With international travel, visa arrangements can be required for travelling from and to certain destinations. When a seaman has no required visa, it should be taken care of. But when there’s hardly any time to make the arrangements, you might want to start out checking the possibility for an “ok to board” arrangement.
Airlines are responsible for allowing passengers to board
Since the airlines take responsibility for the immigration of its passengers, the check-in officer has to make sure that the passenger will be permitted to enter the country of destination. If it turns out, that the passenger is not permitted to enter the country of destination, the airline will have to deal with the costs of repatriation, as well as other possible penalties. For this reason, airlines always check if it is ok to board with every single passenger.
Maybe your local agent can arrange a visa on arrival?
When a seaman has no required visa, perhaps your local agent could arrange a visa on arrival. In this case, the local agent has to contact the airline and he has to guarantee, that he will arrange the required visa and all other immigration formalities. Based on this guarantee, the local agent asks the airline to issue an “ok-to-board” for the travelling seaman. When this is all taken care of, the airline will inform the check-in officer, allowing the seaman to take the flight.
Make your arrangements before departure
But please beware, if a visa cannot be arranged on arrival, an “ok-to-board” cannot be issued. This means visa arrangements have to be taken care of before departure because if a passenger has no required documents, there can be some consequences:
- The airline refuses to board the passenger. In this case, the airline can refuse to refund the ticket, as it is the passenger’s responsibility to arrange all required documents before boarding the plane.
- The airline brings the passenger to the passenger’s destination, but on arrival migration services prohibit the passenger from entering the country. Now the airline has to fly the passenger back and the passenger will not be refunded for his loss. If, by any circumstance, you consider or need an “ok to board”, please ask your local agent to arrange it. Do not forget to send them the seaman and flight details, along with your request.