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-   -   BA refuses boarding back to UK despite OK from Immigration Authorities (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/british-airways-executive-club/1942368-ba-refuses-boarding-back-uk-despite-ok-immigration-authorities.html)

fomc Nov 25, 18 6:18 pm

BA refuses boarding back to UK despite OK from Immigration Authorities
 
Long story Long. EU Citizen with permanent residence In the UK for the last 12 years. Have both EU passport and EU ID. EU Passport currently with an embassy in London to get a visa.

Flew from Heathrow on Friday with British wife to Budapest for a weekend with return date Sunday. Took EU ID with me because passport is with another embassy in London waiting for a visa. Didn’t realise EU ID is expired.

Boarded BA flight in Heathrow with destination Budapest no problem showing my EU ID. Upon arrival in Budapest, Immigration tells me EU ID is expired. They wanted passport, said don't have it, emailed them copy of passport and they were fine to let me in the country. Went to my embassy and asked for temp passport. They said I need birth certificate. I don't have that because its back in London so I don't get temp passport from my embassy. Go to airport on Sunday, spend few hrs. Immigration agents decide they are fine letting me go to the UK (showed copy of UK residence document, copy of my passport) if BA lets me in. The guy at the boarding gate said no so immigration asks me go back at departure lounge and sort out with BA.

I called BA line, nice gentleman on the phone said that absolutely BA should allow me back on my flight giving my circumstances and particularly giving the fact BA allowed me to leave UK on expired EU ID in the first place. He speaks to lady BA manager in Budapest who tells him immigration told BA they don’t want to let me go which is why BA agent refused boarding me. I told him that’s a complete lie and 2 senior Hungarian immigration officers (have their name and everything) told me to my face “We have looked at your documents, you are EU citizen going to another EU country where you are resident, we can’t stop free movement despite expired ID, we have no problem letting you go if BA agrees”.

He said I should contact BA manager on the ground. I called her. She was off duty. She told me same story she told BA agent I was on the phone with. I said I can give you the names of the immigration agents and everything. She said if they provide her with a document that they are fine with me leaving, then I’m ok to go from her perspective. I said OK. Meanwhile, a ground handling agent (working for BA) comes to me and deals with me for the rest of the day.

He calls the Hungarian immigration office and 2 officers come (different than the ones that gave me the OK to depart earlier). After 50 minutes of back and forth, they tell me and the BA agent handler same thing. They are fine with giving me departure approval for the UK and once BA approves me, I should go to passport check as everybody there has been told to allow me to pass.

BA handler agent then disappears and comes back 30 min later saying bad news, “UK border is refusing to give us a reference code for you coming to LHR”. I smell total BS after I ask him what phone number he contacted. He tells me he can’t give the number because only BA can have it. Really? I then said “so if once I land in LHR and I talk to a border agent will they be able to confirm that this process exists…i.e. is it normal for BA agents abroad to call you for a “border reference number”?” He said no not really…because he might not have spoken to the border agents but with immigration?????? IF HE CALLED, which I doubt, he probably called some customer service agent that told him no I cant come in, but not border agents who I’m 100% sure they would let me in.

Additionally, my wife landed tonight at Heathrow, spoke in detail with the border agents who confirmed to her they give NO such “reference numbers” that BA agent handler in Budapest is mentioning. So who did this guy talk to? Nobody I assume. Furthermore, the BA manager told me if she got approval from Hungarian immigration she would let me in. But this guy, despite getting it, didn’t.

There is ZERO chance the UK immigration authorities won’t allow me in. Hence, no risk to BA of a fine. Even if there would be one I offered to pay a pre authorisation sum of £3000 which had been refused by BA agent handler, despite BA T&C mentioning very clearly that passengers are liable for removal costs not BA. So, if I’m willing to take the risk of paying for it myself, what’s the problem? In this case there is ZERO liability to BA because I’m paying myself the fine.

