As mentioned in another question I hope to fly one way from Istanbul to Seoul on a one way ticket in the next few weeks, then while I'm in Korea decide whether to fly directly home or get a visa for China and come home that way, since there are lots of cheap flights I could use.

I know that officially people must have a return ticket or an onward ticket to be allowed to enter just about any country.

I also know that for many countries this rule is seldom enforced and many people travel around the world on all one-way tickets.

In researching this question I have read that it is up to the airline at the at the airport you board your flight to pre-screen people to make sure they have such return/onward tickets, and that airlines may be fined for any people the destination country rejects.

Personally I have never been asked to show a return or onward ticket in an airport at either departure or arrival (I have been asked for it when extending a visa at the immigration office in Mexico).

What I want to know is "Is Etihad known to strictly enforce this rule?" (At least from Atatürk Aiport in Istanbul if it makes a difference?)

  • 4
    You could cheat. Buy a 100% refundable ticket from Korea to, say, Japan and use that as your onward ticket if asked. Once you arrive in Korea, cancel the ticket and get your money back.
    – user27478
    Aug 31, 2012 at 6:33
  • It's true, I could even buy a ferry ticket. But before I invest in working around the problem I want to establish a more definite idea of whether the problem occurs, or what the chances are. Aug 31, 2012 at 8:26
  • 1
    Just to be complete, they don't so much need evidence of an onward fare as they need evidence you will be allowed in. Because you live there already, because you have paperwork to show you are emigrating there, or because you have a ticket back out again - these are all reasons to be confident you'll be allowed in. Oct 2, 2012 at 16:57
  • @hippietrail maybe you should put that as an answer to your own question? As a partial answer if nothing else.
    – Alendri
    Oct 3, 2012 at 19:31
  • @Alendri: OK done. Oct 4, 2012 at 3:30

2 Answers 2


Just for the record, in my case nobody at any stage asked to see my onward ticket or any other evidence I would be legal in Korea.

I had a crappy printout but did not need to produce it.

I can't guarantee it will be like this for all travellers of course.

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    How judicious any airline is on these matters will depend on how judicious the authorities are in the receiving country, and that can change in an instant. The Philippines for example have been checking and enforcing recently; people being sent back at the airline's expense tends to wake them up. lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/… Oct 23, 2014 at 19:36

I'm not sure why you would subject yourself to extra scrutiny by not having the proper documentation for travel. All it does is create anxiety for you and potentially get an airline employee/airline in trouble if they forget to check.

The general rule is that if you are not a citizen of a particular country, you must have either a return ticket to your country of origin or a ticket for onward journey to another country or a visa giving you permission to stay in that country. Failure to do so will result in being unable to continue your travel plans and deportation if you arrive in a country without the proper documentation.

Even if the airline fails to ask for such ticket, the Immigration Officer at the arriving country may ask you for said ticket.

  • it's site protocol that there's no need to sign your name on each post, I've removed them. Cheers.
    – Mark Mayo
    Oct 6, 2012 at 1:45
  • Yes I know all this, it's not what I was asking. Stack Exchange is for specific questions with specific answers. I think this is more of a comment than an answer about Etihad in particular. Oct 6, 2012 at 5:33

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