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Worried about throwaway ticketing costing thousands

Worried about throwaway ticketing costing thousands

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Old Feb 6, 16, 4:44 pm
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Worried about throwaway ticketing costing thousands

Here's the situation. And it's a potentially very nasty one:
My fiancé is coming to United States on a K1 fiancé Visa, meaning she will be flying one way and staying in the US after that so we can be married.
The cost of a roundtrip ticket on JAL (Japan Airlines) is about a thousand dollars. Cost of one way ticket is almost five thousand dollars. Yes, that is correct, a $4,000.00 difference.
On the K1 Visa my fiancé must marry me in 90 days and then stay in the country until she gets her Green Card. (Takes about 6 months to get Green Card).
The Immigration Authorities don't care whether a one way or two way is booked BUT, if the ticket is not cancelled JAL may enter in its computers that she took the flight. That can cause a problem because if the US Immigration Service thinks she left the United States prior to getting the Green Card, they could refuse to issue the Green Card and deport her.
So, it is essential that the ticket be cancelled, as opposed to her just not showing up for the return flight to Japan.
My concern is that JAL will refuse to cancel the ticket unless the difference in the fares ($4,000.00) is paid.
Question: Will JAL try to charge the $4,000.00 difference when we try to cancel the return flight?
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Old Feb 6, 16, 5:06 pm
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Why don't you just take advantage of the current sale on AA frequent-flyer miles, and buy enough miles for a one-way award. Should cost about $600-$800 in Economy class (depending on whether travel is before May 1 or not); or about $1,200 in Business Class. You can call AA to check award availability, and put something on a free, five-day hold before buying any miles.

https://buymiles.aa.com/en/buygift

Last edited by guv1976; Feb 6, 16 at 5:25 pm
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Old Feb 6, 16, 5:08 pm
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Old Feb 6, 16, 5:19 pm
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So use a different airline. You don't say where she will be arriving but Singapore airlines and Asiana have some pretty inexpensive one-ways. As do some of the Chinese airlines. Do some searching and find a cheaper fare than JAL.
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Old Feb 6, 16, 6:28 pm
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Worried about throwaway ticketing costing thousands

All very good options
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Old Feb 6, 16, 6:30 pm
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Originally Posted by edaesq View Post
BUT, if the ticket is not cancelled JAL may enter in its computers that she took the flight. That can cause a problem because if the US Immigration Service thinks she left the United States prior to getting the Green Card, they could refuse to issue the Green Card and deport her
Is there good reason to believe this? I doubt JL would think she actually took the flight if she did not. I also don't think it would get back to USCIS she took the flight, when she never did.

I think JL will know you did not take the flight. They will not give her miles for the return flight, because they know she didn't fly. And the conventional wisdom is that they will not care or do anything, as long as this is not a common occurrence.
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Old Feb 6, 16, 6:56 pm
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Worried about throwaway ticketing costing thousands

All the above is excellent advice.

Also, even if JAL did for some reason report her as taking the return flight (highly unlikely as intl flights from the US require very strict passenger manifest matching), she has pretty good evidence that she did not: When authorities show up at your door, I assume she will be there (or nearby) to greet them in person, on US soil.

Oh, and welcome to FT, and congrats on your engagement!
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Old Feb 6, 16, 7:34 pm
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If that's the best ticket for your budget and needs, get it.

Jal won't care if this is the first time throwing away a ticket portion. People cancel flights all the time or just don't show up (which sometimes makes more sense given the cancellation fees). The government won't car either as long as she remains in the US while her GC is being processed.

You should be fine. Congrats on the engagement!
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Old Feb 6, 16, 7:59 pm
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Worried about throwaway ticketing costing thousands

You are overthinking about a problem that isn't there. Buy the roundtrip and cancel when fiance is in US (just say you need to change date but not sure when yet).

