Onward ticket from the Philippines – FAQ / Workaround
Before you board a plane to the Philippines you need to show a return or onward flight ticket (to anywhere outside PI), an annoying ‘immigration requirement’ for foreigners. Once you land you don’t have to show it.
Some common questions that it’s hard to find the answers to on Google, and a cheap solution:
Do they always ask?
Yes, unlike e.g. Thailand it isn’t random, it’s strictly enforced for every airline and departure airport, and you can’t really blag it.
Does it need to be a printed ticket?
No, I’ve shown a booking confirmation email on my phone several times without a problem. Some websites online say it needs to be printed, I think that’s outdated info.
Do you still need an outward ticket if you have a visa?
Yes, whether you’re entering on the free 30 days visa waiver (used to be 21, then increased) or have a visa already (for 59 days), you still have to show an onward ticket.
Does the outward flight need to be within 30 days?
When I asked at the check in desk the lady said no it can be dated whenever… ‘because you can extend’. I asked what if it’s dated years in the future because you can extend visas within the Philippines for about three years… she didn’t know.
Some people do get refused though if their ticket isn’t within 30 days. So if that’s you arrive at check in as early as possible (opens 3 hrs before flight) in case you need to book a last minute flight somewhere.
Any other workaround?
Flyonward.com recently fixed this problem, for $10 you can rent a real ticket that auto-cancels after 24 hours. Just enter the time you want to receive your ticket, your email, and pay on Paypal. A clever ‘hack’ for digital nomads, and less risky than using fake ticket sites in case they check the flight number on their computer.
Hidden brag Pierre Cardin suitcase
Or if you’re using Flyonward last minute whether or not you can get it in time depends if it’s during their office hours (8AM to 9PM UTC+7), in which case it might take up to 2 hours. Outside of office hours you might be waiting up to 14 hours.
So ideally book it the night before travelling. I’ve used this before and it works.
Update: Now I prefer BestOnwardTicket.com it’s faster, cheaper ($8) and tickets are valid longer, 48 hours. I tested it out and wrote a review here.
Low cost Airlines?
If you’ve left it too late to use Flyonward or actually want to use your onward flight ticket, these are the main Southeast Asia airline carriers.
Flight costs vary depending on promos, your check in baggage weight, stopovers etc. so it’s worth checking several airline sites.
Do the Cebu Pacific girls always dance?
Sadly no, never the times I fly 🙁 Maybe only at Xmas?