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BANGKOK 22 July 2019 02:49
MacBookJoe

Girlfriend has UK tourist VISA. Can we travel to the UK with separate flights?

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My GF has a tourist VISA for the UK, and I'm looking to go back in September. Are we able to buy a single flight to Europe, say Holland or Norway, and then fly directly (on another single) to the UK, or does our initial and only ticket have to have the end destination of the UK? I've read about the transit VISA but I'm not sure how or where to apply for this, and if it's needed. If we book the direct flights from Bangkok to Manchester, they will transfer our luggage and she will not need to go through immigration but with single flights (so much cheaper in this case), we will need to grab our bags and check into the next flight.  

 

I've been reading up on this but I'm a bit lost, this is my first time bringing my GF back to England and it's only for a few weeks. I'll be with her on the journey if that or my passport helps in anyway? Any advice is greatly appreciated. 

 

Thanks,

 

Joe

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Yes, in theory she can travel to the UK on her own, via Europe, in the way you describe but there are dangers.
Carriers will more than likely want to see a visa if she is using a single ticket to travel to Europe, she may be planning to travel to the UK, again on a single ticket, but as far as they’re concerned she’s a single Thai lass traveling on a one way ticket, there’s a strong chance they’d not let her board the flight, they are liable for a fine, the cost of returning her to Thailand as well as any detention costs, if the European Immigration authorities decide she’s not properly documented.
If she makes it to Europe she will more than likely have a problem flying to the UK, even with Visa.
There’s no actual requirement to have a return ticket for the UK, but she must demonstrate that she has the means to return home and intends to do so.
She could get a transit visa for the Schengen Area, but she would need to submits confirmed tickets from Thailand to the UK, via whichever State she decides, and of course the return leg.
Traveling alone is probably the easiest part of your question, of course she can, if she is confident enough to stand up to questioning by Border Force Officers about her travel plans and her flights home, there is no need for you to be there, people do it all the time.
I personally wouldn’t route her the way you suggest, I think the dangers she faces outweigh the cost savings.


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Posted (edited)

If I understand what you're saying correctly (tell me if I've got it wrong) when you talk about 'separate' flights, you mean two separate flight bookings - one to a destination such as Schiphol (Amsterdam) then a separate flight from there to the UK but with the two of you travelling together. Your concern is over the transfer of baggage and whether your girlfriend would need a (transit) visa.

 

I have to say, I've never heard of getting two separate bookings being cheaper than an end-to-end 'single' booking but if you've checked all the flight options and that is indeed the case then fair enough.

 

The problem is, as you say, that your bags will not be checked all the way through. If you make two separate bookings, your bags will be offloaded at the end of the first flight (in Amsterdam, for example) and someone will have to go through into the baggage claim area, get your bags and then check them in for your next flight to the UK. I've had this issue twice, not because I chose to use two separate bookings but because there was no way to get a single booking for the route I was taking and if there are two separate flight bookings with two separate airlines, there's no way to get the baggage checked all the way through (or so I was told, each time).

 

Your girlfriend does not need a transit visa just to change planes in Amsterdam but she would need a full Schengen visa to leave the airport transit area, go into the arrivals hall and claim her luggage because she would then be entering Dutch territory. Now, if you wanted to go out by yourself, collect the luggage for both of you and then check it in for the flight to the UK, you could (she could stay in the airport and check in for your onward flight) - but you might run into problems over baggage allowance. 

Edited by GroveHillWanderer
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20 minutes ago, GroveHillWanderer said:

 (she could stay in the airport and check in for your onward flight)

She would have to go through passport control to get to the check in desk. For the OP's idea to work she needs some kind of visa to enter the country where they are to get on their connecting flight.

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8 minutes ago, youreavinalaff said:

She would have to go through passport control to get to the check in desk. For the OP's idea to work she needs some kind of visa to enter the country where they are to get on their connecting flight.

Are you quite sure about that? If you have no luggage, I think you may be able to check in for a flight at the transfer desk inside the airport. I'm fairly sure I've done that, when the airline wasn't able to give me a boarding pass for the second flight on my original check in.

 

You can also (for most airlines these days) check in online and having done so, just print out your boarding pass at an automatic machine inside the airport, using your passport.

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49 minutes ago, GroveHillWanderer said:

Are you quite sure about that? If you have no luggage, I think you may be able to check in for a flight at the transfer desk inside the airport. I'm fairly sure I've done that, when the airline wasn't able to give me a boarding pass for the second flight on my original check in.

 

You can also (for most airlines these days) check in online and having done so, just print out your boarding pass at an automatic machine inside the airport, using your passport.

I am sure. Yes. I think you are confusing things with the term "in the airport". There are no machines to print your boarding pass beyond passport control. They are in the airport prior to leaving the country.

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16 hours ago, youreavinalaff said:

I am sure. Yes. I think you are confusing things with the term "in the airport". There are no machines to print your boarding pass beyond passport control. They are in the airport prior to leaving the country.

In Schiphol there certainly are - I've used them. They're right next to the transfer desks and there's a sign over them saying "Self-service transfer." As I say, I've only used them when the airline wasn't able to give me both boarding passes at the initial check-in.  Now, I was already checked in for the second leg, I just hadn't got a boarding pass for it. However, if you've done an online check-in, it still might work.

 

Here's an image - it's a little unclear but you can actually see on the machine on the left-hand end, that it says, "Check In" on the screen.

self-service-transfer-desk-schiphol-450w 

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Taken from Schiphol Airport website.

 

"Most travellers at Schiphol have to pass through passport control, except those travelling to or from a Schengen country. However, you should always carry a valid passport or identity card when travelling by air."

 

 

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