peterinlisbon
Topic Author
Posts: 1006
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:37 am

Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:46 pm

My friend was flying from Marrakech to Istanbul today on Lufthansa airlines and when she arrived at the check-in desk at Marrkech Airport they refused to allow her to check in, claiming that she required a visa to transit Frankfurt, despite the fact that she had already transited Frankfurt on the same ticket with no problems when flying from Istanbul to Casablanca on Lufthansa three weeks before.

I spoke personally to Lufthansa reservations and they told me that she should try to check in online, which she did sucessfully and which proves she does not require a transit visa, but they still refused to give her a boarding pass and allow her to board the flight. They claimed to have phoned German immigration in Algeria but refused to give the name of the person they had spoken to.

The Swissport staff refused to give any written explanation of why they were denying boarding, in contravention of her rights as a passenger. I phoned the Station Manager of Swissport, who put the blame on German immigration and said that she would be able to take another flight if she gets a German transit visa. However, she also refused to provide anything in writing.

I am very unhappy with the way this situation has been handled by Swissport and I will be complaining to Lufthansa and demanding both a new flight and compensation. Lufthansa cannot sell tickets to connecting destinations all over the world and then refuse to allow passengers to board based on arbitrary decisions by Swissport staff that have nothing to do with the law. She had all of the documents required and yet they did not allow her to board her flight and refused to provide any justification apart from the claim that they phoned "a German man in Algeria" and he said that she couldn't board. They refused to provide the name of this person.

Does anyone else have experience with this situation? I know that they have the right to deny boarding if a passenger does not have the right documents, but Moroccans have the right to Transit Without Visa for 24 hours in Frankfurt. Her layover was just 1 hour. Who is this "German man in Algeria" who gets to make decisions about who can fly and who can't after they have paid for their ticket? What are my rights in terms of getting my money back and getting compensation, since they have breached the contract by failing to provide the transportation service that I paid for?
 
bennett123
Posts: 7824
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:54 pm

What passport was your friend traveling on

Does she other nationalities/passports.

Also Germany has an embassy in Rabat, why would they ring someone in Algeria.
 
Leej
Posts: 312
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2001 10:39 pm

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:06 pm

Okay - not getting the Algeria connection? What has that to do with Morocco/Germany/Turkey? If your friend had the correct documentation for travel purposes then there shouldn't be a problem. If not, it is certainly not the airlines problem. Compensation for what? If she checked-in online, does that not issue a boarding pass? I think more info needed.....
 
User avatar
Finn350
Posts: 1189
Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:57 am

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:48 pm

Here are the two lists regarding nationals needing airport transit visa in Schengen area

https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites ... sts_en.pdf

https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites ... ist_en.pdf
 
User avatar
LTU932
Posts: 13265
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:34 am

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:55 pm

And again: Which passport was used? If it was a Moroccan passport, then I'd consult with the German embassy before filing the complaint, even though they do indeed not need a transit visa. That said, if an airline denies boarding because of visa issues, it's because the probably want to spare themselves the costs of returning him to his country of origin. There's a reason why sometimes online check-in won't work in some instances. And even if you check in online, you may still have your document reviewed (on my last flight, I got my documents checked twice, once by the airport staff in HAM at the baggage drop off and once by exit immigration in AMS, and I checked in online), if not by the airport staff, then by exit immigration (even if there's no exit immigration, you can still be pulled from the flight if irregularities pop up, like in Costa Rica with people who are behind in their payment of alimony).
Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer. - Ferengi Rule of Acquisition 208
 
maperrin
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2006 2:06 am

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:10 pm

I personally faced the following nearly similar situation. European passport + ESTA. Flying GIG-IAH-NRT, UA flights. On the way back: HND-IAH (NH) + IAH-GIG (UA). When boarding at HND, automatic gate did not accept by boarding pass (released at NH Check-in counter !). I was called apart. And NH employees asked for......my return ticket IAH-Japan ! As, of course, I had none, I was denied boarding. Fortunately, I am *A Gold member, and was boarding with priority. The whole 777 boarded and I tried to argue. In the last minute, they asked me to sign a no airline-responsability document in case of access denied in USA !
 
debonair
Posts: 2964
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:50 pm

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:00 am

If your friend is Turkish Citizen, a Visa is needed:

Germany - Transit Visa
Visa required.
Transiting without a visa is possible for:
Nationals of Turkey holding onward tickets in transit **AND** meeting one of the following conditions:
holding a valid visa issued by Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland (Rep.), Japan, Romania, USA or United Kingdom traveling to any non-Schengen Member State; A maximum transit time of 24 hours through Frankfurt (FRA) or Munich (MUC).

