I'm a US citizen currently traveling in Mexico and considering going down to Colombia. I want to use a one-way ticket and leave my departure date open.

When flying overseas from a US airport, the airline may check for proof of onward travel before allowing you to board. They do this even if immigration for the destination country doesn't care so much. Do airlines do the same thing when flying out of Mexico?

  • @HenningMakholm There's no need to be sarcastic: you can edit to correct the question and you can comment in a way that informs people who obviously don't know, what the difference is. (Immigration controls who can come into a country; customs controls what they're allowed to bring with them.) Nov 22, 2014 at 16:42

1 Answer 1


Yes, this is generally what happens everywhere, for the reason that the airlines can be fined if they let passengers on without a valid return ticket.

Example on a blog where someone in Cancun was banned from boarding a flight to Peru.

What you can do, if it's cheap or possible:

  • buy a cheap bus ticket online from say, Colombia to Ecuador or Venezuela. Then you've got 'onward travel'.
  • find a fully refundable ticket from Colombia to ... somewhere else. Buy it. When you arrive in Colombia safely, get the ticket refunded stat.

It's not just the airline that may check, you'll also likely be checked when you enter Colombia.

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