Travel Tips

We want your trip to go as smoothly as possible. Below you will find helpful information regarding your upcoming flight. Please read over carefully to ensure you are properly informed about security measures, required documentation, and passport validity. Failure to do so could result in denial to board aircraft.

How can I ensure a comfortable flight?

Flying is one of those activities that everyone has a love-hate relationship with. There are those who love the freedom of leaving the ground behind and embarking on their next adventure, and those that clutch to the seat in front of you, head held down until they arrive. Whether flying is a necessary mode of travel you’d rather avoid, or an amazing adventure you would like to embark on as often as possible, these tips can greatly enhance your experience:

Arrive 3 Hours Early
Especially if you are the kind of person who has a tendency to forget. Arriving 3 hours early will ensure that you will have enough time to go back and get all your important documents, in case you have forgotten them. You could also make a checklist of all items that you must pack when travelling. Documents at the top of the list. But do arrive early. Because it also means shorter, or no lines.

Travel Light
We cannot emphasize this enough. The size of the carry-on you are lugging around will greatly influence whether time spent in transit is a journey of discovery, or an exercise in carefully guarding your bag. Send everything that you don’t strictly need in your luggage, and use that transit time to make yourself happy.

Wear Clothes in Layers
You will be encountering a fair share of temperature fluctuations. With layered clothing, you are well prepared for the cold AC of the plane, as well as the hot and humid walk through the airport tarmac to the terminal during transit. Have a Document Holder
Keeping your travel documents; passports, ID cards, letters, hotel reservations, forms, all in one safe place will make your life much much easier. It is simpler to reach into one folder every time you need to show something to people in charge. If you have to empty out the contents of your carry-on every time you are asked for a piece of paper, well, that is the surest way to make life hell for you, and others behind you.

Eat a Decent Meal
Eating before going to the airport is a smart strategy for you and your belly. Not all terminals have good restaurants, and if you are hungry and there is a long line at security, guess who won’t be a happy camper? Also no overeating. Definitely budget for small treats such as coffee and snacks instead of waiting for the in-flight meals.

Have Distractions for the Kids
If you have kids, carry distractions. Games, books, crayons, and other activities for children will make sure they have a fun time, and won’t keep you from enjoying your book either. Of course extra diapers and food for the kids is also a great idea.

Make a List
A day before your flight, make a list of things you absolutely need , in addition to your documents of course. Things for your comfort include things such as a change of underwear, phone chargers etc. Also bring a travel pillow if you can. The comfort will be well worth the space.

Declare Your Dietary Restrictions
If you have dietary restrictions, make sure to alert the airlines in advance. Whether you are a vegan, Hindu, vegetarian, pescatarian, or any other type of human being with dietary restrictions, it helps to let the people in charge of food know in advance. Then you can enjoy your meal alongside the others, instead of fuming about how difficult life is for your kind.

Reconfirm Your Flight Time
Always reconfirm the time of your flight before leaving for the airport. This is very easy to do nowadays with helplines, and online locators, and there is no reason for you to spend an extra 4 hours at the terminal.

Documents In Order
Back to the beginning, but it begs emphasizing. When booking your ticket, make sure your passport and visas are in order. Many fail to check visa requirements for their nationality, and that could result in the cancellation of your whole trip. A quick check will save you a lot of pain.

Which airlines flying to Nepal have Boeing 737 Max-8 planes?

Some of our customers have been asking us which airlines flying to Nepal have Boeing 737 Max-8 planes in their fleet. The short answer is the following:

American, China Southern, Singapore, Jet, United, Turkish, flydubai

Since there is a global ban on this type of aircraft, you won't be flying them until the software glitch has been entirely corrected.

A number of Pacific and Transatlantic Airlines such as Qatar, Korean, Etihad may not have the 737 Max 8 that are currently grounded. Still, it is likely you may be on their US interline partners United and American when the fleet is cleared for takeoff.

For a complete list of airlines using the 737 Max Airlines, see the BBC article at https://www.bbc.com/news/business-47523468

This content of this article is correct as of the writing on 20 March, 2019. If this document needs to be corrected, please send an email to info@zentravels.com.

I am Nepali. Do I need a need a visa to travel to/via India?

Nepali passport holders typically do not need a visa to travel to/via India.

However, if a Nepali passenger is traveling to India with a transit in China, Hong Kong, Maldives, Macau, and Pakistan, an Indian entry/transit visa is required.

