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I have two tickets - Singapore to Sydney (Scoot), Sydney to Hawaii (Virgin Australia / Hawaiian Airlines)

I have no visa for Australia so I will not be able to enter immigration for counter re-check in. I will have no baggage. Transit is allowed without a visa within 8 hours of my journey, as long as I don't pass immigration.

Question: when I land in Sydney, can I stay airside and proceed to my next boarding gate with a digital check in / paper and get my boarding pass at the boarding gate? ANA site seemed to mention that this is possible (https://www.ana.co.jp/wws/au/e/asw_common/departure/airport/map.html?c=syd#anchor003)

I tried calling most airlines and unfortunately they don't have much information. Sydney airport keeps redirecting me to Virgin Australia which was not able to provide me any answer. Online check in with a digital boarding pass should be sufficient, right?

  • There is an international-to-international route at SYD, it is clearly sign posted. The turn off is before you enter the immigration hall. I will try to get a picture next time I visit. Assuming you can get to SYD, you won't need to go landside. – Calchas Jul 29 '17 at 15:23
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You must advise check-in/transfer staff at both Sydney and Singapore that you are utilising TWOV arrangements.

Airlines flying into and out of Australia utilise the Advance Passenger Processing system to determine whether you can board. If you advise them you are transiting and provide them the required documentation, they can enter your details into the system as a transit passenger. Otherwise, the system will assume that Australia is your final destination, and since you do not have a visa, will deny you boarding.

Here's an FAQ from the Department advising airline staff on how to process transit passengers.

  • This is great information! I think I can handle the Singapore check in with all these details to guide them in case they are lost! Much appreciated! Sydney transfer desk should be able to handle this, right? If I have an online boarding pass am I allowed to just go from gate to gate without checking in the transfer desk? Is there a reason why i need to drop by the transit desk? – Fernsie Jul 29 '17 at 13:55
  • In my experience, most check-in staff couldn't care less whether OP has a connecting ticket - if it's not in the same booking, it's not transit in their eyes. OP might be lucky though. – Crazydre Jul 29 '17 at 14:36
  • @Crazydre My experience is the opposite—JAL always like to annotate the first booking with details of the second; most other airlines (off the top of my head, BA/QF/AA) sort of say "oh right, carry on". But possibly low cost airlines may be different. – Calchas Jul 29 '17 at 15:20
  • @Calchas People I know have been summarily denied boarding on flights to Schengen, the UK and Russia, despite providing connecting online boarding passes (not just e-tickets), simply because of the bookings being separate. They didn't even have checked luggage, but were clearly told they're not getting onboard without a visa, end of story. Never heard anything about staff at Changi airport though, nor have I been there myself. It's possible they're more relaxed. – Crazydre Jul 29 '17 at 16:01
  • @Fernsie The Advance Passenger Processing system is also used for flights departing Australia. You will need to advice Virgin that you arrived in Australia under TWOV arrangements so that they can process you properly. If you already have a boarding pass for that flight be prepared to be called at the gate for a "documentation check". – k2moo4 Jul 29 '17 at 23:10
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As stated in Timatic, the database used by Airlines:

TWOV (Transit Without Visa): Passengers with onward tickets in Transit [...] for a maximum transit time of 8 hours.

"TWOV:ing" means not leaving the transit area, so yes, it is possible. E-tickets are valid for getting to the departures area directly, or there should be a transfer desk

That said, you're unlikely to get on the flight without an ETA or visa. Had the trip been in a single booking, then yes, but with separate tickets, most likely Sydney will be considered your final destination by check-in staff in Singapore.

So if you wish to embark on this trip, I emphatically recommend you to get a transit visa, which is free

  • Unfortunately creating a transit visa requires 20 days by my embassy because they would like to reroute my application to my previous residence country's high commission... so yeah. Was hoping that I can just show my ticket from Sydney onwards to Hawaii and that would work? – Fernsie Jul 29 '17 at 12:48
  • @Fernsie Sadly unlikely. Saw now that transit visas cannot be obtained through electronic registration. Maybe you can get an ETA - what passport do you have? – Crazydre Jul 29 '17 at 12:52
  • Unfortunately when I first registered for ETA my details were partially wrong so they couldn't correct it and I will have to apply on paper, to verify the corrected details as well :'( so much for a transit.. frustrating – Fernsie Jul 29 '17 at 13:38
  • @Fernsie There must be a solution. Call Sydney Airport at +61 2 9667 6111 and select 4 in the options menu - you'll be connected to the Department of Immigration and Border protection. Explain your situation to them and let them know that although you're connecting for less than 8 hours, because it's on separate tickets your airline will not board you without an ETA or Transit visa. I don't think they're open on weekends, however. – Crazydre Jul 29 '17 at 14:04
  • They are not open on the weekend and I need to change my flights by today... so no go and will have to gamble. You reckon k2moo4 solution might not work? – Fernsie Jul 29 '17 at 14:10

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