Advice needed: refused boarding on GoAir

Old Apr 8, 19, 1:35 pm
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Angry Advice needed: refused boarding on GoAir

I recently purchased a BLR -> HKT ticket with GoAir via the HDFC Diners Black portal. Those of you familiar will know that they require complete passport details even for domestic. Anyhoo, at the BLR airport check in counter they denied boarding saying the passport is not valid for 6 months. They said this is a govt of India law and nothing can be done.

I looked up many sites online but could find no reference to this law. Thailand need a passport with 30 days validity (which I did have), in the end I had to cancel the trip and lost quite a bit in prepaid bookings.

Now many people say that what GoAir did is unethical and illegal and that they sold me a ticket (via Cleartrip, via HDFC) after getting my pp details and cannot deny boarding and that this is not a law but a airline specific rule and I need to take this to consumer court and this is a winnable case.

I'd like advice from the pros here, is this worth fighting or just suck it up and move on ? also was the airline at fault here ? anybody with similar experiences who ended up getting the airline to compensate, please chip in with your valuable feedback

Much Thanks
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Old Apr 8, 19, 2:28 pm
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It is always the obligation of the passenger to make sure s/he has read the rules.
Thai rules:
Requirements for VoA Application

Completed application form
Passport photograph (46 cm)
Passport with at least 6 months of validity**
Confirmed return ticket within 15 days.
2,000 Baht fee in cash
Applicant must carry sufficient funding (at least 10,000 Baht per person or 20,000 Baht per family) and provide proof of accommodation in Thailand.

**Remarks: It is stipulated in Thai Immigration Bureau (Rules and Procedures for Visa and Change of Visa) Regulations 2014 that the passport should have a minimum 30 days of validity at the time of applying for VOA at designated Thai VOA Checkpoints. However, as a general rule and the recommendation of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), it is advised that a passport should have at least 6 months of validity while travelling aboard. So it could be the case that certain airlines might not allow those who travel with less than 6 months of validity on passport to board the plane.
Visa on Arrival (VoA) ? Royal Thai Embassy, New Delhi, Republic of India
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Old Apr 8, 19, 2:36 pm
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There is nothing to "fight." Your responsibility to adhere to the laws/regs which are easily accessible.
Airlines and ITA's will sell anyone a ticket to/from anyplace as long as they are paid.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 2:36 pm
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Thanks @Oliver22

I did read that, although thats from 2014, a later notification and the present Thai govt VoA site states the following.

The Visa on Arrival must be used only on the date of issue
• Must be the citizens of nationalities accordance with Ministry of Interior’s announcement
• Passport must be genuine and over 30 days validity.
• Purpose of touring not more than 15 days.
• Must have confirmed return ticket within 15 days.
• Must notify the address In Thailand that can be verified.
• Not under section 12 Immigration Act B.E.2522 (A.D.1979)
• Visa fee in Thai currency only (Cash)/Non-refundable
• Having appropriate means of living. (10,000 Baht/person, 20,000 Baht/family)
Source: Thai Govt Immigration Bureau
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Old Apr 8, 19, 2:41 pm
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Originally Posted by zebranz View Post
There is nothing to "fight." Your responsibility to adhere to the laws/regs which are easily accessible.
Airlines and ITA's will sell anyone a ticket to/from anyplace as long as they are paid.
Thanks, but in this case I found (after a bit of looking up) that its perfectly valid both from Indian immigration and Thai immigration for me to travel with my existing passport and visa. It was more of an airline policy.

I would have let it go if it was an actual law that prevented me from boarding the flight. Thanks for the insight.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 2:49 pm
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According to Timatic a 6 month prior to expiration passport is required. I assumed an India passport for the completion of the United format.

https://www.united.com/web/en-US/app...aspx?i=TIMATIC
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Old Apr 8, 19, 2:51 pm
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I am finding different rules with current dates for passengers bound to HKT & BKK. BKK seems to have dropped the 6 months down to 30 days but HKT is still saying 6 months.
If that is true it’s ...... as you seem to have been trying to play by the rules but got confused in the Thai Buerocracy.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 2:59 pm
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Thanks @Yoshi212 and @zebranz I will do a bit more reading and maybe call the embassy to confirm this. I understand that if it was a rule from the Thai IB then there is nothing the airline could have done.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 3:57 pm
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Forget about calling embassies and reading anything other than the TIMATIC results for your specific situation. That is IATA's database and it is what almost all carriers rely on. In a dispute, even if TIMATIC is wrong (which it rarely is), the carrier has reasonably relied on it and that is the end of the issue.

As others note, it always the passenger's responsibility and it always makes sense to check TIMATIC as even in the case of regular passengers on a given route, changes happen.
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Old Apr 9, 19, 12:23 am
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the airline is not at fault for denying you boarding....the passport just has to be valid at the time you book your tickets....that's all the airline cares about....having a visa or the 6 month validity or anything else is the responsibility of the passenger....
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Old Apr 9, 19, 2:01 am
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I think OP has a case. Here's what TIMATIC says:

Document validity rules:

Passports and other documents accepted for entry must be valid for a minimum of 6 months from the arrival date.When applying for a visa on arrival, normal passports issued to nationals of India must be valid for a minimum of 30 days from the arrival date

Nationals of India with a normal passport traveling as tourists can obtain a visa on arrival at Bangkok (BKK and DMK), Chiang Mai (CNX), Chiang Rai (CEI), Hat Yai (HDY), Krabi (KBV), Phuket (HKT), Samui Int'l (USM), Sukhothai Int'l (THS), Surat Thani (URT) and Utapao (UTP) for a maximum stay of 15 days. They must have a confirmed return/onward ticket with a departure within 15 days from arrival date, 1 recent passport photo and at least THB 10,000.- per person (or THB 20,000.- per family). Their passport must contain at least 1 unused visa page and the visa fee must be paid in cash only and in THB.
------------------

OP said that he/she met the VAO condition (assuming) on an Indian passport. This is a case of denial of boarding because Go Air got it wrong.

Also OP said that they were being prevented from travel for a GoI rule requiring you to have a 6 month visa for travel. I don't think there is any such rule either.

Sue their pants of OP! G8 is absolutely responsible for denial of boarding.

Cleartrip/Smartbuy etc. capturing passport information really has no bearing on anything. In all likelyhood they don't even share this data with the airlines. Not that doing this would guarantee you a seat.
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Last edited by PiperAtGatesofDawn; Apr 9, 19 at 2:10 am
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Old Apr 9, 19, 2:14 am
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The first sentence of the TIMATIC rule is what the airline has to take into consideration. You can't just read sections of the rules and make them fit your case.
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Old Apr 9, 19, 2:22 am
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They're two separate paragraphs though it copy pasted here as a single para.

The second para clearly spells out the rule for VOA. There is a reason why a different validity time period is mentioned for the VAO otherwise what is the point of mentioning anything different from the first para.
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Old Apr 9, 19, 3:32 am
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Originally Posted by Keyser View Post
the airline is not at fault for denying you boarding....the passport just has to be valid at the time you book your tickets....that's all the airline cares about....having a visa or the 6 month validity or anything else is the responsibility of the passenger....
I agree if either of the countries had a rule about the passport that I missed then its totally on me. Just that I was sure that I did my homework and the 6 months validity is not a requirement. I think I'll go with advice here and suck it up.
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Old Apr 9, 19, 3:40 am
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Originally Posted by jblueflyer View Post
I think I'll go with advice here and suck it up.
Good plan, the chance of success vs the level of stress incurred doesn't stack up here
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