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I am a Philippine passport holder. I will be flying from the Philippines to Cluj Napoca, Romania in the next few months.

To save money, my employer will be booking two separate tickets for my flight. So it goes:

  • Flight 1: Manila to Istanbul (using Ticket A) Phil Airlines.

    Claim Luggage, Lay over at Istanbul for 5 hours (not planning to leave the airport).

  • Flight 2: Istanbul to Cluj Napoca, Romania (using Ticket B) another airline.

My question is do I need to get a Turkish Visa or entry clearance for my transit at Istanbul?

I already have my Romanian Visa and Working Permit and all documents needed for my stay in Romania.

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    Both at Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST)? – hippietrail Sep 5 '16 at 14:48
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    Keep in mind that, it being 2 tickets, the connection is not protected. This means that if your MNL-IST flight is delayed causing you to miss the second flight, you/your employer must buy a new ticket from Istanbul to Romania. – EMotion Sep 5 '16 at 14:52
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    I've never heard of "another airline". Does it have a different name? – Michael Hampton Sep 5 '16 at 18:13
  • I am not sure of the Airline name yet, maybe Tarom. – ExpatPH Sep 5 '16 at 21:12
  • Why isn't your employer's travel agent or travel department sorting this out for you? They chose to save money by not booking a connecting flight, they should deal with the resulting issues. Connecting flights are a service that can cost extra, but shifts a lot of problems from the traveler to the airlines. – Patricia Shanahan Sep 7 '16 at 0:06
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For what you describe, you will need a Turkish Visa because with two separate Itineraries and Tickets, it's not a connecting flight and you are not a Transit passenger.

You have a flight from Manila to Istanbul. Then you have a flight from Istanbul to Romania. So, on arrival at IST, you will have to clear Turkish Immigration, collect your luggage, clear Customs, then check in and check your bags with the next airline.

Even if you don't check bags, you likely will still have a problem since Philippine Airline will only see you going to IST and should insist on you having a valid Turkish Visa, otherwise, they are technically transporting an inadmissible person.

This is how it works pretty much everywhere, not just IST. Travelers from certain countries, France for example, can do this since French Passport holders can travel to Turkey visa-free. Philippine Passport holders cannot.

There is one possible scenario where this will work:

  1. Philippine Airlines has an Interline Agreement with your onward carrier that includes baggage.
  2. Philippine Airlines will accept proof of onward travel in lieu of a Turkish Visa because of point #1 and can link your records.
  3. Turkey's pre-flight electronic manifest screening allows Philippine Airlines to board you without Visa information because of point #1 and point #2.
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    This is not necessarily correct: as long as you can show proof of an onward flight, Philippine Airline can recognise OP as a transit passenger and let him fly. That's how it works for China. – mts Sep 5 '16 at 15:42
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    Actually, I was going to point that out, but it's highly dependent on the check-in or gate staff at Manila and possibly some very specific policies withing Philippine Airlines. Airlines tend to be on the cautious side when it comes to travel docs. – Johns-305 Sep 5 '16 at 15:48
  • Reason for a downvote? I'd rather correct any errors. Totally unwarrented. – Johns-305 Sep 5 '16 at 16:27
  • Who are you replying to? That's the reason I said this would now work. – Johns-305 Sep 5 '16 at 17:10
  • So i guess i would need a Turkish evisa or visa because to pick up your luggage at Ataturk Airport, you need to go through passport control and there you need a visa. But since Romania is not part of the Schengen, i am not qualified for the e-visa. So i need to go to Turkish Embassy here in Manila, which is too much hassle. :( – ExpatPH Sep 5 '16 at 21:14
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From TAV

Transfer Passengers:(International Transfer Passengers With An International Connection Flight) A boarding card is issued for the passenger (if not issued in the country of origin) at the transit desk of the relevant handling company on the Arrivals floor. The passenger does not go through passport control. Instead, he/she directly proceeds through the transit area into the International Departures area. Baggage will be automatically transferred to the connecting flight.

No passport control means no visa checking, means no visa required.

  • However I am concerned by your Claim Luggage :)
  • It is not a connection, as it is a separate ticket. The first airline will have no idea that travel supposedly continues. – Aganju Sep 5 '16 at 16:55
  • The BusinessDictionary entry is incomplete to the point of being misleading or outright wrong. "Connection" or "Connecting Flight" has a specific industry meaning. The OP merely has two flights, one right after the other. – Johns-305 Sep 5 '16 at 17:14
  • This thread gives a couple of comments that people have done this showing proof of onward ticket: flyertalk.com/forum/air-france-frequence-plus/… . Upvoted – Berwyn Sep 5 '16 at 17:32
  • If it's a connecting flight, i understand that's the process. However, i have 2 separate tickets. So Flight 1 thinks my final destination is Istanbul and does not know that i have Flight 2 after 5 hours. – ExpatPH Sep 5 '16 at 21:17

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