Please take this advisory very seriously.

A full version of the advisory is available at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, and the advisory is dated July 18, 2018 (Click here).

In case this rule changes and you find out about it before we do, please send an email to info@zentravels.com.

What is the difference between non-stop and direct flights?

Direct flights still make stops.

You know you don't want a layover, but did you know there's a difference between nonstop and direct flights? No? Well you should if you want your nonstop flight to actually be nonstop. If you want to get where you're going as fast as possible, book a nonstop flight.

These flights take off at your departure city and land at your destination without any stops. However, these are usually also the most expensive flights.

Direct flights, despite the name, will also take you from your departure city to your destination, but will make a stop elsewhere in between. Some people might get off the flight during this stop, others may get on, but a direct flight does not count as a connecting one as it will have you staying put on the plane. Direct flights, unless otherwise specified, will not have you leaving the plane, unless a plane change is required, though this will usually be noted somewhere, so check the fine print. These flights will be cheaper than nonstop flights, though usually still more expensive than connecting ones.

Despite having a stop, direct flights are called "direct" because their flight numbers do not change (even if the plane does). Connecting flights will always have two (or more) different flight numbers. Think of direct flights as buses: they still take you from A to B without huge detours, but will have an extra stop on the way. Occasionally direct flights will even have more than one stop, so always be sure to check before booking a direct flight. These kinds of flights can also be referred to as "through" flights, especially if they involve a plane change.

Another thing to know about direct flights is that frequent flier mileage is often based on the direct flight's numbers, not the specific legs of the flight. In other words, you may not earn the extra miles flown.

Travel search engines rank nonstop flights highest, followed by direct flights over connecting flights, as those are viewed as more convenient for passengers since you don't have to move. Airlines have direct, or through flights, to appear higher up in searches, as the single flight number makes those flights appear to be a direct, or even nonstop, thus competing with better flights.

So next time you're looking to book a flight, make sure to pay attention to the flight details.

Source: Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Business Insider. This article was publsihed on Sep 15, 2015 at Yahoo finance.

Do I need a visa if my plane has a stop in China?

If you are a Nepali passport holder with a flight to/from the US, that has a flight via India and has transits in any Chinese city, you will need to arrange a transit visa. Without a visa in advance, you will be denied boarding.

A visa is not required if you have a transit in China and you are flying directly to/from Nepal.

Which airlines have only one stop from US to Nepal?

Please see the chart below:











Airlines with one stop from the US to Nepal:
Airline Hub US Gateways
Air India (AI) Delhi (DEL), Mumbai (BOM) Chicago (ORD), New York (JFK)
Cathay (CX) Hong Kong (HKG) New York (JFK), Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Chicago (ORD), Boston (BOS), Dallas (DFW)
China Southern (CZ) Guangzhou (CAN) San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), New York (JFK)
Emirates/ Fly Dubai (EK/FZ) Dubai (DXB) Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), New York (JFK), Huston (IAH), Orlando (MCO), Washington DC (IAD), Dallas (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA)
Etihad (EY) Abu Dhabi (AUH) Chicago (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX), New York (JFK), San Francisco (SFO), Washington (IAD), Dallas (DFW)
Jet Airways (9W) Delhi (DEL), Mumbai (BOM) Newark (EWR)
Korean (KE) Seoul (KE) Atlanta (ATL), Honolulu (HNL), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), Washington (IAD), New York (JFK), Houston (IAH), Dallas (DFW), Chicago (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX), Las Vegas (LAS)
Qatar (QR) Doha (DOH) Philadelphia (PHL), Houston (IAH), Dallas (DFW), Chicago (ORD), New York (JFK), Washington (IAD), Miami (MIA), Atlanta (ATL), Los Angeles (LAX)
Singapore (SQ) Singapore (SIN) Los Angeles (LAX), New York (JFK), San Francisco (SFO), Houston (IAH)
Thai (TG) Bangkok (BKK) Los Angeles (LAX)
Turkish (TK) Istanbul (IST) Houston (IAH), Chicago (ORD), New York (JFK), Washington (IAD), Boston (BOS)

You may be denied boarding if there is less than six months remaining on your passport validity.

If you are traveling to Nepal with an American passport, you must have at least six months validity remaining on your passport otherwise you may be denied boarding.

For Nepali passport holders returning to Nepal, this rule does not apply. Nevertheless, we strongly recommend that you get a new passport if the validity period is less than six months.

