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Old May 25, 2013, 10:07 PM
bigsombrero bigsombrero is offline
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 3
Default International One-Way tickets - help?

Hello folks,

I have seen a lot on the internet about this, however this forum seems like an okay place to raise this question as well.

I want to purchase a one-way ticket to Guatemala in the near future. I'm definitely going to return to the USA within a month or two, but due to flexibility and an open-ended work schedule, I'm not interested in paying the full round-trip price plus the change-ticket fee (likely an extra $400 or so).

I've tried this once before, and I was told at the O'Hare ticket counter that I needed to purchase a return ticket in order to board the flight (this was to Costa Rica about 3 years ago). I understand why an airline would WANT you to have a return flight, and I also understand why the Guatemalan immigration service would want to see a proof-of-exit. But why does Delta, United, etc get to tell me I cannot leave the country?

I was thinking about purchasing a bus ticket from Guatemala City to Honduras or something - a "proof of exit" purchase to satisfy the Guatemalan authorities. Will that suffice? I am fearful it will not, and I will be forced to purchase a return ticket at the gate in ORD before I'm able to board the flight. I am not checking bags - can I just print my e-boarding pass at a kiosk and go right through? So many scenarios and I want to be prepared!

What can I do? How can I purchase a one-way ticket to Guatemala and not be hassled and overcharged? I am not "fleeing" the USA - I live there and of course I'll come back!

Last edited by bigsombrero; May 25, 2013 at 10:09 PM.
Old May 25, 2013, 11:01 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

Travelling to a country in Central America, one way, with no bags, and a fake exit bus ticket will attract attention from a lot more than just Delta I imagine! It might be cheaper and easier to buy a return and just no show for the return. The reason airlines force you to buy a return is because if immigration in Guatemala reject you, the airline will face a hefty fine.
Old May 26, 2013, 2:51 PM
azstar azstar is offline
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 375

Many countries require a return or onward ticket before they will allow you to enter. It is not within the airlines control if this is what the country requires. You could be deported (at airline expense) and the airline will be subject to a huge fine (frequently up to $10,000 for each passenger who arrives without proper documentation.)

You could purchase a fully refundable ticket (it will be expensive) and get a full refund when you return to the USA, or buy a refundable ticket to a country near Guatemala (Mexico, for example). That way you can enter the country, and purchase any kind of ticket you want once you get to Guatemala.
international flights, one-way

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