reifel
Topic Author
Posts: 1534
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 12:53 pm

Tricky Chennai Transit Situation

Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:00 pm

Hi There,

I hope that someone here can enlight me with what to do:

I need to travel from Dubai to Colombo. On the day I wish to travel, prices are rather high. I found a good deal with two tickets as follows:
-Ticket 1: Srilankan DXB-CMB-MAA (8 hours layover in CMB)
-Ticket 2: Jet Airways MAA-CMB

There are approx 3 hours transit time in MAA.

The routing may sound odd, but it's only slightly more expensive than other nonstop or boring options, and from an aviation point of view exciting to me.

As a EU citizen now comes the tricky part:

I read that I can remain in Transit without visa in India, as I am coming from a third country (UAE) transiting to another (Sri Lanka). Technically I would have never entered Sri Lanka before landing in MAA if I stay in transit.

How is arrival in MAA? Can I remain airside, just go to the Jet Airways transit counter and will not even need to deal with a passport check? Or do I need to pass some kind of passport check anyway which can cause travel as they would realize I come from CMB and will fly back to CMB which could make them think I am not travelling from a country to another through india (but actually coming and flying back from the same country, thus needing a visa)?

And if a TWOV is not available, I can always get a transit visa for 12 EUR or so in advance, but there again they could consider I am not transiting from Country A to Country B through India, right?


Next scenario:

Since I have 8 hours transit in CMB I am planning to short check my bags to CMB and pick them up there to put them in a luguage storage at/near the airport or already check in in my hotel close to the airport, which I would use the same evening after coming back. However this would lead me to officially enter (and reexit) Sri Lanka and showing passport stamps, which would make the India transit scenario even more difficult, right?


The best thing would be the possibilty to do a TWOV and just remain airside (i.e. like in FRA) without the need to pass immigration. Can someone confirm this is possible?

Because then I just wouldn't get any visa for India at all, and I guess i shoud be fine when checking in in Dubai, too, as I can show a onward ticket the same day out of india.


Thanks a lot for your opinion.
 
MEA-707
Posts: 3666
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 1999 4:51 am

RE: Tricky Chennai Transit Situation

Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:57 pm

I had an easy transfer in Chennai... they look at your passport and tickets though. But I had a straightforward Jet Airways CMB-MAA-BRU ticket.
If you have a one way ticket you can just go landside at CMB with all your luggage and skip the rest of the flights; either report or not to the airline that you won't show up for the CMB-MAA leg. Or do you want to fly these sectors for fun? (A good reason, I always do complicated multi stop routings). If this routing is part of a cheap R/T package you can for sure explain the officers at MAA. But if it's pure a joyride CMB-MAA-CMB they might be suspective. SriLankan is probably careful, they won't let you fly to MAA if it wouldn't be possible without advance visa as they have to take care of you if you are refused entry. So as soon as you are off the ground you'll probably manage the transit just fine, maybe after some explaining and showing your full itenerary here and there (also bring prints of your hotel bookings and flight leaving CMB for further evidence).
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
 
DTWLAX
Posts: 655
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 4:19 pm

RE: Tricky Chennai Transit Situation

Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:25 pm

Quoting reifel (Thread starter):
I need to travel from Dubai to Colombo. On the day I wish to travel, prices are rather high. I found a good deal with two tickets as follows:
-Ticket 1: Srilankan DXB-CMB-MAA (8 hours layover in CMB)
-Ticket 2: Jet Airways MAA-CMB

If you wish to travel from DXB to CMB, why is Srilankan (Ticket 1) giving you a ticket to MAA? That too with a connection in CMB? Does not make any sense.
 
reifel
Topic Author
Posts: 1534
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 12:53 pm

RE: Tricky Chennai Transit Situation

Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:29 pm

Thanks for your replies so far.

Quoting DTWLAX (Reply 2):
If you wish to travel from DXB to CMB, why is Srilankan (Ticket 1) giving you a ticket to MAA? That too with a connection in CMB? Does not make any sense.

Well I guess it's the yield management from the airline. If I try to book a DXB-CMB nonstop flight, they're rather expensive, since only EK and UL fly these routes and people are willing to pay more in order to fly nonstop rather than connect somewhere in the Gulf or India.

However, if I try to book DXB-MAA, UL is offering way cheaper fares than taking only the DXB-CMB leg, as they fierce more competition on the sector and would be not competitive if they would charge the same as they would to fly only the DXB-CMB leg. It's silly, but in the end it means that a guest flying one leg more would pay less than the guest flying only the first leg.
Same goes for MAA-CMB. There is fierce competition there, and therefore prices are low.
That's why in the end - at least on my specific traveling date - it is not much more expensive to buy 2 tickets and have 2 flights more.

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