Summer Travel Advisory & Tips for Nepali/Nepal bound passengers from Zen Travels/fly2nepal.com
(The original document, with better formatting, can be found at the original site, http://www.fly2nepal.com/useful-travel-information/summer-travel-advisory-tips-for-nepali-nepal-bound-passe.html)
During the last few weeks we have received numerous queries from families wishing to travel to Nepal during the summer. Many of the questions revolve around costs, schedules, and airlines flying into Kathmandu. In this advisory, we highlight the dates when the prices change in case you are able to adjust your schedule at work or school and take advantages of the slightly lower fares. We also answer basic questions about transit visas, transit routes, and highlight interesting facts about flights to Nepal. We are refraining from recommending airlines flying through India as many of our passengers still prefer not to fly that route. We will be updating this document from time to time during the summer, so please refer to our Nepal-dedicated site, www.fly2nepal.com.
As of this writing on February 27, 2007, all the major airlines flying into Kathmandu have announced their summer fares. If you book and purchase your fares now, your prices will be lower and you will be able to travel on the dates of your choice. Additionally, you will be able to choose the flights with the optimal connections. If you wait, it is likely that you will not get to fly on the dates of your choice and you will most certainly end up paying more.
Weâ€™re also giving you the high season dates for the major airlines flying into Kathmandu just in case you can schedule your holidays to take advantage of the lower fares.
As of this writing, Gulf Air is offering the lowest fares this summer. Once the lower cost fares from Gulf are sold out, the prices of Qatar Airlines and Gulf will be similar.
Best dates, fares & routes
Each airline defines its high and low seasons. Fares become expensive after June 14 because all schools close by this time, and families can travel together for a summer break. Although the first inclination is to think that the demand for flights to Nepal is lower due to the rainy monsoon weather, there is a high worldwide demand as all flights travel through Europe and the Pacific where the pleasant weather and holidays create high seasonal demand. For many families, like the Christmas holidays, this is the only time when everyone can take off from work and school.
Gulf Low season Up to Jun 13 High Season Jun 14 â€“ Aug 14
Qatar* Low season Up to Jun 13 High Season Jun 14 (see comment below)
Thai Low season Up to Jun 9 High Season Jun 10 â€“Jul 27
Korean Low season Up to May 31 High Season Jun 1-Jul 17
*Qatar has different high & low season fares depending on which airline is used on the Transatlantic sector.
Some tips to save on your travel
â€¢ Identify the dates that you can travel with your family and book your tickets as early as possible
â€¢ When you call your travel agency, try to be flexible on the departure and arrival. Rather than choosing only one day for departure, provide a range of 2-4 days to choose from. That way you can get better schedules as well.
â€¢ If you donâ€™t mind waiting at the airport, flights that have a longer layover are cheaper. This is an advantage to see a new city although for most countries a visa might be needed. This is not recommended for families with young children. Longer stopovers in Bahrain and Muscat come with a free hotel. Note, all airlines do not provide this service for economic class passengers.
Information about E-tickets to Kathmandu
In order to comply with a US government regulation requiring all airlines to issue e-tickets by later this year, Thai and Gulf Air have started issuing electronic tickets to Kathmandu. Yes, the Kathmandu Airport can process E-tickets and all concerned parties, including the police letting you into the airport, know about them. Although we understand you might still be concerned, donâ€™t panic, because we have already had several hundred passengers return without any problems.
Questions about transit visas:
Only a few countries require a transit visa when traveling to Nepal.
â€¢ All Nepali passport holders, including green card holders are required to have a transit visa while traveling through Hong Kong.
â€¢ If you have a valid visa on your passport to the United States or received permanent residency after 1998, you donâ€™t need a transit visa to fly through London. This includes all students, visitors, or H1 visa holders and their dependents. Note, your passport have a visa stamped. However, even if you are in good standing but your visa has expired in the passport, or you are traveling with an advanced parole letter, you cannot travel through London without a transit visa.
