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Schengen Transit Visa Mistake. What should I do?

Schengen Transit Visa Mistake. What should I do?

Old Jan 20, 18, 11:29 am
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Schengen Transit Visa Mistake. What should I do?

My name is Parshva and me and my family lives in Atlanta Ga for last 5 years. We have permanent resident cards and have passport of India. My sister was getting married on 23rd December so we all booked flight from Atlanta to India but different dates and different airlines because we we're traveling different dates. So we booked all flights from a travel agent who operates from California. My mom, other sister and my dad were traveling from delta and my sister who was getting married was traveling through united. While living Atlanta she had united airline flight from Atlanta to Newark and then from Newark to Mumbai. She had no problem going. But while coming back she was coming from Mumbai to Munich, Munich to Frankfurt and from Frankfurt to Atlanta through Lufthansa operated by United. When she went to the counter in Mumbai for boarding pass they told her that she needs a transit visa for schegen in Germany. My travel agent didn't told us that when we booked the flight and because she didn't had a transit visa they were not giving her boarding pass. She called me from India and I was back in states and was attending the first day at college so I called the travel agent and she said "as per her knowledge you do not need a transit visa but I am not sure because the laws changes very quickly". I was like are you kidding me the laws doesn't change overnight and because she didn't had a transit visa we have to get a new ticket for her. So the price of the first ticket was $790 and for the new ticket we hair to pay extra &1200. Because we do not travel that often and don't know the rules I wanted to ask someone who has knowledge about this and see what should I do? Is this my mistake or the travel agent who should have knowledge in this area because this is here line of work?
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Old Jan 20, 18, 11:40 am
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Welcome to FT!, shahparshva24


Just to be clear
Originally Posted by shahparshva24 View Post
..... While living Atlanta she had united airline flight from Atlanta to Newark and then from Newark to Mumbai. She had no problem going. But while coming back she was coming from Mumbai to Munich, Munich to Frankfurt and from Frankfurt to Atlanta through Lufthansa operated by United. When she went to the counter in Mumbai for boarding pass they told her that she needs a transit visa for schegen in Germany.
Appears the outbound flights were on UA but the return flights don't appear to have been "operated by UA" -- UA does not fly those routes. So it was LH that denied boarding and UA was not involved. -- correct?

As for the travel agent, visa requirement for PR travelers can be complex and best to correct using TIMATIC
Such as IATA - Personalised Passport, Visa & Health travel documentation advice or https://www.united.com/web/en-US/app...aspx?i=TIMATIC

The double connection in Germany may be the source of the problem, from TIMATIC
Germany - Transit Visa

Visa required.
Transiting without a visa is possible for:


Nationals of India holding onward tickets in transit **AND** meeting one of the following conditions:

holding a 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).

On the same day between 04:30 and 23:30 through Hamburg (HAM).

On the same day between 04:30 and 23:00 through Cologne/Bonn (CGN).

On the same day between 06:00 and 21:00 through Dusseldorf (DUS). Inbound carrier must provide prior notice to authorities in Dusseldorf (DUS). Email: [email protected] . Tel: 49 211 421 63695. SITA Telex DUSOVXH. This must include the passenger's name, itinerary, date and nationality.

On the same day between 06:00 and 23:00 through Berlin Tegel (TXL), provided connection time is at least 75 minutes. Inbound carrier must provide prior notice to the handling agent at Berlin Tegel (TXL) by fax or SITA Telex and the airport authorities by SITA Telex (TXLVZXH). This must include the passenger's name, itinerary, date, nationality and seat number. The passenger is not permitted to travel with animals carried in the cabin or in the cargo hold (AVIH).

with a used valid or expired visa issued by Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland (Rep.), Japan, Romania, USA or United Kingdom. The passenger must be returning from the country of visa issuance and travel to a non-Schengen Member State;

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

On the same day between 04:30 and 23:30 through Hamburg (HAM).

On the same day between 04:30 and 23:00 through Cologne/Bonn (CGN).

