One Way ticket or Round Trip Ticket?
Travelling out of Nigeria for your studies comes with a rather large bill which is to be expected but it also comes with some unnecessary bills which is rather annoying. One of these unnecessary costs, is the cost of a two way ticket or as the airlines call it – a Round Trip Ticket.
What is a One Way Ticket?
A one way ticket is a single journey ticket purchased from an airline. e,g A “Lagos to Abuja” ticket is a one way ticket.
What is a Two Way/Round Trip Ticket?
This is a multiple journey ticket purchased from an airline. This means a ticket that covers your “To and Fro” journey, it is popularly known as a Round Trip Ticket or in some cases a two-way ticket e.g “Lagos to Abuja, Abuja to Lagos” is a two way ticket.
Isn’t it cheaper when you get a two way ticket?
Most times it is but only when you know your return date. Suppose you are travelling to the UK for your Masters program, you do not know when you are going to be through with the program, but you know it is over a year, most airlines return tickets only extends to 3-6 months.
This means you would be forced to select a date you won’t be travelling thereby making the return ticket useless.
Why Do I Need A Round Trip Ticket?
From a financial point of view, it makes sense for airlines to sell a “To and Fro” ticket or as it is popularly known – “a Round-trip ticket“. This means they get to make two sales at once. It restricts you to their airline when you are returning from your journey.
From an Immigration standpoint, a two way ticket is mostly required by the airport authorities in Nigeria, I have no idea why but my best guess is that it assures them you would be able to return to your country easily in the case you are not granted entry into the destination of your choice.
What are my options?
“Better to have, and not need, than to need, and not have.” ― Franz Kafka
To be on the safer side, I suggest you buy a round trip ticket. Although you should buy from an airline that has a refund policy on “partially used” tickets such as Emirates Airline. Ask them about their refund policy and process and make arrangements on how you can process a refund of your ticket.
Some airlines require you to pick up your refund at the point where you purchased your ticket, this won’t be possible as you would have left the country. In this situation you can take someone along with you to the airline’s local office and authorize the person to pick up the refund in your absence.
Another option is to open your ticket on arrival at the airport the airline drops you off. e.g if you are travelling to istanbul through Turkish airline, when you arrive at Istanbul, walk over to the Turkish airline counter and tell them you want to open your return ticket. This would at least extend the date of your ticket, so that you can use it when you are returning to your country.