Americans Charter Private Jet To Europe, Get Rejected

Filed Under: Travel

11 people chartered a private jet from the US to the European Union, and were refused entry, as reported by But they’re angry. Really angry. They feel they were “treated like criminals,” and plan to “ask for damages.”

EU eased border restrictions on July 1

First it’s important to understand that the European Union had major travel restrictions for many months, and those were supposed to be eased as of July 1. However, the external border restrictions were only lifted in a very limited way.

In reality at most residents of 15 countries are now allowed to visit the European Union, and Americans aren’t among them. This announcement was finalized last minute, on June 30, though in reality we already knew for over a week leading up to that point that Americans would be banned.

The private jet that flew to Sardinia on June 30

On June 30 a private jet with 11 passengers flew from Eagle, Colorado, to Cagliari, Sardinia, landing on the morning of July 1. There were a total of 10 passengers onboard the flight:

  • There were six adults, including two Americans, two Brits, a New Zealander, and an Italian
  • There were five children, including three Americans and two Germans

They landed at around 10:30AM, but weren’t let into the country, because at least the Americans weren’t actually allowed to enter Sardinia (and more broadly, the European Union).

What was the purpose of the trip? One of the passengers wanted to see family and friends in Sardinia, while other passengers “had to evaluate the purchase of some companies and a house.”

The authorities tried to investigate and make something work, so the passengers ended up spending over 12 hours in the arrivals and general aviation hall. The passengers had proposed quarantining together in a home that they had rented, but there’s no such exception for allowing people into the EU.

Finally at around 11PM they were told that they needed to leave. At that point the plane flew to Birmingham, England, simply because the pilots were too tired to fly any farther (understandably).

How angry can people be about something that is their fault?

Very, apparently:

  • “We have been treated as if we were criminals, it is not fair”
  • “Who will reimburse all the anticipated expenses and money?”
  • “I have to go to my lawyer and find out what can be done, I want to ask for damages”

Why did they think they would be allowed in?

This is the biggest unanswered question. According to the passengers, they “had all the authorizations from the region and the airport, in addition to those of the flight operator.”

The passenger being interviewed claims that “the decision came into effect when [they] were already flying.”

That raises a lot of questions:

  • Were the passengers hoping that the EU would open borders to everyone come July 1? Because we knew in the days leading up to July 1 that this wouldn’t be the case.
  • Were they trying to take advantage of the Italy “business travel” exception that may have existed all these months? I can’t imagine that’s the case, since they were also taking kids along.
  • While everyone left again on the jet, it’s not entirely clear who was rejected. Obviously the Americans would have been rejected, but did the Brits and New Zealanders reside in the US as well, and that’s why they were rejected? It sounds like that might be the case, based on the fact that they all tried to arrive on July 1, specifically.

Bottom line

Based on what we know, I have a hard time feeling sorry for the passengers on this private jet. While the EU entry rules were only published last minute, we knew in the days leading up to this that those residing in the US would be banned from entering the EU.

No matter what regional authority, airport, or aircraft operator “authorized” this, it doesn’t supersede the EU rules…

Yet the passengers feel they were treated very unfairly, and plan to seek damages…

  1. They definitely seem to be selfish and entitled jerks. Hope any lawsuit they try to bring up gets rejected.

  2. Hmmmm self entitled perhaps? Stupid definitely. And now they’ll sue the pants off everyone they can find because this wasn’t their fault.

  3. No sympathy at all for these people and then looking for compensation for their blatant disregard of the rules.

    BTW, I personally know of a “work around” of this problem

  4. I read another article that EU passport holders were allowed entry but they all chose to stick together and leave instead.

  5. The restrictions were very clear – no excuse or sympathy how dare they try and circumvent the closure

  6. The people who were always advocates of “open borders” are having a really hard time now.

  7. @charlie – Good question! While I do agree with the rest of the comments shaming the travellers, if I am not mistaken, at least on [standard] commercial flights, the airline is responsible to ensure that each passenger is legally allowed to enter the destination country. Normally this refers to visas and what not, but I wonder how this would play out in the current situation.

  8. Entitled pricks. Who are they to sue? The jet operator? The Italian immigration authority at Sardigna? The EU? They can take their money and stick it

  9. Whether you find the current entry requirements sensible or not, I’m relieved to hear they apply to everybody, including people who are (presumably) filthy rich.

    Of course they “had all the authorizations from the region and the airport”, nothing says you can’t operate a flight to the EU. And obviously the Italian citizen must have been permitted into the country.

  10. The new rules came into effect, but the rules were announced before it came into effect….so….wtf?
    Let’s just face it…they were just rubbish people fortunate enough to have money and thought they could go around rules.

  11. Sure rich people like then feel entitled, but a major part of the game also lies with all the countries who have kept changing rules last minute.

