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esclub

Qatar Airlines Checkin and landing

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Just a comment for discussion really, but I landed tonight from London Heathrow first time on business class with Qatar after the last 8 years mainly using Emirates.

I must say, I was not overwhelmed with the flights, lounge and service in comparison despite many recommendations and I still prefer Emirates.

Anyway, the point of this post is that when checking in yesterday at London Heathrow (been a couple of years since I was in the UK) I was asked if I had a visa (I was on the return leg of a return business class flight from Bangkok) and an onward travel ticket. 

I have a Thailand Elite visa but I asked the girl why she asked as I had a British passport and technically don't need one and have rarely been asked for a visa and onward travel when checking in abroad in recent years )I travel extensively and regularly). When I am, a response of I don't need one usually suffices. The girl said "we have to ask, but I am new so maybe I am being over cautious". She looked at my Thailand Elite and confirmed all was fine. She also checked my Japanese girlfriends work visa which caused a lot of confusion but finally was OK'd.

 

I just wondered if this was a roll on effect from the recent Thai Visa issues that was now getting fed back to airlines outside Thailand who are now requesting onward travel and Visas and if this is now wide spread.

As I have the Thailand elite, no issue but as an oil and gas worker who travels extensively and regularly, I did question to myself What would have happened if I didn't have the Thailand Elite. I am currently waiting for a flight ticket for my next contract and don't expect to receive it till next week which, in the past has been completely normal for me.

 

Having boarded the flight, and then the onward flight to Bangkok from Doha I also noted that there was a very professional animated video before landing detailing the procedure to pass immigration in Survanabhumi done by AOT also detailing overstay fines and blacklisting for people overstaying.

Just wondered if this has been seen on other airlines.

 

I am certainly glad I invested in the Thailand Elite but had I not, this could have been a potential problem for me or others in similar positions.

 

No trolling please, this post is meant in good faith to highlight my personal experience and hopefully inform and assist others in similar positions only.

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Just now, esclub said:
7 minutes ago, richard_smith237 said:

Airlines are responsible for returning a passenger rejected by immigration. 

This is no issue if you have a return or onward ticket.

 

Immigration Rules also state that you must have a return or onward ticket if you don't have a visa. 

 

Airline check-in staff will commonly ask for your Visa status at the country of destination if you do not have a return flight - they are covering themselves and its SOP. 

 

The Airline check-in staff of some countries are more vigilant than others (i.e. Singapore & Japan). 

 

I regularly fly with Emirates, the check-in staff in Dubai commonly check for my Visa status. 

 

 

I don't think this has anything to do with an increase Immigration becoming less tolerant of frequent visitors - its just the Airline staff doing their job, these checks have been common practice for the past 10 years, but increased in frequency from about 5 years ago. 

 

Basically: if you had no visa you would have had to show proof of onward travel to the Airline check-in staff or purchase a return or onward flight ticket. 

 

 

 

Hi Richard, yes, well aware of all of this but as per my original post, I  have been flying regularly (twice a month, for last 20 years) and rarely been asked for either. Incidentally, I was also asked the same at Phnom Penh with Cambodian airlines last month when I went out to activate my Thai Elite Visa. I do believe the last time I was asked was also in Heathrow or maybe Gatwick flying with Emirates, I have been asked in Dubai but usually telling them a visa is not required for British passport (Visa exemption) is enough. Very often I have not been in possession of an onward travel ticket. Cheers.

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Any push back will begin with the airlines...

 

I wonder how long it will be before the first airline cancels a route to Thailand due to immigration issues not being worth the time, cost or hassle to the them?

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it is standard to ask for a visa or a ticket out of Thailand within 30 days of arrival for airlines flying from UK. been said on here countless times. emirates in all classes are better than Qatar, who have dropped standards in the last few years. at least we all know now you are an upmarket visitor to Thailand, one of the good guys in. its the bad guy, old guys, and broke guys that they want out

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5 hours ago, esclub said:

I was asked if I had a visa (I was on the return leg of a return business class flight from Bangkok) and an onward travel ticket. 

I don't know why you were surprised. You effectively were on a one way trip into Thailand and no return to the UK was on her screen. I often fly similarly on return tickets bought in Thailand, both Emirates and Qatar and am always asked if I have a Visa, I usually have the passport already opened at the re-entry permit in Manchester.

 

 

Edited by jacko45k
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back on topic... it's been my experience for years that airlines flying out of the uk to thailand have checked visas and tickets; to be honest it makes sense for them to do so as they are responsible if they bring ineligible passengers into a country.

 

imho qatar and etihad before emirates any day 🙂

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3 hours ago, ukrules said:

Any push back will begin with the airlines...

 

I wonder how long it will be before the first airline cancels a route to Thailand due to immigration issues not being worth the time, cost or hassle to the them?

Can´t see that happening. Do you think they would say no to a slice of the 40 million people that travel to Thailand every year, just because of a few returns that costly isn´t visible in their books?

On the other hand. Unfortunately Thailand are living on their mass popularity, and it would be nice if your thought would have a chance. Just to put them a little bit in place, and down from their high horses.

Edited by Matzzon
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Irrevelant post

Edited by Matzzon
Corrected

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2 minutes ago, Matzzon said:

Correct me if I am wrong, but you must mean "If you do not have a visa"?

Fixed 

Not enough coffee problem.

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3 hours ago, ukrules said:

I wonder how long it will be before the first airline cancels a route to Thailand due to immigration issues not being worth the time, cost or hassle to the them?

The requirements that airlines enforce now are shown on a IATA database or others sites that shows the requirement for entry to Thailand.

What the airlines should do is push back at immigration when a passenger meets the known requirements for entry and are denied entry for some bogus reason.

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8 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

Fixed 

Not enough coffee problem.

Hahaha! Not to worry. You are always in the know, and always have an answer to help people.

Just thought you wanted to fix it. 🙂 

Edited by Matzzon

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Edinburgh always checks for a Visa, normally asked how long are you going for? Do you have a visa, show them the visa and explain it's function, (90 days non-O ME presently). A couple of times the check-in staff had to call a supervisor to clear something on their screen.

Big smile and every thing is fine (look like a matter of seniority ). I'm generally flying economy, and get lounge access due to having Qatar Airways Silver Privilege Club membership. I've found them to be reliable and great value for money so far. 

 

It's some years since I used an Emirates business class lounge, the first one of their lounges I used was the one in Hong Kong, and they definitely set a standard to judge other lounges by...I have to agree.  (Before I have used them out of NCL-DBX-BKK before they started their service from Edinburgh, but actually used them quite a few times HKG-BKK-HKG)

 

Checking in recently at LHR T2 Thai airways on this trip (one way ticket), I thought I may be asked for a return ticket (which I had a print of), since I got a online check-in confirmation, rather than a boarding pass, but this was not the case, (had to use the  electronic self service terminal to get the boarding pass printed on the thin thermal paper like an ATM receipt) they just checked the visa..

 

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Qatar did the same to me, i had a multiple non-o....she even asked me when i wanted to return (it's on the ticket)....then she wanted me to show the visa while she had the passport....i told her it's in the passport so she handed it back and told me: Show me visa....i said it's on the last page, no you show me!  They are so rude.

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