Although this is a practice started at Dubai, other airports are also following it.

Enhanced security measures in Dubai requires your cell phone to be charged.

All those travelling to USA, Canada and the UK are required to switch on their electronic devices at the Dubai International airport or risk being denied access to fly. Please ensure that your electronic devices have sufficient power before reaching the airport. This is part of enhanced security measures required by the authorities of these countries.

Although this is a practice started at Dubai, other airports are also following it.

Purchasing US-bound tickets in Nepal

An increasing number of Nepali relatives visit the US each year, and Zen Travels has made ticketing arrangements for many of them through our Thamel office. We realize that the safety and comfort of your relatives is as important to you as the price of the plane tickets, probably more. Although shopping for an inexpensive ticket is an always an important consideration, we also provide a few tips to help you avoid paying exorbitant fees later if you have to extend their trip or change travel dates.

Here are some questions you should ask your travel agency apart from the common routing and pricing questions.

How long is the ticket valid?

Some tickets have a very short validity, which means that you cannot extend the ticket beyond two to four months. If the return dates are certain this might not be a concern at all. If you are not sure when your family members want to return, look for tickets that have either six- or twelve-month validity so that you have the option of extending the trip.

What is the cost to change the return dates?

This should be factored in because the cost to change the dates range from zero to USD 400, plus any airline surcharges.

Are the tickets refundable?

Some tickets are non-refundable after the outbound portion has been used, and those tickets that are refundable lose almost 70% of their value for a return refund.

What is the cancellation charge?

This is always good to know in case something unexpected arises.

What are open return tickets?

Having an open return ticket does not confirm your return. Even though you have a ticket, airlines may be overbooked during peak times – especially Christmas, summer holidays, and Dashain, and that’s probably the time you want to travel.

What is the baggage policy?

Many flights have started permitting a single checked-in luggage. If the price between a flight that permits two luggage is a few dollars more, and if luggage allowance is a primary concern, it might be better to pay a bit more, as some airlines charge as much as USD 200 for the second checked-in luggage.

Tips for selecting routes and airlines

-Take a highly reputable airline to minimize the chance of delays and cancellations along the way, which would further complicate the journey.

-Take flights with fewer transit points and no more than four hours of layover in transit if possible.

-Arrange the flight so that someone is there to meet your relatives at the port of entry, or be there yourself.

-If your relatives need a travel companion, fly through one of the more popular routes so that your relatives are able to find other Nepali passengers.

-Each airline has its own routes and schedules. Request the travel agency to explain the routes in both directions, as some airlines have very indirect, long layovers or complicated routes on the return.

-Make sure that you have the appropriate visas for transit – mainly if your travel occurs through London and Hong Kong.

Flight service

Some airlines have meet-and-greet options which would provide an escort-like service along the journey. For elderly and disabled passengers, wheelchair service can be requested. Request any special meal needs in advance, such as vegetarian, Hindu, or low cholesterol.

At the port of entry (first stop in the US)

Allow a minimum of three hours before a connecting flight in case there are any complications with immigration or customs. Even if your relatives do not have a problem themselves, other passengers may have issues that create delays for everyone else.

Prior to flight

Ensure that the passenger has all your contact information in the US and in Nepal – in case the airline or immigration staff need contact you.

Have the travel agency reconfirm flights two to three days before departure just in case the flight schedules have changed. For passengers unable to speak English, download and complete a copy of Memo for Nepali Travelers Unable to Speak English from http://zentravels.com/downloads and attach it with the tickets and other traveling documents.

Things to consider when using Gulf Airlines

Advantages: Usually the cheapest fares in most seasons. Partnership with Virgin, Lufthansa, US Air, and AA provides good footprint.

Disadvantages: Questionable service quality between KTM-BAH. Long layover at BAH , LON in some flights. Customer service and airport staff not very reliable. Checked in baggage policy ambiguous (not sure if it is 1 or 2). Occasionally, airline counters in the US provide incorrect flight and baggage information. Tickets non-refundable after departure.

How long is the flight to Kathmandu?

The following chart lists all the flights to Kathmandu and their estimated flight time and distances. Please note the flight times are based on averages and your actual flight may be different based on the type of aircraft and weather conditions on the day of your flight. For any updates email webmaster@zentravels.com.

