Asia,  Philippins,  TDM,  Tips

Philippines: Return ticket / exit required. No exit ticket? Well, you’re not leaving

This morning I broke a world record: buying a plane ticket in 1 min 30.While we had just made the checkin at the airport of Hong Kong and that we were heading towards immigration, the hostess of the company sprints and catches us in flight.- “I forgot to ask for your exit ticket from the Philippines”.– “Uh… what?”- “Philippine immigration requires us to check that every visitor has an exit ticket, if you don’t have one, I will cancel your registration”.

The threat fell like a knife because I was going to do as I pleased and ignore it royally.We tried to cheat by showing our ticket “around the world” but it was necessary to go to the evidence, there was no trace of exit of the Philippines on this one (nor even of entry besides ^^).The only solution: buy a ticket in 4th gear to Ho Chi Minh City, which is done thanks to the Kiwi site which not only has a very efficient purchasing process but is also almost systematically the cheapest.Even after I got out my computer and bought the tickets in front of him. It took the hostess a good 5 minutes to check, with the help of a colleague who came as a backup, that the two tickets were for us. As if right now, in this context, I was going to decide to buy tickets for someone else.Lesson 1: Make sure you check the conditions of entry into a country, the Philippines isn’t the only one to have this condition. By the way, I could tinker with a bogus ticket or buy one that can be cancelled.Lesson n°2: always arrive well in advance at the airport, there can always be an unexpected event 🙂Arrived in the Philippines, the immigration guy just scans my passport, my arrival card filled out on the plane. He did not ask for my return ticket.

The explanation

The return ticket trick was not a trick set up by Cebu Pacific or Air Asia to get us to buy a return ticket. A decree issued by the Philippine government threatens to make the airlines pay (very high) fees if they do not ensure that passengers have a ticket to leave the country. The airlines are afraid and apply it blindly, while immigration authorities upon arrival in the Philippines do not even ask for an exit ticket. Round-the-world tickets (if there are no flights from the Philippines) aren’t accepted.So, if you leave France for the Philippines and you don’t know how long you plan to stay there, get an exit ticket (within 30 days from your departure date), to any city in the neighboring countries (Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Taipei…), it will cost you between 30€ and 50€. Do not buy a return ticket Philippines – France in a hurry. Stay zen, buy a Manila – Hong Kong ticket. Come on, it will do you good to visit Hong Kong anyway.Otherwise, you can buy a fake ticket on Bestonwardticketor book a free cancellable ticket on Orbitz

For more information…

Here are the countries/locations where we did not have problems with registration or immigration, yet we did not have an exit ticket:

  • Argentina (land border crossing)
  • Burma (arrival by plane)
  • Brazil (land border crossing from Paraguay)
  • Bolivia (crossing land borders)
  • Cambodia (arrival by plane)
  • Canada
  • Chile (arrival by plane via Easter Island)
  • United States
  • Guatemala (land border crossing)
  • Hong Kong (arrival by plane)
  • Honduras (land border crossing)
  • India (but it depends on the companies apparently)
  • Indonesia (arrival by boat)
  • Laos (arrival by plane)
  • Macau (arrival by boat)
  • Morocco
  • Mexico (arrival by plane): be careful if you are departing from France, or via the land crossing you will be asked for an exit ticket
  • Nepal (arrival by plane)
  • Nicaragua (arrival by plane)
  • Paraguay (crossing land borders)
  • Peru (land border crossing)
  • El Salvador (land border crossing)
  • Singapore (arrival by plane)
  • Thailand (arrival by plane)
  • Uruguay (land border crossing)
  • Vietnam (arrival by plane)

Here are the countries where we were asked for the exit ticket:

  • China
  • Colombia
  • South Korea
  • Japan
  • Philippines
  • Panama
  • Costa Rica

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