As Turkey is a non-Schengen Member State, a Visa is required. Swissport/Lufthansa is not to blame!
BTW. the same rules applies from Turkey to Morocco - so if your friend is really Turkish Citizen, it was just luck not been denied boarding in first place!
 
User avatar
SomebodyInTLS
Posts: 715
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:31 pm

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:01 pm

peterinlisbon wrote:
I spoke personally to Lufthansa reservations and they told me that she should try to check in online, which she did sucessfully and which proves she does not require a transit visa

[...]

Lufthansa cannot sell tickets to connecting destinations all over the world and then refuse to allow passengers to board based on arbitrary decisions by Swissport staff that have nothing to do with the law. She had all of the documents required and yet they did not allow her to board her flight and refused to provide any justification apart from the claim that they phoned "a German man in Algeria" and he said that she couldn't board.


Regarding your first point - I'm afraid that the ability to buy a ticket and check in online are totally independent of the passengers' right to enter or transit a country. My wife has been in the business for twenty years and has dealt first hand with thousands of passengers who don't realise it's their own responsibility to get their paperwork in order - not the airline's. That goes all the way from hen-parties heading to the sun to pop superstars and "don't-you-know-who-I-am" politicians in the world's top airport lounges.

Having said that, front-line staff often also don't know the visa requirements and are required to call supervisors who - in theory - will check documentation or as last resort contact diplomatic staff. I'm hoping that in this case the proper embassy staff were contacted (in which case it's either the embassy's incompetence or a change in the requirements - which does happen!) and that it wasn't a case of someone higher up saying "I think she's not allowed" without checking. Which unfortunately also does happen...

In any case I agree it sounds like the local Swissport management owes her an explanation.
"As with most things related to aircraft design, it's all about the trade-offs and much more nuanced than A.net likes to make out."
 
User avatar
SomebodyInTLS
Posts: 715
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:31 pm

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:11 pm

SomebodyInTLS wrote:
in which case it's either the embassy's incompetence or a change in the requirements


Ah wait - after reading other people's questions about why Algeria was involved and other missing information I have to ask the following: was she by any chance transiting through TWO Schengen countries? Because I'm afraid that really is NOT allowed. That catches out a lot of people...
"As with most things related to aircraft design, it's all about the trade-offs and much more nuanced than A.net likes to make out."
 
User avatar
RyanairGuru
Posts: 6916
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:59 am

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:53 pm

It sounds like the passenger originated in Turkey, in which case if they are a Turkish citizen then a transit visa is required. Presumably they should have been denied boarding on the outbound leg as well, and instead of an "illegal" denied boarding, per the OP, the Swissport team in CMN have done their job correctly. Of course this is dependent on the passport travelled on, but the fact that the OP has gone very quiet after their first post makes me think that the passenger was indeed in the wrong.

The carrier has ZERO responsibility for passport and visa requirements. They can sell you any ticket you like and it is YOUR obligation to ensure that you have any relevant visas, including transit visas for countries you may not be entering.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
peterinlisbon
Topic Author
Posts: 1006
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:37 am

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:04 pm

Ryanairguru, the passenger is not Turkish, she is Moroccan. She does not require a visa for transit, especially since her transit time was just 1 hour. I checked this very carefully before I bought the ticket and Lufthansa reservations confirmed the same thing on the phone - no visa is required. She has already transited Frankfurt and other European cities without a visa in the past. I checked the list above of nationalities that require visas for airside transit and Morocco is not on that list.

Let me clarify the details people are asking about: the flight was RAK-FRA-IST with a 1 hour stop in Frankfurt. The passenger is Moroccan, and she already flew on the outbound portion of the ticket via Frankfurt and stopped there for 2 hours without trying to somehow get into Germany. In Istanbul the check-in staff asked a lot of questions and finally allowed her to travel, but on the way back the Swissport staff at Marrakech refused to let her check in and claimed that they had spoken to some guy in Algeria who had told them that she couldn't fly. They refused to give the name of this person and also refused to give any written explanation of why she was not allowed to fly on the ticket that was already paid for.

This is the timatic info for transit via Germany for a Moroccan citizen:

Transit - Germany (DE)

Visa
Visa required.
TWOV (Transit Without Visa):
Holders of onward tickets in transit .

A maximum transit time of 24 hours through Frankfurt (FRA) or Munich (MUC).

I can understand that they refuse you if you have the wrong documents, but if you have the right documents then how can they have the right to do that? I thought that I had bought a plane ticket, not a lottery ticket.
 
User avatar
Finn350
Posts: 1189
Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:57 am

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:16 pm

peterinlisbon wrote:
I can understand that they refuse you if you have the wrong documents, but if you have the right documents then how can they have the right to do that? I thought that I had bought a plane ticket, not a lottery ticket.


