You might have heard the phrase “dummy ticket” floating around. It’s a fairly niche concept that you might not know about if you’ve never needed it, but for those who need it, the meaning of dummy ticket is a difficult thing to parse. Dummy tickets are useful only to certain kinds of travellers and in certain situations, so you could be forgiven for not knowing what they are or what they do. Happily, we’re here to help you. Here’s our discussion on what “dummy ticket” means and whether or not you’re going to need this on your travels.


What is the meaning of “dummy ticket”?

If you hear people talking about dummy tickets, here’s what they mean. A dummy ticket is essentially a document that shows a flight trip, but it’s not an actual, binding ticket that grants you access to a flight. There are quite a few reasons you might want to get a dummy ticket, which we’ll get into in a moment, but that’s the meaning of dummy ticket in a nutshell; it refers to a ticket that is, in essence, a “dummy”, hence the name being what it is.


When would you want a dummy ticket?

The time when most people purchase dummy tickets is when they’re looking to apply for a visa and want to prove that they’ve booked a return flight. Many visa applications are dependent on seeing proof that a return flight has been booked, so it’s important to have this information to hand if you’re going to fly or travel to another country. Dummy tickets fulfil this purpose; they allow you to provide proof that you have a flight itinerary so your visa stands a better chance of being approved.


Why not just book a flight?

You might still not understand the meaning of dummy ticket booking, and we can’t blame you; it’s a rather strange thing for anyone who hasn’t ever applied for a visa. You might even be asking yourself what the point is, and why you wouldn’t just book a return flight. Well, that’s a fair question, but there’s a good reason for it. Dummy tickets are much, much cheaper than return flights, and booking a return flight is sometimes non-refundable, so you can’t get your money back if you no longer want to take the flight. This means that if you buy a return flight and your visa is rejected, you’re left out of pocket. Buying a dummy ticket alleviates this issue; it means that you’re not spending anywhere near as much on the proof that your flight is booked.


Who asks for a dummy ticket?

Countries issuing visas to you as a traveller will often ask you to provide proof that you intend to return. This is to circumvent “travellers” who actually intend to remain in the country they’re travelling to, and are trying to cheat the system by entering on a temporary visa. That means airport security will often ask you for proof that you’ve got a return ticket and aren’t planning to stay indefinitely. A dummy ticket comes in handy in these situations, because you can show them the reservation as proof that you will travel back if your visa is accepted. However, you should, of course, check the laws of the country you’re travelling to in order to ensure that dummy tickets are accepted.


What are the disadvantages of buying a dummy ticket?

Even though you might be thinking a dummy ticket is the perfect solution to all your problems if you’re applying for a visa, you might want to think again. In some places, your dummy ticket may not be accepted as valid proof that you’re planning to fly; after all, it’s not actually a paid ticket, and all of the verification processes carried out for paid tickets may not be carried out on a dummy ticket. As such, there are some government processes that may not accept a dummy ticket, so you’ll have to be prepared for this to happen if you’re not actually planning to book a real ticket.


What are the advantages of buying a dummy ticket?

Of course, the biggest advantage of buying a dummy ticket is money. Applying for a visa can reach pretty eye-wateringly expensive levels, so you’ll want to save as much cash as you can if you’re planning to do this. A dummy ticket costs a tiny fraction of what you’d pay for a real return flight, so buying a dummy ticket is a no-brainer if you’re looking to save money. In addition, most places will accept dummy tickets; those that don’t tend to be outliers rather than the rule. This means that you’re usually safe with a dummy ticket if you want to apply for a visa.


Can you turn a dummy ticket into a real ticket?

When you buy a dummy ticket, you can often then turn that dummy ticket into a real ticket if your visa is accepted. A dummy ticket is effectively a flight reservation; while it isn’t a paid ticket for that flight, it can be translated into a fully-fledged flight ticket in many cases. You’ll want to upgrade to a full ticket if you’re going to be travelling on the flight, although you will, of course, need to pay the price of an actual plane ticket rather than the dummy ticket you’ve already bought!

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