I have a roundtrip ticket from Los Angeles to Bangkok leaving June 20 and Returning Aug 29. From what I understand I don't need a Thai visa because I will also be traveling to Laos and Cambodia and therefore will not be in Thailand for more than thirty days consecutively. That's what the Thai embasy in Washington told me and that's what everyone says here. However, when I called the airline (Korean Air) they told me that because I have more than thirty days between my arrival and departure dates in Bangkok that I would need a visa or show a plane ticket leaving Thailand within thirty days to board the plane in Los Angeles. They suggested that I get a 60-day visa and cut my trip down to less than sixty days. They said that Thai Immigration would not take my word for it that I plan to travel overland into Laos and Cambodia within the thirty day limit, and so the airline can't take my word for it either. I know my intinery and length of trip are common. What do people normaly do in this situation. Any ideas?
#1 trippymctwist has been a member since 18/12/2006. Posts: 6
Don't know about other peoples' experience, but I have never been asked to show proof of onward travel when entering Thailand. tha airline, however, is within its rights to deny you boarding, as technically you do not have proof of onward travel within 30 days, and they would be responsible for flying you back to LA if you were denied entry.
You could buy a fully-refundable ticket from Bangkok to somewhere (anywhere!) leaving within the 30 days, then cancel it and get a full refund when in Thailand. Bit of a hassle, but would get round the problem.
#2 GussieG has been a member since 9/9/2006. Posts: 24
As GussieG says, technically the airline is correct. In practise, for years this rule has not been enforced, but there have been reports of it being enforced in haphazard fashion at some border posts -- notable the Poipet crossing from Cambodia.
That said there hasn't been a deluge of complaints from the thousands who continue to arrive without an onward ticket. Given that you do have an onward ticket, even though it is after the 30 day period, I'd say it was unlikely that customs would refuse you entry.
There's a number of ways you could mitigate the risks -- get a visa for Laos or Cambodia (or Thailand for that matter) before you leave the US -- in effect proving you're going there, or as GussieG says buy a budget ticket.