onward flight requirements

So you’ve made the decision to travel the world and purchased a one-way ticket to your foreign destination. Be aware that you may be subject to onward flight requirements.

You arrive at the airport on departure day to find that the airline will not allow you to take your one-way flight, due to restrictions from the country that you show your return or exit plan.

There are several reasons for this – the biggest being the country does not want to be responsible for you long-term.  They do not want you to stay, run out of money, and not be able to afford returning – or leaving their lovely destination.

There are certain countries that even demand a copy of your banking situation prior to issuing you an entrance visa.  That is addressed on another page.

The way around this can be one of the following:

  • Purchase a cheap ticket to show return.  Keep in mind that this flight does not have to go back to your home airport. Look at options of jumping to a nearby country on a domestic airline – these flights can be very inexpensive, many times under $100. If you don’t use it, so what?  If you read the airline’s cancellation rules, you could possibly cancel it and end up with a credit that could be used. Typically on these cheaper flights, the cancellation/change fees are more than the ticket, but it’s worth a try.
  • Purchase a round-trip with changeable return flight. Depending on your ticket type, status with airline, an purchase method, this is a viable choice.
  • Check your frequent flier miles available.  Depending on your status with the airline, you might be able to secure a return ticket with points and later change or cancel it without penalty.  Check the rules and call customer service to confirm before throwing valuable points out the window.
  • Use a travel agent.  Travel agents many times have the ability to cancel a verified purchase within 24/48 hours of purchase.  Developing a relationship with a person at a travel agency is one of the best investments when traveling abroad.
  • No travel agent? Try Flyonward.comFlyonward.com uses the same concept I described above.  This is a clever businessperson who charges $9.99 to buy you a ticket with his travel agent -you show the return ticket to validate onward travel requirements – then the ticket is cancelled 24 hours later and you are set.  I have not used this service, but based on the knowledge I have, this would work.



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