How long does my round-trip ticket have to be to go to the Philippines?
(Updated 25 February 2020)
The answer to this question can be very simple. You get 30 days of stay in the Philippines, free, upon arrival at an airport in the Philippines.
But who said you need a round trip ticket? That’s the complicated part.
The Law of the Philippines and the Rule Airlines Follow Is:
You must have onward travel out of the Philippines within 30 days of your arrival. If you don’t have this onward travel, the airlines normally will not let you board your flight from the US to the Philippines. But nowhere does any law say you must have a round trip ticket back to the USA. That’s the first issue that complicates the answer to the question.
But I WANT A Round Trip Ticket
OK, then, that’s fine. Many people do. Perhaps you only have so many days off from work, or you have other reasons you have to be back in the USA by a certain date.
No problem then, a round trip ticket from any USA cu=ity is normally quite a bit cheaper than two one-way tickets. Here’s a real-world example with prices quoted today, 25 February 2020.
Kansas City to Manila and return: Depart 9ak March 12th,
and the return on April 12th:
Not bad connections and not bad arrival and departure times.
But Is a One-Way Just Half Of That Price
And the answer is no, it’s almost always way more than one half. Let me try to see what a one way, same date and time would cost.
And a return on the 12th of April?
So we can see here, same dates, basically, the same airlines (cheapest) have a round trip cost of $1377.22
And the equivalent two single tickets (one-way) tickets add up to $1747.46 More than $370 “surcharge” for buying the same travel in two parts.
Or you could also say that buying the round trip airfare saves you more than $370 to spend on hotels. food.local travel and such.
Thanks, A Lot, I know I Want A Round Trip … But How Many Days Is What I Asked?
Yes, you did. And the answer, which I already gave in the first paragraphs is 30 days. But this may pose another question. How do you determine what 30 days means to the BIR (Bureau of Immigration) in the Philippines?
Here are the rules that apply.
1, The day your flight arrives is the first day of your stay in the Philippines. Because of the day the BIR “counts”, you may want to think twice about your planned arrival time in the Philippines. For example, if your flight arrives here leat at night, as many do, then most of your “first day in the Philippines” may be consumed in your final cramped hours in an airline seat.
On the other hand if you pick a fight that arrives here very early in the morning, you essentially get a “free day” in the Philippines.
Not a huge consideration, buy-t never-the-less something to think about.
2. The day your outbound airplane departs is _NOT_ a Day Of Stay in the Philippines. So technically, if the last day of your 30-day stay is on a Wednesday, and your outbound flight leaves the following day, Thursday, you should be “golden” according to the BIR rules.
Let’s look at the example flights I priced up at the beginning of the article here.
Depart MCI (Kansas City) on 12 March ay 9:15 am. You arrive in Manila, after less than 24 hours of total travel time, at 9:45 on the night of (not the 12th but the 13th … you have to cross the International Date Line, so you are always going to lose a day going to the Philippines.)
So if your plane arrives on schedule, your “30 days of stay” clock starts with the 13th of March, So on 31 March, the last day of the month, you will have used up 19 of your 30 days. 11 days to go. From 1 April to 11 April is (count them up, surprise, 11 days) so with our outbound flight scheduled on Sunday, the 12th, isn’t there a problem? The 12th is the 31st day, after all.
Nope, no problem at all. Remember the second rule I explained above? The day your flight leaves is _NOT_ a “Day of Stay”, so the immigration officer will be all smiles as you get your passport stamped for departure prior to boarding your flight home. 30 days of stay allowed, 30 days of stay used up … maximum bang for your buck.
(remember that id your stay extends of[ver the end of a 30 day, or a 28 or 29 day month, to count properly … if you are staying over a 3o day month, you can arrive on the 12 and schedule your departure on the 13th of the following month.)
(Also, note … that day you “lost” coming here? Well, you get it back on your trip home … you leave the Philippines and you’ll be back in the USA on the same day you left here, almost no matter how many hours your flight consumes.
OK, I Understand Now, But What If I Don’t Know When I want To Go Back?
Well, there is an easy work-around for that. It’s normally called a “show” ticket or a “throwaway ticket”.
Simply purchase a one-way ticket from your home to the Philippines,
Then also purchase a ticket outbound from the Philippines at any time within your initial 30 days, bound for anywhere. The date and time nor destination don’t matter much, just make sure it’s cheap because you are never going to actually use that ticket.
It is just for “show” to satisfy the airlines’s requirements (and possibly the BIR officer’s requirement) when you arrive in the Philippines. Once you are “in”, you’re in.
If you want to stay longer than the original 30 days, you can extend your stay, 30 or 60 days at a time, at any of the Bureau of Immigration offices located all over the Philippines. They never ask for any onward travel and you can extend, 1 or 2 months at a time for up to three years in the Philipines … then leave once, come back and start the clock all over again.
That original “show” ticket? Well, you just throw it away (or if it is an e-ticket, just hit delete.
Where To Get a Throwaway Ticket?
Simple. Just type Philippine Throw Away Ticket into Google … there will be dozens of places shown. Or you can do what I would do. Go to Cebu Pacific Airlines and check flight to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia from Manila. Right now you can buy a ticket to Kota Kinabalu on the 29th of March for 2055 Philippine Pesos, or about $41 USD. Buy it (ir will come as an e-ticket and hang on to it (showing it as needed) until you are safely through immigration in Manila, then delet it … it has served you well.
Two Questions For The Price Of One Answered Here
- How can I fly to the Philippines on a one-way ticket and how How long does my round-trip ticket have to be to go to the Philippines?
What else would you like to know? You ask, I answer,