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I'm planning to travel to Egypt this summer from San Francisco. As a poor student, of course I want to purchase a cheap ticket.

So here is the breakdown:

San Francisco (SFO) -> Alexandria (HBE): 592$

If I depart to an intermediate country:

Oakland (OAK) -> Stockholm (ARN): 241 (May 6) Stockholm (ARN) -> Cairo (CAI): 171 (May 7)

Total: 412$

This is a striking difference right? My question is: Is it acceptable for me to travel to Stockholm and just wait for the transfer?

Update: I'm sorry I didn't present my question clearly. I'm a non-US student on F1 visa, and I don't have a Schengen visa. The two flights from Oakland to Stockholm and Stockholm to Cairo are two separate ones (which mean that they belong to two different airlines). So my question is whether I could fly to Stockholm and stay during the transit without having to obtain a Schengen visa? Thanks!!

Update 2: I'm originally from Vietnam!

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    I am not sure I understand your question - why do you think it would not be acceptable? Are you asking if its okay for you to fly to Stockholm, wait at the airport there for a day, and then catch the flight to Cairo? Are you asking if you would need any further documentation/visas for this? – Burhan Khalid Apr 10 '16 at 7:02
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    Actually, there's an excellent and hard to answer question hidden in here: if you are neither exempt for Schengen short stay visa nor you have a short stay visa and travel A (non-Schengen)-B (Schengen)-C (non Schengen) how long are you allowed to stay at the transit area of airport B? You don't need a "Visa A" that's clear, but how long can you stay at the airport Terminal style? – chx Apr 10 '16 at 7:17
  • Also in case of delay of your first flight such that you miss the second flight, if it is on different tickets you will loose the second flight. – mts Apr 10 '16 at 8:18
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    Yes but you need to transit at Athens which means your situation is a Schengen-Schengen flight which is TOTALLY different! – chx Apr 10 '16 at 9:04
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I do not understand the problem but let's break it down. I presume you do not want to check into a hotel at Stockholm but rather want to wait it out in the transit area. I will presume you are a citizen of the United States. If this is not the case, things get more complicated. Citizens of the US are exempt from Schengen short stay visas so you are welcome to stay 90 days (out of any 180) in the Schengen area and so 1-2 days at the airport is just fine. Here's the sleeping guide to Arlanda.

Passengers who are not visa-exempt under the Visa Waiver Program and travel from the U.S. (or any other non-Schengen country) via the Schengen zone to another non-Schengen country do not need a visa if they do not leave the transit area of the airport. I do not know but I believe you are allowed to stay 48 hours in transit.

Edit: now we know that OP's question is a totally different situation as the important flight is ARN-ATH. That's an intra-Schengen flight and as such you are entering into the Schengen zone and you need a Schengen short stay also known as "C" visa. The other flights, one tickets or two tickets are just distractions and do not matter.

  • What if OP needs to re-check luggage and has to leave transit? – mts Apr 10 '16 at 8:17
  • Then let's hope OP is visa exempt... – chx Apr 10 '16 at 8:53
  • Update: I'm sorry I didn't present my question clearly. I'm a non-US student on F1 visa, and I don't have a Schengen visa. The two flights from Oakland to Stockholm and Stockholm to Cairo are two separate ones (which mean that they belong to two different airlines). So my question is whether I could fly to Stockholm and stay during the transit without having to obtain a Schengen visa? Thanks!! – Pemi Nguyen Apr 10 '16 at 8:53
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As a Vietnamese citizen, you need to obtain a Schengen visa (a normal transit visa) in order to transit through Stockholm.

There are two kinds of transit, airport (airside) transit and a normal transit. You need to normal transit visa since you need to enter the country, collect your bags and then board your next flight.

The airport (airside) transit visa is for those passengers that are coming in from outside the Schengen zone, and are transiting (changing planes) to continue their journey. Usually these travelers are on a single itinerary (ticket) and do not have to collect their bags.

Once you have this visa, you can stay at the airport, or at any hotel / accommodation in Stockholm till your next flight.

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