If the case as you present, I don't understand it. Make a complaint to Lufthansa, as they should offer an explanation why check-in was denied.
 
peterinlisbon
Topic Author
Posts: 1006
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:37 am

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:30 pm

Finn350 wrote:
peterinlisbon wrote:
I can understand that they refuse you if you have the wrong documents, but if you have the right documents then how can they have the right to do that? I thought that I had bought a plane ticket, not a lottery ticket.


If the case as you present, I don't understand it. Make a complaint to Lufthansa, as they should offer an explanation why check-in was denied.


I'm in the process of doing so. I spoke to both the reservations department and the complaints department today and they agreed with me that she didn't require a transit visa and shouldn't have been denied boarding. However, the reservations staff had no way of communicating with the Swissport staff at the airport and they said that they can't change the ticket to another date now as the Swissport staff tagged her reservation as a "no-show" despite her being there 3 hours before the flight. I got given the number of the complaints department and after half an hour of waiting whilst they checked they said were unable to do anything about it now and would have to investigate to see if I was due a refund because of their mistake.

I got the impression from speaking with them on the phone that the reservations department is in the Philippines and the complaints department is in India. Whilst the people on the phone were nice and tried to help, it also seems that none of them had the authority do anything more than submit a report or make a note in the reservation and tell me to call another number. I wrote a complaint to their customer services department and just got an automatic email in German saying my complaint has been received.

I wonder what would happen if we had flown to Brazil or Malaysia with Lufthansa and then had this problem on the way back. If we got stranded there it could cost thousands of dollars to get back on new tickets. Instead of transferring the call to someone that has authority to do something about it immediately they tell you to "send an email to customer services" without any idea of when they'll even answer, let alone do anything about it. Perhaps they should change their slogan from "Nonstop You" to "Stop You".
 
LGAviation
Posts: 615
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:14 am

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:54 pm

peterinlisbon wrote:
Finn350 wrote:
peterinlisbon wrote:
I can understand that they refuse you if you have the wrong documents, but if you have the right documents then how can they have the right to do that? I thought that I had bought a plane ticket, not a lottery ticket.


If the case as you present, I don't understand it. Make a complaint to Lufthansa, as they should offer an explanation why check-in was denied.


I'm in the process of doing so. I spoke to both the reservations department and the complaints department today and they agreed with me that she didn't require a transit visa and shouldn't have been denied boarding. However, the reservations staff had no way of communicating with the Swissport staff at the airport and they said that they can't change the ticket to another date now as the Swissport staff tagged her reservation as a "no-show" despite her being there 3 hours before the flight. I got given the number of the complaints department and after half an hour of waiting whilst they checked they said were unable to do anything about it now and would have to investigate to see if I was due a refund because of their mistake.

I got the impression from speaking with them on the phone that the reservations department is in the Philippines and the complaints department is in India. Whilst the people on the phone were nice and tried to help, it also seems that none of them had the authority do anything more than submit a report or make a note in the reservation and tell me to call another number. I wrote a complaint to their customer services department and just got an automatic email in German saying my complaint has been received.

I wonder what would happen if we had flown to Brazil or Malaysia with Lufthansa and then had this problem on the way back. If we got stranded there it could cost thousands of dollars to get back on new tickets. Instead of transferring the call to someone that has authority to do something about it immediately they tell you to "send an email to customer services" without any idea of when they'll even answer, let alone do anything about it. Perhaps they should change their slogan from "Nonstop You" to "Stop You".



I probably wouldn't even bother dealing with their departments and would have by case brought forward in German courts. You might want to factor your claim with companies like compensation2go (they're English-speaking although their website is not send them a message via Kontakt in English) or have someone like flight rights fight the case on contingency fee for you. Procedure is pretty straightforward under EU law and you could be entitled to additional compensation under Reg. 261/04. Zero risk for you and in my experience quite efficient. On the other hand, Lufthansa should come to their senses if the incident is the way you presented it and probably sooner or later will come up with something, they are generally not a bad company in terms of customer communication.
2017: ACE AMS BRE CDG CPH DCA DUB FRA HAM ICN JFK KEF LCY LGW LHR NBO OSL ROR STN VFA
 
flyboy_se
Posts: 737
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2000 5:31 am

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:38 pm

Did you try to ask to speak to the supervisor? Or call the customer contact number in Germany instead phone +49 900 900 922 / 933. I find their reply that Swissport has marked the ticket as no-show and that they cannot do anything about it, crazy. You bought the ticket with Lufthansa not Swissport.
A supervisor has the power to reinstate your friends ticket and waive all fees, as it was not your friends fault. Could it be that the flight was oversold?
Sometimes they try to find a vague excuse to try to stop you from flying instead of paying you denied boarding compensation.
If none of it works try social media. Nowdays it is the best way to get in touch. The airlines are eager to solve any negative feedback from their social media networks.
Hope they find a solution for your friend.
I prefer to be crazy and happy rather than normal and bitter
 
peterinlisbon
Topic Author
Posts: 1006
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:37 am

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:32 pm

LGAviation wrote:
peterinlisbon wrote:
Finn350 wrote:

If the case as you present, I don't understand it. Make a complaint to Lufthansa, as they should offer an explanation why check-in was denied.


