Denied boarding, tricky one

Old Nov 29, 20, 2:10 am
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Denied boarding, tricky one

Folks

I had an Avios redemption itinerary today

29/11 QR6 LHR-DOH 07:20-17:00
30/11 QR9 DOH-LHR 01:40-06:20

with the intention of having an airside business meeting during the eight or so hours coinciding with my supplier coming in at 23:05 from HKG.

I was denied boarding by Qatar at check in after about 90 minutes of toing and froing between myself, the check in agents, and behind the scenes at Qatar.

Despite the fact that I had no intention of entering Qatar (I also presented a paper copy of my airside transit hotel booking), I was denied boarding, as I was told I would still need to be granted immigration status for travel despite remaining in the transit area. I am a UK PP holder.

OK so be it. I asked QR to make relevant notes in my booking, and as they're sharing T5 & it was an Avios redemption I popped directly over to BA where an agent organised similar notes to add to the booking, demonstrating that I had turned up to the airport with the intention of travelling, but had been denied boarding.

I've just called up the BA Gold line, and after some time I am told I have two choices, either accept the taxes+fees+surcharges-£35 admin charge but no Avios, or make a complaint. The Gold line agent did try to get a voucher for future travel, but that was disallowed.

So I guess my next step, if I am to stand any chance of the Avios refunded or a voucher would be to go through the complaints procedure, unless anyone has any other suggestions?
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Old Nov 29, 20, 2:12 am
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Denied boarding claim against QR?
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Old Nov 29, 20, 2:30 am
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I would quickly accept the return of the Avios and leave it at that.

I think you were correctly IDBd. There is a dispensation from various restrictions to Covid for those in transit in QR (notably the requirement to self isolate). You were not in transit by the usual definitions. Moreover if QR could point to one piece of procedure indicating the QR government would deny admission then you wouldn't have much to go on. QR have long been careful, perhaps over careful on restrictions. I well recall having a trip to the USA from DOH, where my slightly unusual USA visa resulted in over an hour of internal discussions, phone calls, photos taken of my passport.
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Old Nov 29, 20, 2:57 am
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Your ticketed destination was Doha; this was the turnaround point of the ticket and not a transit point.

The QR agents seem perfectly correct in denying boarding without appropriate documentation to enter Qatar

Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
I would quickly accept the return of the Avios and leave it at that.
.
It doesn't seem that BA is offering a refund of Avios
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Old Nov 29, 20, 3:30 am
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You weren’t eligible to enter your destination country - hence, you were correctly denied boarding as you were not in transit. Sorry to sound harsh, but a same day return is not considered transit.
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Old Nov 29, 20, 3:55 am
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We had similar issue on Thursday, LHR-DOH-VIE. we were denied boarding. I already filed a claim for the costs, expenses, etc... 7 days before MCOL. On friday i got email saying our documents are in fact OK and to ask BA to reissue the ticket for today or tomorrow. BA wont reissue because we were denied boarding and the policies changed since when we were booked.
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Old Nov 29, 20, 4:00 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
I think you were correctly IDBd.
Agree.

State of Qatar states very clear that only citizens and residents can return to Qatar. Because you are neither, technically you are a persona non grata for now. So QR was indeed correct in denying you boarding.

FWIW - many countries have separate transit requirements. Just because you don't need to enter the country, it does not mean you don't have to adhere the rules.
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Old Nov 29, 20, 4:27 am
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For the OP;
I'm sorry, as others mentioned, QR was right. A B2B or a same day connection is never considered as transfer and you always need to meet the requirements of the final destination of your country which in this case is Qatar.

For ​​​​nufnuf77 ;
That sounds interesting, was two flights on separate tickets. Assuming that you were on a single ticket from LHR-DOH-VIE and you're a UK citizen; why should QR deny you on the flight.
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Old Nov 29, 20, 4:44 am
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Originally Posted by ISTFlyer View Post
For the OP;
I'm sorry, as others mentioned, QR was right. A B2B or a same day connection is never considered as transfer and you always need to meet the requirements of the final destination of your country which in this case is Qatar.

