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How To Provide Proof Of Onward Travel (The Weird Flying Rule)

Proof Of Onward Travel Tips

How To Provide Proof Of Onward Travel

Flying Travel Tips

Planning to travel internationally on a one-way flight? You might have a problem. Some airlines and countries require proof of onward travel. Here’s how you can get it.

“Before you can board this flight, I need to see your proof of onward travel.

What?! But I’m traveling on a one-way ticket!

I remember the first time this happened to me. I was checking in at Boston’s Logan Airport for an international one-way flight to Bangkok, Thailand.

Excited to visit Southeast Asia for the first time, I was planning to spend a few months living in Chiang Mai and backpacking around Asia as a digital nomad.

I was flying there on a one-way flight ticket to save money, and also I wasn’t sure how long I’d stay…

One month or three? Would I even go back to the United States? Maybe I’ll travel to another country overland. I simply hadn’t planned that far ahead yet.

However due to my American privilege and inexperience with international travel, it never crossed my mind that this would be a problem.

Can’t I just buy another ticket when I’m ready to leave? Nope.

Proof Of Onward Travel Guide For 2020

Nadia Johnson

Tuesday 21st of September 2021

Wow so much helpful information thank you!

Marsha Calvo

Saturday 14th of August 2021

I had an incident where I was asked to provide the onward ticket when checking in. So I stepped out of line and booked one. I actually booked a cheap onward ticket for $50 that was a real possibility I would use. I showed the agent my ticket confirmation by email but she wasn't satisfied. She asked me for the full ticket numbers to add to my reservation and wouldn't proceed without them. So, my questions is, even though you have a PNR/confirmation number what do you do if they ask for your ticket numbers?


Wednesday 13th of January 2021

I plan on traveling to India with a one way ticket and exploring Southeast Asia. Is proof of onward travel only needed before boarding the plane or is it needed upon arrival through immigration and customs as well? If so, I’m worried that the onward flight rental won’t last and I will have to rent another upon arrival just before I enter customs.

William Von Harten

Sunday 17th of May 2020

I'm a bit confused by the "onward-ticket" issue for travelers flying to countries on a one-way ticket. I mean...if you enter a country, and the tourist visa is only good for 30 days, but you have an "onward-ticket" showing you will depart within 30 days...but then, the "onward-ticket" gets cancelled after your arrival, and you overstay your visa...aren't you going to be in trouble with the immigration authorities when/if you actually do attempt to leave the country? the strategy here...NOT to overstay the visa...but to have the flexibility to make your future plans...after...your arrival in another country, and that way avoid the extra expense of a round-trip ticket?

Matthew Karsten

Monday 16th of August 2021

What everyone else said. Maybe you want to extend your tourist visa, but aren't sure until you spend some time in the country first? Maybe you don't know where you want to travel next? This gives you that flexibility.


Friday 6th of November 2020

The purpose here is just to have more flexibility during your trip. So once you are in the country you can choose when to leave and how. So you don't have to think about that before the trip. But you can't overstay your 30 days limit otherwise you will be illegal and will have to pay daily penalties when leaving.

Dan Gable

Wednesday 17th of June 2020

So one case may be that you do a visa run, or want to sort out a more permanent visa which sometimes can only be done once in the country. Or sometimes you can just extend your visa. In short, there are loads of situations where this happens and it’s all part of the nomad life.

Emily Dean

Friday 17th of April 2020

Hello! I am getting a travel visa to Turkey and then a residence one once I arrive. Will using a ticket to cancel work for this? I plan on moving there, all legally but I am unable to get a student visa at this time (covid). Not sure if you have anymore information on this. Thank you!

Matthew Karsten

Monday 16th of August 2021

It should, yes. They just want to see proof you plan to leave within the visa time-frame, they can't/won't follow up later to see that you canceled it. It's just a bit more airline "security theater" to deter people from trying to stay past their visa illegally. But in practice it makes no sense when you can easily cancel your flight.

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