I'm in the process of doing so. I spoke to both the reservations department and the complaints department today and they agreed with me that she didn't require a transit visa and shouldn't have been denied boarding. However, the reservations staff had no way of communicating with the Swissport staff at the airport and they said that they can't change the ticket to another date now as the Swissport staff tagged her reservation as a "no-show" despite her being there 3 hours before the flight. I got given the number of the complaints department and after half an hour of waiting whilst they checked they said were unable to do anything about it now and would have to investigate to see if I was due a refund because of their mistake.

I got the impression from speaking with them on the phone that the reservations department is in the Philippines and the complaints department is in India. Whilst the people on the phone were nice and tried to help, it also seems that none of them had the authority do anything more than submit a report or make a note in the reservation and tell me to call another number. I wrote a complaint to their customer services department and just got an automatic email in German saying my complaint has been received.

I wonder what would happen if we had flown to Brazil or Malaysia with Lufthansa and then had this problem on the way back. If we got stranded there it could cost thousands of dollars to get back on new tickets. Instead of transferring the call to someone that has authority to do something about it immediately they tell you to "send an email to customer services" without any idea of when they'll even answer, let alone do anything about it. Perhaps they should change their slogan from "Nonstop You" to "Stop You".



I probably wouldn't even bother dealing with their departments and would have by case brought forward in German courts. You might want to factor your claim with companies like compensation2go (they're English-speaking although their website is not send them a message via Kontakt in English) or have someone like flight rights fight the case on contingency fee for you. Procedure is pretty straightforward under EU law and you could be entitled to additional compensation under Reg. 261/04. Zero risk for you and in my experience quite efficient. On the other hand, Lufthansa should come to their senses if the incident is the way you presented it and probably sooner or later will come up with something, they are generally not a bad company in terms of customer communication.


Thanks for the advice - I have filed a claim with flightright. Maybe they will pay more attention once they get a proper legal notification. So far, I have had absolutely no word from them. Nothing from the CEO of Swissport in Morocco who promised to look into the matter and nothing from Lufthansa itself (complaints department). My girlfriend is still stuck in Marrakech and I'm looking at buying a ticket with another airline.

I also went onto their Facebook page and complained there, where they were busy congratulating themselves on being a 4* Skytraxxx airline. I then went straight to Skytraxx and left them the worst possible review. The facebook admin just replied "please submit your complaint to the customer services department", which I have done already. I imagine their facebook admin is also outsourced to somewhere.

Whilst they make me wait I will look for other airline review sites to leave bad reviews on. I will also complain on twitter.
 
peterinlisbon
Topic Author
Posts: 1006
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:37 am

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:43 pm

flyboy_se wrote:
Did you try to ask to speak to the supervisor? Or call the customer contact number in Germany instead phone +49 900 900 922 / 933. I find their reply that Swissport has marked the ticket as no-show and that they cannot do anything about it, crazy. You bought the ticket with Lufthansa not Swissport.
A supervisor has the power to reinstate your friends ticket and waive all fees, as it was not your friends fault. Could it be that the flight was oversold?
Sometimes they try to find a vague excuse to try to stop you from flying instead of paying you denied boarding compensation.
If none of it works try social media. Nowdays it is the best way to get in touch. The airlines are eager to solve any negative feedback from their social media networks.
Hope they find a solution for your friend.


You would think that a supervisor could change the ticket, but they seem powerless. I think the number you gave me probably goes through a switch to the same outsourced call centre in the Philippines or wherever it is. I was actually calling a UK number but I think that whatever country you call it goes to the same place.
 
User avatar
lesfalls
Posts: 3084
Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:58 pm

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:47 am

What if you call a number where you have to speak German?I know it isn't Ideal but I would think that then the office would have to be in Germany(as I bet it would be hard to get german speaking staff in Asia) and I bet that someone would have authority there to change your friends ticket.
My Instagram account: @Jfkairlinespotting
 
flyboy_se
Posts: 737
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2000 5:31 am

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:21 pm

peterinlisbon wrote:
flyboy_se wrote:
Did you try to ask to speak to the supervisor? Or call the customer contact number in Germany instead phone +49 900 900 922 / 933. I find their reply that Swissport has marked the ticket as no-show and that they cannot do anything about it, crazy. You bought the ticket with Lufthansa not Swissport.
A supervisor has the power to reinstate your friends ticket and waive all fees, as it was not your friends fault. Could it be that the flight was oversold?
Sometimes they try to find a vague excuse to try to stop you from flying instead of paying you denied boarding compensation.
If none of it works try social media. Nowdays it is the best way to get in touch. The airlines are eager to solve any negative feedback from their social media networks.
Hope they find a solution for your friend.


