I'm planning my travel to Nepal for this Christmas holidays.

I'd like to book a ticket for an internal flight so I jumped on some local airlines websites.

I found out that is a common policy to differentiate prices for Indian and Nepalese citizens from all others.

For instance Buddha Air, for the same flight, asks 99 USD for foreigners picture with Sat 17 Dec, USD 99
and about 29 USD for locals
picture with Sat 17 Dec, NPR 4003
(Difference: locals gets 15+5kgs, foreigners get 25+5kgs; I'll travel with 10/12 kgs so I don't mind.)

With Nepal Airlines seems even impossible to book a seat if you're not Nepalese or Indian picture with booking page for Nepal Airlines showing only the nationality options of Nepalese or Indian

What sort of rule is this? Is it related to the Nepalese airlines very bad reputation? Is there any way to get a discounted ticket as a tourist? Can local agencies make some kind of negotiation?


1 Answer 1


This is reputed to happen all over the world and mostly less open.
And airlines do this because they can get away with it.

Can you as an international traveler not afford $US 100? For the locals their $30 may well be a months income.

You can of course ask any local travel agency whether they can book the cheaper fare for you, but do check that you can legally get it as a foreign tourist. It may well be that the country does pay towards their citizens travel and will not allow foreigners to travel this cheap, or it may be (hidden) taxes which locals do not need to pay but which foreigners do pay.

  • 3
    "Can you as an international traveler not afford $US 100?" I've never understood this point: as a tourist, I chose your country for my holidays, why you've to rob me? If a Nepalese pays, let's say, 2USD for a meal in a restaurant, why a tourist should pay 20 USD? If the meat for a steak for a Nepalese person costs 1USD, still costs 1USD for me! Am I supposed to repay them for the fast-fashion industry cancer?! Plus, also Bhutan, Bangladesh, ecc. are poor countries, why no discount for them? Your point about tax-supported fares would be interesting but I can't find anything about that.
    – Matte.Car
    Dec 18, 2022 at 9:39
  • 4
    I always feel that people from rich countries should not complain if the local prices are well below what they would pay at home but higher than the locals pay. Most locals will not eat in a restaurant where the meal is $20, they will go to the places where you can eat for $1. Those few citizens (relatively speaking) who can afford the higher prices will likely travel first class, to be seen to spend the money they have.
    – Willeke
    Dec 18, 2022 at 9:43
  • 2
    It seems that that rule was set to be scraped, but nothing changed apparently Dec 18, 2022 at 11:37
  • 2
    Sorry, this feels more like a moral justification for hire prices but it's not actually answering the question.
    – Hilmar
    Dec 18, 2022 at 12:34
  • 3
    The actual answer is 'because they can get away with it'. But that is very thin.
    – Willeke
    Dec 18, 2022 at 12:39

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