So, just a quick question. It seems like the whole buy a cheap AirAsia plane ticket is the best way to enter without any problems (or rather to board the plane to Bangkok in the first place).
Does it matter if you get a cheap flight sooner than the actual date you intend to leave? Do they just give you 30 days no matter what or would they only give me the amount of time until the flight?
That's actually an interesting because I would have thought they just give you the full 30 days.
However, when I applied for a 2-month Indo visa, my exit flight was actually about 6-7 days prior to the end of the 2-month, and it was that earlier date that they wrote down as my visa expiry. But this was a special visa that I had to send away for prior to departure.
Usually when arriving in Thailand they don't actually bother asking. But I just read another post that they are starting to check up on this a bit more. This causes problems if you plan on leaving Thailand overland, say into Laos, rather than flying out as your ticket is effectively redundant if you don't want to use it.
Aside from my arrival in Indonesia, I took my chances when crossing borders by not having an exit ticket, but had a typed up itinerary that showed my plans to leave the country within the visa period. Never had to use it though because no ever once questioned my plans when flying into Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Likewise, I wasn't asked when arriving overland in Malaysia and Cambodia.
But it's always a risk.
Actually, just rethinking your question, the problem is (as you point out), associated with the airlines letting you board the flight in the first place. But again, none of the airlines asked to see my ongoing tickets - which was Malaysian airlines when leaving NZ, and Air Asia mostly after that.
Most airlines ask when you board a plane in Europe but I've never been asked to provide proof of onward travel or a visa in Asia.
You'll get a 30 day entry stamp on arrival no matter what date your plane ticket is.
Ah cool - that's a relief to know it's always a 30 day stamp - hopefully they won't do what they did to you in Indonesia! It is very annoying with the airlines - the one I'm flying with just say they are entitled to ask but not sure if they actually do in practice - not really fancying taking the risk! Does anyone know if Vietnam Airlines ask for either of these before boarding?