You would think that a supervisor could change the ticket, but they seem powerless. I think the number you gave me probably goes through a switch to the same outsourced call centre in the Philippines or wherever it is. I was actually calling a UK number but I think that whatever country you call it goes to the same place.


As a matter of fact i had to call Lufthansa today regarding my booking, and i spoke to someone in Germany. The number i used is +49 698 679 97 99
I had to wait about 15 min to get through, but it was definitely in Germany.

I think also it helps to call during working hours in Germany, otherwise the line may get sent to another center.
I prefer to be crazy and happy rather than normal and bitter
 
peterinlisbon
Topic Author
Posts: 1006
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:37 am

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:30 pm

I got a reply from the boss of Swissport in Morocco today:

"Your friend’s boarding was refused as Germany and Lufthansa decided to block transit for Moroccan citizens on the way to Turkey, as there are direct flights available between Morocco and Turkey. It was not a Swissport decision, we have to comply with the rules decided by the airlines and by the relevant authorities...."

What I don't understand is how they can do this and just refuse to allow a passenger to use their ticket when the rules allow Transit Without Visa. The fact that direct flights are available does not mean that anyone taking a connecting flight has bad intentions. In this case the connecting flight on Lufhansa was much cheaper and anyway there are no direct flights from Marrakech to Istanbul, only from Casablanca, which takes an extra 4 hours to get to.

If you fly on other airlines they don't ask you at check-in "why didn't you take a direct flight, this is very suspicious" or "the UAE government has decided to block all EU citizens from flying to Hong Kong via Dubai because there are direct flights."

If Lufthansa can do this then how can anyone buy a ticket with them and have confidence that they won't just lose all of their money? It seems that they can take your money and then when you get to the airport they decide if they want to provide any service at all.
Last edited by peterinlisbon on Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
LGAviation
Posts: 615
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:14 am

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:50 pm

peterinlisbon wrote:
I got a reply from the boss of Swissport in Morocco today:

"Your friend’s boarding was refused as Germany and Lufthansa decided to block transit for Moroccan citizens on the way to Turkey, as there are direct flights available between Morocco and Turkey. It was not a Swissport decision, we have to comply with the rules decided by the airlines and by the relevant authorities...."

What I don't understand is how they can do this and just refuse to allow a passenger to use their ticket when the rules allow Transit Without Visa. The fact that direct flights are available does not mean that anyone taking a connecting flight has bad intentions. What is Lufhansa doing selling connecting flights then?

If you fly on other airlines they don't ask you at check-in "why didn't you take a direct flight, this is very suspicious" or "the UAE government has decided to block all EU citizens from flying to Hong Kong via Dubai because there are direct flights."

If Lufthansa can do this then how can anyone buy a ticket with them and have confidence that they won't just lose all of their money? It seems that they can take your money and then when you get to the airport they decide if they want to provide any service at all.



That sounds really odd and like something Swissport would have made up. I believe it when i see it from our foreign office. USA-India is a major market for Lufty and they're doing everything they can to not have them use direct flights. I got the same reasoning once from Saudia on a flight from CDG to DXB via RUH
2017: ACE AMS BRE CDG CPH DCA DUB FRA HAM ICN JFK KEF LCY LGW LHR NBO OSL ROR STN VFA
 
LGAviation
Posts: 615
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:14 am

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:55 pm

Official position hasn't changed: http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/EN/Infos ... ?nn=480902 and Lufthansa most certainly cannot make up such a rule and they would be adversely affected themselves so this just gets weirder by the day.
2017: ACE AMS BRE CDG CPH DCA DUB FRA HAM ICN JFK KEF LCY LGW LHR NBO OSL ROR STN VFA
 
peterinlisbon
Topic Author
Posts: 1006
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:37 am

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:11 pm

Yes, it doesn't make any sense at all to refuse a passenger based on the fact that there are "direct flights available". It's not true anyway - there are no direct flights from Marrakech to Istanbul.
 
peterinlisbon
Topic Author
Posts: 1006
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:37 am

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:26 pm

LGAviation wrote:
Official position hasn't changed: http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/EN/Infos ... ?nn=480902 and Lufthansa most certainly cannot make up such a rule and they would be adversely affected themselves so this just gets weirder by the day.


Thanks for the link. It shows that they're in the wrong. I'm sure if the German government wanted to change the TWOV rules they would immediately put it on their website. I used the Timatic system to check whether she needed a visa to transit and it said she didn't.