Why do I think BA should let me go back home despite having an expired ID? Because UK authorities will let me in 100% due to:

1. I have an EU ID. Yes I know its expired but end of the day it’s real not a fake one. Very easy for UK authorities to check this.
2. I have a UK residence card (a photocopy with me) and the original at my London home. My wife can very well bring this to the airport upon my arrival. Additionally, they can very well see me in their database.
3. I have a valid EU Passport that is with an embassy in London and a photo of it on my phone. Border agents can call the embassy and confirm the passport is in their possession. I also have emails between me and the embassy.
4. I’ve been travelling in and out of the UK multiple times and am sure they can see pictures of me, etc from the e-gate
5. I am married with a British wife. My wife can come to the airport and identify me.
6. I can produce multiple proof of address. My wife can bring them to the airport and I also have photocopies on my phone.
7. They can very well call my embassy and check my EU status with them
8. I have offered to pay BA any fees that might result from a fine by the UK immigration authorities


Lets face it people, there are multiple ways UK border agents can verify that I am indeed a resident in UK.

To recap. I am totally stranded in Budapest. My embassy cant get me a temporary passport because I have no birth certificate. Hungarian authorities say they allow me to travel. British Airways agent on the phone says “absolutely we should allow you to travel back as this is an exceptional circumstance and BA left you leave in the first place”. I have offered to pay any charges that would arise to BA IF UK immigration refuses to let me in (impossible in my view). Still, BA handling agent refuses to let me board giving me what I believe to be a lie as an excuse.

This has been an absolute NIGHTMARE. Thankfully my wife knows very well reporters at both Sky News and BBC who apparently were looking last week to run a live news story regarding airlines poor standard of service (I guess its relevant for them given Brexit). We couldn’t think of a more suitable example than mine. So, if I’m still stranded here because of BA this week, sit tight and enjoy my upcoming live TV appearance on Sky News or BBC at some point this week live from Budapest. Will post here updates on timing once I have it all confirmed. Good thing I have good internet connection so Skype interview shouldn’t be a problem. I love BA but this time they / their handling agent in Budapest really got it totally wrong.

navylad Nov 25, 18 6:51 pm

A challenging situation.

a number of thoughts...

BA will no doubt be correct in arguing that their conditions of carriage require you to present with the appropriate documents.

the Hungarian immigration have no say over immigration in the UK, they only have control of your ability to leave their country, so they are correct in deferring the decision to the airline.

BA I believe use an airline immigration advice line rather than speaking directly to UKBF, who will follow a matrix, which ultimately doesnít permit you access into the UK as your EEA country ID card is expired.

Your own Embassy should be able to provide you with an emergency passport to travel to your own country, is it complicated as you are asking for an emergency passport to travel to a third country.

Accusations of lies will not help your case when it is ultimately those individuals whom support may be needed.

as to possible courses of action, is your wife able to pick up your passport and send it you or are you able to go back to your embassy and seek of consollar advice?

Dave Noble Nov 25, 18 6:53 pm

If you do not have valid travel documents, then BA is perfectly correct in denying travel

If the British Embassy is ok for you to travel to UK, then it should be able to provide an authority that can be given to the airline. If this is what is being refused due to inadequate documentation, perhaps see whether it will accept a scanned copy of birth certificate asnd get someone to email it over

In the end , it is not the airline's fault that you travelled with expired documents

If a passenger turns up without valid documents, an airline can contact immigration authorities and ask for approval for the passenger to travel - if it is declined, then you are out of luck

If you were trying to get to your country of citizenship and had enough identification, I expect that you would have a good chance of getting approval. In this case, you are trying to get a 3rd country to approve the travel

fomc Nov 25, 18 7:13 pm


Originally Posted by navylad (Post 30465859)
A challenging situation.

a number of thoughts...

BA will no doubt be correct in arguing that their conditions of carriage require you to present with the appropriate documents.

the Hungarian immigration have no say over immigration in the UK, they only have control of your ability to leave their country, so they are correct in deferring the decision to the airline.

BA I believe use an airline immigration advice line rather than speaking directly to UKBF, who will follow a matrix, which ultimately doesnít permit you access into the UK as your EEA country ID card is expired.

