Garuda expands Indonesia in-flight immigration

Garuda started in-flight Indonesia immigration on selection routes in 2010 and this week has expanded to Shanghai, Shanghai Daily explains:

Immigration officers will check Shanghai travelers’ passports and issue them visas aboard a Garuda flight. For the first time in-flight visa service will be provided to Chinese tourists who need to pay US$25 for a 30-day visa at the Visa Onboard Counter in the Pudong International Airport after check-in.

Immigration officers will then use a mobile card reader to scan the visa voucher and stamp “Visa on Arrival” on the passport and a card, with which travelers can have a quick pass through the customs and avoid long queues at the immigration counters, according to Garuda.

Garuda Indonesia, Jakarta

Photo by Luke Ma

Terminal U lists Amsterdam, Osaka, Seoul, Sydney and Tokyo to Jakarta or Bali as offering the service.

How cool is that? My only visit to Indonesia was a decade ago, and I have no desire to go back. I recall the visa on arrival line taking quite some time.

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  1. I always thought that Indonesia would be a great place to visit. How come you don’t want to go back?

  2. very cool…if only more countries/airlines adopted this. PS…been to Indonesia many times this past year….VOA lines are pretty much non existent now or move very rapidly.

  3. @Craig – I have trouble being objective because I got nasty food poisoning while tooling around in my first stop, Sulawesi, then went briefly to Bali, had no interest in resorts or packed cultural experiences, and made my way overland through Java, some sights like Gunung Bromo are nice but I hated the constant hassle from pedicabs, beggars and others since I like to walk around, and across the board I did not see anything that I didn’t feel was better elsewhere in SE Asia. Jakarta is grim. The rave reviews typically seem to be from people who fly in to Bali and/or Lombak and never leave the resort for more than a packaged village visit, in which case I would not fly so far coming from the US, but makes more sense for regional tourists. I still have some work on the Travelers Century Club llist for Indonesia so eventually I will go back, and . At the time the Indonesian airlines were very unreliable and not cheap, I flew Adam Air a few times before they crashed out of business. Lion Air one. Air Asia has totally changed the picture so it is much easier to get around. The volcanoes of Nusa Tengarga look interesting.

  4. Thanks for the explanation, Stefan. I still think I’d like to explore Indonesia. I’m especially fascinated by working class areas in urban environments.

  5. @ Rapid Travel Chai – “I still have some work on the Travelers Century Club llist for Indonesia so eventually I will go back” – now if THAT is your major motivation to go to places, maybe you should rather stay home than traveling as you may have misunderstood the concept…

  6. @Mike from Berlin – fair enough, I figure that if I eventually get everywhere else I will give Indonesia another try, there are parts of Sumatra that look interesting. Otherwise, there is plenty more I would rather see for the first time rather than go back there.

    I like the Travelers Century Club list because it has frequently helped in my travel brainstorming, for instance I recently went to Transistria because I learned of it from the list and had a great trip. Last fall I was headed to Papua New Guinea and because I saw the Bismarck Archipelago on the list, I headed that way and had an incredible experience in Rabaul. Reminds me I haven’t blogged about either, I am falling further behind.

    I do not like the ‘tap in, tap out’ style of some members of that club. When I visit a place my goal, even if for a short time, is to visit at least two distinct, unique places, such as the major city and something cool in the countryside or nature and leave not having major regrets about things I didn’t see. I just had a short stop in Bulgaria, toured Sofia and then rented a car to drive to Boyana in the suburbs and then down to Rila and its monastery. Some countries I visit in much more depth, over a period of several years I have traveled every province of China.

    My plan is to visit everywhere, my philosophy is to see what is unique, and the UN list, TCC list and UNESCO list help me structure things.

  7. @Craig – Indonesia is an absolutely amazing place. There’s immense beauty in both the land and the people. You shouldn’t hesitate to see it.

  8. Did you visit the major temple/ruin thingies in Indonesia (thoughts…)? That is my main motivation for wanting to go there.

  9. @john – I second @Ram, those two monuments are great, otherwise there are not so many throughout Indonesia, which I understand is a combination of the climate and a historical preference for wood construction.

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