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Necessary Permits for Tibet Flight

20 May 2020 Last updated at 18:14

Latest News about Tibet Travel Permit:

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the application of all Tibet permits, are sunspended until further notice. - May 12, 2020

To take a flight to Tibet, jut passport and Chinese Visa are not enough. You have to obtain some special permits from Tibet Autonomous Region, such as Tibet Travel Permit, Tibet Military Permit. Some air routes require only Tibet Travel Permit, some require more permits. Check the following details:

Tibet Travel Permit Is Required for Tibet Flight

According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC)'s regulation, foreign travelers must provide a valid passport and Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit) when taking a flight to Tibet. Without the Tibet Travel Permit, foreign travelers are not allowed to board the flights to any airports in Tibet. Thus, foreign travelers have to make sure that the original Tibet Travel Permit will be brought and provided when checking in the domestic flights to Tibet. If one takes a flight to Lhasa from Kathmandu, he/she has to bring the scanned copy of Tibet Travel Permit to check-in at the Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport. After arriving at Lhasa Gonngar International Airport, the local tour guide will bring the original Tibet Travel Permit to the airport to pick up him/her.

Note: Usually, booking a flight to Tibet online does not require a Tibet Travel Permit. However, if you book a ticket from the ticket counter or a flight ticket agent, you may need to show the Tibet Travel Permit.

What is Tibet Travel Permit

Tibet Travel Permit, also known as Tibet Travel Permit is the official document that allows a foreign traveler to enter and travel in Tibet. It is the secondary travel document to travel in Tibet besides the China Visa. It can only be issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau in Tibet, which makes many travelers call the permit as TTB Permit. With the permit, you can visit Lhasa, Shigatse, Namtso Lake, Everest, Mt Kailash, etc. It usually takes about 15~20 days to obtain the permit (applying, waiting for approval, receiving the permit).

How Has to Hold Tibet Travel Permit

  • Any Non-Chinese passport holders, regardless of country;
  • Taiwan Citizens, who do not have the valid identity card of China;
  • Overseas Chinese Without Chinese passport or ID card.

The Hong Kong and Macau citizens who hold SAR passport, Home-Visiting Certificate or Permit to Traveling to and from Hong Kong and Macau do not need a Tibet Travel Permit.

Tibet Flight Travel Permit
The first page of TTB Permit (Tibet Travel Permit)
Tibet Flight Travel Permit
The second page of TTB Permit (Tibet Travel Permit)

How to Obtain the Tibet Travel Permit

Tibet Travel Permit

Here is a detailed procedure guide on obtaining a Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Visa) step by step.

Step 1: Contact us to discuss about your needs and work out a most suitable itinerary for you in Tibet.

Step 2: Confirm and reserve your preferred Tibet Tour.

Step 3: Send us the required valid documents at least 15 working days before your tour starts. If you need the permit quite urgently, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Step 4: Provide your designated address (your hotel, travel agent, friend's home, etc) in China to receive your permit after it is issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB for short).

Step 5: The permit will be delivered to your preferred address or handed to you at the airport/train station before your trip.

  • ▶ Learn more detail about Tibet Travel Permit Application
  • Important to Know

    1. The Tibet Travel Permit is issued for a group, such as you and your family, you and your friends. Members in the group will have to share a same permit. So make sure that all members in your group would board the same flight at same airport on the same day. If some members in your group have to take flight to Tibet from different airport, or depart at different hours in a same airport, they have to apply for an extra Tibet Travel Permit. Please also note that you must go to Tibet from the gateway city on the permit (you decide), whether by flight or train.

    2. Please remember to get your original Tibet Travel Permit before your flight departure. The airport will check the original permit.

    3. If you take a flight departing from Lhasa to Kathmandu. You will also have to show Tibet Travel Permit in the airport; If you leave Tibet for other cities in China, Tibet Travel Permit is not necessary.

    Other Permits You May Need

    Usually, only the Tibet Travel Permit is required when taking a flight from top cities in China, such as Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Kunming, Shangri-La, Xining, Zhangzhou, etc. But you will have to have the following tour permits if you take some certain air routes.

    Aliens’ Travel Permit

    traveling outside Lhasa requires another permit, namely Aliens' Travel Permit. Issued by Tibetan local Public Security Bureau, it is also known as the PSB permit and can be easily applied in Lhasa, Shigatse, Nyingchi, or other prefectures. While if trying to visit beyond Lhasa without the PSB permit, you will be stopped by local police and failed to continue your further travel in Tibet. Learn more about Aliens’ Travel Permit.

    Tibet Military Permit

    If you want to take a flight to the remote Ngari Prefecture which is famous for the sacred Mount Kailash and Manasarovar Lake, you will need not only Tibet Travel Permit, but also need a Tibet Military Permit. Learn more about Tibet Military Permit.

    Useful Notes on Tibet Flight Travel

    1. Settling on a Tour before Booking a Flight

    Booking Tibet flights early can usually ensure a great discount but we advise settling on a tour before booking a flight just in case that you may want to change your plan, such as changing date, changing destination, extending the trip length, etc. Besides, you need to check from your travel agency that whether your Tibet Travel Permit is obtainable. The best way is to confirm the tour early, and let your travel agency apply for the permit, then book flight as quickly as possible before the airfares discount out of date.