Your own Embassy should be able to provide you with an emergency passport to travel to your own country, is it complicated as you are asking for an emergency passport to travel to a third country.

Accusations of lies will not help your case when it is ultimately those individuals whom support may be needed.

as to possible courses of action, is your wife able to pick up your passport and send it you or are you able to go back to your embassy and seek of consollar advice?

cant argue with BA's conditions of carriage. They have the right to deny boarding. HOWEVER, the big mess-up from BA's side is allowing me to travel in the first place. I admit I have a very high responsibility here. But come on, BA agent at the gate that checked my ID should have REFUSED to board me. I would have just stayed in the UK, got my passport back then travelled to Budapest. Look, lets face it, this is an exceptional situation, and in exceptional situations where people get stranded, if everyone is on board why cant BA be on board? And I don't even know if its BA's fault here or their ground handling agent...but since I talked to the BA manager, probably BA.
I know of 3 cases where people were stranded abroad couldn't travel because of BA then BA in the end allowed them to travel back to the UK. Its at their discretion at the end of the day and I believe in my case BA should show some understanding. What are they afraid of? The guy told me "if we let you in, and UK refused to let you in, then we get fined". I explained very clearly that I am more than willing to pay this fine IN ADVANCE in case they refuse. Given my circumstances listed, do you really believe UK immigration will tell me go back??? Come on lets be serious.

Regarding my passport, that's for sure an option but this embassy is useless...tried calling them and no answer. They are very slow.....With regard to my embassy. I asked for a temporary passport to go back to UK. They said cant give it to me without birth certificate and few other things....my wife just told me she cant find my birth certificate....I'm in a really strange situation here where BA Budapest is the only bottleneck. I have a wedding to go to and various work related meetings that now I cannot attend.

As for the agent, look the guy was very vague, when I asked him detailed questions, he was dodging the answer. That's why I thought he's lying. He didn't want to show me the phone number. Lets face it, I have pretty much 99.99% chances of getting in. And if im not, happy to pay whatever fine they have. I just don't understand given all of this why they don't let me go.

Wong Jnr Nov 25, 18 7:13 pm

While BA perhaps could be more accommodating they are well within their rights to deny travel.
This must be a very frustrating time for you, however I think venting on the internet and threatening to go to the press for what is primarily your mistake isn't going to win you many favors, especially from BA.
I would be concentrating my time on getting the correct documents to travel e.g. working with your embassy to arrange emergency travel documentation

onobond Nov 25, 18 7:15 pm

Not wishing to add insult to injury to OP, but a similar situation happened to a close friend, hardly ever driving his car, having had his driving license renewed, but due to the curse of "Frequent Flying", missed to collect the new license in time. Caught in a police control he tried a similar explanation, but as the officer explained - driving without a valid license incurs a penalty.

So, the advice is - if passport is engaged in a Visa process, having travel plans requiring ID, be sure it's valid

Dave Noble Nov 25, 18 7:19 pm


Originally Posted by fomc (Post 30465924)
cant argue with BA's conditions of carriage. They have the right to deny boarding. HOWEVER, the big mess-up from BA's side is allowing me to travel in the first place. I admit I have a very high responsibility here. But come on, BA agent at the gate that checked my ID should have REFUSED to board me. I would have just stayed in the UK, got my passport back then travelled to Budapest. Look, lets face it, this is an exceptional situation, and in exceptional situations where people get stranded, if everyone is on board why cant BA be on board? And I don't even know if its BA's fault here or their ground handling agent...but since I talked to the BA manager, probably BA.
I know of 3 cases where people were stranded abroad couldn't travel because of BA then BA in the end allowed them to travel back to the UK. Its at their discretion at the end of the day and I believe in my case BA should show some understanding. What are they afraid of? The guy told me "if we let you in, and UK refused to let you in, then we get fined". I explained very clearly that I am more than willing to pay this fine IN ADVANCE in case they refuse. Given my circumstances listed, do you really believe UK immigration will tell me go back??? Come on lets be serious.

