Sri Lanka to Nepal - Indian transit visa?
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Nov 22, 2012 2:00 AM Last Post By: melchior
Nov 16, 2012 7:27 AM
I have read several threads on the question of transit visa requirements for india. It is tricky because every circumstance is different depending on particular flights and airlines.
I have tried contacting both Sri Lankan Air and Air India. They don't reply to online communication and they openly state that they don't know on the telephone.
I have a ticket booked through Air India which goes CMB - MAA (12 hours) - DEL (2 hours) - KTM
Flights: UL125, AI143, AI215
The CMB - MAA leg is run by Sri Lankan air.
From what I've read it depends on Sri Lankan Air passing off my baggage to Air India in Chennai (MAA). I assume this is done since it is booked as a single trip through Air India, but I would like confirmation. The Air India website specifying their interline agreements seem heavily focussed on american airlines.
I read about one guy being turned about away because 'chennai does not have transit facilities'.
This seems pretty crazy.
Has anyone made the Sri Lankan Air - Air India connection in Chennai to Delhi to Kathmandu without a transit visa?
Or, does anyone have an Air India contact that can actually help?
Nov 16, 2012 7:34 PM
1Yes, there are a couple of things to check on. First if the airlines have a code sharing agreement in which case transit can be assumed. Secondly, does Chennai airport have transit facilities to allow such. Please use google.com because my stock price is much depressed just now. It indicates that the latter question is yes..
Nov 18, 2012 8:58 AM
2I am actually planning to do this same trip in February. But I am flying Air India from Colombo to Kathmandu, so I believe the luggage handling should be reciprocal. I believe that if you are going to stay for less than 24 hours in the city, then you just have to wait at the airport in a waiting lounge. But I am still not sure whether this applies to all nationalities. I am traveling with a Costa Rican passport, and I am still trying to find out whether I need a transit visa or not.
Nov 21, 2012 2:03 AM
3I would say you would definitely be fine because you are flying with a single airline on a single ticket.
I am flying with two airlines who appear to be partnered, on a single ticket.
For example the IATA Site, which is the same information that airlines have access to when they are checking you, says the following:
"Passengers transiting only are exempt from holding a visa when:
Holders of confirmed onward tickets for a max. transit time of 24 hours."
This should be enough to get one on a plane, at least it would for a major airline and the rest is a matter of negotiating. The devil is however in the details. Sri Lankan Air could easily stop me boarding in Colombo on the basis that Air India might penalise them. They could also easily allow me to board under the IATA rules. There could be a friendly supervisor who says it is all ok or there could be a hardass afraid to rapped over the knuckles.
The official Indian Embassy statement on transit visas includes this gem: "However, a transit visa will be required in case the transit involves clearing and recheck-in of baggage on another airline (as in the case of travel to Nepal, Srilanka etc) as this will involve clearing Immigration before proceeding to the departure area for taking the onward flight."
The kicker is however that many people on thorntree and other travel forums have stated that they have travelled under slightly varying circumstances, along similar routes without a transit visa.
The key is whether your airlines will forward luggage for you, releasing you from the need to exit immigration and check in. In my case, I cannot find this out. Air India say they don't know. I can't get Sri Lankan Air to give an answer. I will probably get a transit visa just to be safe, but my passport is already filled with indian visas and I don't need more!
Nov 21, 2012 6:38 AM
4Very well put indeed. Delhi is known for its accomodation. But, we get fewer reports from other airports..
Nov 22, 2012 2:00 AM
5Surprisingly, Sri Lankan Airlines just wrote an email explaining clearly the answers to all my questions!
1. Reference to UL –check in officer , the baggage will be though checked in up to the destination due to International transfers.
2. The boarding passes will be given from CMB to the destination if the onwards flights are open for check-in.
3. Passenger will not require Indian Visa due to International transfers.
4. Yes. Have already updated in the booking.
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