Airlines Route Flight duration (in hours) Return flight duration (in hours) Distance Miles * Distance Kilometers Stop
Air India (AI) Calcutta – Kathmandu 1:10 1:20 397 639

Air India (AI) Delhi - Kathmandu 1:15 1:35 507 816

Air India (AI) Varanasi- Kathmandu 0:55 0:55 218 352

Arkefly (OR) Amsterdam - Kathmandu 13:40 15:00 4330 6970 Sharjah
Biman Bangladesh Airlines (BG) Dhaka - Kathmandu 1:25 1:15 420 676

China Airlines (CA) Chengdu-Kathmandu 3:25 2:40 1158 1864

China Airlines (CA) Lhasa-Kathmandu 1:25 1:20 375 604

China Eastern Airlines (MU) Kunming - Kathmandu 2:55 2:45 1092 1758

China Southern Airlines (CZ) Guangzhou - Kathmandu 5:15 4:15 1769 2845

Dragon Air(KA) Hong Kong – Kathmandu
7:05 4:15 1844 2967 Dhaka
Druk Air (KB) Thimbu (Paro) - Kathmandu 0:55 1:15 258 416

Etihad Airways(EY) Abu Dhabi – Kathmandu
4:00 5:20 1931 3107

FlyDubai (FZ) Dubai- Kathmandu 3:55 5:30 1885 3033

Gulf Air (GF) Bahrain – Kathmandu
4:20 5:55 2135 3436

Jet Airways (9W) Delhi - Kathmandu 1:45 1:50 507 816

Jet Airways (9W) Mumbai - Kathmandu 2:35 3:00 989 1591

Jet Lite (S2) Delhi-Kathmandu 1:25 1:30 507 816

Kingfisher Airlines (IT) Delhi-Kathmandu 1:40 1:55 507 816

Korean Air (KE) Seoul – Kathmandu
7:40 5:45 2461 3960

Nepal Airlines (RA) Delhi – Kathmandu
1:30 1:50 507 816

Nepal Airlines (RA) Doha- Kathmandu
4:20 7:10 2091 3365 Dubai
Nepal Airlines (RA) Kuala Lumpur- Kathmandu 4:45 4:20 2002 3222

Oman Air (WY) Muscat- Kathmandu 4:05 4:30 1685 2712

Pakistan Airlines (PK) Karachi-Kathmandu 2:45 3:05 1146 1845

Silk Air(MI) Singapore – Kathmandu
5:10 4:55 2193 3528

Spice Jet (SG) Delhi-Kathmandu 1:45 1:50 507 816

Qatar Airways (QR) Doha –Kathmandu
4:15 5:25 2091 3365

Thai Airways(TG) Bangkok – Kathmandu
3:30 3:20 1372 2208

Transit times at Doha

Qatar Airways provides, with most of its tickets, a complimentary hotel stay in Doha if the layover exceeds 8 hours. If the trip involves an extended layover in both directions of a round trip, Qatar will provide the stay in only one direction. The travel agency will process your paperwork after you purchase your ticket, and it takes two to three business days to get a confirmation from the airline. They will supply a voucher that you need to show to a customer service representative at Doha. Because the hotels are usually outside the airport, Qatar also will process the visa papers automatically.

The voucher includes a meal plan and transportation costs. For a layover of less than 8 hours you can pay US$40 to use the Onyx lounge, which is inside the airport. This fee includes meals and shower and allows you to relax in a quiet, comfortable area. Advance reservations are not possible, and payment is expected on arrival.

Optionally, you may purchase a hotel room for travel through Qatar. The price is US$150, and arrangements can be made through your travel agency. Be aware, however, that you will not be able to confirm the hotel until three days before your flight, and there is no guarantee that a room will be available at that time.

Avoiding customs fines on donated goods to Nepal

People often wish to bring photography or science equipment, education supplies and donated clothing through Customs for schools, hospitals, orphanages, and other social welfare projects.

Unfortunately Nepalese customs regulations are complex and set up to raise revenue. Equipment, supplies, and large packages of clothing are carefully inspected and often seized until payment of a substantial fine is made.

Donations of goods must obtain prior approval of waiver of custom fees from the Ministry of Finance. A formal written request (not an email) must be made to the Ministry of Finance. It should include details of the items to be bought through customs and details of the organization they will be donated too.

The approval process takes some time and should be made well in advance. Requests are often not approved as customs duty is large part of the total tax revenue for Nepal.

