The ‘proof of onward travel’ conundrum

Passport immigrationThis is something that has been on my mind over the past few weeks as I make my final preparations for travelling to Central and South America. When I first booked my flights back in October with Trailfinders, I was told by the agent that in order to be allowed onto my flight in Heathrow airport, I *may* need to show something called ‘proof of onward travel’, which means a flight out of the destination country to prove that you’re not going to overstay your tourist visa (usually 90 days).

As I have an ‘open-jaw’ ticket, which sees me fly into Mexico City on the 28th January and out of Buenos Aires, Argentina on the 28th July, I don’t have a flight ‘out’ of Mexico per se, but I am planning to make my way down to get my return flight from a country almost 5,000 miles away.

The agent in Trailfinders told me that they were “covering their a*ses” in saying this to all customers, which I get in a way, but I’ve been fretting a little bit about this over the past couple of days (leaving it a bit late, I know!) and last night my friend Marie said “just ring British Airways and ask them!”. Great advice..so simple, so effective, why didn’t I think of it?! I called them up today, spoke to a lovely lady by the name of Yvonne and she called the airport for me straight away to investigate. And the outcome is, according to British Airways and Heathrow airport, I’ll be fine! She explained that I have a ticket leaving Argentina in July and that I’m planning on bussing it down through Central & South America, and the word is so as long as I have that return ticket, I’m good! PHEW.

I have to say there is a niggly part of me that still worries about it (I had an awful experience last year involving being stopped getting a connecting flight in Lisbon because of visa issues beyond my control with six journalists in tow. It left SCARS) but I plan to use the charm/tears defensive if I do get stopped and quote my new friend Yvonne…this actually didn’t work the time before but maybe if I’m alone it will?!

I’ve seen a few different options on other blogs and have seen some doctored tickets too which supposedly work, I may have to use that as plan B! I also found a (non refundable) flight leaving from Mex City to Guatemala City for about €100 which would also be a last resort, but I really don’t want to have to backtrack as I plan on going from Mex City down south and then to the east coast so it could be a real waste of money.

Am I mad just going with the word of a BA customer service rep?! Time will tell, I suppose…

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One thought on “The ‘proof of onward travel’ conundrum

  1. Pingback: And so, it begins… | Wings are Wide

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