    This last minute rule changing has led to people being stuck in airports for several hours like these folks, and in many cases for several days, upto 3 months in case of a person stuck in HKG airport as Malaysia changed rules last minute.

    Governments frankly have a bigger share if the blame here IMO for their haphazard policy changes. The victims here aren’t sympathetic, but that doesn’t mean we should lose sight of the real issue of travel bans and confusing rule changes.

  12. @greg

    US were never entitled to enter EU since they weren’t on the list of third countries which are allowed to enter EU from the 1st of July. So there were NO changes from EU concerning that.

  13. What happened when they got to Birmingham? Pay lip sevice to the UK’s 14 day self-isolation requirement and fly back to Italy cos they can from the UK?

  14. What’s to bet they landed in Birmingham, rested up. Then hired a few lamborghinis and drove to Sardinia.

  15. @greg
    “This last minute rule changing” … really, what rule change. The initial statement barred travellers from the US, it was never changed

    Trying to deflect some blame on anyone else is disingenuous, these folk were entirely to blame themselves for their actions

  16. I think you meant to write “The private jet that flew to Sardinia on June 30”.

    I get that they think they’re wealthy Americans and every exception should be made for them, but do they not understand that no EU politician would risk their own necks to let them in, and that whatever economic value Americans may bring to the EU will not outweigh the cost of another lockdown? Americans should accept that they are persona non grata until they can get their house in order.

    Besides, who would trust people who ignore immigration rules with following any sort of quarantine?

  17. The English translation of the article you linked says they had “all the authorizations from the Region and the airport” but something changed when the entry ban was modified effective July 1. We don’t know exactly what kind of approval they had, but if the local authorities said they were welcome from the US (knowing their nationalities), but revoked that at the time they landed, I can understand their frustration. I still wouldn’t take that risk myself though.

  18. “The people who were always advocates of “open borders” are having a really hard time now.”

    What nonsense. Most people who advocate “open borders” tend to understand the current reality we are living in, and that some forms of control need to remain in place until the situation really improves.

  19. Governments…….the EU…..the Airlines etc…..should be told one thing…..

    LET US FLY…..



    James Hennighan
    Yorkshire, England

  20. Aw, rich, entitled knuckleheads who thought the rules didn’t apply to them. I feel so bad for them.

  21. If they have that much money and want go to Europe that badly, they should have spent the last few months with a lawyer getting an EU passport. You can absolutely buy residency.

  22. Their so-called permits and authorizations probably applied only to the flight and the aircraft. I’m pretty sure none of them applied to the people on the plane.

    I doubt the charter operator and/or aircraft owner will be liable. They fulfilled their obligation to transport the people to Sardinia. It’s not their fault the people onboard were persona non grata.

  23. @Gregg

    They will likely be liable in the same way that commercial carriers are liable for passengers that get turned away at immigration.

  24. They are treated like criminals? You mean just like how the USA border control treated their visitors?

  25. Are you aware of successful use of the business travel exemption (item J on self-declaration), and if so, how much supporting documentation was needed? Thank you.

  26. It’s hard to feel sorry for people traveling in private jets under most circumstances.

    And more often than not they are the problem of this world.

  27. The British, German and Italian passengers had legal right to reside and could not have been refused entry. In reports that I’ve read, they chose to leave all together ‘in solidarity’ with the Americans.

    I want to believe there’s more to this story, but it’s hard for me to imagine anything justifying that level of indignant outrage. I don’t know how they could be claiming to have all the permits for something that is manifestly illegal.

    Also of note is that the Sardinian governor appears to be on their side, and has expressed anger at the national authorities.

  28. I’m glad the Italians sent them packing. I’m actually a bit surprised that they were.

    @Zymm, this is not true for dual citizenship within EU countries. It’s neither quick nor arbitrary no matter how many foreign attorneys and money you throw at it.

  29. I’m an American, Americans attitude from the government to the people thinking that the they are too special to have to wear a mask. The USA did this to themselves, I like to travel abroad, I totally agree with any country that doesn’t want Americans to infect their country. If you’re an American and you want someone to blame, look in the mirror.

  30. Ask for damages? Gringos are such juvenile douche bags, And you wonder why everyone hates you!

  31. Totally agree that these guys are obviously self entitiled douchebags with no persepctive.

    But to be perfectly fair, only 2 out of 6 adults were American. Why is the headline “Americans charter private jet to europe, get rejected?”

    Were the other 4 Europeans/Brits their staff? Certainly many of them, including the German kids could have entered.

  32. American well known threat “I’m going to sue you”….totally meaningless…they should question themselves “Am I going to win if I sue?”. Self entitled stupid people.

  33. I see how they may have been confused. In the United States the rules don’t apply to wealthy people. I suppose they decided to apply that same logic in Italy to no avail.