Ministry of Finance - Department Of Customs
Tripureshwar, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel.: +977 01 4259793, +977 01 4259793
E-Mail: it@customs.gov.np

Visiting Tibet via Kathmandu

Many people choose to make the trip to Tibet from Nepal. Between April – October, when the weather improves, is the most popular time to make the trip. It is warm during the day but winter clothing is still required at night.

Travel from Nepal to Tibet is controlled. Foreign tourists are required to travel in groups with a guide. Independent travel is highly discouraged. Groups must apply for a Tibet Travel Permit and Visa Approval Documents from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China. Application for visa and permits must be made through a recognized travel agent.

A valid visa for China is not the same as a Tibet Travel Permit. Those with a Chinese tourist visa will still need to apply for a Tibet travel visa with a travel agency.

For more information contact the visa section of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China or the Protocol Division of Foreign Affairs Office of Tibet Autonomous Region.

Agents can be found offering a range of group arrangements for travel to Tibet. Individual travelerswill be placed in a group. Contact one of our Zen Nepal ticket staf ffor more details.

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
Location: Baluwatar, Kathmandu
Telephone number for the visa section: 00977-1-419053
E-mail:chinaemb_np@mfa.gov.cn
Hours for submitting Tibet visa request:
Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 9:30am-11:00am
Protocol Division of Foreign Affairs Office of Tibet Autonomous
Region Tel: 0891-6330303, 0891-6324992

Information on Tourist Visas for Australian’s travelling to Nepal

Finding information about types of visas, prices, and requirements can be very difficult from Australia, especially if you are hoping to stay longer than five months. The Embassy in Canberra and the Consulate in Melbourne and Sydney, have little information and many enquiries go unanswered.

When applying at the Embassy in Canberra, the cost of a 90 day tourist visa, which is processed on the spot, is $US150, as of 15/2/2011. A 30 day tourist visa, processed on the spot, is $AUS60.

Australian passport holders are able to apply for a tourist visa on arrival at the Kathmandu airport. A 90 day tourist visa will cost $US100 but you need to pay in Nepali Rupees. There is a money exchange near the visa desk. This option is by far the most efficient method for obtaining a visa, it is more cost effective and saves a lengthy wait at the embassy.

Travellers should have one passport size photograph and an application form completed and ready for processing on arrival. Visa forms can be downloaded from here.

If you require immediate information on visas to Nepal it is advised you contact the Immigration Department of Nepal. Some useful information can also be found on the Smart Traveller website.

A tourist visa for Australian’s travelling to Nepal will not be extended past five months. In Australia it is not possible to apply for a tourist visa longer than 90 days. If you wish to stay longer than 90 days this must be done through the Immigration Office in Nepal. There are locations in Pokhara and Kathmandu.

Embassy of Nepal in Australia can be found at:

Suite 2.02, 24 Marcus Clarke Street
Canberra City, ACT 2601
GPO Box No. 2889

Tel: (02) 6162 1554, 61621556
Fax: (02) 6162 1557
Email : info@necan.gov.np

Do Nepalese Passport Holders Need a Transit Visa To Travel via Hong Kong?

Hong Kong Transit visas are not required for Nepali passport holders traveling on Cathay or Dragon Air to the US or Canada.

Passengers must submit their passport details to Cathay prior to flight. They must also hold a green card or a valid visa to the US or Canada during the period of travel via Hong Kong. Cathay persuaded the Hong Kong government to provide this waiver so it could generate more travelers.

Nepali passport holders must pass on their passport details to Cathay and it will arrange the transit visa for you. You can pass on this information through your travel agency. This curbside transit is only allowed for passengers that have connections with Cathay or Dragon in Hong Kong. If a passenger is flying Cathay, and is connecting with Nepal Airlines or any other carrier other than Cathay or Dragon in Hong Kong, the passenger will need a visa before boarding the flight.

During the transit period in the Hong Kong airport, passengers will be escorted by Cathay airline staff. In the past, all Nepali passport holders were required to have a transit visa to fly through Hong Kong.

Added on April 17, 2019: Please note this advisory is only meant for Nepali travelers flying to the US and Canada. For any rules pertaining to visas, immigration, and travel via Hong Kong to other destinations, you need to consult the Consulate at http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/visas/vephmsar/ or a consulate near you.

