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So I've booked my ticket to start my next big overland trip and I've elected to start in Kuala Lumpur because it's the cheapest place to fly to from Sydney.

I've previously expressed some concerns that flying into KL on a one-way ticket could end in being refused permission to board the plane or to enter the country on arrival:

  1. What happens if you arrive in Malaysia with a one-way ticket but are asked for proof of onward travel?
  2. Fly into Singapore or Kuala Lumpur on one-way ticket to begin overlanding trip?

Based on advice in those answers my plan is to buy a train ticket from Alor Setar to Hat Yai in Thailand, or perhaps from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore and use that as proof that I'll be leaving Malaysia.

But will this be sufficient? Should I buy a one-way ticket to Singapore and specifically avoid a return ticket? Or would I be better off buying a train ticket north since Singapore is the end of the line to the south whereas the north can take me to many countries far from Malaysia?

share|improve this question
related… – Adrien Be May 20 '15 at 7:55
and 6 months later while traveling the world...I just launched a blog & wrote an article about that very topic: Proof of onward travel or how to avoid it. I hope it helps a few of you! – Adrien Be Nov 24 '15 at 5:23
up vote 7 down vote accepted


I don't know if it will work for everybody every time but it worked for me today.

The lady at the Air Asia X check-in counter in Sydney airport asked me for my onward ticket when she saw I was flying to KL one-way. I presented the e-ticket for my train trip to Singapore, which only cost about $10.

At immigration in Kuala Lumpur they didn't ask me any questions at all. They were quite nice and friendly. Of course this is not a guarantee that they won't ask some people. So I cannot state for sure how the train ticket would work if they did.

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Personally, I've never had a problem with an onward destination going to Malaysia. I have never flown into Malaysia, I've always entered over land and they've never asked if I was leaving.

If you run into any trouble it'll be when you check in to AirAsia or whoever you're flying with. They'll want proof of onward travel more so than customs (Opinion).

If I were you, I'd go to the airport a bit early, check in, see if they ask for it. If they do and won't let you board without proof, I'd buy a ticket. I assume Sydney has Wi-Fi or you have a phone with Wi-Fi. Granted I travel broke and it's worth saving $20 to me.

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Yes typically these checks are done in airports and not land borders (unless they decide you might be a problem). Also typically the airlines only check when they have had pressure from the destination country. Usually immigration in a country refuses entry to people and makes the airline who brought them take them back at their expense. This is why we're not checked every time we board a plane to any destination, but just some. – hippietrail Jul 23 '13 at 0:37
@hippietrail In fact, it's worse than that. Some countries (I know that's the case for the Schengen area, don't know about others) impose fines to the airlines if they failed to check visas properly (on top of requiring them to bring the passenger back to the origin country at their own costs). – Relaxed Nov 30 '13 at 14:02

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