â€¢ If your transit time exceeds 12 hours, you are required to get a transit visa even if you want to stay in the airport. Transit visas are not required on layovers shorter that twelve hours.
Note: Transit visas are not required in Paris, Amsterdam, Zurich and Frankfurt.
For Americans and Canadian passport holders, transit visas are not required in any of these countries. A tourist visa can be provided on arrival at the Kathmandu airport. A tourist visa is required if you plan to get out of the airport in Delhi.
Observations about flights to Kathmandu:
It has been about five years since Singapore Airlines stopped flying to Kathmandu. Yet we still get a huge number of passengers requesting this airline. (This should be a goal for all of us in the services industries and any brand manager.)
Beginning June, Qatar has daily flights originating from Washington DC that flies directly to Doha and Kathmandu. The connections in both directions are excellent.
Austrian Airlines does not fly out to Kathmandu during the summer. In fact, Austrian will stop its operations to Kathmandu permanently at the end of May.
Thai has introduced a second daily flight to/from New York and Los Angeles. This means that outbound passengers from New York will not have to wait in the Bangkok airport for 17 hours. In fact, your transit time will drop to only four hours!!!
During the peak summer months, the prices to Nepal via Delhi are most likely to be similar, or more expensive than flying directly to Nepal.
Fares to Kathmandu in Korean Air will exceed the USD 2100 limit during the summer months so we donâ€™t expect many travelers through Seoul. Contrary to what you have been told, Korean Airâ€™s fares to Kathmandu are prohibitively expensive. Besides, from many markets, the transit times in Seoul exceed twelve hours. Summer fares on Korean average around USD 2000.
Hardly anybody has flown through Delhi. But many people either know somebody or have heard of somebody who had a bad experience on that route. Most passengers still donâ€™t like to travel through Delhi.
Questions about flying with children?
In the airline nomenclature, a child is between the ages of 2 and 11 and they pay 75% the fare of adults, and the same amount of tax as adults. Infants are under two years of age and they usually pay 10% of the adults but are not entitled to a seat unless they pay a childâ€™s fare. Airlines usually reserve a section (usually in the front) for parents with young children.
Questions about stopping over during your travel:
â€¢ Most airlines permit one stopover in Europe or Asia, usually at no cost. However, the taxes may increase by USD 50-100. Stopovers are generally not permitted within the US.
Are there any discounts for students and teachers flying to Kathmandu?
â€¢ Unfortunately our ISIC discounts are mostly for Europe. We do not have special fares to Kathmandu.
How much luggage can you take with you?
Unless advised otherwise, most carriers allow you to take 2 suitcases each weighing 50 lbs (23 kgs) each and one piece of hand luggage that can fit into the overhead compartment or under the seat.
Flights with only one stop:
Qatar WASâ†’DOHAâ†’KTM (begins Jun 1, 2007)
Korean LAX/WAS/ATL/JFKâ†’Seoulâ†’KTM (weekly)
Austrian WAS/JFKâ†’VIEâ†’KTM (terminates in May, 2007)
Routing information of major airlines from NYC, WAS, Dallas, and LAX
Dallasâ†’Frankfurtâ†’Muscat /Bahrain Kathmandu
Korean Air (*weekly flights to Kathmandu)
Korean Air flies from Seoul to Kathmandu every Monday, so expect to leave from the US Saturday night or Sunday morning, depending on which city you live in.
WASâ†’New Yorkâ†’Bangkok â†’Kathmandu
You can also read other travel related documents at www.fly2nepal.com
â€¢ Traveling the World with a Nepali passport
â€¢ Traveling through Delhi
â€¢ Will you need a transit visa? http://www.fly2nepal.com/useful-travel-information/do-you-need-a-transit-visa-2.html
For feedback or comments, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
This advisory has been prepared by Zen Travels and www.fly2nepal.com
as a courtesy for its Nepali/Nepal bound passengers. While we do our best to keep this information up-to-date and useful for our customers, as with everything else in life, changes occur that affect the accuracy of this advisory. For updates, please contact us through www.zentravels.com,