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I have made Sihanoukville, Cambodia, my travel-around-Asia operations-base for some time now. Now I need to travel to Europe and back... To save some cash on tickets, I will be going to the Thai border by bus, get a visa and fly with Finnair, then return back to Bangkok, catching a bus back to Sihanoukville.

It suddenly hit me that when returning I will be landing in Bangkok and it's my final destination. And I might be asked by Finnair when boarding for proof of onward travel even if I started my journey with them in Thailand. And usually bus tickets do not 'cut it'.

I have Lithuanian passport.

Do I need to get proof of onward travel for my return flight to Thailand, even though I am using the same company (Finnair) to do the round trip to my original destination?

  • What is the country of your passport? All travel-related q that involve border/immigration crossing need this. – Jon Grah Oct 31 '17 at 5:36
  • @JonGrah I have Lithuanian passport. – Matas Vaitkevicius Oct 31 '17 at 5:38
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The fact that you're using Finnair both ways doesn't matter. What flights you flew before don't concern them. What does concern them is that they run the risk of being fined and having to carry you back to the EU if your visa is denied. While Thai Immigration is a bit lax about such things, they're not entirely brain-dead. And Thai Immigration officers are some of the least nice people you can meet in Thailand.

Considering the cost of the VoA (60$, times 2, since you'll enter Thailand twice), you might want to look into going to Phnom Penh and buy a cheap AirAsia flight to DMK (~150$ but you'd need a VoA, so around 210$), or slightly pricier flight with Bangkok Airways to BKK (~220$). That would make your life much easier. Just transfer in BKK with PG, no visa, no hassle, and similar costs.

  • Hi, I already have tickets from and to Bangkok and flight is in a couple of days... I might consider flying back from Bangkok to Phnom Penh though... can't use Air Asia they overcharge on luggage and i will be bringing bag on comeback flight which is 'free' with finnair... + would need transit visa since AirAsia flies from Don Mueng and not Suvarnahumi... – Matas Vaitkevicius Oct 31 '17 at 4:34
  • It's not that bad actually price is ~95$ flightbooking.bangkokair.com/SSW2010/PGPG/… one way early morning flight (they do allow one check in bag bangkokair.com/eng/pages/view/baggage)... + 15$ to get by bus to Sihanoukville VS 30$ Visa + 28$ by bus + 10$ flyonwards fee... Not that big of the difference (~37$) – Matas Vaitkevicius Oct 31 '17 at 5:51
  • Flyonwards is apparently a scam. The VoA is back to 2,000 baht I believe, som more like 60$. So indeed you'll save yourself grief and money by just booking a return trip PHN<>BKK. – user67108 Oct 31 '17 at 6:13
  • I used flyonwards before twice and they delivered so far.. I will update in regards to visa cost, should still fall into low-season price.. – Matas Vaitkevicius Oct 31 '17 at 6:22
  • uk.trustpilot.com/review/flyonward.com – user67108 Oct 31 '17 at 10:17
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Do you need POOT?

The answer is you might. When you dont have a visa already prior to boarding, (VoA and VE) entry, then you are at higher risk of not being able to enter the country. And the airline is technically burdened with having to return you and/or get fined. This is why some airlines check sometimes.

In practice, it is rare to get denied entry on VE or VoA. If you have entered 6+ times with VE within 1 year period, Thai immigration computer might shoot up an alert. They may wonder if you are working illegally.

The solution is fairly simple: FlyOnward.com a very cheap insurance policy so to speak for your return leg.

Or buy the cheapest ticket to neighbor country via other means. edit: pay more for a changeable ticket or add travel insurance to give you option to reuse ticket or cancel and get money back or credit towards new ticket :)

Or get a visa ahead of going.

Or just go for it. But from memory 7 years ago, they did ask for it at the gate desk when flying from USA to Thailand on Delta I think. After seeing a non-immigrant visa and thinking for a few min, no problem.


POOT = Proof of Onward Travel
VOA = Visa on Arrival
VE = Visa Exempt [entry]

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    Apparently flyonward does not deliver anymore... uk.trustpilot.com/review/flyonward.com – Matas Vaitkevicius Nov 1 '17 at 23:38
  • Never used this service myself. I will ask around....but most likely I will strike this solution. But it is an awesome idea though. pay a deposit on a legit ticket and then forgo it later. Hopefully legit alternatives will come up. – Jon Grah Nov 2 '17 at 6:07
  • add: To be fair, they do have a refund policy. And since you are using paypal, you have a good chance of getting your money back if things go wrong. I will continue to investigate over the coming weeks since they are supposed to have office in Thailand. – Jon Grah Nov 2 '17 at 7:56
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    I used them two times early last year and they delivered both times... it seems they went rotten recently... – Matas Vaitkevicius Nov 2 '17 at 13:19
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Do I need to get proof of onward travel for return flight to Thailand even though I am using same flight company (Finnair) to do the round trip to my original destination?

So long as you get a multi-entry visa for Thailand (that allows you to enter via air as well as land - not all visas everywhere allow you to swap methods of entry) when you cross the border via bus, or can show that you are eligible for a visa at the border, you can show that to Finnair and that will suffice that you have permission to enter Thailand and thus do not have to show onward travel.

Airlines simply have to satisfy themselves that they will be conveying someone that can either enter the destination country (in this case Thailand) or can show onward travel that does not require entry into the destination country (eg visa-free transit).

In your case you say you will be getting a visa on entry into Thailand - so long as this covers a second entry via air or that you are a visa-at-the-border nationality, you will satisfy the airlines requirements for eligibility for entry into Thailand.

  • The OP is Lithuanian, and I gather he wants to get a VoA at the border. That's a one-entry visa. It would indeed be better to get a multiple-entry visa, but I'm not sure how that would be possible in Sihanoukville. – user67108 Oct 31 '17 at 4:14
  • @dda yup, hence my qualifications of "so long as this covers...". If they have the right visa, or they are visa-at-border or visa-free entry, they don't need to show onward travel, otherwise they do. – Moo Oct 31 '17 at 4:32

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