AirAsia passenger reveals ‘expensive mistake’ affecting Aussies

The easy-to-make mistake meant this Aussie was refused to board their plane.

A frustrated traveller has been left out of pocket after being refused entry to their AirAsia flight to Vietnam because of one simple mistake.

The Aussie was travelling from Bangkok to Japan, with a stopover in Hanoi, Vietnam, but was denied entry to their first flight because they did not have the right visa to board the plane.

"I had thoroughly searched online to make sure I didn’t need a transit Visa if I had proof of ongoing travel and could transit through but the lady was adamant that I couldn’t do that with AirAsia," the person shared on Reddit, seeking advice on whether this was correct.

"Ultimately [I] gave up arguing with her and purchased a last-minute $450 direct flight".

Image of person holding Australian passport on left. Image of tourists in Vietnam on right.
An Aussie was not allowed to board a flight to Hanoi after they turned up without a Visa, even though it was a stopover. Source: Getty

What happened here?

Rather than going direct, the person was originally flying with AirAsia to Hanoi, where they would have a two-and-a-half-hour layover before getting on a Vietjet flight that would take them the rest of the way to Nagoya, Japan.

When organising this trip, they had bought two separate tickets, which meant they would not be progressing straight through to the transfer area of the airport, and instead would need to go through immigration, collect baggage and then re-check in for their new flight.

Vietnamese government states Australians need a visa approval letter, which will be stamped upon arrival at a Vietnam international airport. There are almost no exemptions.

Some noted online that low-cost carriers like Vietjet and Jetstar are less likely to transport you without a visa, even if you will be transferring, which could have also contributed to the situation.

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Others shared their own similar experiences

Many told the poster not to be too hard on themselves, as it was an easy mistake to make, and even shared their own travel mistake stories.

"Painful and expensive lesson, I've gone through the same thing but to make it [worse] the first airline let me fly to Hungary— so I was stuck there and they wouldn't let me fly to the next one (UAE) as I didn't have a Transit visa for UAE. Ended up having to pay $600 for another flight just so I wouldn't miss my last flight," one said.

"This happened to my American friend going from Japan to Bangkok via Hanoi on Air Asia. He also thought he didn’t need a visa for transit, was denied boarding, and had to buy a different flight. I guess AirAsia is just different because I flew the same route as an American on a different airline and I didn’t have any trouble," another replied.

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