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Can an airline agent deny boarding on visa ground?
I have seen an interesting piece of [URL=’http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/Fine-on-Lufthansa-for-refusing-to-fly-man/articleshow/53311268.cms’]news[/URL] from India. Apparently an Lufthansa agent denied boarding a pax with a valid visa to Germany and refused to supply tickets after the passenger was detained. Here is my question: Do airline agents have an authority to deny boarding on this ground (it seems the reasoning was that the person with visa didn’t have consistent answers about his travel plans)? To me, it is the embassy and immigration’s job whereas the airline is entitled to check the documents.
Even worse, do airlines have obligations to provide tickets if they are found wrongfully denying a pax? It is just hard for me to grasp this kinda of news and I am just completely shocked by the Lufthansa’s attitude and service.
Airlines are supposed to check for visas and can deny boarding if the right ones arent obtained. However in this situation, it’s hard to say who is right or wrong without further information. Maybe there was another issue, aside from the visa that cause the agent to deny boarding. I’m not sure of the airline’s protocol to accommodate the passenger in this situation – the airline [I]should[/I] but visa issues are the responsibility of the passenger.
Well it seems from the news that the visa was indeed valid but the agent acted as an immigration officer asking what the pax intended to do in Germany. Meeting his wife and touring the country doesn’t sound completely exclusive, so I don’t see contradictions. The question is whether Lufthansa agents had the power to do the immigration or consular officers’ job and deny boarding when the visa was indeed valid. So the visa was not the issue (at least the consular officers confirmed it later). The second question is whether airlines should compensate whatever lost due to their mistake. In this case, I feel the compensation was just too low. The damage was way more than just the ticket price the pax lost in this case…