transit in Hanoi (VN/KA to TG)

Old Dec 5, 09, 5:03 am
  #1  
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transit in Hanoi (VN/KA to TG)

Hi, visitor from LX Miles and More here.
I'm booked on TG565/970 HAN-BKK-ZRH but actually coming from HKG the same day. Fare was HK$7000 less!
I've been to Hanoi before but don't remember if transit pax need to clear immigration and customs, or can remain airside. The latter wld suit better since I can take a Dragonair flight arriving 1905 and stay in HAN just 1hr 20 mins. Can this be done?
cheers
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Old Dec 5, 09, 5:34 pm
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I searched FT and the net trying to find any information at all about doing a transit in HAN before my trip but found absolutely nothing.

You can read about my experience here:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/12518538-post328.html

I didn't though have any checked luggage and failed to ask the staff there how that would work. If you don't have checked luggage, or it's checked through, you shouldn't have any problems.

If you have checked luggage tagged only to HAN, and want to try it out, the staff did seem very helpful there, so they might be able to fetch your luggage for you and recheck it. A bit of a tip to the guy doing the legwork might make things go smoothly.

Please do post about your experience after trying it, so we'll have one more account of it for anyone wanting to do it in the future. I saw a number of requests for this information when researching my trip, but no answers. So it seems to be there are more than a few people wanting to do this.
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Old Dec 6, 09, 2:34 am
  #3  
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OK will do. In the end I booked the VN flight for HKG-HAN which means a 4 hr wait. Bit long, but better safe than sorry. I've searched here and other forums but seem to get different info everywhere. I think it's a lot more straightforward if the pax is on a same-ticket/carrier itinerary. As long as there's a semi-decent TG/*A lounge I don't mind... Will let you know. Cheers
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Old Dec 6, 09, 4:43 am
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The *A Lounge in Hanoi was re-done in 2007 I think, and is quite nice compared to what there was previously. It is upstairs from the main air-side holding area by the gates.

Some pics of the lounge here: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/8645806-post8.html
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Old Dec 19, 09, 4:46 am
  #5  
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transit in Hanoi - live and direct!

Now that I'm in HAN I can answer this query.

Transit in HAN is pretty straight-forward. There is a tatty-looking transfer desk just before immigration, and when I arrived it was heaving with pax going on to Siem Reap and only one person checking them in. As my TG flight isn't for another few hours I didn't mind waiting.

I had gotten a Vietnam visa just in case as I wasn't sure of the transit arrangements. According to KA website you need to clear immigration and customs for transit but this obviously isn't the case. However I was informed that a visa is required if you are transitting in HAN on an international flight that makes an intermediate stop in SGN, since immigration will consider you to be 'in Vietnam' during that domestic sector.

To answer my own question, yes I could have taken the later KA flight but as there was a lot of unclear info out there, I thought I'd play it safe.

BTW the THAI/*A lounge is shared with most other carriers operating here. It's basic but functional with 11 PCs, photocopier, fax, smoking room and reasonable-looking food and drink. It sure beats waiting in the main departure area which looks really depressing. Staff are quite cheerful too.

HAN is pretty good for cheap TG biz fares so worth a look for anyone who can put up with the extra (minor) hassle.
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Old Dec 19, 09, 5:19 am
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Glad it worked out for you. Did you have any checked luggage? If so, was it checked all the way through? If not, what was the process for handling transferring your luggage? It likely won't matter to me, as I probably wouldn't ever transfer or do a turnaround in HAN with checked luggage, but for completeness sake, it might be worth posting that information for others transiting in HAN.
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Old Dec 19, 09, 5:46 am
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Originally Posted by A_Lee View Post
...what was the process for handling transferring your luggage?
I'm travelling with hand luggage only, so can't comment. Actually I wanted to check-in at HKG for the HAN-BKK-ZRH sectors but TG's ground staff apparently can't access non HKG originating trips. I didn't enquire about this with VN so am unsure if they'd still thru-check luggage without the pax being checked-in too.

For anyone who's going to retrieve their bags at HAN, and check-in again, a visa is needed. There are stories of ground staff who'll bring it from the luggage carousel to you airside but it's not something I'd have much confidence in.
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