What I don't get is what they think she could do during 1 hour in the transit lounge anyway. Do they think she might dig a tunnel down through the floor or something?
 
peterinlisbon
Topic Author
Posts: 1006
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:37 am

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:15 am

Still no reply from their useless customer service department. Maybe they're still trying to figure out which excuse to use seeing as Moroccans don't require transit visas and yet they refused to let her travel anyway and ruined her trip. Lufthansa reservations blames Swissport, Swissport blames Lufthansa and the German government whilst the German government says that transit visas are not required.
 
necho1975
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2017 3:05 pm

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Wed Jul 05, 2017 3:59 pm

Hi peterinlisbon, let me share your pain with mine, almost exactly same situation happened to me, let me post it in your thread.

My fiancee is kenyan citizen, i'm a mexican citizen with us visas, etc, have been in europe, africa, etc. We were supposed to get married in panama because i have family there, etc. I bought her round trip in Lufthansa NBO-FRA-PTY, when she went to get boarding pass same history happened tan your friend. My fiancee have returning flight, hotel bookings confirmed, bank statements, 1k cash in hand, email from german embassy and from German pólice that she does´nt need transit visa.

With all this evidence inmigration authorities only told her, you are not allowed to fly because you are a high risk person to stay in germany. although she had evidence no visa are required for panama or Frankfurt, now we didn't married, lost 2k usd at her ticket, i've sent dozens of emails to Lufthansa and travel agency, etc, and money is still not refunded. it was on june 15. I did put a complaint to credit card bank and the complaint is still in process.

I don't understand how this airline sells a flight from NBO connecting in FRA , worst thing is same Lufthansa people are agree with swissport authorities. Now i had to spent one 2k for one round trip for me, i'm in kenya right now making all procedures to get married in KE, had to ask permission at my Work, and will have to buy a new ticket for her to go with me once we get the marriage certificate and the temporary resident visa here in KE.

Regards
 
User avatar
aerorobnz
Posts: 7868
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2001 3:43 pm

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:50 pm

Has she spoken with the German embassy directly about this case? Has she asked them why they might have rejected permission to travel on that itinerary and passport? It could be something as simple as a shared name with a blacklisted name, or they may have changed requirements recently and not updated the website. If they cannot provide a reason this issue may have happened, then you go back to the airline with a copy of the email/letter from the embassy stating there was no reason she shouldn't have been uplifted. The airline is banking on the fact that you will not talk with the nation directly on the specifics, and show them up as incompetent. If you have the letter, you might upload it to their facebook page or send via twitter with a public complaint, airlines don't like this very much, and are usually quicker to remedy to get it taken down.

If the embassy can provide you a reason then it's part of travel I'm afraid - even if an unpleasant one, Geo-Politics is a moving target and therefore so are entry requirements. We all know what Trump has done overnight to US entry requirements to people who would have previously qualified for entry.. Claim it on travel insurance and move on.

Airlines also get fined heavily by countries and forced to repatriate breaches to point of origin. Bear in mind that if Swissport allows uplift they will then be sent the fine by Lufthansa. The cost of the revenue from this ticket would not pay 5% of the potential fine, and for some countries it is upward of EUD$10000 for a single infringement.
Flown to 128 Airports in 48 Countries on 81 Operators. Visited 56 Countries and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.
 
necho1975
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2017 3:05 pm

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:09 pm

Hi aerorobnz, yes, we have two confirmations in email from german embassy in nairobi that no transit visa is needed for kenyan citizens transiting frankfurt, layout was 7 hrs; we have email confirmation from german police too saying the same, website of german embassy is same. Inmigration offices told her "you are a high risk person to stay in germany, and you can not prove you are not staying there that is we will not allow you to fly". She had hotel confirmation at final destination, money, round trip ticket, connection flight was same with lufthansa she will only be at airside area.

Now, i have sent like 30 emails to us customer service, kenya, etc of lufthansa all say to wait, and nobody have sent us at least the money of the refund. All this documents i'm telling you lufthansa have it. Now, do you know how many flights from lufthansa from nairobi transit through frankfurt all days? I think this issue is discrimination and because she was traveling alone, inmigration officers must have a more width criteria that is my point. They don't see all damage they cause, psychological and echonomical. Right now we lost 2k usd in that round trip, i spend 1.5k usd because right now i'm at nairobi, we will have to spend 3-4k more, we lost acommodations at panama. Lufthansa is paying for all this?
 
peterinlisbon
Topic Author
Posts: 1006
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:37 am

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:56 am

necho1975 wrote:
Hi peterinlisbon, let me share your pain with mine, almost exactly same situation happened to me, let me post it in your thread.

