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What? A return ticket is required?


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#1 ValGal

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 07:07 PM

I went to rebook a flight from Vancouver to MEX and the ticket agent asked me if I have a return ticket. She said that the Mexican Immigration officials may not let me in without one and they could be fined if they let a passenger on without proper documentation. She said I should have a resident visa or a return ticket.

Is this something new?

#2 lardca

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 06:45 AM

Not new. That's been the case with most countries for many years.
If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home. ~James Michener

#3 Atlas

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 07:42 AM

I believe Mexico does not require a return ticker.

#4 Ajijic

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 07:51 AM

Not required. Many come here with no return ticket not knowing when they may fly back.

Nationalizing NAFTA and non-NAFTA made cars without leaving your home regardless of where you live in Mexico. Full refund if documents do not arrive.


#5 Guest_RevImmigrant_*

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 08:16 AM

I flew in last year to Cancun on Air Berlin on a one-way ticket and that was not a problem. In July I flew to Tijuana on Interjet, went to San Diego for 2 days, then came back to Tijuana. When I left Tijuana, I got my new tourist visa at the airport and the immigration officer didn't even ask about when I was leaving. He gave me a new tourist visa for 180 days; it cost $264 pesos.

#6 ValGal

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 01:56 PM

This makes me so angry. The AirCanada agent was actually indicating she would not book the ticket unless I had a return ticket. She said it was her responsibility to make sure I had all my papers in order and this was required. I have flown many, many times on this route and have never been asked. I promised her I would go home and book a return flight. (I had to anyway, for an event). No one asked me if I had a return flight...... Just made me mad and I will complain.

#7 Betsy

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 02:52 PM

Gosh Val, that souds like harrasment. There is no such law or regulation...what is the deal with that?

#8 seewee

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 09:24 PM

I went to rebook a flight from Vancouver to MEX and the ticket agent asked me if I have a return ticket. She said that the Mexican Immigration officials may not let me in without one and they could be fined if they let a passenger on without proper documentation. She said I should have a resident visa or a return ticket.

Is this something new?

That ticket agent (airline) is ahead of the game. When the new law will kick in, anyone with a FMM will need a return ticket. Without a resident visa, you will need a return ticket to enter Mexico as it is everywhere else. Mexico has been very lenient until now in allowing FMTs and FM3s to enter their country without a return ticket. They finally reached other countries.

I guess some airlines go by the new law already, and all other airlines will follow suit.
People are usually more convinced by reasons they discovered themselves than by those found by others.

#9 Ferret

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 09:32 PM

On the other hand, it could just be Air Canada being obnoxious and rude (and expensive) as usual...a return ticket costs more money and they're nearly bankrupt...again.
Valgal, why don't you contact some other airlines and ask them if their policy is the same...the replies might be enlightening and ease your frustration somewhat.

#10 bournemouth

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 08:57 AM

There was a report recently on another forum of American making the same demand of a passenger, so Air Canada is not alone in this behaviour.

#11 kramer

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 04:11 PM

Someone on this thread mentioned that this is part of "the new law", presumably the new immigration law. Can anyone confirm?

This was definitely not the case previously as I posted this question awhile back on this board to make sure. Many ticket agents are overzealous in their requirement for return tickets, as this generates extra income for their company and places no risk burden on them (in case someone actually does get sent back -- that costs the airline money including a penalty and they will want to talk to the agent that approved their flight).

There is actually an official database that can be accessed by airline ticketing personnel that details the official entry requirements for each country. Many countries do have a cursory requirement for a return ticket, even though their immigration personnel rarely or never ask to see it or require it. I have heard of some one-way ticket buyers demanding that they access this (when flying to a different country, not Mexico) and finding that a return ticket was indeed not required.

Anyway, requiring of a return ticket is a major hassle and really does no one any good except for the airlines who often make higher profits selling last minute return tickets. Also, it is a major hassle for anyone wanting to bus or drive out of the country after flying in . . .

My experience is that the way the airlines are operating nowadays when flying to countries that do have this requirement is that if your return ticket is with a different airline, they will want to enter the airline and confirmation number at check-in time. This shows that the ticket agent confirmed this information.

#12 ValGal

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 09:59 PM

My friend, Noe, flew to Canada from Mexico this past August. He was held in Vancouver because he did not have a return ticket (He is Mexican). It is only after he explained he was not sure where he would go next, and could show on his passport that he had visited Canada before and left before his visa expired, and had my brother call assuring immigration that he was responsible for all of Noe's expences while in Canada, that they let him in. Perhaps Mexico is changing the law so that Canadians and Americans will have to go through the same grief that Mexicans must go through when visiting.

