Why are Filipinos required to have a return ticket?

There is one reason why Filipinos are required to have a return ticket when they travel out of the country, and three reasons why it's non-sense!

Return ticket, check! Body weight... what? Manila, PH
Airlines are required to check your return ticket if you're traveling outside the country, especially as a tourist, to ensure that you will return home and not become one of the thousands of undocumented immigrants/ workers in other countries.

And here are three reasons why this doesn't make any sense:

1. With electronic tickets now, it's so easy to print your own fake return ticket. If you "bought" your return ticket from another airline, then there's no way for them to verify if your ticket is indeed valid. Or at least, they didn't bother to check my return ticket from my experience (using real tickets, by the way.)

2. If you don't want to resort to fake tickets, it's also easy to purchase a return ticket and just decide not to use it. With so many promos from budget airlines, forfeiting a return ticket wouldn't be that painful to anyone bent on not returning home in the first place. My point is that, it doesn't serve its purpose.

3. And lastly, and this is the part that I hate the most, requiring a return ticket deprives long term travelers of the flexibility of ending their trip later than planned (or sooner, as the case may be.) Having backpacked across five countries in Southeast Asia in one trip, I would have enjoyed the flexibility of  staying in one place longer than initially planned knowing that I can adjust my return date accordingly.

This deprives us of "the thrill, the sense of adventure, and the uncertainty brought about by buying that one way ticket." But then again, if we really want to, I guess we can resort to items 1 and 2.

But don't tell them I told you that! Enjoy!

Tara, byahe tayo!

Froilan Grate | Last Row Traveler
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