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  1. #1
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ
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    Default Passport control and Thai language

    The mother in law is coming to visit this summer for a few months on a visitor visa. The only problem is she doesn't speak a word (or write) a word of english. We are wondering how easy/difficult/impossible it will be for her to get through passport control? Also on the way home how supportive will a thai airline be? We are thinking of getting her to fly Eva or Thai.

    Thanks for your replies!

  2. #2
    Furniture เฟอร์นิเจอร์ the_link's Avatar
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    Many millions of people enter the UK every year not speaking a word of English and have little or no problem.

    Though, you may want to furnish her with your mobile number and the address she will be residing at, mightyzim, so that she can provide this to immigration.

    I assume you will be waiting for her at LHR.

  3. #3
    Premium Member -Keith-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mightyzim View Post
    Also on the way home how supportive will a thai airline be? We are thinking of getting her to fly Eva or Thai.

    Thanks for your replies!
    Most of the Airlines that fly direct between the UK and Thailand will have a Thai speaker or two on the flight. However Thai Airways being the only Thai airline that flies the route will be the best. FYI Eva are Taiwanese not Thai.
    If you're offended by any assistance I give, it says far more about you than it does me.

  4. #4
    Premium Member manfarang's Avatar
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    Try and get a copy of the UK boarding card translated for her, can't remember if there is one on this site somewhere. If she buddies up with another Thai person they will probably walk her through the airport with them.
    aka Spud / aka MF

  5. #5
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    My wife's aunty is currently visiting, she only speaks and reads Thai and traveled to UK 6 weeks ago, on her own with British Airways. She had no problems with the airline, at the airport or immigration. My wife and I travelled to UK a couple of days earlier and before we left Thailand, we gave aunty a letter with contact details in the UK to show UK immigration should she be challenged. We also gave her a spare UK mobile phone to use at the airport so, she could phone us when she landed if she got stuck. We met her at the airport so, we were able to answer questions if necessary but, we weren't required. She returns to Thailand next week and so far no issues at all. Good idea to get hold of an immigration card to help her fill one in if possible. Good luck.

  6. #6
    Serial Poster ผู้โพสต์ต่อเนื่อง colin244's Avatar
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    Can only agree with the above posts:-

    Keith - Yes get her on TG

    manfarang - Yes there is the latest one on this site (probably a sticky in Travel)

    colin 244

  7. #7
    f.k.a. Chris M m0ntecarl0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Keith- View Post
    Most of the Airlines that fly direct between the UK and Thailand will have a Thai speaker or two on the flight. However Thai Airways being the only Thai airline that flies the route will be the best. FYI Eva are Taiwanese not Thai.
    Eva Air may be Taiwanese (as a company) but when we flew earlier this year they had at 3/4 Air Hostesses who were Thai.
    ขอแสดงความนับถือคริส

  8. #8
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    On the assumption your mother-in-law has a valid UK visit visa, I wouldn't foresee any problems.

    A UK immigration officer is (generally) going to be as flummoxed by his own lack of Thai as your mother-in-law is by her lack of English. If the IO insists on speaking to her, the UKBA will have to arrange, and pay for an interpreter, to which there is no point when it's more than likely your mother-in-law will be granted entry.

    You never know, the IO might even fill in her landing card for her, rather than mess around getting someone else to do it.

  9. #9
    Serial Poster ผู้โพสต์ต่อเนื่อง colin244's Avatar
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    Maybe IO'S part of the speeding up the queue's Mike

    colin 244

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    Exactly!

    I envisage a sun-worn, betel-chewing, mid-50s Thai woman presenting herself to an IO. She simply smiles her red-toothed smile in response to his questions. He quickly realises this is going nowhere, yet she has a valid visa. For the sake of expediency, he fills in her landing card and date-stamps the passport.

    The job's a goodun'.

  11. #11
    Premium Member -Keith-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merseymike View Post

    A UK immigration officer is (generally) going to be as flummoxed by his own lack of Thai as your mother-in-law is by her lack of English.
    But if your MIL speaks Urdu then they'll probably get on like a house on fire
    If you're offended by any assistance I give, it says far more about you than it does me.

  12. #12
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    He might well do that! Landing cards all round. Generally, IO's are helpful despite the bad press they get.

  13. #13
    Serial Poster ผู้โพสต์ต่อเนื่อง colin244's Avatar
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    Not all IO's LaJo which is why the press on such creatures

    colin 244

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mightyzim View Post
    Also on the way home how supportive will a thai airline be? We are thinking of getting her to fly Eva or Thai.

    British Airways and EVA, all have Thai speakers on their airlines

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