On the same day between 06:00 and 21:00 through Dusseldorf (DUS). Inbound carrier must provide prior notice to authorities in Dusseldorf (DUS). Email: [email protected] . Tel: 49 211 421 63695. SITA Telex DUSOVXH. This must include the passenger's name, itinerary, date and nationality.

On the same day between 06:00 and 23:00 through Berlin Tegel (TXL), provided connection time is at least 75 minutes. Inbound carrier must provide prior notice to the handling agent at Berlin Tegel (TXL) by fax or SITA Telex and the airport authorities by SITA Telex (TXLVZXH). This must include the passenger's name, itinerary, date, nationality and seat number. The passenger is not permitted to travel with animals carried in the cabin or in the cargo hold (AVIH).

Hotel accommodation is available within the non-Schengen transit area of Frankfurt Airport (FRA).

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 20, 18 at 11:51 am Reason: TIMATIC info
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Old Jan 20, 18, 11:42 am
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Non-USA passport holders (including Indians)
who hold US Permanent visa green cards are exempt from Schengen transit visas if not leaving sterile Schengen transit areas. You have reason to be upset if you were misinformed and incurred additional airfare expenses.
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Old Jan 20, 18, 11:49 am
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This appears to be a travel agent mistake - as her itinerary involved a domestic flight within Germany, she would have needed a visa to enter Germany. There is no change in law here - to my knowledge there has never been a country that would allow someone to leave the airport entirely without any sort of visa - which is what you would be doing if you took a domestic flight within Germany (as there is no immigration control for domestic flights, for obvious reason). The airline denied her boarding pass because once they fly her to Munich, they would be obligated to return her to India as she did not have a valid onward boarding pass and did not have a visa to enter the country. There were a few options for you here: You could have asked UA/LH (depending on who the ticket was booked through and who the operating carrier is, both could be possible) to reroute her on an itinerary that stopped only in MUC or FRA - not both (as she would not need a visa to do this given that she has a permanent resident card for the US), or you could have asked them to permit you to change the flight to one at a later date to give you time to acquire the visa.

That being said, you are likely unable to get any help/compensation from the airlines in this case from my opinion - they did nothing wrong. It is the onus of the travel agent and the end user to ensure all immigration requirements are met - and you got screwed by a travel agent who had no clue what they were doing. I was able to find this information in a Google search in about 20 seconds - that a visa would be required for this type of itinerary - and it should be common knowledge to any agent with experience in travel bookings. While I am unsure what the best course of action is (discussing with them or pursuing some other action), I recommend you arm yourself with LH's official page on this (linked below) and request the travel agent reimburse you for the extra charges you incurred due to the travel agent's negligence. That being said, your travel agent likely made you sign some form of contract or terms of service, and they may absolve them of responsibility - just as airlines are not responsible if you don't get the proper visa, the travel agent may not be as well. Your success will likely depend on your politeness and willingness to accept some (not necessarily all) responsibility for this mishap.

https://www.lufthansa.com/online/por...nodeid=3116855

Best of luck.
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Old Jan 20, 18, 11:58 am
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Originally Posted by cagcag View Post
Non-USA passport holders (including Indians)
who hold US Permanent visa green cards are exempt from Schengen transit visas if not leaving sterile Schengen transit areas. You have reason to be upset if you were misinformed and incurred additional airfare expenses.
Would that hold with the MUC-FRA flight? No longer sterile Schengen transit area.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 20, 18 at 12:09 pm
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Old Jan 20, 18, 12:06 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Would that hold with the MUN-FRA flight? No longer sterile Schengen transit area.
I don't think it would (i.e. it wouldn't) - but I'm also confused on the wording here - a "Schengen transit area" is a bit of an oxymoron - the transit area of an EU airport is by definition not part of the Schengen zone - hence why transit visas are acceptable to transit that area. An airport transit visa is acceptable for this purpose - and appears to be what the other poster is referring to. A Schengen transit visa, OTOH, is more stringent, has fewer exceptions, and is more permissive - it allows someone to fully enter the Schengen zone for a limited time for the purpose of transiting multiple airports, cities, modes of transportation, etc - with the end goal to leave the Schengen zone from a different port of entry/exit from the one they entered in originally. It is this Schengen transit visa that is required for the OP's situation - not the airport transit visa which they would have been exempt from even if needed. The difference between the two is the right to enter the country/Schengen zone - which is effectively what the OP wants to do.

