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Visa on Arrival and tight connection?

Phoenix, Arizona
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51 posts
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Visa on Arrival and tight connection?

Good Afternoon,

As our trip to Tanzania approaches next week I am curious what your thoughts are on booking a tight connection flight in DAR with Precision Air to Arusha at 16:30. We are to arrive DAR from Dubai around 15:00 hours. The flight load is half full on the 777 and we likely could be some of the first people off the plane and high tail it (not opposed to actually running) to the visa desk. We have no luggage checked luggage, just standard roll aboard bags. We are thinking with this set up, plus doing an online eticket check in with Precision that we might have a shot at making that 16:30 flight rather than wait around until 1900 for a flight to JRO. I have also heard filling out an online form is an option to maybe expedite the visa process as well. Not real sure how that works as I just read something about that option.

With all of that mentioned above, could we have a shot at making this flight and avoiding wasting 4 hours in DAR airport? Thank you all for any sort of advice you can give on this scenario.

nyc
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1. Re: Visa on Arrival and tight connection?

Suggest you print out blank application and complete by hand.

Believe the complete online is for submitting to Tanzania Embassy or Consular offices.

Also doubt at the DAR Visa window the agent will have access to an online form.

Otherwise, if half-full 777, no checked bags and if quick to the Visa window, you should be okay.

Don't hesitate mentioning to flight crew you have short connection so they might allow you to deplane first ... doesn't hurt to ask.

Phoenix, Arizona
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51 posts
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2. Re: Visa on Arrival and tight connection?

Thank you for your input! So just to verify that blank application, that form is or is NOT passed out on the airplane? I think we could make this work as I went as far as looking at the average mid afternoon international arrivals into DAR and it looks like Emirates is the only one arriving at that time. I would be worried if multiple wide bodies got in around the same time, but since it appears that is not the case I think we can make this happen. Unless any others with experience have significant doubts about this game plan.

I also would hope the cabin crew would try to get us close to the exit door prior to arrival. I generally introduce myself to them as I am other airline staff and my wife is a medlink doctor who is contracted by Emirates for inflight medical advice. If those two traits do not help get a bit of extra attention, well then it was not meant to be!

Finally, is Precision Air out of the same terminal or is there a terminal change required? Just want to have a realistic idea of how difficult it will be to get to the check in desk once we come running out of the arrivals process.

Thanks again!

Sydney
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3. Re: Visa on Arrival and tight connection?

My personal opinion based on experience is that you may regret having a tight connection. If and thats a big if, everything goes to plan and your Emirates flight is on time, you get through immigration quickly and get to the precision counter well before their 40 minute check in closure time then great. Once the plane has parked you will need at least 15 mins to get through all checks, hopefully no other plane has landed at the same time, if so it will be stressful and busy. Book your Emirates seat close to the front. First and Business class are out first and sometimes this takes a short while and you must wait for them to offload.

Getting to the Precision Counter. Basically same area/building as your arrival.

When you pass via immigration, you then proceed through customs. Take a sharp right turn and do not go out the glass doors. Follow the corridor to the domestic X-rays, this will save you some time, esp if people are queuing up outside having their passports and tickets checked. Once through X-ray, precision is directly ahead.

My experience with Precision over a long period is that they WILL give away your seat if you are not at check in at latest 40 mins before flight departure (esp if its a full flight as they always overbook). They show no mercy. You may be lucky and then be able to check in directly for the later flight, hopefully not also full.

Hope this helps

Findlay, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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4. Re: Visa on Arrival and tight connection?

If it were me, I would try it and see what happens. In most cases you will be fine if you do an OJ off the plane and get to the visa window at Passport Control quickly (and I think you will be able to sweet talk yourself into getting off the plane quickly).

Just know that Precision, which is in the same terminal as you will be landing at, does get touchy on being early to the flight.

And if all fails to get you onto the Precision flight, you will just wait until the 1900 flight and get your ticket changed to that flight. Since you will most probably be in the departure area, if you have to wait, go to the first class lounge (you can either buy your way in or use your staff ID and they will most probably allow you in) and it will make it a more comfortable wait in air-conditioning. You can probably use your staff ID to get Precision Air to get you a pass to get into the first class lounge. It's not all that great, but it is the best place there.

Edited: 8:10 am, April 23, 2013
Phoenix, Arizona
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51 posts
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5. Re: Visa on Arrival and tight connection?

Got me laughing with the OJ reference! That is the game plan I think. We really would like to at least give it a shot and worse comes to worse pay the no show/change fee of $30 or so and take the JRO flight at 1900.

So just to make sure I am understanding this right. As long as we are checked in online, and we have our boarding passes already printed out, After the arrivals formalities, we can just proceed straight to security and by pass the ticket counter just as one would do in any airport in the US for example?

Very good idea about the first class lounge and using my crew ID Karl! I did not even think that could be an option, but if plan A does not work out, then I will give that a try.

Thank you all once again for helping me with this decision.

Findlay, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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12,485 posts
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6. Re: Visa on Arrival and tight connection?

Actually you will pass by the check in desk. When you go into the departure area you enter at the check in desks and I think that even though you have carry on only they will check you in (I am rather certain), then you will go on to passport control again and pass by their desks and they will check you, then you go up some escalaters (which seldom work) and onto the departure floor with the gates. There you will go through an x-ray baggage check and into a waiting area at the gate. Typically for Precision you will then go down the gate stairs and onto the tarmac and walk to the plane and board. They will probably gate check your carry on, unless this is a larger aircraft. Total walking distance from the arrival area - 50 yards to the departure area, then perhaps another 30 yards to the gate waiting area, max.

7. Re: Visa on Arrival and tight connection?

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