Don't book dummy air tickets for visa purpose

We Indians need visa to visit most of the countries in the world. Almost all visa applications mandatorily need a return flight ticket, which is a primary assurance that we will return to our home country after the trip. But many hesitate to buy real tickets before getting visa, for the fear of losing ticket money in case of visa rejection.

To capitalize on this, many websites have come up which issue fake airline tickets for a small fee. These dummy tickets can be used for visa application and then you buy real ticket after getting visa.

But I feel this is a bad idea. Watch this video to understand why [Watch on youtube]

Below is why I feel buying dummy tickets for visa purpose is a bad idea.

1. Ticket prices go up closer to travel date. 

If you spot a cheap ticket 6 or 9 months in advance and you've a fair probability of getting visa and traveling, you should consider booking that ticket.

I booked a return ticket Mumbai to Busan (South Korea) in Feb 2023 for travel in October 2023 for 30k

If I book a dummy ticket for visa and I am to buy a new ticket sometime in August/September, the price would have gone up to 60-70k, so I would have lost 30-40k anyway. So I am taking a chance and booking real ticket 9 months in advance with a hope that I will get visa.

My Mumbai- Paris return ticket was 38k- for travel in Feb 2023, booked in June 2022. Schengen visa process starts max 3 months in advance. If I wait till Jan 2023 for real tickets, it would have cost my 70k

So given the guaranteed price increase closer to travel date, if you see a ticket at a tempting rate, better take a chance and book it, even if there is a small risk of losing that money if visa is rejected

2. Authorities can find out and reject your visa.

Visa issuing authorities are aware of websites selling dummy tickets. If they suspect your ticket is fake and they can't confirm it with airline or other sources, your visa application may be rejected.

3. Shows lack of trust- in yourself and in embassy

Visa should never be applied with mind set that "if you give visa I will travel". It should be applied with mindset "I want to travel, I've made all the arrangements and committed to this trip, please give me visa"

If you are going for dummy tickets it means you are not confident of getting a visa, you don't trust embassy to give you a visa. 

4. Dummy ticket could be fake:

Some dummy ticket sites work with airlines to create a real PNR/ticket number and hold the price for certain time, but many dummy ticket sites simply create a fake ticket that can't be verified on airline website. Submitting fake documents could result in you being blacklisted from applying to that country again.

So what to do? Should we risk losing lots of money?

Option 1: Ensure you are visa worthy and you have fair chance of getting visa before planning a trip.

If your passport is empty, if you don't have enough funds, if you don't have a job, don't rush to travel to Europe, UK or USA. Rejection rate will be high. Build up your travel profile, travel to countries that give visa on arrival or e-visa, accumulate your savings, get a job and apply when you have fair confidence that you will get a visa.

Option 2: Assess the risk of losing current ticket price vs extra you've to pay for last minute ticket

You can book real airline tickets that are refundable, but flexible tickets usually cost several k more than cheapest, non refundable tickets.

If ticket price is very low now and is almost guaranteed to increase, you can probably take a chance and book.

Option 3: You can also work with your travel agents- travel agents can hold a price for longer, joining a popular package tour increases your chance of getting a visa

Lufthansa gives full refund in case of VISA reject 

Related: 2023 Schengen visa process

1 comment:

  1. Your article on not booking dummy air tickets for visas is an eye-opener! The practical advice and alternatives provided are invaluable. Airline Blog India continues to be a reliable source for navigating the intricacies of travel documentation.

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