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BA refuses boarding back to UK despite OK from Immigration Authorities

BA refuses boarding back to UK despite OK from Immigration Authorities

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Old Nov 26, 18, 8:54 am
  #106  
 
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Originally Posted by Andriyko View Post
Yes, he could have had sufficient documents to enter Hungary (an expired national ID of some countries would suffice).
Now that I have read the OP's post another time, I see that on entry to Hungary the issued of the expired ID was flagged, and an email of the passport was apparently accepted as additional supporting material. By that point, I personally would have started being worried not about my entry that day, but my return to UK.
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Old Nov 26, 18, 8:57 am
  #107  
 
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Originally Posted by Saladman View Post
UK immigration's advice would be to refuse travel and advise the person to obtain an emergency travel document. Note, they are not denying entry as it hasn't got that far. They can hardly be expected to grant entry remotely and therefore advise BA to let the person travel, except in very very exceptional circumstances. Once they've established his EU identity then he will be allowed entry.

He needs an emergency travel document.
I fear you are the one who is confused. There is no need for an emergency travel document - EC38/2004 makes that quite clear.

All he needs to do is meet the requirements of EU law which allows the traveller to "corroborate or prove by other means that they are covered by the right of free movement and residence".

UK immigration staff can advise BA to let him travel if he can provide such evidence.
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Old Nov 26, 18, 9:09 am
  #108  
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Originally Posted by simons1 View Post
I fear you are the one who is confused. There is no need for an emergency travel document - EC38/2004 makes that quite clear.

All he needs to do is meet the requirements of EU law which allows the traveller to "corroborate or prove by other means that they are covered by the right of free movement and residence".

UK immigration staff can advise BA to let him travel if he can provide such evidence.
I suspect that this is the conundrum.

Taking OP's various posts at face value, BA at BUD did contact UK immigration. If approved to travel, I doubt that BA would have denied boarding (or rebooking). While nobody on FT, including OP, was privvy to what was said on that call, it might have been reasonable for UK authorities to advise BA that the expired document was not alone sufficient and must be corroborated. Perhaps OP was told what that corroboration might be?
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Old Nov 26, 18, 9:32 am
  #109  
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Originally Posted by simons1 View Post
I fear you are the one who is confused. There is no need for an emergency travel document - EC38/2004 makes that quite clear.

All he needs to do is meet the requirements of EU law which allows the traveller to "corroborate or prove by other means that they are covered by the right of free movement and residence".

UK immigration staff can advise BA to let him travel if he can provide such evidence.
BA said they got in touch with UK Immigration who said that they won't allow me to come. Actually the handler said "They didn't provide us with a reference number so we can ok your departure". I then asked the phone number he used? He refused to give it me. Which made me suspicious as to whether he called them in first place....For those in the "know" is there any such "Border agency/Immigration line in the uk" that BA offices abroad can call and get authorization for travel (he described it as a REFERENCE NUMBER).

If indeed UK immigration refused then I'm fine with BA saying no. My issue is that:

1. I don't believe such a formal process exists where references are given over the phone, etc.
2. Even if such system exists:
2a: I don't believe the person at the end of the line is a UK border agent / decision maker on my situation
2b: I don't believe he actually made the call

I get it, it's Sunday and guy wants to get home. Again, the guy REFUSED to tell me which phone number he used, who exactly did he talk to (he said Immigration) which made me suspicious that in fact he's playing games with me. He was super vague. When I asked him to confirm whether he talked to border agents, he said "Immigration". Super super vague.

If such system exists, who's on the other end of line? Actual UK Border agent OR some useless UK Border agency customer service representative who reads from some pre-written guide they have...that OF COURSE will say no entry without valid ID? Would you have expected to say Yes guys please all come with expired IDs in Britain. Lets get real here.

I seriously doubt that if on the other end of the line, there is an actual UK Border agent, they would say no, given my wife can bring in person the original residence doc, I have on me a perfectly legal (but expired) EU ID card, they have a record of me in their databases, etc. This is pure bureaucracy at its best where essentially The guy at the top with the power would say yes (the actual UK border agent), but in order to reach him, you have to go through layers of middlemen that don't have final decision-making power, but that still block you from reaching the person at the top (These middlemen are BA, the immigration customer service rep at the end of the line...if that even exists, etc)

if the actual border agent is saying sorry cant come in, I will raise my hands up and say "OK NO problem, my fault. I totally understand. No fault of BA". The frustrating thing is that it is NOT the decision maker who makes this decision to allow me in OR not, but people in between. And BA guy refuses to say who he talked to. How hard can it be to tell me the phone number he used? How hard would it be to put me on the line with that person so I can explain my situation and to make sure myself that I got a NO from the person in charge that actually deals with these situations. Who knows who this guy called or if he called. It's not like I can check myself if he did it or not.