United Kingdom Transit visa when traveling to the US

Nepali passports holders will not need a UK transit visa at the London airport if they have a valid visa in their passport for travel to the United States or Canada. The rules state that a valid visa from the US or Canada must be stamped in the passenger’s passport. Permanent residents with a green card are allowed to travel via London for transit.

On the other hand, folks who may have proper travel documents through asylum, or are in the process of getting a green card, will not be allowed to board a flight via the UK without a transit visa. These documents are a separate legal document that are recognized by the US for reentry, but not recognized by the British authorities for transit purposes.

Kathmandu (TIA) International airport taxes included in airline ticket prices

Travelers from Kathmandu are no longer required to pay airport taxes in the airport after March 1, 2009. These taxes are automatically collected at the time of the ticket purchase. This rule also applies to tickets originating from and sold in other countries as well.

For the domestic and mountain flights, all passengers need to pay NPR 170. This must be paid at the NABIL Bank counter in the domestic terminal, before check in.

Credit Card Charges for Airline Tickets Issued in Nepal

Every major airline in the US and Canada accept credit card payments. Unfortunately, most airlines in Nepal still do not accept credit card payments. Zen Nepal is usually required to make payments to airlines in cash or incur a service fee which we then pass on to customers

When we charge your credit card for payments in Nepal, we incur a transaction fee that is imposed by the credit card company. We add this 4% service fee to the cost of your ticket. We will always inform you before we make the charge and give you alternative payment options so you may avoid this fee.

You can avoid paying credit card service fees by: Depositing check/cash in our Bank of America account, or Making arrangements for someone in Nepal to deposit your payment at our Kathmandu office.

These fares cannot be waived under any circumstances.

Luggage Allowance in Gulf Airlines

Most airlines flying into Nepal from the United States typically permit 2 checked luggage, 1 cabin luggage which can fit in the overhead cabin of the airplane, and one laptop or bag pack.

Starting the summer of 2010, Gulf Airlines allows only one checked luggage (and the standard cabin luggage and bag pack). Checked luggage can be up to 50 lbs (23 kg). Passengers whose flights originate on a Virgin flight will pay USD 60 for the second checked luggage. Domestic carriers charge anywhere between USD 50 – USD 125 for the second checked luggage depending upon the city the flight begins.

Passengers can pay USD 50 to increase the luggage from 50 lbs to 70lbs (50kgs).

Gulf Air Transit Hotel Procedures in Bahrain

The procedures for transit hotel bookings have changed for Gulf Air from the time when anybody with eight hours of transit at the Bahrain airport could stop by the customer service center and get a voucher for hotel, transportation and meals.

Gulf still provides the service for customers who have layovers of eight hours or more, and this free service is provided in one direction only. The request for the room must be done at least seven days prior to the departure date. The airline will provide a confirmation voucher. From our experience, all requests have been confirmed even though Gulf does not guarantee the service, as it is subject to availability.

The room service is provided only in Bahrain, and not in other London, Paris, or Frankfurt, the European gateways that Gulf flies.

Do Canadian Landed immigrants need a transit visa to travel through the US?

If you hold a Nepali passport, and you are in Canada on a student or visitor visa, you must obtain a transit visa to travel through the US. Even permanent residents of Canada (similar to US green card holders) will need a transit visa.

We quote the immigration rule from the US State Department website: "Permanent residents (aka landed immigrants) of Canada must have a nonimmigrant visa unless the permanent resident is a national of a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), meets the VWP requirements, and is seeking to enter the U.S. for 90 days or less under that program."

Canadian citizens do not need a transit visa, however they will require proof of their identity and citizenship in order to gain entry into the US. For more on the document requirements to enter the US see the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative on the Customs and Border Protection website.

Citizens of Canada traveling to the US do not require a nonimmigrant visa, except if they are traveling for one of the purposes described below:

Foreign government officials (A),
officials and employees of international organizations (G) and NATO officials,
representatives and employees assigned to the U.S. as needed to facilitate their travel,
Treaty traders (E-1),
Treaty investors (E-2),
Fiancées (K-1),
Children of fiancées (K-2),
U.S. citizen's, foreign citizen spouse,
who is traveling to the U.S. to complete the process of immigration (K-3),
Children of a foreign citizen spouse (K-4) described above,
Spouses of lawful permanent residents (V-1) traveling to the U.S. to reside here while they wait for the final completion of their immigration process,
Children of spouses of lawful permanent residents (V-2) described above.

