Before you #Wanderlust you might wanna read this…
Visa on arrival is a tricky subject. If you can obtain visa on arrival from a country then you don’t need to deal with websites that take a whole day to upload and wait 3-4 working days to obtain one. After having a recent fallout with Emirates Airlines (backstory – they didn’t allow me to board a flight to Cambodia where I, as an Indian citizen can obtain a visa on arrival), I decided that I would list out a bunch of airlines that don’t practice visa on arrival for Indians.
Fun Fact: I’ve personally called all these airlines on the list.
Airlines That Don’t Practice Visa On Arrival For Indians
Singapore Airlines – Called their offices and they straight up said no. Indians need to acquire an e-visa in order to travel to Vietnam, Cambodia etc.
Emirates – Don’t even get me started. They just opened direct flights to Cambodia and they don’t allow Indians to travel without an e-visa.
Etihad– They didn’t even want to give me an answer. The lady on the phone was super confused and told me to go to the airport and check. So I suggest you to get an e-visa anyway.
Cathay Pacific– They actually took time out to verify if I could fly without an e-visa and turns out I can’t.
China Eastern: They want you to first book the flight, give them the reference and then they’ll let you know if you can get visa on arrival. NOPE!
However Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways actually allow you to get a visa on arrival.
What’s The Catch?
- If your plane is transiting through Bangkok then you will obviously get a visa on arrival to Vietnam or Cambodia cause Thailand has got nothing on you.
- Likewise, if you’re travelling from India and your transit is through Thailand then you’ll get a visa on arrival at Phnom Penh, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia etc.
- If your plane is transiting through China then you’ll need an e-visa.
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Cambodia claims Indian citizens residing in UAE, US, UK or in India can obtain a visa on arrival at Vietnam, Cambodia and other places. You can reach out to them on +1 (202)-997-7031.
So my question is, what happens if I get a direct flight to a country where I can get visa on arrival?
I’m not quite sure why these airlines are not following what has obviously been granted by the ministry of these countries and what’s worse is that none of these airlines have an answer. It all falls back to a policy that doesn’t allow you to get a visa on arrival for Indians and I’m not quite sure why. In my opinion (and mine alone), if a country doesn’t have a problem with issuing a visa on arrival to you then you shouldn’t be stopped by an airline. Simple as that. Ask for a refund and get on board with another airline.
Hope this piece brought some clarity on the whole process. If you want to guest blog about your experience or want to add on to this piece with some relevant information then just drop me a message/comment.