As you may know, some countries require travellers to have proof of exit from the country. It is usually the airlines, at check-in, who are responsible for checking that you have an exit ticket.
Not being aware of it, we were almost prevented from taking our flight from Hong Kong to Manila, we had to buy an emergency exit ticket, otherwise we stayed at the airport.
Since then, we have been using an airline ticket rental service. This service works very well but costs $12 per person.
I recently discovered a 100% free solution: Orbitz.
Orbitz is an online travel agency, a subsidiary of Expedia that allows you to book airline tickets, hotel nights, car rentals, …
So far nothing special, it’s exactly like Kayak, Skyscanner, and others…
The small difference that changes everything is that the plane tickets booked on Orbitz can be cancelled free of charge within 24 hours, in two clicks, without having to present any proof.
Here’s the test I did.
Let’s say I want to go to the Philippines, I need an exit ticket. I first do a little research on Kiwi which is very handy to determine the cheapest destination from the Philippines. You will be refunded after the cancellation but you might as well advance as little fees as possible.
I then look for the flight to Orbitz, making sure that “Free cancel” is present.
At the time of payment, I make sure again that the mention of cancellation within 24 hours is always present.
A few minutes after payment, I receive my e-ticket that I can present at the checkin and immigration if necessary. It is a perfectly valid plane ticket.
The e-mail contains a cancellation link, no need to search the site for hours.
Once I arrive in the Philippines, I just have to click on the link in the email.
The following page indicates a full refund.
Once you click on “Cancel my flight” you will receive a confirmation indicating that you will be refunded within 7 to 10 days.
In practice, I received the refund after 10 days without needing to restart
So Orbitz is a great plan to get a free proof of exit from the territory.
Three small disadvantages:
- You still have to block several tens or even hundreds of euros for about ten days depending on the cheapest flight you found and the number of passengers.
- Prices are in dollars, so use a card without exchange fees like Boursorama Ultim, N26 or Revolut. Otherwise you risk paying exchange fees when paying and when refunding, which reduces the interest of this tip to zero.
- After 24 hours, the airline ticket isn’t cancellable, you will not be able to change the name of the passenger and a change of itinerary will be charged 70 dollars. So don’t forget to cancel it in time.
If these inconveniences are prohibitive for you, the rental of airline tickets remains an excellent solution.