That one person made a mistake and missed that the documentation was expired , is no reason at all for another agent to spot the issue and ignore it

Were those 3 cases with passengers with British passports perhaps?


Originally Posted by fomc
Regarding my passport, that's for sure an option but this embassy is useless...tried calling them and no answer. They are very slow.....With regard to my embassy. I asked for a temporary passport to go back to UK. They said cant give it to me without birth certificate and few other things....my wife just told me she cant find my birth certificate....I'm in a really strange situation here where BA Budapest is the only bottleneck. I have a wedding to go to and various work related meetings that now I cannot attend.

As for the agent, look the guy was very vague, when I asked him detailed questions, he was dodging the answer. That's why I thought he's lying. He didn't want to show me the phone number. Lets face it, I have pretty much 99.99% chances of getting in. And if im not, happy to pay whatever fine they have. I just don't understand given all of this why they don't let me go.

BA is not a bottleneck - it is simply requiring that you have documentation that permits travel

Sounds like the thing to do is to get passport back from where it is sitting and couriered across

TBD Nov 25, 18 7:21 pm


Originally Posted by Dave Noble (Post 30465864)
In the end , it is not the airline's fault that you travelled with expired documents

Not to dismiss any fault with the OP, but ...
It isn't BA's fault if BA let him leave the UK with invalid ID? Non sequitur.

fomc Nov 25, 18 7:25 pm


Originally Posted by Dave Noble (Post 30465945)
That one person made a mistake and missed that the documentation was expired , is no reason at all for another agent to spot the issue and ignore it

Were those 3 cases with passengers with British passports perhaps?



BA is not a bottleneck - it is simply requiring that you have documentation that permits travel

Sounds like the thing to do is to get passport back from where it is sitting and couriered across


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?

Dave Noble Nov 25, 18 7:27 pm


Originally Posted by TBD (Post 30465950)
Not to dismiss any fault with the OP, but ...
It isn't BA's fault if BA let him leave the UK with invalid ID? Non sequitur.

The airline is liable should the person be denied entry to the country - it is still not BA's fault that he set off on the trip without valid documents

Dave Noble Nov 25, 18 7:29 pm


Originally Posted by fomc (Post 30465970)
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?

If there really is no issue entering, perhaps go to the British Embassy, make your case there and see if you can get an approval to travel to UK - you will then have valid documentation

The BA staff are simply doing what they are supposed to

You get approporiate approvals and the airline will let you on; if you cannot get the approvals, then why would you expect them to

Length of time for a courier should be able to be next day or day after

callum9999 Nov 25, 18 7:38 pm


Originally Posted by Dave Noble (Post 30465945)
That one person made a mistake and missed that the documentation was expired , is no reason at all for another agent to spot the issue and ignore it

Who said anything about ignoring it? It most definitely is a reason though - while ultimately the OP's fault, they are in this mess because BA made a mistake. If they did their job properly then he would not be in trouble. A basic principle of rectifying a customer service error is to put the customer back in the position they would be had the error not taken place. That means take them back to the UK - a resolution that also happens to be easy and cheap.

That being said, I also agree with the overarching (and conflicting!) point that BA has every right to turn down people without valid travel documents.

If the OP is so sure it's only BA causing issues, why don't you fly back with a different airline?


Originally Posted by Dave Noble (Post 30465975)
The airline is liable should the person be denied entry to the country - it is still not BA's fault that he set off on the trip without valid documents

It irrefutably is BA's fault. The fact that it's also the OP's fault is irrelevant to that point. If BA fulfilled their obligations then he would not be in this mess - period.

Wong Jnr Nov 25, 18 7:40 pm


Originally Posted by fomc (Post 30465970)
But what are they worried of?

I don't think it's BA that's worried, it's probably the employees involved. Clearly this is an exceptional circumstance where logically you should be allowed to travel.
However as BA is a large company with numerous policies and procedures and most likely dire consequences if not followed, as a BA employee would you be willing to be the one where the buck stops if it goes pear shaped? Given BAs current employee relations I would doubt it very much that anybody would want to take responsibility so are just towing the company line. I wouldn't classify this as unique BA employee behavior as I've seen it in numerious other companies. You sometimes need to just take a step back and understand that there are other factors at play rather than what just involves yourself.

