Missing ETA, flight tomorrow - what to do?

Old May 12, 2023, 12:04 am
  #1  
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Missing ETA, flight tomorrow - what to do?

Hello all,
Because we are morons we forgot to get my wife new ETA, because she was changing her name after marriage and of course also her passport.

- We have a flight tomorrow and the itinerary is PRG - LHR - YYZ
- We obtained her new ETA yesterday afternoon for the passport + name which is also included in the PNR, we received approval within minutes so the ETA is valid at this moment
- I am able to do the OLCI right now, but when i go MMB to do so I receive an information she is missing authorization to travel ne thus I am unable to do OLCI

What is the process now? Will she be eligible to fly if we check-in on the desk at the airport?
Is it worth to call the BA and asked them to refresh the PNR data?

thank you very much for any insight or help.
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Old May 12, 2023, 12:14 am
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You will certainly find stories here of people standing at check-in desks applying for US ESTAs, and subsequently being checked-in by BA, so from an airline perspective there shouldn't be anything in its own systems that prevents a manual override of any "visa required" type flag. From BA's perspective, it needs to know your wife is eligible for entry to Canada so it doesn't get fined for transporting her. You have that evidence.

I'm not aware of any Canadian regulation that requires the information several days ahead of flight otherwise no-go, but others here will know for certain. If there were, logically it would be difficult to book any unexpected last minute travel if needed in an emergency, so that in itself makes it pretty unlikely.
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Old May 12, 2023, 12:42 am
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Thanks for reassuring, I am so mad about myself that I forgot about it I also thinks or hope that there is no regulation that requires the ETA/VISA information several days ahead.
I will for sure print the ETA validation page + email confirmation for my wife.

Do you think there is a chance of automatic cancellation since my wife is at this point (from BA point of view) not eligible to travel?
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Old May 12, 2023, 1:14 am
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I dont think there is a need for a set time advance visa either and am quite sure there will be no proactive cancellation. What I suspect happens is that when the flight goes to airport control or shortly after, there is an automatic database check against the Canadian system clearing most obvious cases and identifying any discrepancy to make sure the airline checks them properly at check in. Your wife was logically spotted as one such discrepancy so theyll check at the airport, youll show/explain to them, and all will be fine!
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Old May 12, 2023, 1:15 am
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It's really not unusual to require airport document checks when travelling to North America (in the continental sense). Since your wife now has a valid ETA you have the required documentation and you'll present it at the desk in Prague where they'll issue you with BPs after a check. I'd print out the ETA confirmations personally to save faffing around on a phone, but should be fine. I wouldn't leave it last minute in Prague, but this should be routine.
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Old May 12, 2023, 1:21 am
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Thank you all guys for the insight info and opinions. We will definitely be the first in the check-in queue and have all the ETAs printed.

I was wondering - is it worth it to check-in online at least the PRG - LHR leg which I can do right now? I know you all mentioned that the automatic cancellation shouldn't be an issue, but I think that if I check us at least for half of the trip, it could only help right?
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Old May 12, 2023, 1:27 am
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If it's one ticket the first check in is usually blocked anyway. I don't see why it would hurt to do it, but it doesn't get you anything extra, and you might have issues at the gate.

Small data point, I had a flight on QR from SOF to SIN via Doha, and although I got airside in SOF on my mobile pass for the first leg, I was stopped on boarding because I hadn't filled out the SIN form, and had some frantic scrabbling to do it there and then (and I know it's not needed because you can complete it in Singapore, fussy requirements for QR).
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Old May 12, 2023, 1:49 am
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I have been in this exact situation back in Oct-2021 travelling to Montreal from Copenhagen (via Zrich).

I showed up at the desk in CPH with what I believed was a valid ETA for Canada - however, the check-in agent would have none of that.

Que some frantic minutes going on-line to apply for a new ETA - this thankfully came through in one or two minutes after having submitted payment and then I could be checked in fine.

It did take me quite a while to get my pulse back to resting level.

KR

Svantevit
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Last edited by Svantevit; May 12, 2023 at 1:50 am Reason: improved spelling
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Old May 12, 2023, 2:07 am
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Originally Posted by bisonrav
If it's one ticket the first check in is usually blocked anyway. I don't see why it would hurt to do it, but it doesn't get you anything extra, and you might have issues at the gate.
I was hoping it could lower the chances of some possible automatic cancellation from BA side because the first morning flight from PRG to LHR is usually overbooked. You mean issues that I only checked-us for the first leg and not all legs or do you mean issues in general because of the ETA?

