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Old Mar 8, 12, 9:06 am   #1
 
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Do I need to purchase a return ticket before departure?

I purchased a one way ticket DEN-PEK for next week. I do not know my exact return date yet or even which city I will fly home from. The UAL agent told me that I will need to purchase the return ticket before I depart next week. Does anyone know if this is true? Would I be denied boarding or not allowed to enter China? I would like to wait until I have all my meetings scheduled and confirmed before I purchase the return. That may not happen until I am already in China. Thanks,
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Old Mar 8, 12, 9:23 am   #2
 
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Yes. It is true. When you go through customs they will not let you in the country without seeing your return flight. The original gate agent is also supposed to make sure you have a return flight and even a visa. (if a visa is needed ahead of time).
Their way of making sure you are not staying there permanently.

Last edited by smith80678; Mar 8, 12 at 9:31 am.
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Old Mar 8, 12, 10:51 am   #3
 
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There's plenty of discussion, such as this following thread, over China Forum:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/china...e-transit.html
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Old Mar 8, 12, 10:54 am   #4
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buy a fully refundable return ticket....then you can move it or buy a cheaper one & get it refunded....should work....
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Old Mar 8, 12, 10:55 am   #5
 
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I ahve always just bought a fully-refundable ticket as noted. Then once I knew return date, cancelled ticket and booked a more affordable one.
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Old Mar 8, 12, 12:15 pm   #6
 
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Refundable ticket is a great idea. Thanks.
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Old Mar 8, 12, 1:56 pm   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmitchs View Post
Would I be denied boarding or not allowed to enter China? ,
Most Likely, you would not get to China, they won't let you board.
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Old Mar 8, 12, 2:22 pm   #8
 
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How would this work for a non-rev? There is no return ticket to show to immigration in China, however your airline will know you are listed for a flight back. Would some kind of printout showing being listed standy suffice? I'm not a non-rev anymore, but I would certainly like to get out of this office and back to airline work.
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Old Mar 8, 12, 2:24 pm   #9
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Originally Posted by gwar69 View Post
How would this work for a non-rev? There is no return ticket to show to immigration in China, however your airline will know you are listed for a flight back. Would some kind of printout showing being listed standy suffice? I'm not a non-rev anymore, but I would certainly like to get out of this office and back to airline work.
I presume that carriers have appropriate paperwork for their employees which they have worked out with local authorities. Keeping up with employee immigration issues worldwide is a big deal.
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Old Mar 8, 12, 2:30 pm   #10
 
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
I presume that carriers have appropriate paperwork for their employees which they have worked out with local authorities. Keeping up with employee immigration issues worldwide is a big deal.
Fair point. That sounds simple enough. I worked for US who obviously doesn't do TPAC, so I never thought about that.
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Old Mar 8, 12, 3:06 pm   #11
 
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I've traveled to both PEK and PVG many times on one-way awards and never have been asked to show proof either at check-in or when going through immigration.

Spotty enforcement of the rules. I've always been prepared to book a return on my phone using miles if need be.
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Old Mar 8, 12, 9:35 pm   #12
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There is no return ticket to show to immigration in China, however your airline will know you are listed for a flight back.

Last edited by kingke; Mar 8, 12 at 9:40 pm.
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Old Mar 8, 12, 9:39 pm   #13
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For further discussion, I'll move this to the Travel->China forum. Ocn Vw 1K, Moderator, TravelBuzz.
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Old Mar 8, 12, 10:02 pm   #14
 
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In dozens of entries into China, no one has ever asked to see proof of a return ticket. Indeed, for many common entry scenarios, it would be impossible to show one. Crossing the land border with HK is perhaps the best example of this - what, should I show them my Octopus card to prove I can take the MTR back?

Based on my experience, I wouldn't worry about any problems from Chinese immigration. If the airline gives you trouble at departure, as others have suggested, offer to buy a refundable ticket on the spot and simply cancel it as soon as you land. I wouldn't worry about preparing this in advance, though, as I've never been asked by an airline either (this assumes a valid visa, of course).
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Old Mar 8, 12, 10:47 pm   #15
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If you have a China visa no need for proof of return ticket. You could make a land crossing to exit China.

If making a transit without visa, need a ticket exiting China to a third country within
the time limit Shanghai 48 hrs.. Beijing and others 24 hours.
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