I currently have a one-way ticket to Rome, and I’m going through London to get there. Do you think I will have trouble going through the UK if I only have a one-way ticket?
This is a tricky proposition. It is not my impression that you will be given any problems in London — you are just passing through, your passport and air ticket should only be checked for security purposes if you are connecting flights — but you may have difficulty boarding the flight in the USA.
I have not yet had much of a problem with this — I have left the USA with one way tickets more times than I care to count — but I know of many other people who have been hassled and forced to purchase a return or onward ticket before departing.
This is also something I expect to see more of as airlines search for ways to squeeze every last penny out of their passengers. The entrance rules of many countries state that you need proof of onward travel — but this is hardly ever enforced. This seems as if this could be used as a good “hands clean” way for airlines to sell two tickets rather than one to passengers with unspecified travel plans.
“It is the regulations of the country, it has nothing to do with us, you need to buy another ticket,” I can imagine the airlines saying in justification.
I have not yet had a problem getting on flights to Europe with a one-way ticket, but it is a reasonable possibility. Speaking of probability, you probably will not be asked for proof of onward travel, depending on the airline you are traveling with (I found that you have a better chance of not being asked for proof of onward travel with airlines based in the region you are traveling to). You have a couple options to safeguard yourself if you do not want to test probability.
- Just purchase a super cheap budget airline ticket from a Schengen country to a non-Schengen country departing three months from the time you board your flight for Europe. Seriously, if you book this far in advance you could get a ticket to somewhere outside the Schengen zone for under $30. Then if you decide to take the flight, take it; if not, you only lost a few ten dollar bills.
The amount that you will pay doing this would probably be far less than if you are refused boarding and forced to purchase at the airport.
- Print up a fake itinerary.
- How to get by onward ticket requirements
- Travel Tip #2- Onward Tickets for One-Way Travelers
I hope this helps,
Original question about traveling to Europe on a one way ticket