Last edited by seawolf; Feb 6, 16 at 8:50 pm
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Old Feb 6, 16, 9:31 pm
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
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Why don't you just take advantage of the current sale on AA frequent-flyer miles, and buy enough miles for a one-way award. Should cost about $600-$800 in Economy class (depending on whether travel is before May 1 or not); or about $1,200 in Business Class. You can call AA to check award availability, and put something on a free, five-day hold before buying any miles.

https://buymiles.aa.com/en/buygift
I'd second this. A friend once went the paid-ticket route and the girl's family cashed in the ticket! (She was from a poor country). The friend was irritated at this but had plenty of money and bought another one! She did come over but the relationship didn't work out, he sent her back home and she married a local guy.
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Old Feb 6, 16, 9:51 pm
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Of all the CIS issues which can occur, this is the least of her worries. JL is not going to show her as taking a flight she didn't take and even if somehow this all wound up in the lap of CIS, it's hardly a problem to explain.
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Old Feb 7, 16, 1:05 am
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Worried about throwaway ticketing costing thousands

1 book the ticket with a return in one years time. All the formalities should have been completed by then so no issue arises.

2 alternatively book he return on a memorable date ?4thJuly? Then make sure you are out at public events on that day with plenty of photos taken and other people involved so it is easy to prove she did not take the flight if by some miracle JAL records that she did.
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Old Feb 7, 16, 1:08 am
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When my Japanese husband was my boyfriend and then fiancé we occasionally did the throwaway ticketing thing, for just the reasons described by the OP. Did it with JAL and with BA.
I do understand the feelings of anxiety and the sense of dread state of thinking where any screw up might have dire, insurmountable consequences, but this really isn't worth spending any of that anxiety on. Save it for something else.

And I'll stick up for Moondog here, he's named himself well (dogs aren't always sweet tempered and he can be a bit of a curmudgeon ) but he's honest and loyal and has been exposed to hundreds of people who have traveled between the Far East and the USA under similar circumstances and with similar tickets as described by edaesq, if he thinks that this thread is stupid then that's great.
If he sensed there was a real problem or reason for concern than I can testify to his dogged patience and helpfulness.
Personally, I'd be delighted if I created this particular thread and got the same comment from moondog. There are very few (if any!) better allies on FT.
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Old Feb 7, 16, 2:21 am
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1. If a person doesn't board a flight they didn't fly. Period

2. Neither JL, nor any other airline, 'reports' who did or didn't take a flight.

3. US authorities and JL and other airlines have bigger fish to fry than this completely normal and innocuous situation.

4. There are probably 50 different ways of conclusively proving that the person in question remained in the US and didn't take the flight. Move on OP, there is nothing to worry about. Buy the cheapest ticket return/one-way/points you can't get.

Last edited by StartinSanDiego; Feb 7, 16 at 6:24 pm Reason: Response to deleted post
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Old Feb 7, 16, 9:36 am
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Originally Posted by edaesq View Post
Here's the situation. And it's a potentially very nasty one:
My fiancé is coming to United States on a K1 fiancé Visa, meaning she will be flying one way and staying in the US after that so we can be married.
The cost of a roundtrip ticket on JAL (Japan Airlines) is about a thousand dollars. Cost of one way ticket is almost five thousand dollars. Yes, that is correct, a $4,000.00 difference.
On the K1 Visa my fiancé must marry me in 90 days and then stay in the country until she gets her Green Card. (Takes about 6 months to get Green Card).
The Immigration Authorities don't care whether a one way or two way is booked BUT, if the ticket is not cancelled JAL may enter in its computers that she took the flight. That can cause a problem because if the US Immigration Service thinks she left the United States prior to getting the Green Card, they could refuse to issue the Green Card and deport her.
So, it is essential that the ticket be cancelled, as opposed to her just not showing up for the return flight to Japan.
My concern is that JAL will refuse to cancel the ticket unless the difference in the fares ($4,000.00) is paid.
Question: Will JAL try to charge the $4,000.00 difference when we try to cancel the return flight?
Why cancel the return? Use it later. Sooner or later your wife is going to want to visit her homeland. My wife is Thai and she flies back to Thailand at least 3 times a year. I'm sure your wife loves her home. Use the ticket. Get her another R/T while she's in Japan.
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