What You Need to Know About Booking One-Way Tickets

1.35min read
Published 18 August 2011

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Our Airfare Experts break down how one-way tickets work, and offer some important things you should know before making your next booking:


When booking a one-way ticket you may be shocked at the price. Sometimes its fair, sometimes its expensive,  and other times it's more expensive than a return ticket. The price of a one-way ticket depends completely on your destination.

If you're flying to a country that requires some sort of documentation for you to get through immigration besides a passport with 6 month validity, then chances are your one-way ticket is going to be very expensive and probably more expensive than a return ticket. We asked our travel guru Dennis to give us some more insight on this topic and here's what he had to say:

One way tickets are comparatively more expensive than 1/2 a return, and in some cases even higher than the cost of a full return fare.  As countries will always require documentation to indicate the purpose of your trip and proof that you are in fact going to leave within the maximum permitted stay allowance (such as a flight out of the country), arriving on a one way ticket could prove to find yourself in a very uncomfortable situation.  Arriving one way without the correct documentation would result in interrogation by customs & immigration, and likely denied entry and your immediate expulsion from the country either via the airline that transported you, or via the first available flight at your cost.  You could also be blacklisted which would affect your ability to travel to or transit via this country in the future as well."

It's very important to note that in most countries you're likely to be denied entry with a one-way ticket as you have no proof of onward travel (you seem awfully suspicious with a one-way ticket to China with just a tourist visa for 12 weeks, trust me I've been there and trying to say "I'm backpacking through to Vietnam" in Chinese is really hard).

This is not to say all one-way tickets are expensive. Common sense would tell you using this knowledge that immigration is not really going to hassle you in Montreal after you boarded in Toronto, so therefore the airline is safe to charge you just the one-way fare.

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