What Exactly Is The Proof Of Onward Travel? And why is it such a sore spot? It’s nothing personal really. Buying a one-way flight ticket can only happen in songs and movies. In real life, every country wants to make sure you are not an illegal immigrant or begpacker. Both these happen, and even though just having an onward ticket doesn’t guarantee the fact that you are not gonna do something like that, it’s their way of telling themselves: “sure thing.” |
Airlines take the heat and often don’t let you board
In most cases, rather than taking the responsibility themselves, many countries pass the ball on the airlines. So, the airlines with which you are flying, could turn into the bad guy and not let you board the flight if you don’t meet the requirements. If you are in a pickle, and you have to fly, they could force you to buy a return ticket from them, which could end up making a very big hole in your pocket. The reason is, if the airline doesn’t enforce all this, and actually fly you without the onward ticket, and the immigration hawks pick your ass out, that particular airlines would be the one to fly you to your origin.
The rule sucks because if you are planning to just take buses overland, like I did in South America, you don’t need an onward flight ticket. The rule sucks if you really don’t know when you go back. It sucks when you are on a budget, and you have to buy the onward ticket just so you are allowed inside. What is the Way Around? If you are you a digital nomad or a long term traveler making a lot of visa runs, there is no way you could go on buying onward flight tickets even if they are refundable. So, I am gonna compile a list of short-cuts I and other long term travellers use, in that order. All these are easy and if I might add, perfectly legal.
As a precaution, I get proof of onward travel before travelling to any country. I would ask you to do the same.
1.Rent a Valid-till-you-fly flight on schengenvisaflightreservation.com Even though the title might suggest it could be only for Schengen countries, you can actually rent any ticket for any part of the world through this. For 15$, you would receive your ticket in 24 hours. And, this ticket is authentic and, the airlines website would have a real reservation for you. I have personally used this website many times. Here is a screenshot of what it looks like. 2. Rent a 24-72 Hour Valid Ticket from an Online Travel Agent Here is the thing. When you are traveling, you often haven’t planned every minute detail. You might not have 24 hours to wait for a flight ticket. In that case, here is a list of websites you can use to rent a ticket. You will receive an e-ticket in PDF format containing your name and PNR number and the flight details.
Onwardticketvisa ( https://onwardticketvisa.com ) : Fees- $9. Delivery time 5- 30 minutes. Ticket validity- 48 - 96 hours.
3.Book a Refundable Ticket on an Online Booking Website There are a number of booking platforms like Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline that allow you to book a ticket and cancel it within 24 hours for a full refund. So, if you want to save this 10$, and opt to book a refundable ticket, you would have your onward ticket and you can cancel it once you make it to your destination. 4. Book a Flight Ticket on an Airline’s Website with a 24-hour Cancellation Window. Airlines of lots of countries give you a full refund if you cancel it within 24 hours. For example, as per the USDOT regulation every airlines that has a flight coming into or leaving from the USA, has to give the option of 24 hour cancellation. While the interpretation might vary a little airline to airline, the general rules are:
The flight originates in or is going to the US on any airline, not just US-based companies. The flight was booked directly with the airline, not on any third party agent. It was booked at least 7 days in advance. 5. Use Airlines Miles If you have piled up a lot of miles, you can use those miles to buy a refundable ticket and cancel it later. Most of the times, you would have the option to find something that’s refundable.
6. Buy a Cheap Throwaway Flight on a Budget Airlines This is a good option especially in Asia and Latin America. There are lots of budget airlines like EasyJet, AirAsia, Volaris where you can buy a flight ticket for as low as $50 from one major city in one country to a big city in another country.
Last words: Don’t get caught off guard! And dress well. The fact is if you are a backpacker or a digital nomad, there will be a day when you will be asked for this. Especially if you are in an airport, do yourself a favor and don’t dress like a bum/hippie with no money.
If you think this article is useful, please share it so that others can get the proof for onward travel. Happy traveling.
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