Last edited by fomc; Nov 26, 18 at 9:52 am
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Old Nov 26, 18, 9:36 am
  #110  
 
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Originally Posted by fomc View Post
My issue is that I don't believe such a formal process exists and more importantly even if it does exist, I don't believe he actually made the call. It's Sunday and I get people want to get home. Again, the guy REFUSED to tell me which phone number he used, who exactly did he talk to (he said Immigration) which made me suspicious that in fact he's playing games with me.
Other posts, here and elsewhere, have suggested that there is such a process, but I don't think the BA agent was under any obligation to give you the phone number he called or the name of the person he spoke to.

What are you intending to do to resolve your situation? Has your wife couriered your birth certificate to you?
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Old Nov 26, 18, 9:37 am
  #111  
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Originally Posted by fomc View Post
BA said they got in touch with UK Immigration who said that they won't allow me to come. Actually the handler said "They didn't provide us with a reference number so we can ok your departure". I then asked the phone number he used? He refused to give it me. Which made me suspicious as to whether he called them in first place....For those in the "know" is there any such "Border agency/Immigration line in the uk" that BA offices abroad can call and get authorization for travel (he described it as a REFERENCE NUMBER).
Existence of such a system has been mentioned here:
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/30467045-post72.html

Originally Posted by Misco60 View Post
Other posts, here and elsewhere, have suggested that there is such a process, but I don't think the BA agent was under any obligation to give you the phone number he called or the name of the person he spoke to.
Particularly such telephone numbers are likely to come with a condition of use that they are not to be disclosed to the public.
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Old Nov 26, 18, 9:42 am
  #112  
 
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Originally Posted by fomc View Post
BA said they got in touch with UK Immigration who said that they won't allow me to come. Actually the handler said "They didn't provide us with a reference number so we can ok your departure". I then asked the phone number he used? He refused to give it me. Which made me suspicious as to whether he called them in first place....For those in the "know" is there any such "Border agency/Immigration line in the uk" that BA offices abroad can call and get authorization for travel (he described it as a REFERENCE NUMBER).

If indeed UK immigration refused then I'm fine with BA saying no. My issue is that I don't believe such a formal process exists and more importantly even if it does exist, I don't believe he actually made the call. It's Sunday and I get people want to get home. Again, the guy REFUSED to tell me which phone number he used, who exactly did he talk to (he said Immigration) which made me suspicious that in fact he's playing games with me.

If such system exists, who's on the other end of line? Actual UK Border agent OR some useless UK Border agency customer service representative who reads from some guide they have...?
Yes such a hot line does exist. corporate-wage-slave mentioned it in a post earlier.

It is a confidential phone number so of course they refused to tell you what it was. they don't want just anyone calling it!

I had an acquaintance who was travelling with her mother ex-USA back to the UK whose passport got lost and mangled in the security scanner and was irretrievable at the time. VS phone the relevant number in the UK and as they had the ladies passport number (my friend had a record of it along with issue and expiry dates) and VS could verify they had seen the passport prior to it vanishing and the TSA confirmed it as well VS got a reference number to put on a form which allowed her to board the plane. They then presented the form at the UK border and after a short phone call they were allowed back into the UK and the form retained by UK Borders. Given the nature of the call it was a proper immigration officer and not some "useless" call handler they dealt with. You really won't get very far if you keep being insulting.

So yes this reference number system exists.
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Old Nov 26, 18, 10:02 am
  #113  
 
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
It is a confidential phone number so of course they refused to tell you what it was. they don't want just anyone calling it!
Unless the OP's situation is totally invented (and I don't really see why it would be) then it does seem like his situation would be one where they would facilitate as opposed to impede contact.
At this point he's not "just anyone" he's likely to be a UK resident being refused travel back to his domicile as a result of a documentation issue. I don't see how that goes in the "just anyone" bin.
And if the worry is that he doesn't actually fit that set of criteria, then that just means the right enquiries and consideration actually HASN'T been made yet.

In which case my expectation would be that facilitating a solution rather than stranding a passenger should be what should happen. If giving a phone number is all that's needed to facilitate, then why not in this case? Either there is or there isn't a way to deal with this.

