Written by Dyami Millarson
Various sites online offer the option of renting a plane ticket for a specific duration of time for a small fee (*1, *2, *3). Travellers may choose to make use of this for various bureaucratic reasons (*4, *5, *6, *7). When preparing for travelling abroad, I am always reminded that we live in a world of bureaucracy, and this has been especially the case after 9/11 and during the 2020 pandemic which will probably have a lasting effect on the travel industry and result in permanent bureaucratic travel obstacles or restrictrions just like 9/11 which changed the world forever.
OneWayFly is a company that claims on their official website to offer the service of renting plane tickets that are guaranteed to be valid for 2 weeks before they are cancelled (*8). Can their claim of offering a legitimate service be verified?
There are various independent sources which provide evidence that OneWayFly is indeed a reliable company: to sort this matter out, we have to go by what would be considered ‘witness accounts’ in a legal setting, and we may cross-check whether those witness accounts add up so they can be considered plausible, and whether it can be ruled out there are any suspicious inconsistencies or consistencies that would suggest fraud. It is especially important to see such witness accounts in different contexts and to check the reliability of the witness whenever possible. For instance, does the witness use her/her real name or a pen name? Is the witness a renowned traveller? Is the witness relying on hearsay, i.e., the claims of others, or does the witness actually claim to have made use of the service? I have included witness accounts of varying degrees of reliability and they paint a consistent picture about OneWayFly:
OneWayFly has been described as being a reputable company in the business (*9). While I observed the competitors of OneWayFly usually offered rental flight tickets with a guaranteed validity of only 48 or 72 hours, the claim that OneWayFly offers rented tickets with a 2-week validity made the company highly suspect in my mind, and this prompted me to investigate the matter thoroughly in order to prove or disprove the notion that the services provided by the aforementiomed company is a scam. A good amount of sources confirm that the rented flight tickets of OneWayFly are really valid for 2 weeks, setting this company apart from its competitors offering only 48 or 72-hour validities (*2, *4, *5, *10, *11). However, according to one of the reviews on Trustpilot, one should be sure to check the validity of the tickets every single day because tickets may get cancelled too early, and one should immediately contact the customer support when this kind of problem pops up (*12). After all, OneWayFly guarantees a 14-day validity and so they have to honour this promise to their customers, which they do according to the reviews.
When I contacted OneWayFly, they kindly provided me with some background information from their side on the case that was mentioned on Trustpilot:
“Just so you know, the ticket of that client on Trustpilot got cancelled before because the date of departure he had chosen was 10 days away from the order. Which makes it impossible to hold for 14 days. Since then, we’ve made it clear in our FAQ that this could happen because of different reasons (overbooking, flight cancellation, covid situation, date of departure too close, etc.). We can recreate a booking immediately if such an issue arises. The customer just needs to contact us. In general if the date of departure is less than 3 or 4 weeks away from the date of the booking, we can’t guarantee that the booking will be held 14 days. But again, the customer can just reach us if any issues arise.”
Although OneWayFly is relatively more expensive than its competitors (*4, *5), the 2-week validity guaranteed by OneWayFly is especially useful because one does simply not know when the flight reservation validity will be checked (*5). People on various social platforms, such as reddit, travel blogs and the forum of Tripadvisor, recommend OneWayFly, either based on their own experience or on the experience of others whom they trust (*10, *13, *14). OneWayTrip is based in France, which is why their site is available in both English and French, and their office hours are from 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM French local time throughout the entire week (*15). While booking too late might cause practical problems and stress, one of the reviews on Trustpilot recommends that one might consider making a reservation at least 3 days in advance (*16). The tickets that one rents through OneWayFly work with the apps of CheckMyTrip and TripCase (*17).