Another BA incidentBack to Forum
Anonymous28 Aug 2013
Nice Hotels for the passengers. Very similar to new First!28 Aug 2013
What happens in this kind of situation for Visa Requirements. Normally one would need a visa to visit Russia. I guess there are treaties in place for such events that waive this?
Obviously not suggesting a plane would be denied landing. But when they land do the Russian immigration authorities keep hold of all passports. Curious to know about the practicalities really?28 Aug 2013
Hotel Irkutsk looks OK to me. The other hotel less so, but it does offer Karaoke so all the pax put there could sing away to Pacobel! Plus it’s on the Trans Siberia Line, so they could hop on the train to continue their journey. Not a disaster at all 😉29 Aug 2013
@timfitzgeraldtc – 28/08/2013 14:18 GMT
Hi Tim, having started a project in Russia last December, I have been flying back and forth to both Moscow and St. Petersburg regularly, and I am currently in Russia. the normal procedure for anyone entering the Russian Federation is that they of course should have a visa, barring certain nations, and upon check in in their hotel their passport and visa are then registerrred. you must have your visa registerred within seven working days or you will have problems when trying to depart. If you are in the Russian Federation for less than 7 working days, technically your visa does not need to be registerred, but hotels will do this automatically, even for one night stays, and they charge the guest for the service. If you stay in an apartment or home, you still need to get your visa registerred, and can have this doen by local Travel Agencies for a fee of around 2000 Roubles (45 euros). For the passengers off of the diverted flight, speaking with a hotel security manager here, he said the most likely scenario is that the passports would be held by immigration at the airport, and given back upon departure. Likely no stamp will even be placed in the passports, as there are no visas allowing entry (unless of course some of the passengers have a multi entry Russian Visa). Hope this helps explain in a small way.29 Aug 2013
Tim, the last time I was diverted it was to Manila on a JFK-HKG flight (typhoon in HKG). We were (eventually) put in a hotel in Manila for two days. Although as a UK citizen I don’t need a visa for the Philippines, the interesting thing was that we never went through immigration. We were simply escorted through the airport onto buses and to the hotel (whence, of course, we could have gone anywhere). Same thing when we finally left for HKG – escorted through the airport, never went through Immigration. Officially, it appears, we were never there!29 Aug 2013
Tim, apparently they were taken to the hotels and had to remain there. I’m wondering if anyone claimed asylum while there?
My understanding, and this happened to me as well as others I’ve spoken to more recently, is you’re taken to a hotel but passports kept by immigration. Officially you’re also not allowed to leave the confines of the hotel. It’s happened to me in Conakry, Bombay (as it was then) and Bangkok (though I don’t think a visa was needed there) all in the 80’s.
Often as not though you have to camp in the airport!29 Aug 2013
Oh, and should add having just seen Ian’s post, on each occasion, my pp was never stamped either, and though greeted by immigration who were on the bus taking the pp from us, we never saw a desk or even the airport departure lounge when we left.29 Aug 2013
Some years ago on an AF flight from Beijing to CDG, a passenger felt sick, and we had to stop in St Petersburg.
We were flying over Russia when the crew asked for people speaking Russian, we were two only. The crew then explained that because of the physical condition of the pax we had to stop in St P and disembark him. There would be some things to be translated from Chinese (the pax was Chinese) to Russian via French/English..
We landed in St P on a friday around 3.30/4.00 PM, and were parked kilometers away from any building.
The medical staff arrived (10/12 people). I do not know what kind of info they got, they were convinced there was an epidemic on board, were dressed like cosmonauts to protect themselve from any risk of infection and together with the local police were ready to put the whole 777 in quarantine!
Of course, almost no one had a valid visa for Russia, and despite its beauty, nobody was keen to spend the week end there.
They saw the sick pax, and it was decided to disembark him only. His friends started to argue with the med and the crew. Finally convinced, the pax was disembarked.
Luckily, no Russian was keen to enter the procedure to grant a temp visa to hundreds of people, feed them, & organize the overnight stay, probably desinfect the plane and so on, and bear any responsibility in such a decision on the eve of the week end.
A pretty unpleasant experience for the sick pax, an interesting one for the others.
I was very pleased to arrive hours late in Paris rather than spending an unexpected week end in St P.29 Aug 2013