    2. How to book flight ticket?

    The flight ticket can be booked at online websites, such as, Expedia, Ctrip, Qunar, etc. You can also buy the ticket from the airports in China or flight re-sellers. You are also welcomed to let us book your flight. We are always keeping up with the latest flight news and usually can book the ticket at a cheaper price. During summer and autumn, it usually gets difficult to book the flights to Lhasa. While using our booking service, we will not only book the ticket, but also arrange a valuable tour package.

    3. When is the best time to fly to Tibet?

    Generally speaking, months from April to October are recommended for traveling in Tibet. Other months are usually very cold, and possibly have heavy snow, especially in regions like Mount Everest, Mount Kailash, Namtso Lake, etc. The flights schedules are also more frequent during April to October. During December to March, the airline companies will cut down the flight schedules, usually from daily weekly, even to none. But top cities like Chengdu and Xian still operate daily flights during the shoulder season. It is recommended to take the morning flight so that you can get to Lhasa before late afternoon, and have enough time to acclimatize yourself to the altitude and thin air in Lhasa. The morning flights also cut down the risk that your flights would be delayed or canceled.

    4. Apart from Mianyang, where can I also take a flight to Tibet?

    Apart from Mianyang, you can also fly to Tibet from Beijing, Chengdu, Xian, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xining, Chongqing, Kunming, Shanggri-la, etc.

    5. International flights to Lhasa

    So far, Kathmandu is the only international city which operates flights to Lhasa. It is only about 375 miles (1.5 hours)’s flying from Kathmandu to Lhasa. During months from May to October, there are usually one or two daily direct flights operated. In the low seasons, there might be less or no daily flights between Kathmandu and Lhasa. To take a flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa, one will need a Group Visa, Tibet Travel Permit.

    6. What else airport I can fly to except for Lhasa Gonggar International Airport?

    Tibet has five airports in total. Besides Lhasa Gonggar Airport, you can also take a flight to Shigatse, Nyingchi, Ngari and Qamdo. But only Chengdu and Chongqing operate flights to these smaller cities.

    Shigatse - there is daily flight flying between Chengdu and Shigatse each day. The airport name is Shigatse Peace Airport, which is about 46km from Shigatse city.

    Nyingchi - Chengdu usually offers 4 morning flights to Nyingchi Milin Airport. While its neighboring city Chongqing also has 3 morning flights to Nyingchi each day. If you travel from Nyingchi to Lhasa, you are recommended to take a flight to Nyingchi firstly from Chengdu or Chongqing. It is also available to fly out Tibet directly from Nyingchi.

    Qamdo - Both Chongqing and Chengdu operate a daily flight to Qamdo in Tibet. But there are few travelers have chosen this line because Qamdo is not a popular tourist destination in Tibet.

    Ngari - Urumqi (capital of Xinjiang) offers a daily direct flight to Ngari with a stop at Kashgar on every Tuesday and Friday. Taking this flight, passengers need Military Permit as well as Tibet Travel Permit.

    7. The regulation on the luggage allowance on the plane

    Luggage Type First Class Business Class Economy Class Allowed Baggage Size
    Allowed Carry-on Baggage 5kg * 2 pieces 5kg 5kg 55cm/20cm/40cm(L/B/H)
    Allowed Free Checked-in Baggage 40kg 30kg 20kg 100cm/60cm/40cm(L/B/H)

    8. Will my kids get a discounted flight ticket?

    Kids aging 2 to 12 years old (including 12) will get a discount of 50% of the full price of the flight fare. If an adult take a flight to Lhasa from Chengdu with a child aging at 10 and the full price for the economy class is 1680 CNY, the ticket fare for the child is 840 CNY. The child also doesn’t have to pay for Airport Construction Fee while the adult has to. Infant under 2 years old only has to pay 10% of the full price, but the separate seat is not provided.

    9. How do I collect (receive) the flight ticket?

    Since most flight tickets are booked online, so firstly you will receive an e-ticket. You will change a paper ticket when you checking in your flight at a counter in the airport.

    How to Plan A Tibet Tour

    Tibet is a place with majestic landscapes and splendid culture. There might be hundreds of ways to travel Tibet, especially its most appealing destinations - Lhasa, Everest, Namtso, Kailash, etc. We suggest you start your tour from the capital Lhasa. You can take 3~4 days to acclimatize high altitudes and explore the highlights of Lhasa city. Then you can spend 1~2 days to visit Lhasa's surroundings, such as Namtso, Yamdrok Lake, Ganden Monastery, etc. Beside Lhasa and its surrounding regions, you shall not miss the 3rd pole of the earth, Mt Everest, which is no longer a privilege site for just mountaineers and spending 3~4 more days to explore it. Later, you can head back to Lhasa or go further to the south via Gyirong to Nepal and have a Nepal Tour and a Bhutan Tour, or continue your journey to the west to reach Ngari and kora around the holy Mount Kailash and Manasarovar. It totally depends on your schedules and preferences.

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