Take a deep breathe, try to calm down and just realise that $h!t happens....

fomc Nov 25, 18 7:51 pm


Originally Posted by callum9999 (Post 30466018)
Who said anything about ignoring it? It most definitely is a reason though - while ultimately the OP's fault, they are in this mess because BA made a mistake. If they did their job properly then he would not be in trouble. A basic principle of rectifying a customer service error is to put the customer back in the position they would be had the error not taken place. That means take them back to the UK - a resolution that also happens to be easy and cheap.

That being said, I also agree with the overarching (and conflicting!) point that BA has every right to turn down people without valid travel documents.

If the OP is so sure it's only BA causing issues, why don't you fly back with a different airline?



It irrefutably is BA's fault. The fact that it's also the OP's fault is irrelevant to that point. If BA fulfilled their obligations then he would not be in this mess - period.

that's exactly my point. I have a lot of responsibility here for not checking it myself. BUT BA allowed me board in the first place. Again I hate myself for not checking more than anything believe me. But in situations like me where people are stranded with little or not options, BA should show its HUMANE side and allow me to travel. The point that frustrates me the most is that even the BA guy at the airport agreed with me that chances of being refused entry, given all I said, are minimal. So I know I will be let in, they are the ones to give the OK. And im pretty sure if someone from the head office would call these people in Budapest all would be well, but I only get to customer service people who cant do anything and don't have authority to deal with my issue. Maybe someone from BA sees this, contacts me and lets get me back home to my wife.

nancypants Nov 25, 18 7:54 pm


Originally Posted by callum9999 (Post 30466018)

If the OP is so sure it's only BA causing issues, why don't you fly back with a different airline?

this is a very valid point

fomc Nov 25, 18 7:57 pm


Originally Posted by nancypants (Post 30466056)


this is a very valid point

Wouldn't all airlines have this policy? Do you know if Ryanair or Easyjet allows you?

nancypants Nov 25, 18 7:58 pm

Not sure but doesnít hurt to ask. Then youíre back home and can take it up with BA while not being beholden to them

Dave Noble Nov 25, 18 8:02 pm


Originally Posted by fomc (Post 30466049)
that's exactly my point. I have a lot of responsibility here for not checking it myself. BUT BA allowed me board in the first place. Again I hate myself for not checking more than anything believe me. But in situations like me where people are stranded with little or not options, BA should show its HUMANE side and allow me to travel. The point that frustrates me the most is that even the BA guy at the airport agreed with me that chances of being refused entry, given all I said, are minimal. So I know I will be let in, they are the ones to give the OK. And im pretty sure if someone from the head office would call these people in Budapest all would be well, but I only get to customer service people who cant do anything and don't have authority to deal with my issue. Maybe someone from BA sees this, contacts me and lets get me back home to my wife.

As soon as you have documents that permit travel, BA will permit travel

Alternatively , as suggested, if it is BA being awkward, rebook with another airline

Rather thanblaming BA for UK immigration policies, perhaps ask UK Embassy to show its humane side and give you documents that show that you will be permitted entry to UK with travel on expired documents


Originally Posted by fomc (Post 30466062)
Wouldn't all airlines have this policy? Do you know if Ryanair or Easyjet allows you?

Yes , they do , I am almost certain - It isn't BA being awkward, it is that you have no documentation for travel

Can you get to the country where your passport is from and perhaps address at your local immigration office


Originally Posted by callum9999 (Post 30466018)
It irrefutably is BA's fault. The fact that it's also the OP's fault is irrelevant to that point. If BA fulfilled their obligations then he would not be in this mess - period.

A BA member of staff may have made an error in permitting travel, but it is not the agent's fault that the passenger had an out of date document - that is 100% the fault of the passenger

reclusive46 Nov 25, 18 8:18 pm

You're not Maltese or a Cyprian are you? British embassies can issue emergency passports to Commonwealth citizens. If not, they might also be able to issue you a travel document as a resident of the UK (I know Canada will issue emergency travel documents to PRs).

