no plan other than flying into Bangkok on a one-way ticket, you'll probably need to buy a cheap "throw-away ticket" (i.e. Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur) just so you have the proof.

#2 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,346

Posted by Alicia3 on 28/5/2015 at 07:33

I am flying from seattle to bangkok, then up to Chiang Mai On a one way flight. Already booked the ticket. Was going to spend my time in thailand and eventually head to indonesia for a month and then head back to thailand. I don't have any sent plans yet but this proof of onward travel is killing me I wanted to beable to just travel and figure things out as I go. Needing proof is frustrating and so that's why I'm asking experience and this is theost comment answer I'm getting. Getting either a throw away ticket or a round trip from Bk to kl may just be my only solution as I read with a tourist visa, to get one you have to show them proof of onward travel.

#3 Alicia3 has been a member since 25/5/2015. Posts: 8

Posted by imo999 on 28/5/2015 at 08:23

If you buy a tourist visa in advance you shouldn't need to show proof of onward travel. It costs £25 (38USD) for a single entry visa which is valid for 30 or 60 days depending on which country you are from http://www.thaiembassyuk.org.uk/?q=node/45

It's only if you want a tourist visa exemption (no cost and you don't have to organise anything before you travel) that you are supposed to have proof of onward travel and proof of 'adequate finances' for your trip. http://www.thaiembassyuk.org.uk/?q=node/55

I haven't made the trip myself yet but I am going to Thailand in September and will be buying a tourist visa in advance, as I only have a one way ticket so won't have proof of onward travel.

#4 imo999 has been a member since 15/3/2015. Posts: 2

Posted by DLuek on 28/5/2015 at 21:28 TF writer

Proof of onward travel is not always requested when applying for a Thai tourist visa, but even with a tourist visa, the airline may not let you board. Some say that you're all good if you've got a tourist visa but I have been denied boarding with one (by Cathay Pacific leaving New York); I already had a separate ticket to Vietnam that worked as proof but I was surprised to have to show it.

Getting a throw-away ticket is not the end of the world: if you book far in advance you should be able to find a one-way fare to, say, Kuala Lumpur or Yangon or Singapore or HCMC for as little as $40 with Air Asia. You're all good once you're in the region... Immigration officials at land borders and regional airports very rarely ask for proof of onward travel, nor do regional airlines, at least in my experience. It's just a rather silly technicality before you can get on that long-haul flight from home.

And by the way, there is a chance that the airline won't ask for proof, and if they do, showing them a print-out of your planned itinerary (even if it's totally bogus) that shows you plan to leave Thailand overland within the allotted time might satisfy them. If not, you could buy a throw-away ticket on the spot by way of a smartphone, though that might be rather stressful.

#5 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,346

Posted by imo999 on 29/5/2015 at 06:39

Thanks for this info DLuek, I didn't realise you could be asked for proof of onward travel even if you have a visa! Will think about getting some throwaway tickets for my trip.

#6 imo999 has been a member since 15/3/2015. Posts: 2

Posted by Alicia3 on 29/5/2015 at 07:05

Thank you, that helps a lot and I think that's the route I'll be going. Having a throw away ticket seems to be the common solution I keep reaching with advice from others.

#7 Alicia3 has been a member since 25/5/2015. Posts: 8

Posted by mikal83 on 29/5/2015 at 09:06

We flew into BKK 2 yrs ago and after 6 weeks travelling, flew out of Singapore. We weren't asked anything upon arrival at BKK, or when we flew Phuket> KL or leaving Malaysia busing into Singers!

#8 mikal83 has been a member since 19/1/2015. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 140

Posted by Captain_Bob on 31/5/2015 at 07:18

imo999 a couple of comments on the link you posted above:

"Foreigners who enter Thailand under the Tourist Visa Exemption category and would like to leave and re-enter may only stay for a cumulative duration which does not exceed 90 days and is within a 6-month period"

This rule was cancelled a couple years ago and no longer applies. However, persons making repeat consecutive border hops may be refused if it appears they are abusing visa exemption to stay long-term.

Also the "adequate finances" and "proof of onward travel" are seldom if ever applied. (but of course they can't say that)

I always treat links to "official" sites with skepticism, as they sometimes contain outdated info. The rules change often and are sometimes not communicated well.

#9 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,958

Posted by Thefinebalance on 28/7/2015 at 12:50

I have a similar question. I am flying into Bali and plan to spend about 8 to 10 days there, then fly into bangkok and spend about 28 days in thailand before heading to cambodia. I have a return ticket leaving from Ho Chi Minh back to Canada and wonder if that would be enough to show i am leaving the region? or is it best to buy a throwaway ticket?

As a Canadian I am on the list of approved 30 day tourist visa....its all so confusing!

#10 Thefinebalance has been a member since 9/1/2015. Posts: 21

Posted by antoniamitchell on 29/7/2015 at 00:37

Hi Thefinebalance,

Are you asking about whether you need a throwaway ticket for when you enter Thailand? Or Bali?

The issue isn't the Thai border controls (who pretty much never ask for anything). It's the Western airlines that fly you into the region, and are paranoid that the Thai border controls could theoretically refuse you entry (even though that hardly ever happens) and in that case your airline would have to fly you back home at their expense.

As you're flying into Bali and have plans to fly into BKK from there, if you get that ticket in advance you've got proof of onward travel from Bali, so your flight from Canada to Bali is good to go. When you fly from Bali to BKK, no one's going to check, as in my experience the local budget airlines are a lot less paranoid about it.

There's no guarantee that your Western airline will give you a hard time, either - sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. For all I know it depends on how bad a mood your check-in desk clerk is in....

Actually, here's a question for everyone else on here:

I prefer to check-in online and don't usually check a bag, so I normally travel without ever speaking to the check-in staff, or any airline staff before the gate where you simply board in the big rush with everyone else (the only exception being flying into countries where you HAVE to have a visa in advance, because then they do insist you go to a check-in desk and can't complete your check-in online). In the situation where you just go to the gate, has anyone ever had the gate staff hold up the line to ask the proof-of-onward-travel sorts of questions???

#11 antoniamitchell has been a member since 13/5/2012. Posts: 569

Posted by Thefinebalance on 29/7/2015 at 12:17


Thank you for all this information! I was wondering if I need a throwaway ticket while in Thailand to show I will be leaving before the 30 days are up. My plan post Bali and Thailand is to go to cambodia (no flight booked just yet), i think i should be OK?

I will keep you posted on the process re: web check in as I plan on travelling with carry-on only too.

#12 Thefinebalance has been a member since 9/1/2015. Posts: 21

Posted by mmctear on 30/7/2015 at 09:32

Thank you for this useful information.

I was in the same situation as I'm flying into BKK but going to Siem Reap via bus. I've just double checked the Royal Thai Embassy in London's website and it states "Foreigners entering Thailand by any means under the Tourist Visa Exemption category are required at the port of entry to have proof of onward travel (confirmed air, train, bus or boat tickets) to leave Thailand within 30 days of the arrival date (otherwise a tourist visa must be obtained)"

So I'm going to get my actual bus ticket before I go and just present that at check in, with a print out of the terms. Hopefully that will be enough

#13 mmctear has been a member since 30/7/2015. Posts: 3

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