My fiancee is kenyan citizen, i'm a mexican citizen with us visas, etc, have been in europe, africa, etc. We were supposed to get married in panama because i have family there, etc. I bought her round trip in Lufthansa NBO-FRA-PTY, when she went to get boarding pass same history happened tan your friend. My fiancee have returning flight, hotel bookings confirmed, bank statements, 1k cash in hand, email from german embassy and from German pólice that she does´nt need transit visa.

With all this evidence inmigration authorities only told her, you are not allowed to fly because you are a high risk person to stay in germany. although she had evidence no visa are required for panama or Frankfurt, now we didn't married, lost 2k usd at her ticket, i've sent dozens of emails to Lufthansa and travel agency, etc, and money is still not refunded. it was on june 15. I did put a complaint to credit card bank and the complaint is still in process.

I don't understand how this airline sells a flight from NBO connecting in FRA , worst thing is same Lufthansa people are agree with swissport authorities. Now i had to spent one 2k for one round trip for me, i'm in kenya right now making all procedures to get married in KE, had to ask permission at my Work, and will have to buy a new ticket for her to go with me once we get the marriage certificate and the temporary resident visa here in KE.

Regards


I find it really disgusting that the airline can do this. It is unable/unwilling to provide the services that have been paid for and therefore at the very least they should give a refund and compensation. They can't say that we didn't check the requirements, because in both cases a visa is not required for transit. If every passenger requires the approval of the German goverment first, then they should state this warning clearly on their website before selling tickets. Lufthansa should refund the money to all passengers denied boarding in this way and I think we should work together to find ways to publicly shame the company. Essentially, they are stealing from people. Imagine if Emirates or Qatar started refusing to honour tickets and turning away passengers that had all the correct documents. How long would their hub operations continue to function? How can they say that a person is a risk of staying in Germany when that person is not even entering Germany?

The world needs to know that Lufthansa cannot be trusted for connecting flights. I've started by going on Twitter every day and giving them bad publicity but I want to go further. Let me know if you get a refund on your ticket. I will also file a chargeback on my debit card as they failed to provide the service that I paid for.
 
peterinlisbon
Topic Author
Posts: 1006
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:37 am

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:53 pm

Lufthansa have basically stolen my money. I can't believe a supposedly reputable company would do this.
 
bennett123
Posts: 7824
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:15 pm

Peterinlisbon

On June 26, you said something about a lot of questions being asked om checking in at IST.

What was all that about.

Sounds as if they already had concerns about some aspect of the booking or her documents.
 
peterinlisbon
Topic Author
Posts: 1006
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:37 am

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:58 pm

bennett123 wrote:
Peterinlisbon

On June 26, you said something about a lot of questions being asked om checking in at IST.

What was all that about.

Sounds as if they already had concerns about some aspect of the booking or her documents.


They interrogated her at check-in with questions such as "why didn't you buy a direct flight" and "which route did you use to get to Istanbul"? However, they let her fly after they checked and realised that Moroccans do not require a transit visa. On the way back they just refused to let her check-in, saying that they had to get "approval" from some German guy in Algeria (who they refused to name).

The fact is that Moroccans do not require a transit visa. The rules are clear. This has implications not just for Moroccans but for anyone buying a ticket on Lufthansa with a connection in Germany. If you do not require a transit visa but the airline can just refuse to let you travel anyway based on the opinion of some person they refuse to even name, how can anyone trust this airline? You could end up stranded anywhere in the world and lose a huge amount of money.
 
necho1975
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2017 3:05 pm

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:04 pm

Hi peterinlisbon, i think your case is almost exactly same than mine, yes, i did put complaints in facebook, google, etc but customer service of lufthansa they say they will check but still not refund. My fiancee, now my wife, i am right now in kenya looking for a visa for her so we can go back to mexico, wife told me employees of lufthansa said that problem is that tickets were bought online(unbeliveable) because if tickets are bought directly in lufthansa offices they will not sell it because of lufthsana reasons. Something is wrong with this airline i'm agree, i will keep posting until they at give me my money back. Will keep you updated how it goes.
 
necho1975
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2017 3:05 pm

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:40 pm

Hi peterinlisb, just as an update, i spent 3 weeks at nairobi and married my fiancee now my wife, yesterday she received her visa for temporary residence for mexico, today she went to airport to ask if she is allowed to fly NBO-FRA-MEX and they said no, because same immigration officer said no, they suggested to search an alternative route, she explained she is joining her husband, etc....My point is, maybe being national of some countries they decide if they let you fly or not, but with a one person criteria, lufthansa says they have the right to do it but what about my refund ?
 
peterinlisbon
Topic Author
Posts: 1006
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:37 am

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:28 am

necho1975 wrote:
Hi peterinlisb, just as an update, i spent 3 weeks at nairobi and married my fiancee now my wife, yesterday she received her visa for temporary residence for mexico, today she went to airport to ask if she is allowed to fly NBO-FRA-MEX and they said no, because same immigration officer said no, they suggested to search an alternative route, she explained she is joining her husband, etc....My point is, maybe being national of some countries they decide if they let you fly or not, but with a one person criteria, lufthansa says they have the right to do it but what about my refund ?