Dan72 Nov 25, 18 9:46 pm


Originally Posted by reclusive46 (Post 30466105)
You're not Maltese or a Cyprian are you? British embassies can issue emergency passports to Commonwealth citizens.

Yes, but only in countries where the Commonwealth country has no representation. As the OP has been to their embassy in Hungary, I think we can assume that option won't work.

Doppy Nov 25, 18 10:11 pm

I once discovered when filling out an arrivals card on a flight that I accidentally brought an expired passport with me. United hadn't checked IDs at any point in the process, and I got my boarding pass on the mobile app using a stored, valid passport. Seemed like a major screw up on their part not to check anyone's travel documents, but anyway it was entirely my fault and all the blame falls on me. Needless to say, I am obsessive about checking to ensure I have all the right documents with me these days.

(Long story short, some strings were pulled and I was let into the destination country anyway, and got a temporary passport issued from my own embassy so I could return home. Actually this was the best outcome; had United turned me away, by the time I got my valid passport and took the next flight, which was the following day, the trip would have been in vain.)

SQTraveller Nov 25, 18 10:28 pm

Good luck OP.

I feel your frustration, but I kinda feel you should have had your passport anyway,

callum9999 Nov 25, 18 10:52 pm


Originally Posted by Dave Noble (Post 30466075)
A BA member of staff may have made an error in permitting travel, but it is not the agent's fault that the passenger had an out of date document - that is 100% the fault of the passenger

You're moving the goal posts. It's 100% the OPs fault for having an out of date document, yes.

It is however partially BA's fault that the OP is in Hungary without ID. If they did their job correctly, he would not be there. Period.

I can't remember if I've ever seen BA do this before, but on at least two occasions on the show "Airline", easyJet did the same thing. Their response is no doubt influenced by being on national TV at the time, but they immediately accepted responsibility and made arrangements to get the passengers back home on their expired passports.

Keep shouting about how it is the OPs fault all you like - I do not remotely care. It doesn't change the fact that it's also partially BAs fault, and BA is in the position to be able to help if they want to.

Dave Noble Nov 25, 18 11:13 pm

[QUOTE=callum9999;30466418]You're moving the goal posts. It's 100% the OPs fault for having an out of date document, yes.

It is however partially BA's fault that the OP is in Hungary without ID. If they did their job correctly, he would not be there. Period.[/qupte]

In which case it is also the Hungarian immigration officer's fault - since he did not refuse entry to the country - if admission had been refused, he would have been sent back to where he had originated I believe


Originally Posted by callum9999
I can't remember if I've ever seen BA do this before, but on at least two occasions on the show "Airline", easyJet did the same thing. Their response is no doubt influenced by being on national TV at the time, but they immediately accepted responsibility and made arrangements to get the passengers back home on their expired passports.

Keep shouting about how it is the OPs fault all you like - I do not remotely care. It doesn't change the fact that it's also partially BAs fault, and BA is in the position to be able to help if they want to.

And , on any show where I have seen such a case, it is after the airline checked to see whether the country would allow admission that the person was allowed to travel

The OP has stated that the member of staff said that he had asked and that it was refused

The refusal does not seem to be a surprise when it is a non British Citizen wanting to travel to the UK on invalid documentation ; if he was a British Citizen and had arrived with expired documents, the respomse might well have been different

rooivalk Nov 25, 18 11:33 pm

OP can keep blaming BA but in these instances, I find that you get more empathy and support if you're nice and not blame the party whom you require help from.

I mean, at the end of the day, BA could be completely wrong but they're not the one that's stuck in Budapest and frustrated. OP is. And if I were OP, I would not be blaming them now.

LTN Phobia Nov 25, 18 11:52 pm

Have your wife get the passport back and courier it to you. Or, get the birth certificate issued by your country of birth, or consult them about what they can do to help with the ID. Have your wife courier your UK residence card.