And the idea that somehow the OP's wife getting on a plane with the OP's original birth certificate is somehow more reasonable than a few phone calls and steps to verify documents... only on FT.
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Old Nov 26, 18, 10:02 am
  #114  
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
Yes such a hot line does exist. corporate-wage-slave mentioned it in a post earlier.

It is a confidential phone number so of course they refused to tell you what it was. they don't want just anyone calling it!

I had an acquaintance who was travelling with her mother ex-USA back to the UK whose passport got lost and mangled in the security scanner and was irretrievable at the time. VS phone the relevant number in the UK and as they had the ladies passport number (my friend had a record of it along with issue and expiry dates) and VS could verify they had seen the passport prior to it vanishing and the TSA confirmed it as well VS got a reference number to put on a form which allowed her to board the plane. They then presented the form at the UK border and after a short phone call they were allowed back into the UK and the form retained by UK Borders. Given the nature of the call it was a proper immigration officer and not some "useless" call handler they dealt with. You really won't get very far if you keep being insulting.

So yes this reference number system exists.
OK so we're getting somewhere here. IF what you are saying IS TRUE, that such (confidential) phone line exists and the person on the other end is an immigration officer, then I'm fine with BA's decision. I will check myself this once I'm back in the UK with the border agents and also perhaps ask them why would the immigration officer on the phone refuse my entry BUT the one one the ground accept my entry (providing they would accept It which will be the first question I will ask).
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Old Nov 26, 18, 10:11 am
  #115  
 
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Slightly nervous about jumping in, but I believe the number rings through to a commercial immigration advice service contracted by the airline.

So not Border Force per se but with the expertise to give robust advice...
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Old Nov 26, 18, 10:16 am
  #116  
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Originally Posted by OverTheHorizon View Post
Slightly nervous about jumping in, but I believe the number rings through to a commercial immigration advice service contracted by the airline.

So not Border Force per se but with the expertise to give robust advice...
Not for this type of query, it is a Border Force duty immigration officer that will deal with these cases.
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Old Nov 26, 18, 10:20 am
  #117  
 
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Originally Posted by fomc View Post
1 yes British passports. The other 2 not sure. Yes couriered passport is feasible but have no idea on timing. Could be a week could be a month. I cant just stay here indefinitely. Just for my own information. Can you explain to me why would BA refuse to board me? Like what's the inherent reason. Yes I know valid doc, etc...But what are they worried of? Particularly IF UK immigration lets me in? The only explanation is the one related to the fine. That they would get fined if they allow boarding and UK immigration rejects me right?
Are you unable to get on a different airline? What about car or train?
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Old Nov 26, 18, 10:22 am
  #118  
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Originally Posted by Tobias-UK View Post
Not for this type of query, it is a Border Force duty immigration officer that will deal with these cases.
You see this is what I'm not sure about. Only someone working for BA can answer this. When I asked him "will border agents in UK be able to confirm they give said reference numbers?", he replied saying something along the lines of "its immigration line that I called that we have". I repeated the same question and he refused to say whether he talked to Border Agents directly or no. Hence my believe that ether he was bs'ing OR he talked to some customer service rep....How hard is it for them to put me on the line with them?
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Old Nov 26, 18, 10:24 am
  #119  
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Originally Posted by OverTheHorizon View Post
Slightly nervous about jumping in, but I believe the number rings through to a commercial immigration advice service contracted by the airline.

So not Border Force per se but with the expertise to give robust advice...
There is that as well, more to do with third country travel (e.g. can someone from an African country going to China transit via Hong Kong), but the Border Force in the UK, and the Home Office outwith the UK do have liaison staff who talk to BA, Virgin and other major carriers and advise on entry requirements, transit issues forged documentation and so on. In some countries they are based at airports (such as in South Africa) but I'm fairly certain there won't be anyone in Budapest. The Home Office agents will talk directly to travellers, the Border Force liaisons generally don't.

To some extent this line is going nowhere, since you'll never find out what was communicated in either direction. Usually someone somewhere said something incorrect, and if not, someone somewhere heard something else other than what was said.
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Old Nov 26, 18, 10:27 am
  #120  
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The UK is not the only country with advisory hotlines for air carriers. To my knowledge, at least the US, Canada and Germany have a similar formal system. Those numbers are confidential and if one were able to obtain the number, nobody would speak with you anyway. It is the most efficient way to handle the issue and ultimately all that matters is that the relevant immigration authority authorizes the air carrier to board the individual in the knowledge that it will not be penalized for doing so. Other than satisfying OP's view that BA and UK immigration are a pack of liars, it does not inform or help the situation.
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