After 1 month, I got an email from Lufthansa saying they are processing my refund and when I looked in my account I found that they had refunded only £40 out of the £210 of the amount that I paid. I wrote back and asked where the rest of my money was and they became quite rude and arrogant and said that because of "missing visa and incomplete travel" they had given a refund and would refuse to answer any more emails.

So basically, Lufthansa has stolen £170 from me and caused me an enormous amount of expense because they refuse to follow the rules about which nationalities require a transit visa. Either that, or the German government is interfering and preventing transit passengers from flying in which case Lufthansa should at the very least refund tickets instead of benefitting from this situation. Imagine the outcry if Emirates or Qatar did this - selling tickets and then not letting people fly because their governments decided not to "approve" certain passengers even though they do not require transit visas. Quickly these companies would be seen as dishonest and unreliable and nobody would want to fly with them.

I would bet that Lufthansa is benefitting from this situation by overbooking heavily on its routes to poor countries like Kenya or Morocco, in the knowledge that it will be able to simply turn half of the passengers away and keep their money. Whilst we have found a place to talk about this, I imagine lots of people lose thousands of dollars and can't afford to buy another ticket and even end up overstaying or stranded far from home.

I would recommend anyone that has been been treated in this way by Lufthansa should start by writing a bad review on Skytraxx detailing how much money they stole from you and how you were treated. If you haven't already done it, make sure you write a bad review now. I think Lufthansa should actually be banned from selling transit tickets in certain countries if they can't guarantee that passengers with valid tickets and documents will be allowed to fly. You could also try writing to some local newspapers as I think they would be interested by the story and it would serve as a warning to others.
 
peterinlisbon
Topic Author
Posts: 1006
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:37 am

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:44 am

It's lucky I didn't buy a ticket last year on Lufhansa from Kuala Lumpur to Marrakech. They would have stolen even more of my money and created an even bigger problem, as that ticket was £480 each.
 
peterinlisbon
Topic Author
Posts: 1006
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:37 am

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:09 pm

necho1975 wrote:
Hi peterinlisb, just as an update, i spent 3 weeks at nairobi and married my fiancee now my wife, yesterday she received her visa for temporary residence for mexico, today she went to airport to ask if she is allowed to fly NBO-FRA-MEX and they said no, because same immigration officer said no, they suggested to search an alternative route, she explained she is joining her husband, etc....My point is, maybe being national of some countries they decide if they let you fly or not, but with a one person criteria, lufthansa says they have the right to do it but what about my refund ?


I got an email from Lufthansa's complaints department saying "you have been refunded in accordance with our fare conditions and the case is now closed. We will not respond to any further emails from you."

I replied that they would not get away with stealing my money and I would take legal action against them as well as raising hell on Twitter and that I would start a campaign to have them banned from countries where they abused and stole from local passengers. I then went on Twitter and for the next three days insulted them continously, starting the hashtag #BanLufthansa and warning people not to waste their money on connecting tickets with this airline.

After a few days of this, I got a much more meek reply from customer services saying that they had looked into the case and had decided to refund all of the money "in the interests of customer satisfaction". They also said that my girlfriend and I would be welcome to travel with Lufthansa again. This raised my curiosity a little and I asked if that meant that next time the same situation would not happen again and they replied that they would make sure that this did not happen again.

So, all in all, they finally admitted their mistake and refunded the money, although only after a lot of pressure on my part and of course this whole situation has still caused a loss of time and money to me because I had to buy an last-minute ticket on another airline, plus ground transportation, car rental and we lost a week of our holiday.
 
necho1975
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2017 3:05 pm

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:16 pm

Hi Peter, thank you for all your comments, my case is a little different because i bought the ticket with a travel agency(cheapoair), i filed a complaint at bank and they charged back the lufthansa ticket to my credit card. $1600 USD but yesterday they revert it, i lost $1600. I just spoke to cheapoair they just said they will speak with lufthansa to review if the refund is possible, of course it's possible but they keep the money. i don't know what else to do to get my money back. After 3 months we saved a little cash and bough another flight ticket through Dubai, that's what the migration officer recommended, not to travel through Europe...So, why lufthansa sells the tickets is still my doubt. Will keep you posted.

Nice they refund you the total amount, I still have 1600 usd lost


Regards
Necho
 
necho1975
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2017 3:05 pm

Re: Passenger Unfairly Denied Boarding by Lufthansa in Marrakech

Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:56 pm

I filed a complaint at skytrax too, i hope it helps so they refund me my money, 1600usd lost

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos