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How the heck do they expect us to travel without plans?

mynetdude

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  • Added on: February 24th, 2012
I just tried to check in, and it won't let me because it says "proof of onward travel required by destination"

And from what I read, United and US Airways do not require this; I can understand if that's a Swiss customs requirement, but that should be dictated by customs NOT the airline. Of course, those might say that the airline has to protect itself in case you do not have the required entry requirements and get sent back; I don't know how often a US citizen gets turned away at the border for not having proper travel documents unless you're going into a country that has specific Visa pre-arrangement requirements.

Well, now I need proof of onward travel; I do have a train ticket from Zurich to Hannover; but it doesn't have names or anything on it (it appears that Deutche Bahn does not print passenger names on tickets). I don't know if that will be sufficient, I was not budgeting for another ticket.

But in the future this is going to totally suck if I can't book one ways without having to show valid onward then I might as well not go anywhere next time. I will be re-entering the US this spring and then out again not sure where to yet but hopefully there will be some ideas on this in the future.

Also I do know about fake bus/rail passes sometimes work, but in this case I do have a legit rail ticket so I might need a fake one in the future? Hopefully someone will have a good idea.

Andromeda

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  • Added on: February 24th, 2012
1) Your train ticket should work fine, they basically want to make sure you won't be sneaking into the country to live/work. I also usually book the first night when flying to a new continent, part cause you're dead tired and part sometimes immigration wants an address.

2) Airlines ask you for this information because if immigration at your destination sends you back the airline is the one who has to pay for it. All airlines do this with varying degrees of strictness in my experience- I was very definitely asked by United for proof of onward travel when I flew one way to Thailand for example. Just accept that they do this and move on with it, as to answer your question you'd be surprised how many US citizens do get turned around at immigration for one reason or another.

3) In that "I am not a lawyer" way, whenever I'm flying somewhere on a one way ticket what I do is search a plausible itinerary in a few weeks time back to the United States (on an airline not affiliated with the one you're flying!), copy what I find to Word, and print that out so it looks like a legit ticket. Never had issues, but if you want a more legitimate option you can always buy a fully refundable return ticket and then cancel the ticket.

mynetdude

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  • Added on: February 24th, 2012
Andromeda wrote:1) Your train ticket should work fine, they basically want to make sure you won't be sneaking into the country to live/work. I also usually book the first night when flying to a new continent, part cause you're dead tired and part sometimes immigration wants an address.

2) Airlines ask you for this information because if immigration at your destination sends you back the airline is the one who has to pay for it. All airlines do this with varying degrees of strictness in my experience- I was very definitely asked by United for proof of onward travel when I flew one way to Thailand for example. Just accept that they do this and move on with it, as to answer your question you'd be surprised how many US citizens do get turned around at immigration for one reason or another.

3) In that "I am not a lawyer" way, whenever I'm flying somewhere on a one way ticket what I do is search a plausible itinerary in a few weeks time back to the United States (on an airline not affiliated with the one you're flying!), copy what I find to Word, and print that out so it looks like a legit ticket. Never had issues, but if you want a more legitimate option you can always buy a fully refundable return ticket and then cancel the ticket.


I have thought about the fully refundable option, that requires a huge chunk of cash tied up (that they can make money on).

FWIW my flight isn't actually with united, but because US Airways doesn't serve my airport I'm flying on Skywest metal but its wearing the UA paint. I don't know about US Airways; and yes I have my hostel booked fortunately.

I have heard of the word doc copy/paste; I haven't seen one and I haven't seen one actually believable.

I just printed out my itinerary a bit ago, it has a barcode (obviously you want one not affiliated with them) but it also says "Flight Itinerary" on top; wouldn't that matter?

busman7

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  • Added on: February 24th, 2012
Just don't use a US based airline.

I flew from Toronto to Bangkok on Cathay Pacific last summer on a one way ticket no questions asked! 8-)
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mynetdude

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  • Added on: February 24th, 2012
busman7 wrote:Just don't use a US based airline.

I flew from Toronto to Bangkok on Cathay Pacific last summer on a one way ticket no questions asked! 8-)


Except QANTAS or going to NZ :P

I understand QANTAS will require onward regardless (just like UA/US) I would have liked to use a non US basec carrier; simply because they suck, but it was the cheapest at the time. I'll be flying back on another airline depending which way I'm coming back so we'll see.

busman7

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  • Added on: February 24th, 2012
mynetdude wrote:
busman7 wrote:Just don't use a US based airline.