I suspect the best course of action, if the OP really cannot get any of those above done is for the OP to obtain in writing an entry clearance from the British authority (which might possibly need to come from the UK). Getting a clearance to leave the country from the Hungarian authority does nothing in terms of ensuring that you would be able to show that you can legally enter the UK. You need a form of clearance from the UK side, and preferably a written authority (which a valid EU ID/passport can act as).

I strongly recommend the OP immediately stop blaming others for their part in the situation. The only thing it will do is to alienate them when you might need their help, and end up with a worse outcome. When people stop blaming others and accept full responsibility for themselves and apologise for causing others the inconvenience, people tend to be much more helpful in trying to come up with a solution for them.

Energy would be much better spent making arrangements to have the proper documentation and accepting the full responsibility for the situation than to try to threaten BA or to go to the media (going to the media may well simply cause embarrassment for the OP without anything productive to come of it).


Originally Posted by callum9999 (Post 30466018)

It irrefutably is BA's fault. The fact that it's also the OP's fault is irrelevant to that point. If BA fulfilled their obligations then he would not be in this mess - period.

Documentation check, as I understand it, is essentially an obligation of an airline to itself, by virtue of the fact that it gets fined if they miss something being amiss and the immigration authority does not permit that person into the country and the airline gets fined, not an obligation towards the passenger to ensure that he/she has the correct documentation.

The only people/entity BA has failed here is themselves by putting themselves at risk of being fined, as they did not have the obligation towards the passenger in the first place.

The airline is not responsible for ensuring that the the passenger has the correct documentation for the passenger's sake. In fact, the Conditions of Carriage makes that clear.

In particular, 7a15), 13a1) https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb...ns-of-carriage


7a) Our right to refuse to carry you
7a15) If you have not, or do not appear to have, valid travel documents.

13a1) You (not us) must:

check the relevant entry requirements for any country you are visiting and
present to us all passports, visas, health certificates and other travel documents needed for your journey.
It could not be clearer.

simons1 Nov 25, 18 11:53 pm

An unfortunate set of events, started by the schoolboy error of OP not having correct documents and compounded by other errors and unhelpfulness along the way.

Airlines face a fine (£2,000) for every passenger that arrives in UK without permission to land and BA will always give priority to anything that has a £ sign on it. The issue of the 'code' from UK immigration sounds like story telling really.

Not sure why Sky would be interested, a story about 'man denied travel for having expired documents' doesn't sound that interesting to me.

navylad Nov 25, 18 11:55 pm

There is an element of fault of BAís original check-in/gate ID check and also at immigration in Hungary who also presumable allowed entry (had they refused you would be taken back to the UK and BA fined). This is human error no doubt looking at 100s of IDs a day which are less secure than a passport where it is computer automated.

This however doesnít negate the OPs responsibility and, from what has been described, BA agents in Hungary have acted responsible.

Good luck to the OP and do let us know how you get on and we will happily provide further advice if we are able.

PAX_fips Nov 25, 18 11:56 pm

Just assume (technically equal?) EU ID was lost/stolen. Everyone of you has a birth certificate while on travel? I dont even have one at home.. the embassy is a bit out of "help" here, too?

lcyguy Nov 26, 18 12:05 am

The advice to seek some sort of authority to travel from the British Embassy is incorrect and has been for a very long time. They will only direct you to the entry clearance section of the gov.uk website for advice.
The ability of UK border or airline liaison officials to take local pragmatic decisions on cases like this and allow the OP to travel has largely been taken away from them by ever more prescriptive rules and official guidance in the last few years.
‘If I was the OP I would get my passport back from whichever embassy it is at and have it couriered to him to allow travel back to the UK.

Lynyrd Nov 26, 18 12:05 am

Is it worth getting a train either to Paris or to another European airport and chancing it with another carrier?

The man in seat 61 website will direct you to the best routes. See if you can get to Paris and hope they donít check the date on your ID?

flyerkit Nov 26, 18 12:42 am


Originally Posted by callum9999 (Post 30466018)

It irrefutably is BA's fault. The fact that it's also the OP's fault is irrelevant to that point. If BA fulfilled their obligations then he would not be in this mess - period.