TLDR: "Schengen transit area" is a bit of a misnomer - as the OP was not looking to transit the Schengen area, but instead was looking to transit within the country of Germany by entering the country, proceeding on a Schengen area/domestic flight, and then leaving via a different airport than the one entered at. This by necessity requires the ability to enter the country of Germany, and by effect the Schengen zone.
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Old Jan 20, 18, 12:08 pm
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My mistake. I failed to take into account that there was an additional domestic fligjt MUC-FRA.
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Old Jan 20, 18, 12:29 pm
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Wow. Sorry to hear that OP. You will have to contact the TA if you're looking for comp. But I'm not sure if you would have a viable case.

I'm shocked LH didn't suggest/offer a more direct routing. A single connect in Europe could have salvaged this mess.
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Old Jan 20, 18, 12:35 pm
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To answer OP's question in the title, "What to do?" - I would suggest "live and learn". Sometimes the lowest price option isn't always the cheapest way to go, and a poorly informed travel agent in California turned out to be a costly choice for this complex itinerary. I don't expect that el cheapo agency is going to reimburse any additional expenses. That is not part of the de minimus services they were selling.
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Old Jan 20, 18, 12:59 pm
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Originally Posted by sexykitten7 View Post
I'm shocked LH didn't suggest/offer a more direct routing. A single connect in Europe could have salvaged this mess.
A single connect in Germany would have solved this issue. Perhaps LH did offer her this, for the extra $1200.
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Old Jan 20, 18, 1:31 pm
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As you said "Chermorg" about the contract and terms of service and how they made you agree to it but the situation was different. I was contacting her through my phone via text messages or calls and she send me emails about itinerary prices and timings through emails but in any of this communication she didn't made me agree to any terms of services so do you think I can hold her accountable for her mistake and can get the $1200 refund from her?
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Old Jan 20, 18, 1:39 pm
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shahparshva24 - May I also say, welcome to FlyerTalk. I hope happier travels in the future. You will find much valuable information here.
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Old Jan 20, 18, 1:49 pm
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Originally Posted by shahparshva24 View Post
As you said "Chermorg" about the contract and terms of service and how they made you agree to it but the situation was different. I was contacting her through my phone via text messages or calls and she send me emails about itinerary prices and timings through emails but in any of this communication she didn't made me agree to any terms of services so do you think I can hold her accountable for her mistake and can get the $1200 refund from her?
Were any kind of visas discussed with the travel agent at all? If yes and they failed to mention transit visa was needed then I think you may have a partial case. If not then it falls totally on you. It is always the travelers ultimate responsibility to figure out what travel documents are required. As they say, in harsh reality, ignorance of the law is no excuse. So, if visas were at all discussed with the TA then I would go back to them and you may get some kind of partial money back, but you will probably have to fight for it and I wouldn't count on it.

I am curious why you went with an out of town based TA instead of any kind of a local one? If you had bought your tickets on an online portal you may have gotten some kind of pop-up saying you need to make sure you have the proper travel documents but they may not say what they are, that's up to you, the traveler, to figure out. At least with a real person travel agent you can ask what you need. But if they don't bring it up and you don't ask, then it is on you. But in any case it is up to the traveler to make sure have all the documents they need. So this will end up being a hard lesson learned about international travel.
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Old Jan 20, 18, 1:53 pm
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Originally Posted by shahparshva24 View Post
As you said "Chermorg" about the contract and terms of service and how they made you agree to it but the situation was different. I was contacting her through my phone via text messages or calls and she send me emails about itinerary prices and timings through emails but in any of this communication she didn't made me agree to any terms of services so do you think I can hold her accountable for her mistake and can get the $1200 refund from her?
No. Ultimately it is up to the passenger to make sure they have the required documentation and visas for travel.
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Old Jan 20, 18, 1:58 pm
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Sorry for th situation

shouldnt thisnthread be in a different forum than UA
?
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