We are still waiting for better SOP’s due to Corona.
Note: The below article was published before Corona had struck us.
This is a guide on how Umrah can easily be done without involving travel agents. While, searching on the web and we read on some blog that we (travel agents) don’t issue only Umrah visa because we don’t make money from it and we want to fool the customers! This is incorrect, firstly being in this travel industry since 2012 and being a Umrah Travel Agent who has served more than 5000 Umrah Pilgrims, we disagree with this money making statement! Yes, there could be some individuals who do like this but well know and respected (and registered) travel agents don’t! Please also understand that there are basic few security issues which are explained below:
One of the blog quotes “Majority of the income for agents comes from hotels and flights”.
Nowadays anyone and everyone can search, we encourage free travelling. Nothing is hidden nowadays and customers have access to the web to search for the best results. In this era, where online travel agents are leading the travel industry.
So this is where it begins…
You just need to get Umrah Visa issued from us (or from any approved Umrah Agent) only if you have the below bookings, no agent should bother you. And, no we won’t give you a very expensive only Umrah Visa rate so that we make good profit from it !
Please note: Not all agents have approved Umrah issuing authority. They are either buying from a wholesale Umrah Travel Agent or from someone in the travel industry.
How to handle Umrah Hotels ?
You can easily search and book them from any reliable and well-known Online Travel Agency (OTA) or Online Hotel Companies like Booking.com, Agoda, Priceline, Hotels.com, Expedia and others.
It is a compulsory requirement for Umrah Travel Agents (in our case , us) to provide Hotel Details of the guest to the Umrah Companies (based in Saudi Arabia). If these details are not provided, then Umrah companies penalizes us ! These penalties are in Saudi Riyals and in big numbers.
Also, few agents have Hotel Room Allotments (also known as room blockings in few hotels), so they might have better rates from the OTA’s, like we do. We actually also wholesale these room allotments to other travel agents in the industry. We both retail and wholesale Umrah Packages, Visa and Flight Tickets.
How to handle Air Tickets ?
You are not bound to book it from us or any travel agent. You can buy it from any trusted Airline website or any known OTA. Please be safe from scam online websites. There is not guarantee of refunds of scam bookings.
How to handle Transport ?
This is also a very easy and simple thing. You have many options here. Book from any transport App (for e.g. Uber, Careem, etc) or there are many individuals on the streets.
Bargain with them, have a look of their vehicle and take the ride.
Preferably, a driver understanding your language is most convenient as you have to stop at certain stops like Mina, Ziyarats, etc.
Tricky one: How to handle Airport immigration?
A lot of Saudi Umrah companies take passports from the passengers once they land, that is after the baggage. So in that case, we advice you to:
Once, you have booked your Air tickets and hotels, forward the bookings to your agent and ask him to make you an Arrival Voucher (and update) your arrival flight and hotel details on the Umrah Booking Portal (for example: WayToUmrah, Babusalam, etc).
Immigration won’t bother you when they see 4 and 5 Star Hotels booking on the arrival voucher. If they do, handle them politely and you are good to go.
The Umrah Company representative would be waiting outside airport (for you) to collect your passport. Collecting your Passports is a security measure which they are supposed to do. But convince them, tell them you are staying in Star Hotels.
Age restrictions for Pakistan
This is also a very important thing. For men, it’s 40 and for women it’s 45. Please understand that we agents are not doing this for fun, there is a limit clearly defined by the immigration and we have to follow it! If you are below this limit, you can not travel alone (or a single passenger). It is recommended to travel with Mehram then, check Umrah Visa requirements below.
And who is saying you to buy complete Umrah Packages from us ? Buy that service from us whose price we can beat ! Or just take Umrah Visa if you can provide us with the above required valid hotel and ticketing bookings !
Good News for holders of a US, UK or Schengen visa as they are eligible for a Saudi eVisa upon arrival. Conditions Apply like, you have to travel from Saudi Airlines only and arrival port must be Riyadh, Jeddah or Dammam.
We wish you a Safe trip. Umrah Mubarak in Advance !!!
Flight Connection – Travel & Tours (Pvt) Ltd.