For more information in Transiting the US see the transit section of the Customs and Border Protection website. The US Department of State – Travel, State. Gov, Website also has visa, embassy and travel information.

This question originally appeared on the Sajha site in March, 2007, and we responded then. As it’s a reappearing question at Zen, we are reposting it for benefit of Nepali passport holders.

Different types of tickets via Delhi

When flying through Delhi, several airline and price options are available. We explain them to you below. Customers with US and Canadian passports should be careful to ensure they have either a joint ticket, or if they have separate tickets, to have a transit visa for India. Otherwise boarding may be denied at any point of the journey.

Single Ticket with through Connection

You may be flying with one or more airlines with a single ticket. As an example, Air India offers a ticket from Boston to Kathmandu. However, Air India does not fly between Boston and New York, and Delhi to Kathmandu. Instead, it uses UA or AA to connect between Boston and New York, and Indian Airlines (IC) between DEL and KTM. Despite the multiple airlines involved, the ticket would be issued by Air India on its own stock.

Advantages: In case there is a delay from KTM to DEL and you missed the onward connection to New York, Air India would assist you and put you on the next flight, regardless of the airline the connecting flight is on Baggage would be checked all the way to Kathmandu or your final return destination

Disadvantages: Fares are usually more expensive to Kathmandu with a through ticket and there are only a few seats available that qualify for this extension Only a few airlines airlines currently offer through connection tickets to Kathmandu via Delhi


Separate Tickets with Carrier Interline Agreements

You may purchase tickets from two separate carriers (and two sources). Because they have a baggage forwarding agreement with each other, your luggage will be forwarded directly to Kathmandu by the airlines. However, if your flight is delayed from Kathmandu to Delhi and you miss the connecting flight, the connecting airline may not waive the no-show penalties.

Advantages: Baggage is forwarded automatically You have a choice of many carriers, and the prices tend to be cheaper

Disadvantages: If your first flight is delayed, then the attendant who is checking you in at the origination city will see there is a baggage forwarding agreement, but at the transit points, the connecting airline might not have the same level working agreement.

Sometimes your luggage may not get forwarded at all and it will be hard to trace it because the terminating airline might not be helpful.


Two Separate tickets:

You have tickets from two different airlines that don’t have any agreement. e.g. Lufthansa or Air France to Delhi and Nepal Airlines onwards. Once you arrive at Delhi Airport, you must claim your luggage at the baggage terminal and once again recheck your luggage to the onward flight to Kathmandu. A special note to passengers holding a US or Canadian passport: you will need an Indian visa to go out and recheck your luggage. On the return, the same procedure applies. Nepali passport holders are allowed to enter/exit airport without any special visas. Note, without a transit or travel visa, some airlines don’t permit American passport holders to board the flights.

Advantages: One can buy much cheaper tickets and choose from more airlines flying into Delhi

Disadvantages: The hassle of going out of the airport to collect and check in your luggage at the airport Any delays in the first flight can interrupt the remainder of the flights.

Some tips: Make sure you know which type of ticket you have and that you have the proper travel documents for transit Confirm your luggage is forwarded to the final destination at the transit points Request the travel agency (if possible) to issue both your tickets in one itinerary so the attendant at the origination point knows your final destinations.

Advisory about date changes on sale tickets

Just like you, Zen Travels is always happy to find tickets at deep discounts. Sometimes during these sales round trip tickets to Nepal cost as little as USD 900-1100 (all taxes included) from some of the larger cities on the US East and West Coasts. The usual prices of these tickets may be anywhere between USD 1300-2000, depending on the airline, route, and season.

We need to advise you that the penalties for changing these tickets once issued can range from USD 250-450 and any additional costs for fare differences. Because you may need to pay the difference at the prevailing market rate, you might need to pay upwards of USD 600-700 to USD 1300, and sometimes you may be better off purchasing a new ticket if you need to make a change to a discounted ticket.

Please let us know if you think you may need to change the dates but are interested in a discount fare, and we can find you an alternate ticket with lower penalties for date changes. Alternatively, we encourage you to purchase travel insurance to avoid situations like these.

High fees for changes to discount tickets may be charged by any airline, but in our experience this issue has been especially prevalent with the following airlines:

Air India (AI)
Etihad (EY)
Gulf Air (GF)
Jet Airways (9W)
Qatar (QR)
Singapore (SQ)

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