  34. Americans been Americans and acting entitled. In Europe we don’t sue for every little thing so good like suing because you’ll waste even more money.

  35. Sounds like a planeload of Trumptards. You can’t do this to me! Do you know who my dad is?! Thankfully the rest of the world can reflect back to us what we really are; disgusting, greedy, narcissistic and infected twats who are not welcome anywhere. #MAGA

  36. The terms of the entry ban are not ‘US citizens’ but ‘those who reside in the US’, so this would include EU nationals that live here. The purpose is not to specifically exclude nationalities but those who represent a risk to the EU.

  37. If Russian TU-95 can get risk of being shot for airspace incursion, they should shoot down unauthorized American charter flights.

    These days, COVID seems to be a bigger threat than Russian warheads.

  38. “Treated like criminals” aka treated like any European gets treated by Tsa thugs and customs at a regular Us entry point.

  39. I don’t know what’s worse: being kicked out of Italy or forced to land in Birmingham. Seems like they probably had a very pleasant flight and then it all when downhill from there. Too bad….

  40. Typical Americans. And I think you have a typo “There were six adults”. They sure weren’t adults.

    We’ve let people get away with too much stuff and not they think they can do the same thing world wise, guess what, you can’t.

  41. @Stuart,

    I don’t imagine what good that would’ve done. They would have gotten their passports stamed in Birmingham and would have had to show their passports upon arrival into the EU from England. The recent stamp would’ve told the entire story so that would have been a waste of gas although a pleasant and scenic drive.

  42. Americans got a taste of their own medicine, now they know how the US treats foreigners. No sympathy, they try to trick their way into the EU and failed.

  43. @Ben ( Lucky) … Something is not quite 100% kosher with this news report/article that you are basing your blog on. First of all a flight plan had to be filed and all souls on board had to have not only their names but nationalities communicated to the Italian authorities before the flight left US airspace for the Atlantic crossing assigned route. The Italian newspaper/ news bureau that reported this, is the Italian equivalent of the American newspaper National Enquirer . Hardly worth anyone’s time taking seriously whatever they report. Full of inaccuracies at best and usually outright lies.

  44. U.S. Customs & Immigration would have treated them appropriately when arriving despite a ban: Lock them up or kick them out asap.

    Private jets are required to file a flight plan. How was this even approved?

  45. I am with a U.K. based private jet operator and it has been challenging. Trying to keep up-to-date with who can and who can’t has been hard work for all of us and with changes taking place once flights are confirmed and the often high expectations of clients I’ve certainly got a few extra grey hairs. We’ve also had clients who honestly don’t think the rules apply to them and we’ve lost business as a result but we are an ethical operator and so be it. I have to admit, though, there have been a few borderline flights where my stomach has been in knots until the crew report the pax are through immigration!

  46. US citizens were not allowed entry into EU countries long before July 1st, so their assertion that rules kept changing is false. In June,we were exceptionally allowed to travel to Luxembourg for business reasons, but only after obtaining documentation from my company of the necessity for travel, and then approval from the government. At all airports, we were asked to show the letter of approval before boarding a plane.
    The aggrieved parties certainly were aware of these restrictions. Chartering a private jet was a blatant attempt to circumvent the rules.

  47. Thanks for judging all Americans, all wealthy people and throwing in an insult to Trump supporters and Gringos. That would be like judging all people who comment on stories as losers with no life who hide behind anonymous titles. I work for a lot of rich people who are very nice and down to earth and sometimes taken advantage of and yes a few butt heads and entitled idiots. Just like there are all types of poor people, minorities, EU residents etc. there are all types of rich people, Americans and Trump supporters; scrupulous and honorable carries and you don’t know these people or the facts behind this story. I’d love to talk to the author, what an awesome job to have. Don’t hate the players, hate the game LOL Peace Out! Oh and I will never go back to this article and comments again so have fun hating on to yourselves.

  48. EGE to Sardinia in a Gulfstream is a $300k charter, and even more now with the BHM detour.
    No wonder they are unhappy.

  49. What I don’t understand is why they flew to uk when they could have flown to Croatia which does allow Americans in and is the only exception in Europe

  50. @Dan Bowe

    Good thing you didn’t call people who comment losers as you would surely be speaking of yourself as well.

    Peace out!!!

  51. “How angry can people be about something that is their fault?”
    “We have been treated as if we were criminals, it is not fair”

    Isn’t this what conservatives tell undocumented immigrants, and how undocumented immigrant respond for crossing the border without authorization?

    Or I’m not getting this correctly?

    Yes, they were not changing, but implementation is not mandatory for member states. Meaning the implementation is not uniform and not at the same time. For example Croatia not only allow US, but they are open to any country.

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