Patience when combining international and domestic flights
It’s their country and you will play by their rules!
Connecting through Japan
For some reason our flight routing from Denver to Cambodia had us landing in Tokyo, Japan with a transfer to a domestic flight to Nagoya, Japan, then on to Bangkok, Thailand and finally to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Sounds long and doable, and one would think, okay we are in the airport terminal the entire time, so all is good. WRONG!
Changing from international to domestic
Upon arriving at Narita we followed the signs to domestic departures. But soon learned that this would require us to exit the international side of the terminal and put us in the immigration line to enter Japan as a tourist. Hurry up and fill out the entrance and customs forms. Thank goodness Japan is a country that provides a tourist visa stamp to Americans and not a preapproved hard copy visa.
Immigration, customs, and security again in Tokyo
Once you clear immigration and customs you are officially out of the internal security area and required to go through security again to the domestic side. Now you get to go through security again to enter the domestic departures. Oh, and if you had TSA pre√ in Denver, it doesn’t apply here…..so get out the liquids and take off your shoes. Thank goodness our layover was 2+ hours because we spent it in lines.
What? Not security again in Nagoya
Once again, security in Nagoya from the domestic side to the international section for our flight to Bangkok. We were the last flight of the evening and the airport would close after our flight at 12:30″AM”. The only thing open was the toilets, thank goodness.
Connecting through Thailand
What! You’re kidding! Security again in Bangkok for our connecting flight to Phnom Penh? Yup!! RELAX and take a deep breath. Stop a minute and enjoy the beautiful Thai orchids everywhere in the terminal.
So, to avoid going through multiple immigration and customs, not mention stress and irritation, avoid having a domestic flight in the middle of international flights. It’s okay as the final flight because you will have cleared immigration and customs in that country anyway. This is a lesson learned for us.