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.com. Flyonward.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.