For ​​​​nufnuf77 ;
That sounds interesting, was two flights on separate tickets. Assuming that you were on a single ticket from LHR-DOH-VIE and you're a UK citizen; why should QR deny you on the flight.
The agent said all is fine for both me and wife. final destination slovakia, etc...

the supervisor said they need to get OK from immigration in vienna and slovakia and qatar head office. this took over 24 hours. I argued saying TIMATIC says its ok to no avail. I went over to BA who were incredibly perplexed because they said timatic says we are fine. however as this was QR mistake/fault BA wanted to rebook and put segments on hold and I was told at T5 as soon as QR insert remark into PNR that they will allow us travel that we can go on 28/11 on these flights. However day later when QR did insert such remarks, BA didnt wanna rebook onto QR (and also policy changed) because rev man told them not to. qatar didnt wanna touch BA ticket ewither . i filed a complaint and claim to qatar and also subject access for all notes in PNR because I was once denied boarding and once promised we would travel 2 days later and this was rescinded by BA.
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Old Nov 29, 20, 4:53 am
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Originally Posted by nufnuf77 View Post
The agent said all is fine for both me and wife. final destination slovakia, etc...

the supervisor said they need to get OK from immigration in vienna and slovakia and qatar head office. this took over 24 hours. I argued saying TIMATIC says its ok to no avail. I went over to BA who were incredibly perplexed because they said timatic says we are fine. however as this was QR mistake/fault BA wanted to rebook and put segments on hold and I was told at T5 as soon as QR insert remark into PNR that they will allow us travel that we can go on 28/11 on these flights. However day later when QR did insert such remarks, BA didnt wanna rebook onto QR (and also policy changed) because rev man told them not to. qatar didnt wanna touch BA ticket ewither . i filed a complaint and claim to qatar and also subject access for all notes in PNR because I was once denied boarding and once promised we would travel 2 days later and this was rescinded by BA.
As QR was obligated to carry you only to Austria, I checked TIMATIC one more time and I could also verify that you are denied boarding incorrectly.
This looks like an agent ( supervisor ) fault.

I am wondering how this situation would evolve.
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Old Nov 29, 20, 4:59 am
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Indeed, thats why BA at airport wanted to rebook but later when we wanted to get ticket reissued didnt wanna help becuase they said a) it's QR issue to resolve and b) commercially rev man says we cannot offer this rerouting of LHR-VIE anymore
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Old Nov 29, 20, 6:00 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
I would quickly accept the return of the Avios and leave it at that.
If that were the case, I'd have no quibble. Unfortunately, I'm neither being offered offered the Avios back nor a voucher. I'd prefer the Avios, but I'd settle for a voucher.

I think you were correctly IDBd. There is a dispensation from various restrictions to Covid for those in transit in QR (notably the requirement to self isolate). You were not in transit by the usual definitions. Moreover if QR could point to one piece of procedure indicating the QR government would deny admission then you wouldn't have much to go on. QR have long been careful, perhaps over careful on restrictions. I well recall having a trip to the USA from DOH, where my slightly unusual USA visa resulted in over an hour of internal discussions, phone calls, photos taken of my passport.
Similar thing here, a couple of hours sitting about before getting the no-can-do.

The BA rep on the phone when I returned home made a number of wild assumptions about the trip before I was allowed to explain, particularly that she was saying it was a one way ticket, when it wasn't, it was on the same PNR, and that it was the "next day" I was returning, well yes, it was... arriving at 5pm and leaving at 1:40am, not at all an unusual transit time for DOH. That was what frustrated me the most to be honest, the BA rep jumped to several conclusions without trying to understand the situation.

Truth be told, I've done similar trips outside of covid many times where I never step landside, including three or four times to DOH, in fact DOH is one of the better airports for doing it as you can transfer through security without even having a boarding pass.

I guess I'll file a complaint and see where that gets me!
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Old Nov 29, 20, 6:30 am
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Originally Posted by Howard Long View Post
That was what frustrated me the most to be honest, the BA rep jumped to several conclusions without trying to understand the situation.
Yes that certainly would be frustrating, but I can see the other side to that, namely that what you are trying to do is by no means unusual in this forum, but in the wider world it's just an implausible thing to do, so I'm not surprised that they couldn't get their head around it. I wish you well with the complaint, and maybe you will get some customer relations gesture. It wouldn't surprise me if you get nowhere with it, had I spotted this sooner I would have said straight away that this was never going to be allowed, and I doubt I would have been the only one to red flag it.
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Old Nov 29, 20, 6:31 am
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I think you are beating a dead horse, if I may say so. The current entry/transit requirements to Qatar are clearly spelled out. You were not in transit to another airport and you are not permitted to enter Qatar. As a result you were correctly denied boarding. That current rules are a bit stupid is evidenced by the fact that you would have been ok if you had booked LHR-DOH-somewhere-DOH-LHR with similar layover times in DOH.
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Old Nov 29, 20, 9:03 am
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Hindsight but could this work if you had booked LHR-DOH. DOH - FRA (-LHR) ?
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