Fly Internationally. One Way?

Travel Forums General Talk Fly Internationally. One Way?

1. Posted by road to roam (Respected Member 143 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Has anyone ever heard of or used a service which essentially "rents" to you the return portion of a flight to an international country? For example, you want to fly to an international destination, but your loose travel plans mean you simply have not considered WHEN you'd like to return or even WHERE you'd like to return from, or to. I have heard of established services that will purchase, on their dime and in your name, a refundable return leg for about $30 USD or about 20 Euro.

These services simply book you a refundable return flight in your name based on the info you give them. Once you arrive to the country YOU have bought one-way passage to, the return leg is canceled. The company providing the service then waits for their refund, likely for weeks and weeks! Paying 30 bucks for their service provides you with solid proof of onward travel from the country you are flying to.

My skeptical and slightly paranoid self would be wary of using such a service, although these services are legit. I understand there are several other ways of achieving this aside from using their services, like being an airline miles guru, scoring a good deal on a simple round-trip (return) journey and cancelling/skipping the outbound leg, or simply buying your own refundable ticket. Just curious if anyone can shed light on this service for me.

Of course, there are visas you may need and proof of funds you may be required to show based upon where you are flying to, but I am just wondering if anyone has heard of or used these services that essentially permit you to fly somewhere internationally one-way. Wouldn't be my first choice, but hoping someone could assuage my doubt.

Just asking for a friend....

[ Edit: Edited on 04-Mar-2019, at 15:30 by road to roam ]

2. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 787 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

The one a friend had often used appears to have stopped (flyonward) .
Another friend mentioned bestonwardticket but I don't know if they've actually used them yet..

I know some countries frown upon the use of these tickets

3. Posted by road to roam (Respected Member 143 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Andrew Mack

I know some countries frown upon the use of these tickets

I am a total newbie here with this subject, and thanks for bringing up a good point: How do officials know you are using this method?

[ Edit: Edited on 04-Mar-2019, at 15:21 by road to roam ]

4. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 787 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

TBH I don't remember what I was told about it... Something about them renting tickets that were already sold.... ummmm no I don't remember enough.
I do remember them saying it was highly unlikely to be found out but if you were after showing them at immigration (rather than at the check-in desk) that could be deemed as fraudulent representation to an immigration official which is bad news in every language...

If you know you're definately coming back then investigating a flexible / refundable return isn't a bad idea.

5. Posted by ToddP (Moderator 177 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

There are various ticket type groups (fare family) - in an airline world called branded fares. Depends on the fare family different rules applies such as:

  • advance purchase
  • day/ time/ connection restrictions, etc
  • but most importantly here > name changes, changes and refunds

Changes and Refunds
Depends on the fare you buy (fare family) various rules applies when it comes to changes and refunds.

A very simplistic example:
[A] Economy Light> no refunds possible ie you do not fly no refunds issued for all or partial unused ticket. Changes possible but amend fee + fare difference applies.
[B] Standard> no refunds possible ie you do not fly no refunds issued for all or partial unused ticket. Changes possible but amend fee + fare difference applies. But checked-in bag is included.
[C] Economy Flex> you can transfer to an earlier flight on the day free of charge. Ticket is refundable T&Cs apply and you need to request for a refund prior the actual flight in question.
[D] Business Flex> lounge access, you can change and modify dates and times of your flight, ticket is refundable if not used.

Each airline has their own rules and if studied carefully on the route you are looking to fly it's easily understandable. I would not pay anyone for US$30 for that kind of service. Ultimately you are paying for some one to administer the request to an airline and filling all the forms for a refund request. That's all that is.

If you are 'buying' or 'selling' unused leg of your journey ultimately you are playing with T&Cs and refunding the unused part of a refundable ticket for an airline to resell.

There is a different kind of services provided out there - where ticket is 'sold/booked' for a fixed nominal fee to allow applying for visas only and not for travelling. If you interested in this happy to elaborate further.

6. Posted by road to roam (Respected Member 143 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Quoting ToddP

Ultimately you are paying for some one to administer the request to an airline and filling all the forms for a refund request. That's all that is.

That is exactly what the service does. I remain skeptical of it, but it sounds so much more convenient to pay a nominal fee for a service company to take care of the refund request and deal with any agro as you ride off into the sunset, so to speak. I see too many caveats and what if's with these services. I thought perhaps someone on the forum has used these types of services in the past.

Quoting ToddP

There is a different kind of services provided out there - where ticket is 'sold/booked' for a fixed nominal fee to allow applying for visas only and not for travelling. If you interested in this happy to elaborate further.

What can you tell me about this?

7. Posted by ToddP (Moderator 177 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Quoting road to roam

Quoting ToddP

[quote=ToddP]There is a different kind of services provided out there - where ticket is 'sold/booked' for a fixed nominal fee to allow applying for visas only and not for travelling. If you interested in this happy to elaborate further.

What can you tell me about this?

This is something you can not do your self and would need to use an 'agent' to provide this type of service.

SCENARIO
Some countries require a proof of a return ticket to enter as an example. You can 'purchase' a booking without actually buying a ticket. 'Agent' will issue you a ticket/booking for a fee which is valid for a selected period of time (04/ 07/ 14 days, etc). After this period the booking/ ticket is cancelled.

TECHNICAL SET-UP
Some ticket by some airlines have what's called ticket time limit- period how long you can hold seat on hold without actually buying it. Agents are using GDS systems hence their set-up is slightly different from what you are getting as an end user on the web site.
Without going in to much of technical jargon think about airline ticket you are looking to book on an airliner web site and airline is offering service 'Time To Think'. You are not buying the ticket just as yet, but just holding it for a fee. The most important part here that all your details + seat + price is locked in the system and held for you. You have booked it, but not paid for it just as yet. After booking it and before expiration the confirmation looks like booking, but technically you do not have a booking because you are only holding the seat.

8. Posted by road to roam (Respected Member 143 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

I believe I was wrong to say in my scenario the service "purchases a refundable return leg for you." It seems we are thinking of the same service. The way you describe it makes more sense, but it really seems like we are talking about the same service.

Rather than the agent "purchasing a refundable ticket" that agent has access to GDS and helps you hold a seat, for a fee. I get it know and your scenario makes perfect sense. Sorry for any confusion i may have caused - but it sounds like you know this system...

Have you ever used the service yourself or know someone who has?

[ Edit: Edited on 05-Mar-2019, at 08:10 by road to roam ]

9. Posted by ToddP (Moderator 177 posts) 7w 2 Star this if you like it!

Quoting road to roam

Have you ever used the service yourself or know someone who has?

I am working in a commercial aviation industry so let say 'I've seen it all' at this stage

[ Edit: Edited on 05-Mar-2019, at 08:17 by ToddP ]