Having visited Vietnam and Indonesia recently the most irritating part of the trip was the process I had to go through to get a visa for either country.
I have to say that I reckon that visas to most countries have very little do with security and immigration but are more a very nice cash raising activity by the relevant governments, but that’s another story!
I was delighted though to hear recently that Garuda has launched onboard visa processing facilities on all direct flights from Sydney to Jakarta, allowing passengers to fast track through immigration, avoid currency exchanges and notorious airport queues. Yes – go Garuda!
How it works apparently is Garuda passengers will have their visa processed by immigration officials onboard the aircraft and payment will be processed when checking-in at Sydney airport, which is awesome and well done Garuda and the Indonesian Government for introducing such a service.
I look forward to hearing that other government are going to do the same, but I suppose I might be hoping for too much that they drop the fees as well – ah well, I can dream – at least the process is getting easier
Industry Insider Commentary and Opinion by John Alwyn-Jones, e-Travel Blackboard Special Correspondent (eTravelBlackboard.com)
Indonesia’s flagship airline, Garuda Indonesia has launched its unique service, offering visa and immigration on board to inbound tourists and other visitors from as many as 63 countries.
With this special service Garuda passengers will save time on arrival at Jakarta airport, instead of standing in the immigration lines, by just walking out through immigration showing the stamped passport to the immigration officer at the exit.
Immigration officers onboard Garuda plane, during the flight, process their visa issuance and immigration and stamp the passports.
Tourists and visitors are required to just purchase the ticket from Garuda’s main office in Dubai or airline’s designated GSAs across the UAE and board the plane.
The visa on arrival is only intended for tourists who are visiting Indonesia, and not for expatriates intending to work and live for an extended period of time.
These visas will be sponsored by friends or family members of visitors flying to Indonesia to visit them for a certain period.
The cost of a tourist visa for 30 days is $25 and the visa fee is paid in cash, not through credit card or any other mode of payment.
Tourists from the UAE are required to hold their passports with residence visas, valid for at least six months. Garuda has a fleet of 68 Airbus planes and operating from Dubai to Amsterdem via Jakarta. The airline is expanding fast and will increase number of flights from Dubai keeping in view the passenger load.
Garuda and Indonesia’s tourism and hospitality sector have joined hands to promote tourism in the country and offer attractive packages to visitors from the UAE and other countries from where Garuda operates.
Indonesia is a country that has over 17,000 islands, which are a source of attraction for tourists. Countries included on Garuda’s list are:
Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brasil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Laos, Latvia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Panama, People’s Republic of China, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Surinam, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, USA.
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