I flew from Toronto to Bangkok on Cathay Pacific last summer on a one way ticket no questions asked! 8-)


Except QANTAS or going to NZ :P

I understand QANTAS will require onward regardless (just like UA/US) I would have liked to use a non US basec carrier; simply because they suck, but it was the cheapest at the time. I'll be flying back on another airline depending which way I'm coming back so we'll see.


I refuse to fly Qantas, they screwed me once but will never get another chance. :x

As to cheapest one usually gets what they pay for, false economy if one has to buy an unwanted onward ticket. :?
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EMH

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  • Added on: February 24th, 2012
I'm surprised more people don't know about this:

Continental/United give you 24 hours to cancel ANY ticket. I generally buy a fully refundable ticket so that I have "extra protection" in case I'm not able to cancel the ticket within the 24 hour time period. Sometimes I cancel the ticket so quickly, nothing ever shows up on my credit card.
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2wanderers

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  • Added on: February 24th, 2012
mynetdude wrote:I have thought about the fully refundable option, that requires a huge chunk of cash tied up (that they can make money on).

Use a credit card and tie up the bank's money instead. Just make sure to buy it late enough that you'll be able to cash it in for a refund before the bill comes due.

It's not hard to travel without plans, just sometimes you have to provide people with fake plans.

mynetdude

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  • Added on: February 28th, 2012
thought I'd say a few things now that I'm here in Zuirch, a few things didn't go as people would say would so I'd have to guess that's the exception to the norm.

1. they couldn't even check me in at the kiosk and they insisted it works even for international flights; turns out it has nothing to do with needing an onward return ticket cuz they didn't ask for one even though I had to show my passport at check in.

I bought my ticket through cheapoair.com and my itinerary was wholly based on US Airways even though I had to fly on Skywest/United to my first point and that's where the problem was; they are partners but their systems aren't able to provide seamless check ins, etc.

Once I got to Philadelphia for the final leg, they (gate agent) asked to see my passport again and they just check its validity and that it matches me, etc and no other details were required.

2. I went through customs; they did ask how long and who I was visiting and they didn't ask to see onward tickets either and no proof was required but the fact that I had all my information together helped I'm sure.

Hideo

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  • Added on: February 29th, 2012
The point is though that the Swiss customs officers could have asked to see proof of onward travel. That they didn't on this occasion for you made things easier for you, but had they asked then it obviously pays to have been prepared for that or trouble lies ahead.
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mynetdude

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  • Added on: February 29th, 2012
Hideo wrote:The point is though that the Swiss customs officers could have asked to see proof of onward travel. That they didn't on this occasion for you made things easier for you, but had they asked then it obviously pays to have been prepared for that or trouble lies ahead.


indeed, I had a copy of train tickets my friend had bought for us; but I am sure customs would have had to either deny entry or verify with friend that was the case since I don't think copies are legit.

virtuewill

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  • Added on: March 1st, 2012
I had the same trouble, it's very frustrating when you know you will leave the country but want to travel freely.

Malaysia didn't let me fly to Tokyo with a one way ticket. The airline (Air Asia) said they didn't want me to fly there, then get rejected at Japan. So I bought a ferry ticket from Fukouka to Busan, and I could cancel that ticket after I showed them.

When I arrived in Japan, they didn't even ask if I had a ticket to leave the country.

2 other countries that gave me a hard time were Israel and Australia. The other dozen or so countries were all ok with me entering with a 1 way ticket.

Hays

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  • Added on: March 3rd, 2012
Anybody here have experience flying into Germany on a one-way? I have a ticket on Air Berlin flying from San Francisco non-stop, one-way to Duesseldorf in October...and it's non-refundable
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mynetdude

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  • Added on: March 4th, 2012
Hays wrote:Anybody here have experience flying into Germany on a one-way? I have a ticket on Air Berlin flying from San Francisco non-stop, one-way to Duesseldorf in October...and it's non-refundable


I got the impression that one ways were OK in Europe, depending on the nature of your visit and Visa requirements. By Air? I don't know, I am going to Germany from Switzerland this weekend, so I can hardly think that will be an issue as they are so used to people coming and going from different places its not impossible for them to ask for onward travel but they probably don't because its hardly unlikely that is a problem? I'd say it is ok if you can back up any questions they have (don't go unprepared/without a hostel/hotel address, etc).

Timmie

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  • Added on: March 4th, 2012
I flew Air Berlin using a one-way ticket about a year ago and never had a problem. In fact, I'm headed to Frankfurt in May using the same method. I don't think they really check for onward travel. At least that has been my experience.
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