8

I'm soon flying from Tbilisi (TBS) to London (LHR) via Doha (DOH) on Qatar Airways (because of a fare glitch - it's a single booking). As my passport is getting replaced, I will only have access to my ID card, with which I can exit Georgia and enter the UK, but not enter Qatar (which I don't intend to either)

Since Timatic says nothing about whether I need a passport simply to change planes at DOH, I called the Qatar Airways UK hotline, who told me I was fine to travel. I also gave the IATA travel centre a shot - it said I was good to go.

Unfortunately, Qatar Airways refused to send me a confirmation via e-mail, instead saying I should print the Timatic extract to show staff at TBS if necessary.

The problem is that Timatic says nothing about this specific issue, and in my own experience, most gate staff are reluctant to let you fly somewhere even for transit without a document accepted for entering that country.

So, what I need to know is who checks boarding passes at the gate at TBS, because I need to contact them to clear this up immediately

8

Apparently TAV Georgia is the sole ground handling agent at Tbilisi airport.

Regarding the actual issue: I called Qatar Airways's central hotline and explained my situation, whereby they put a note in the system "IN TRANSIT TO LONDON HOLDING A NATIONAL ID CARD. OK TO BOARD".

Despite having checked in online and printed my boarding pass, I went to the check-in desk 4 hours before departure to get a written confirmation to show gate staff, as I wasn't sure they'd have access to the system like the check-in staff.

After 30 minutes of bickering with a lady about whether I could travel, and insisting that she summon her supervisor, she eventually did. He checked the system for 3 minutes, eventually asking me "you go to London?" I said yes, whereby he said "wait" and called someone. Then, he printed out two fresh boarding passes and put a special stamp on the Tbilisi-Doha one (presumably similar to Ryanair's and Wizz's stamps indicating a non-EU passenger has been cleared), and told me I could go to the gate.

When I presented the documents at the gate, the agent scrutinised the stamped boarding pass for 20 seconds, before saying "OK, have a good flight".

That was the end of it - the rest of the trip was 100% painless.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.