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One-Way International Flights Problems


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Traveling for leisure or business is one of the most exciting and thrilling experiences that life has to offer. But, when it comes to booking one-way international flights, things can become a little complicated. There are several reasons for this, including airfare prices and immigration procedures.

In this blog post, we will discuss some of the problems that travelers may face when booking one-way international flights.

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Bahrain airport arrivals

1. Meaning of “One-Way Ticket”

A “one-way ticket” refers to a travel ticket that allows you to travel only to your destination, without any return journey to the initial point of departure.

This type of ticket is great for those with flexible plans. It offers freedom and flexibility, allowing spontaneous decisions and easy adaptation to changing circumstances. Whether it’s changing destinations or unexpected travel opportunities, this ticket lets you seize every opportunity.

However, it comes with its own challenges.

2. One-Way International Flights Problems

Let’s explore the challenges of booking one-way international flights. Further below, we highlight common issues travelers may encounter, giving you a better understanding of what to expect when traveling without an onward ticket.

2.1 Expensive Airplane Tickets

One of the most significant “problems” that travelers face when booking one-way international flights is the high cost of airfare.

Airlines often charge more for one-way tickets (per ticket) when compared to return tickets. This is because they want to encourage travelers to buy return tickets, which are more profitable for them. It is also easier for them to “work with” fewer clients. Makes sense, right?

The main takeaway? In most situations, you will pay more for two one-way tickets than for a single return journey.

Why are you booking a one-way flight? Are you doing so because you want to return from a different city or country? Maybe you need a multi-city flight or an open-jaw flight instead. One of these may be a better option for you.

Read more:

2.2 You May Not Be Allowed to Do This

Why? Because you don’t have a return ticket/onward ticket.

Therefore, if the country you are traveling to requires travelers to have a proof of onward or return travel, and you don’t have it, you might not be allowed to go. You may be denied boarding if you don’t have an onward ticket.

2.3 Immigration Procedures

Another major challenge that travelers can encounter when booking one-way international flights is immigration procedures. More and more countries require travelers to have a return ticket or proof of onward travel to enter their country.

This is done to prevent people from overstaying their visa or entering the country illegally. Traveling with a one-way ticket means that you don’t have a return or onward ticket – you don’t have a proof of onward travel. Therefore, you might not be allowed to enter the country you are traveling to.

Read more: Onward Ticket Review

Airport gate Incheon Airport
Airport gate, Incheon Airport

3. Tips to Overcome the Challenges of One-Way International Flights

There are ways to mitigate these issues.

3.1 Flexible Travel Dates

You see, one-way flights may be a cheaper option.

If you have flexible travel dates. Because not always two one-way tickets are more expensive than return flights.

3.2 Flights With Changeable Dates

This is another option for you, if you need that flexibility.

If you want to have the flexibility of a one-way ticket but are worried about having a strict schedule, consider booking a ticket with changeable dates. This allows you to switch your flights without paying any additional fees or charges (make sure to check the rules and fees before making a booking; if that works for you).

Or, you can also opt for refundable tickets, where you’ll receive a full refund if you cancel your trip within a set timeframe.

3.3 Rent an Onward Ticket

There are several tour agents offering this service.

You can rent an onward ticket, and travel stress-free.

Read more: Onward Ticket Review

3.4 Get the Right Visa

Not all types of visas require a proof of onward travel.

If you are traveling somewhere more than once, check out the visa entry requirements and look for the best option for your needs.

4. Are One-Way Flights Cheaper?

One-way flights can be cheaper than return flights.

They can also be significantly more expensive.

It depends on the situation. If, for example, you are very flexible and can fly anytime and from anywhere, it may also be cheaper for you to book several one-way flight tickets than return tickets.

4.1 How to Get Cheap One-Way International Flights?

Because one-way flights can be cheaper than return flights.

1. Book Through Budget Airlines

One of the easiest ways to get cheap one-way international flights is by booking through budget airlines like Southwest, JetBlue, Wizz Air and Ryanair.

Their one-way fares are often much cheaper than with larger, full-service airlines. Remember to check for additional fees on baggage, seat selection, and other services. Read the fine print to secure the best deal.

If necessary, travel with different airlines.

2. Be Flexible with Dates

Flexibility with travel dates can also be a great way to snag cheap one-way international flights. Depending on the time of year and airline, certain days of the week may have lower airfare prices. Consider traveling during the week instead of on weekends, and avoid traveling during peak season.

By being flexible with your travel dates, you can often find better deals on one-way tickets. Sometimes even better than you would have with return tickets.

3. Mix and Match Airlines

Another way to save money on one-way international flights is by mixing and matching airlines. Check the prices, compare what’s included and just go with the airline that offer the best deal on your route.

4. Consider Booking Last Minute

Finally, if you’re feeling spontaneous and flexible, booking a last-minute one-way international flight can be a great way to save money. Airlines sometimes lower prices for unsold seats closer to the departure date, so keep an eye on prices and be ready to book when you find a good deal.

Of course, this strategy requires flexibility and a willingness to take a bit of a risk, so it may not be the best option for everyone.

In conclusion, one-way international flights can be expensive and pose immigration challenges. You may have to book or rent that onward ticket after all. What is your experience with one-way international travel?

About the author:

Co-founder and Chief Editor at Connecting Flights Guide

Kaspars is a digital nomad and travel blogger who’s been traveling the world extensively since 2013. Since 2017, Kaspars has been writing about the less-known aspects of air travel, things like air passenger rights laws and regulations. He’s really good at simplifying complex concepts and making them easily understandable. Kaspars favorite airlines are Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines.


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Your go-to guide to air travel rules and regulations. Connecting flights, self transfer, onward tickets and more – we want you to understand air travel better

This article may contain compensated links. Learn more in our disclaimer.

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