BA is behaving rationally and sensibly.

Definitely somebody at BA can take a risk, but its a big risk and opens a door for abuse. Just like a security officer turning a blind eye to an old lady carrying a pair of scissors (it was obviois she was not a terrorist - what was the risk...).

How can BA know that the person is the same person who travelled outbound?

The only evidence is an invalid (expired) ID card and some digital images plus a story. In extremis BA could review CCTV footage and do investigations but still take a risk.

The risk of accepting somebody for carriage to UK from overseas is substantially more than a £3000 fine, potentially (though unlikely) losing BA its delegated authority to bring focumented passengers to UK.

Recommend OP to get new balid documents, or it thry think they can get in, to try other airlines, drive, train...
​​​​​​... Easy to get human to bring docs out if they ate in uk.

snaxmuppet Nov 26, 18 1:09 am

Just buy a one-way with RyanAir or EasyJet and go home.

UKtravelbear Nov 26, 18 1:10 am

You have not been stranded because of BA but your own incompetence.

OP what is your nationality. You simply havenít said and that could have a bearing on how this gets resolved. Why so coy?

Going to the press is never a good idea. Any decent reporter - even those you say you know - will contact BA and the UK and Hungarian immigration authorities to get their side of the story,

And Ďawful airline left me strandedí stories are ten a penny and often donít get the sympathy from the public you think you may deserve. If you think FT is a hard crowd the general public is much, much more judgmental.


frozenheart Nov 26, 18 1:14 am

Interesting to note the differences between this version of the OP's story and the version posted on another forum where he openly admitted he knew in advance of the trip that his EU ID was expired but it was "too much of a pain to renew".

UKtravelbear Nov 26, 18 1:18 am


Originally Posted by snaxmuppet (Post 30466637)
Just buy a one-way with RyanAir or EasyJet and go home.

they still require you to produce a valid travel document which the OP does not have because (a) his passport is at an unnamed embassy and (b) his ID card has expired.

bisonrav Nov 26, 18 1:19 am

BA would quite rightly decline to comment on an individual situation, as there are privacy issues around disclosure of details. This is often why it's possible to spin up "they done me wrong" stories from non-issues, it's stock in trade for tabloid journalism.

That said, this is classic blame transference. If you travel with invalid ID, at some point someone may notice. Any checking process is prone to error at some level of probability. The root cause is the invalid ID, not the fact that you get through one gate by luck leaving you with problems at the next.

The advice to try other carriers is poor. LCCs will probably be extremely diligent, since changing document details is a revenue generator for some but also because the impact of a fine is greater proportionally. The OP needs to obtain emergency authorisation for travel.

corporate-wage-slave Nov 26, 18 1:20 am

There is a Border Force liaison officer in LHR and yes they do talk with airlines about problem cases. This sometimes results in a reference number being issued, or the reference of the officer concerned, alternatively the airline is informed that the Chief Immigration Officer is expecting the case. There is a specific aspect of Freedom of Movement that it does still apply even if the identity documentation has expired, so I too doubt there would be an issue when you got to London, other than a long delay while bona fides are checked. However I think relying on this process (at any stage) isn't great and given where you are now, it's best to get the ID sorted properly. BA have an absolute right to stop you from travelling, and I doubt any other airlines - who may be handled by the same agents of course - would make it any easier.

snaxmuppet Nov 26, 18 1:28 am

I have to doubt the wisdom of trying to travel without proper, valid, documentation. Seems to me the OP is kicking up a stink over this because he is angry at not being able to get home and wants to blame someone else other than himself for not organising himself to have the correct documents. In which case it would be foolish to go to the press who will ask these questions, find it was his own fault and make him look a complete fool!

A lesson for us all though... have the correct, valid, documentation. :)

DYKWIA Nov 26, 18 1:30 am


Originally Posted by snaxmuppet (Post 30466637)
Just buy a one-way with RyanAir or EasyJet and go home.

Ha! If he/she tried to get on with an expired card with FR / U2, it would be a case of "This Id is expired, next in line!". :)


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