The number of documents that an embassy or consulate asks the visa applicants to submit in order to receive a visa, are confusing for many people. Especially when the applicant cannot quite understand what he or she is precisely asked to submit, the type of the document, where he or she should obtain it, and what to do in order to receive it.
Amongst the documents that the embassy or consulate of your travel destination country may ask you for is a flight itinerary or a round trip flight reservation.
Depending on the embassy/consulate, this document might be referred to by different names as:
- Booked / Confirmed Flight Itinerary
- Round Trip Reservation
- Flight Reservation / Confirmation
- Confirmed / Round trip Flight tickets
- Proof of Onward Travel, etc.
On social media and discussion boards, people might also refer to as:
- Dummy Air Ticket
- Dummy Ticket for Visa Application
- Air Ticket Booking, etc.
What is a Flight Itinerary?
A flight or travel itinerary is a detailed flight route of an airline from your destination to the country you want to travel to. It includes information such as flight name, departure/arrival timings along with dates, flight code, departure/arrival airport IATA codes and the flight reservation/booking numbers.
What is a Flight Ticket?
A flight or an airline ticket is a document, issued by an airline or a travel agency, which confirms that an individual has booked/paid for a flight seat on an aircraft.
The flight ticket usually contains:
- Traveler’s name.
- A flight name.
- Flight reservation number or Booking ID.
- Arrival and Departure date.
- Airport IATA codes.
- The price of a real Flight Ticket and
- Details of any connecting flights (if there are any).
What is a One-Way Ticket?
A one-way flight ticket is a single flight between two destinations. For example: a one way flight from India to Germany with no return date.
What is a Return Ticket?
A return flight ticket or a round-trip ticket is a flight from your country to a destination country and back to the original departure country. For example: Manila, Philippines to Paris, France and return back to Manila, Philippines.
Do I Need to Book a Flight Ticket Before Applying for a Visa?
No. You don’t have to buy a flight ticket before you apply for a visa. Instead, you can present a flight itinerary which you can book without paying the full price of the travel ticket and once you obtain your visa you can purchase the real flight ticket.
What is a Flight Reservation?
A flight reservation is a document of a detailed plan of your flight or travel journey to a specific country. In fact, it is only a flight/travel timetable on the chosen flight airline, comprised of a flight name, traveler’s name, a valid flight reservation booking number, arrival and departure date and airport IATA codes.
Embassies and Consulates usually ask for a round-trip flight reservation and not for a one-way flight reservation.
What is a Dummy Ticket?
A dummy air ticket is nothing more than a round-trip flight reservation from and back to the original departure country. A dummy ticket is not a paid return ticket. Basically, it is only a document that included travel itinerary details, but it’s not a confirmed ticket.
Can we use a dummy ticket generator?
No! We strongly don’t suggest to use a generator to create a fake dummy air ticket and use it for the visa application.
Instead of using a dummy ticket generator, we suggest to continue reading this article and see what options do you have to get a flight reservation even without paying the full price and use it for the visa application.
Now, after we have seen what is a flight itinerary, flight ticket, flight reservation and a dummy air ticket, let’s see why do embassies and consulates ask for it and how can we reserve a flight without making the full payment.
Why do Embassies and Consulates Ask for it?
Most of the embassies and consulates in the world do not obligate visa applicants to book a flight ticket, because they are aware that in case of visa rejection, then it will be inevitable for the applicant to lose his or her money. They even indicate in the list of required documents for visa application, that applicants are not obligated to buy the tickets but rather only to reserve the flight.
And, only after you get your visa, you may purchase the ticket you have reserved or cancel it and buy others in most convenient dates, within the time of your visa validity.
However, there might be exceptions where embassies or consulates in specific cases will ask you to actually purchase a round trip flight ticket prior to the visa interview.
As a proof that you will not be overstaying
The main reason why the embassy or the consulate of your travel destination country asks you for proof of a round-trip flight reservation is that they want to make sure you will not overstay your visa, and will get back to your home country before it expires.
Since, a round-trip reservation shows the departure and arrival to your home country, this is a convincing document that you will return. This means you have to book a round trip flight reservation, because otherwise your reservation would be meaningless.
However, this does not assure you that the embassy or consulate will issue you a visa. You will have other documents to submit alongside the flight itinerary, so you will have to be careful with them too.
Deciding the length of the visa
Another reason is to decide the length of your visa. The officials at the embassy or consulate where you are applying at will decide on the length of your visa based on the Itinerary Flight, so that you can get granted with a visa that allows you to stay at your destination country for as long as you need to, and not for a shorter period.
