I have booked three flights on American (2) and British Airways (1) to Oman, a country that issues its tourist visas only upon arrival at the airport in Muscat. Tried twice but unsuccessfully to obtain a tourist visa at the Omani Embassy in Washington but was told to purchase my visa in the Muscat International Airport.

How do I manage to board my three flights without an Omani visa in my passport? The two airlines have told me "no visa, no boarding of flights."

  • 4
    What country issued your Passport?
    – Johns-305
    Aug 19 '16 at 16:43
  • 3
    Did the airlines say that with reference to your specific flights and with knowledge of your nationality?
    – phoog
    Aug 19 '16 at 19:18

The check-in personnel are supposed to know which nationalities are eligible for visa-on-arrival, and thus not ask you for a visa. However, you can print out a copy of this page which shows which nationalities are eligible for visa-on-arrival and keep it with you in case the airline personnel ask you anything.

I once got asked to show my visa at Chennai Airport (India) while checking in for a flight to Australia. I was eligible for visa-on-arrival in Australia, but the check-in personnel apparently didn't know that. (I would guess that most of the people flying that route were either Indians or Australians, and that the person asking me might have been new or inexperienced.) By sheer luck I actually had something to show. As it happened, I had (unnecessarily) applied for an eVisa (which was instantly, automatically granted) online. These eVisas are purely digital. Immigration in Australia scans your passport and the visa information appears in their computer. I had actually printed the receipt email (which is actually not the visa, just a receipt.) I'm not sure if the person at the check-in knew that this was actually not my visa, but she accepted it. It was lucky that I had printed it and taken it with me. (Otherwise, there might have been the hassle of convincing them that I was eligible for visa-on-arrival in Australia.) Similarly, you can avoid some hassle by printing out the page I linked to above.

  • 6
    I've seen the check-in personnel be wrong before. Can be a hassle if you are not an assertive person.
    – CQM
    Aug 19 '16 at 18:45
  • 10
    This! Always bring documentation. You might not need it, but it will help speed along any discussion/disagreement.
    – miltonaut
    Aug 19 '16 at 18:46

Just remind them that citizens from your country get visas on arrival.

I had to do that at Changi airport on my layover on the way to Taiwan. They accepted it.

Get there early if you're really worried about it so they'll have time to check with a superior if they don't know and don't trust you.

  • Although there’s also the story of a colleagues whose Indian visa was deemed invalid by the airline staff because the passport number was incorrect (a zero instead of a one or vice-versa) hence Lufthansa didn’t let him board and although he insisted visa on arrival be possible they rejected him at the check-in. He came back rather grumpy.
    – Jan
    Aug 19 '16 at 16:33

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