I am glad to know that there is a change coming up and this was probably not something personal. I have to say the agent was very kind otherwise. Now..... if only I could find my lost luggage!

#13 carcamal

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 12:02 AM

The Guadalajara Tourism Department has this page explaining the requirements for foreign tourists.

http://enlinea.guada...&lang=SP&page=5

It states that the information is published by the official Mexican Department of Tourism. It lists the countries, including Canada and the United States, whose citizens are not required to have a visa to visit Mexico as tourists but also says "El agente migratorio en el punto de internación podrá solicitarte además que compruebes tener la solvencia económica necesaria y el boleto de regreso a tu país." (The immigration officer at the port of entry may also request that you prove you have the necessary financial solvency and the return ticket to your country.)

I have heard ever since I can remember that there is such a requirement and that it is hardly ever invoked. The airline agent is catching grief for simply stating what the requirement technically is.

#14 ValGal

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 12:34 AM

She is not catching grief for just mentioning the possibility. She stopped the process of re-booking until I promised to buy a return ticket before I took the flight to Mexico. I said I would bring a printed receipt. The next day, when I checked in, no one asked for proof or return or even asked if I had booked anything. Then again, the booking agent may have just checked off a box saying that I had a return flight. I don't know, but I will find out. A suggestion, for the future if this becomes enforced, is to book a refundable return flight and then cancel it later.

In any case, it appears as if this requirement could be invoked so it is something to be aware of.

#15 ohjoni

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 08:16 AM

I spent mega years as a ticket agent in Seattle and this is indeed the "rule" for almost every country. The agent you spoke with was just doing her job. One time I checked a husband and wife in going to Brazil where you need visas. They both had visas in their passports. However, I came to find out later (when I was called into my supervisors office) that the husband visa was expired by 3 days. He traveled there frequently. Brazil would not allow him in the country, sent him immediately back to the U.S. and fined my airline $10,000 usd. Like I said that was a savy agent who was well informed and went by the rules.....as she should.

Another time I was flying standby on my passes to Hong Kong and had to make a connection in Tokyo. When I went to check in I was told Tokyo required a visa or ticket to leave and my airline pass didn't cut it. Agent suggested I buy a ticket to leave that is refundable. I did that on my Visa and returned it when I got back to the U.S. There is always a way.
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#16 sandykayak

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 10:33 AM

You mean there's such a thing as a refundable ticket? Is it for the full and high priced ones? Do you have to have a really good reason to cancel (ie major illnes or something like that)?

I had tried to make a date change on my $420 ticket, but the cost would have been $200! And then no guarantee that I'd find such a good deal later on.

I love Southwest. No charge for 2 pieces of luggage and when I had to cancel a trip..."No problem. You have a year to use that amount of money." Wasn't there something about SW flying to Mexico in partnership with another airline? I think it required flying to somewhere like ABQ or something. Has anyone tried this?

#17 Kevin K

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 10:48 AM

Ditto on loving Southwest. Their partnership is with Volaris, meaning you can book combined journeys on Southwest though your credit card will still be billed separately for the two airlines. Volaris's baggage and change fees are not quite as generous as Southwest's but are far, far better than the punitive fees levied by the other major carriers. It makes all the difference being able to change your return flights without getting hammered for $150-200 in fees plus the fare difference.

I just looked at flights from Tucson (nearest airport to us) to Guad. on SW and the routing was through Las Vegas and prices quite painless.

#18 Bisbee Gal

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 11:09 AM

Ditto on loving Southwest. Their partnership is with Volaris, meaning you can book combined journeys on Southwest though your credit card will still be billed separately for the two airlines. Volaris's baggage and change fees are not quite as generous as Southwest's but are far, far better than the punitive fees levied by the other major carriers. It makes all the difference being able to change your return flights without getting hammered for $150-200 in fees plus the fare difference.

I just looked at flights from Tucson (nearest airport to us) to Guad. on SW and the routing was through Las Vegas and prices quite painless.



Speaking of flights from AZ to GDL, USAirways is running a sale on their non-stop service from PHX to GDL....in September I paid over $600.....now, with all taxes, it's $317....even over Xmas, etc. I saw this a few days ago...never know how long such bargains will last.

#19 Mainecoons

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 02:12 PM

Sure couldn't find any evidence of a sale by U.S. Air from PHX to GDL. $682 round trip, what a ripoff.

#20 Bisbee Gal

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 03:01 PM

Sure couldn't find any evidence of a sale by U.S. Air from PHX to GDL. $682 round trip, what a ripoff.


Just looked....still there! Use the Low Fare Finder button. I tried 12/22-12/29 RT; 317 RT with all taxes. Depends on your dates of travel, obviously, but I'm still seeing the sale through Easter!




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