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Should I Buy an Onward Flight for a 90-day Thailand Visit?

Posted by exacto on 15/6/2022 at 01:50

Due to several last-minute flight cancellations by my ticketed airline, I needed to re-book my round trip flights to Thailand. I already have my 60-day Thai Tourist visa (and my Thailand Pass). Originally, I booked my flights for a 60-day itinerary with the intention of extending my visa for another 30 days once I arrived in country and changing my flights to match the longer stay after a visa extension was approved. However, because I had to re-book my flights due to the cancellations, I went ahead and changed the return flight, meaning it is for a date well after my 60-day visa expires.

My experience is that because I have an approved 60-day Thai Tourist visa, I should have no trouble checking in and boarding the aircraft for the outbound flight. However, I have heard of the occasional problem at the airport in these situations where a return flight is for a date after a visa would expire.

One solution is to book an onward flight. In this case, I'm thinking of one of the inexpensive no frills flights to somewhere like Ho Chi Minh City. I expect that I wouldn't need to use the flight, but on the off chance I need too, it would be a fun short getaway before flying back to Thailand for my return flight.

Does anyone have recent experience on this issue? If it were you, what would you do? Cheers.


#1 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,825

Posted by davelliot on 18/6/2022 at 06:34

"However, I have heard of the occasional problem at the airport in these situations where a return flight is for a date after a visa would expire" 

   But these problems apply to those without visa who are getting the 30 day stamp (visa exemption). Its a conditions of the visa exemption that you are supposed to have onward ticket. If you have a tourist visa then this doesn't apply to you.

#2 davelliot has been a member since 6/9/2017. Posts: 51

Posted by somtam2000 on 19/6/2022 at 04:04 admin

Yeah, what Dave says, I think having a visa and flight out (regardless of date) should be fine. Worst case you could explain the situation, and double worst case, but an onwards ticket on the spot.

#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,083

Posted by davelliot on 19/6/2022 at 06:34

Just by digression there are reports that the Thai Pass for foreigners will be phased out - 

Senior government officials in Bangkok have confirmed they are simplifying Thailand’s entry protocols next month, ending a requirement for all international arrivals to apply for entry via the Thailand Pass registration system. Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin, a spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), said the decision was made at the latest CCSA meeting on Friday.

To visit the country right now, foreign nationals must have mandatory Covid-19 insurance coverage of at least US$10,000, as well as a certification of fitness for entry issued by a Thai embassy or consulate; both these rules will be scrapped from July 1. However, fully inoculated travelers must still show proof of vaccination, while the unvaccinated can present negative pre-departure Covid-19 test results. Thermal scanning will be phased out at border checkpoints but supervised rapid antigen tests will be carried out at random due to the ongoing state of emergency. Notably, the Thailand Pass isn’t being retired just yet: visitors can use it to report suspected symptoms of Covid-19 and other infectious diseases.

LINK

#4 davelliot has been a member since 6/9/2017. Posts: 51

Posted by exacto on 23/6/2022 at 02:58

Thanks for the feedback, dave and somtam. I feel better with your input. Cheers.

#5 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,825

Posted by exacto on 30/6/2022 at 21:59

As it turns out, I had no reason to worry, as already suggested. The JAL gate agent at LAX didn't even ask to see proof of my eVisa. She only asked to see proof of my Thailand Pass, which is going away as of today anyway, and proof of my travel insurance, which I thought was odd, since I couldn't have a Thailand Pass without it.

Getting through Suvarnabhumi Airport was quick and easy, with only a cursory check of the Thailand Pass at an initial checkpoint, a second cursory check before entering the immigration line, and a final check at the immigration counter. Even with the always long walk from the arrival gate to the baggage claim area, people from my flight were at baggage claim well before our luggage arrived.

The airport was busy, but nowhere near as crowded during the arrival process as my last trip from February 2020. All passengers were being processed through a single immigration checkpoint, with the others we passed roped off and closed. Cheers.

#6 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,825


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