Deciding at which embassy you should apply
The consular officer wants also to make sure you are applying at the right embassy, in case you are planning to visit more than two countries. For instance, if you are applying for a ten day short-stay Schengen visa, with which you plan to stay seven days in France and three days in Germany, then instead of applying for a Germany Schengen visa, you must apply for a France Schengen visa at the French embassy or consulate in your home country. But in case you are planning to spend five days in France and five others in Germany, then you will have to apply at the embassy of the country where you are planning to land first.
Now, after we have learned why some embassies and consulates may ask a visa applicant to show a reserved flight ticket and not purchase a real one, let’s see what options are available and how can you reserve a flight without risking the money by making the full payment.
How to Get a Flight Itinerary for any Visa Application?
You can get a confirmed flight reservation for any visa application by:
- Purchasing a refundable flight ticket, or
- Reserving a flight ticket which is way cheaper.
The thing is that most flight reservations only for up to 72 hours, whereas a confirmation of your visa application might take up to fifteen days. Therefore, you should try to find a way how to hold the booked flight reservation for longer. You can do it in different ways depending on your choice. Keep in mind that you should always book a round-trip flight reservation.
Getting a Confirmed Flight Itinerary by Purchasing a Refundable Flight Ticket
If you have decided to purchase an airline ticket, or the embassy (or consulate) has obligated you to actually buy one, this is the safest way to get your money back in case your visa application gets rejected. Most airline companies offer valid air tickets which are fully refundable, but the thing is that they are way more expensive than the normal tickets.
They might also charge you with a fee if you wish to cancel the flight and get your money back. Depending on the airline, the refunding will take from a few days to a few weeks. However, if you wish to book a ticket of this type, then you should do it directly from the airline’s website.
Reserving a Flight Ticket on Travel Visa Booking Websites
Reserving a Flight Ticket with your Local Travel Agent
Even though the local travel agents will charge you with a fee for their service, this is a very good option since they are capable of holding a travel ticket for seven days or even more. They usually charge you with 10% of the fixed ticket price, though it is not fixed.
Reserving a Ticket with a Hold Option for a Fee by Airlines
Not all airlines offer flight reservation booking, so one should do quite a research in order to find the right airline that offers such services. There are some airlines that will hold your tickets for a small fee from 10 to 30 dollars. The length of the time they will hold the ticket depends on the airline, but most of them can hold your ticket for around 3 days.
Reserving a Flight Ticket with a Free Hold Option by Airlines and Online Booking Websites
Some airlines will hold your reservation for up to 48 hours. Find the ticket and call the airline to confirm if they hold the reservation for more than 24 hours. On the other hand, some flight booking agencies also offer to hold your ticket for up to three days for free.
Yatra, is one of these online booking sites that let you hold a reservation for free. Yatra is an India based online travel booking website, which offers an option to hold for free. The option allows you to place your seat reservation on hold, without making immediate payment.
For terms and conditions as well as other information about holding for free a seat on an airline via Yatra, please refer to Yatra website
Reserving a Flight Ticket by Purchasing FareLock from United Airlines
Another way to get a travel itinerary on hold is through FareLock. This service lets you hold a reserved fare, for three or seven days, if you are booking through the United website.
United is an airline company that has its headquarters located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 193 countries via 28 member airlines.
You can purchase FareLock in their website, in the Purchase Options section on the Review Trip Itinerary page. When booking a ticket, look for the fares with the FareLock logo close to them, which are the tickets you can put on hold with FareLock.
Is One Way Flight Ticket Reservation Acceptable?
Keep in mind that your travel ticket must be a round trip one. The main reason embassies ask for a flight reservation is to make sure that you will not overstay your visa, and booking a one flight ticket reservation does not prove the point that you will not overstay your visa.
Something very important when you hand over your documents is that your flight itinerary should be plausible. It must be consistent with your travel dates and your activities must be arranged in a way that makes your plans credible, because if not it will affect your visa application.
Caution on Making a Fake Flight Ticket Reservation!
You can find many online websites that can provide you with a fake flight reservation without a unique booking code, which are done with photoshop and look exactly like real flight tickets. They cost very little, but it is strongly suggested not to use any of these scam websites and not to make a purchase of fake travel tickets for the purpose of applying for a visa.
Instead of creating a fake travel itinerary, you can use any of the options we have mentioned above because in case the embassy or consulate you are applying at finds out that the flight reservation you have submitted as a purchased ticket is fake, this will be used against you. Not only you will have your visa application denied, but this might affect the rejection of other visa application to that country or area in the future.
Which Countries Require to Submit a Round-trip Flight Itinerary when Applying for a Visa?
Some of the countries that require to submit a round-trip flight itinerary when applying to obtain a short-term visa for business or tourism purposes are: Schengen visa member states, Canada, Japan, Algeria, Brazil, New Zealand, Thailand, China, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, etc.