If a trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or Dubai is on your list, then you must know everything about the Ok To Board (OTB).
An OTB is a pre-condition of the airline to make sure that the Dubai visa holder is authorized to travel. All Indian passport holders require an Ok to Board while travelling most importantly to Dubai or going to any other part of the UAE. Your PNR number must reflect OK to Board from the respective airline before you can be allowed to take off for the UAE. Please note that you cannot board a flight if your PNR is not reflecting OK to Board.
What is Ok to Board?
Ok to Board is a verification procedure undertaken by the airline to check the authenticity of your UAE visa. OTB is a message entered in the airline’s reservation system against your PNR number. In other words your paper-based visa (one that is not stamped in the passport) has been inspected and validated, as a result the airline check-in staff can issue you a boarding pass and allow you to board the flight.
Why is OTB required?
Typically, if an airline lets a passenger without a valid visa and OTB to board a flight, they will be fined by the authorities in UAE, and will also be made to bear the cost of repatriating the offender. To combat this, airline check-in staff ensures that the passenger has a valid passport and visa prior to issuing a boarding pass. This job becomes more challenging when passengers are travelling to a country where visas are either issued electronically or are paper based and not stamped on the passport. In such cases, passengers have a print-out of the visa, which could easily be faked.
Is Ok to Board mandatory?
Yes, the OTB is mandatory in some airlines. Till now all Indian passport holders visiting Dubai were supposed to update the OTB (Ok to Board) status before boarding the flight. However in a recent development, OTB for Dubai is not required now for Indians holding a ‘Non-ECR’ or ‘ECNR’ passport and intending to visit Dubai on a Tourist Visa. However we recommend you check with our Visa Experts.
Also Read: Tips to get the Dubai Visa for Indians
What is the process for updating an OTB?
Once your Dubai visa is approved, our Visa Experts will submit your visa copy along with your return flight tickets to the respective airline to get OK to Board in your PNR. The airline will then validate your visa and flight tickets and issue OK to Board in your PNR.
How will I receive the OK To Board message?
Once our team gets an update from the airline on OK to Board status, they will call or email you and update you on the same. However, you can also call the respective airline directly to reconfirm your OK to Board status 48 hours prior to your scheduled flight departure.
Is there any fee applicable for processing OTB?
Airlines charge a fee for updating OTB in PNR. These charges are in addition to the Dubai Visa fee. Also, please note, it takes at least 2 working days to update the OTB after issuance of VISA.
Also read: What to know before travelling to Dubai
How early should I process the Ok to Board?
Most airlines require you to update the OTB status at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled departure, although the duration varies from one airline to another. However, it is best to put in your requisition at the earliest and avoid any last-minute hassle.
What happens if I have not updated the Ok to Board message?
In a scenario where OTB status does not get reflected in your PNR, the airline may reject or cancel your travel and consequently you will not be allowed to board the flight. Moreover you may also need to pay an additional liability or cancellation charge if any, to the concerned authority.
Is Ok to Board required for all Airlines?
Not all airlines require an OK to Board. The requirement for an OTB will depend on your nationality, passport and airline. We advice you to check with our visa experts after processing your Dubai Visa.
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