Originally Posted by bisonrav
Small data point, I had a flight on QR from SOF to SIN via Doha, and although I got airside in SOF on my mobile pass for the first leg, I was stopped on boarding because I hadn't filled out the SIN form, and had some frantic scrabbling to do it there and then (and I know it's not needed because you can complete it in Singapore, fussy requirements for QR).
They (QR) are really protecting themselves to avoid any fees. Anyway it is really good to know that they didn't cancelled your ticket even though by their requirements you were not eligible to travel.

Originally Posted by Svantevit
I have been in this exact situation back in Oct-2021 travelling to Montreal from Copenhagen (via Zrich).

I showed up at the desk in CPH with what I believed was a valid ETA for Canada - however, the check-in agent would have none of that.

Que some frantic minutes going on-line to apply for a new ETA - this thankfully came through in one or two minutes after having submitted payment and then I could be checked in fine.
Uff, really great to know that for sure Canada gov. does not require you to submit your ETA 3 days or so in advance and you can do it basically during the check-in process. I guess you were flying with LX so I guess my very last concern is that BA will have the same policy and not cancel my wife's ticket.

Originally Posted by Svantevit
It did take me quite a while to get my pulse back to resting level.
Absolutely understandable.
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Old May 12, 2023, 4:54 am
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When they started doing ETAs I had missed the part that they were doing that now. - we were flying FLL-YUL - and found out at check in. I was able to get ETAs for my wife and our son within minutes. But the system was smart enough to know that I had Canadian citizenship in my collection and wouldn't let me apply with a UK passport. Ended up flying to DTW - drove across the bridge and flew from Windsor to YUL.
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Old May 12, 2023, 5:10 am
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Originally Posted by flying_geek
When they started doing ETAs I had missed the part that they were doing that now. - we were flying FLL-YUL - and found out at check in. I was able to get ETAs for my wife and our son within minutes. But the system was smart enough to know that I had Canadian citizenship in my collection and wouldn't let me apply with a UK passport. Ended up flying to DTW - drove across the bridge and flew from Windsor to YUL.
Wow that is really uncomfortable. You couldn't use your Canadian passport for the FLL-YUL flight when you find out about the ETA at check-in?
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Old May 12, 2023, 7:56 am
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Originally Posted by casey89
Wow that is really uncomfortable. You couldn't use your Canadian passport for the FLL-YUL flight when you find out about the ETA at check-in?
I am guessing (though of course would love to confirm) that the OP here didn't have their Canadian passport, so were stuck.

(This can also trip up Canadian permanent residents, who also are not eligible for ETAs -- if you don't have your Canadian PR card on you, then you also get stuck, because you won't be able to get an ETA on your foreign passport.)
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Old May 12, 2023, 7:10 pm
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Originally Posted by casey89
Wow that is really uncomfortable. You couldn't use your Canadian passport for the FLL-YUL flight when you find out about the ETA at check-in?
If I had had a current one I would have - as a matter of fact that is what the web site required. But it was Pre-Covid and Pre-Brexit. I just used the British for everything. The Canadians never cared before - the Europeans were happy with any European passport and the US immigration guys area happier with a UK passport than a Canadian...

Then came Brexit and Covid and suddenly having a passport for every place you want to go to was necessary - so I renewed them all (my German one had expired too) and for a while carried every residence registration we have...

Last edited by flying_geek; May 12, 2023 at 7:16 pm
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Old May 12, 2023, 7:20 pm
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Originally Posted by andrewesque
(This can also trip up Canadian permanent residents, who also are not eligible for ETAs -- if you don't have your Canadian PR card on you, then you also get stuck, because you won't be able to get an ETA on your foreign passport.)
Not much different than the US PR card - back then it just hadn't been a "thing" for Canada. When I was living in Toronto I would sometimes fly to BUF and rent a car when it was a lot cheaper - there were numerous times during bad weather when I had to argue with immigration people to open the window and give me my badly needed stamp (to show I was enough days in the country) - things changed a little. That was when I was a Canadian PR and needed enough time in country to eventually become canadian
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Old May 13, 2023, 5:01 am
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BA doesnt automatically cancel itineraries in advance for document failures. The last possible time youd be affected by this would be the point at which check-in closes, so -45 mins in this case.
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