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Alternatives when airline refuses to board due to passport's nationality.

Alternatives when airline refuses to board due to passport's nationality.

Old Sep 10, 2014, 12:48 pm
  #16  
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Originally Posted by Lostabroad
I am curious though if the initial booking website (Priceline?) requires you to input your official Nationality.
They do not.

Originally Posted by Lostabroad
I'd assume they are to blame for not having these publicly announced international travel restrictions hard coded into the website as a warning, or better yet, a total prevention for booking this itinerary with this airline.
It's not a state-imposed travel restriction, like US citizens being technically forbidden to go to Cuba. It's an airline rule which applies only to certain passengers. It's odious but legal.

Priceline would probably argue that as it could not have known the OP is Israeli, it is not responsible. As Priceline, like all third party sellers, does display the actual operating carrier when vending, and as it's typically the passenger's responsibility to ascertain passport and visa requirements, I tend to think responsibility falls equally to the airline and the passenger. But luckily in this case KU seem to have a standard, reflexive procedure for getting the few pax who fall into this gray area on their way. If it were me I'd just show up at LHR a few hours before the KU flight to JFK departs and make the airline do what it's done on the outbound, e.g. rebook me on another carrier. I would not expect, nor accept, any financial damage.

P.S. It is not apparent from the OP's description that this was a blind/opaque bid-type purchase. Priceline sells most of its tickets in the standard way, not via NYOP. Chances are the ticket the OP thought he/she was buying was a visible Air India flight with a four-digit flight number, "Operated by Kuwait Airlines" (in rather small print).
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Old Sep 10, 2014, 1:09 pm
  #17  
 
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I sympathize with the OP, it's a ridiculous policy for Kuwait Airways not to transport Israeli passengers when the flight is not destined to a country that does not recognize an Israeli passport.

I went through the steps the OP indicated (purchased through Kayak, sold by Priceline). The Kayak results page does indicate "Kuwait Airways operates flight xxxx" in small print, while the following page indicates it clearly. Nonetheless, I think the onus is on Priceline and/or Air India to make this right.




Last edited by nabeelj; Sep 10, 2014 at 1:38 pm
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Old Sep 10, 2014, 1:16 pm
  #18  
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Originally Posted by BearX220
Chances are the ticket the OP thought he/she was buying was a visible Air India flight with a four-digit flight number, "Operated by Kuwait Airlines" (in rather small print).
Originally Posted by nabeelj
I went through the steps the OP indicated (purchased through Kayak, sold by Priceline). The Kayak results page does indicated "Kuwait Airways operates flight xxxx" in very small print.
Thanks for this detective work, very instructive! However I disagree that the onus is on Priceline, any more that it would be responsible if it sold this ticket to someone with no passport at all.
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Old Sep 10, 2014, 1:27 pm
  #19  
 
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I don't think it comes down to whether you accept the passport as valid identification for reasons of recognising a state or not..the airline simply doesn't want to transport Israelis as a political message.

I'd be curious to know if this applies to other Islamic nation carriers? Saudi Arabian, Qatar, Etihad, Emirates, Royal Jordanian, PIA, Royal Air Maroc, Gulf Air etc.?
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Old Sep 10, 2014, 1:43 pm
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Originally Posted by Ber2dca
I'd be curious to know if this applies to other Islamic nation carriers? Saudi Arabian, Qatar, Etihad, Emirates, Royal Jordanian, PIA, Royal Air Maroc, Gulf Air etc.?
I don't know the answer to your Q, but it would only apply to 5th freedom flights, as their typical flights would be destined to countries where immigration regulations would preclude transporting an Israeli citizen.

RJ has flights to TLV, so I doubt there are any restrictions. I also believe EK will transport Israeli passengers, but they would have to only transit DXB, as immigration would not allow them to enter.
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Old Sep 10, 2014, 1:47 pm
  #21  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder
I would hope so, and previously that is indeed what they have done. It's actually been useful to earn miles in a useful program on the relative cheap as the Kuwait Air flight is frequently the cheapest service on this route.

If the airline refuses, the airline is subject to at least the penalties under EC261/2004 -- for the return portion of the flight anyway.
The airline simply says that all passengers must show a valid passport. They don't consider his passport valid.

This has been going on with Israelis for a very long time. In addition, many people who travel to Israel carry 2 passports so that they don't have an Israeli stamp in one of them. Otherwise many Arab states won't let them in. The US will issue a second passport to its citizens for this.

Originally Posted by Dr. HFH
Well, the immediate problem of how OP gets/got to London is one thing. I'm actually more interested in the bigger picture. Can KU do this?
Yes. The airline can say that he doesn't have a valid passport.
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Old Sep 10, 2014, 2:05 pm
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by BearX220
It's an airline rule which applies only to certain passengers. It's odious but legal.
Maybe in the USA, but race (which is interpreted to include nationality) is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 in the UK (where the return flight operates from). Discrimination on this basis is therefore illegal.

It also runs contrary to the EU Treaty principles of equality and non-discrimination.

Of course, none of this is of any immediate help to the OP, unfortunately, as he probably needs a more pragmatic solution to his situation.
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Old Sep 10, 2014, 2:27 pm
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Tchiowa
The airline simply says that all passengers must show a valid passport. They don't consider his passport valid.
I've been thinking about this some more. I actually don't think that it matters what the airline thinks. KU is undoubtedly a signatory or party to numerous standard international agreements in connection with its operations. I don't think that it gets to make an independent determination regarding what is a legitimate country and what is not.


Originally Posted by Tchiowa
This has been going on with Israelis for a very long time. In addition, many people who travel to Israel carry 2 passports so that they don't have an Israeli stamp in one of them. Otherwise many Arab states won't let them in. The US will issue a second passport to its citizens for this.
True, but the difference is that the second passport is for governmental action. Certain Arab countries will deny you admission if you have an Israeli stamp in your passport. I wonder if DOT would allow a carrier to operate in/out of the U.S. if it refused to carry people of a certain race.
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Old Sep 10, 2014, 3:50 pm
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH
I'm not particularly familiar with DOT regulations. My opinion goes back and forth on this. On one hand, if Kuwait doesn't recognize the existence of Israel, then, I suppose that, at least technically, from KU's perspective the OP is traveling without a passport.
Perhaps more than that, in the official hostility of Kuwait to Israel. Otherwise, people holding passports of commonly unrecognized governments or entities (e.g. Republic of China (Taiwan) or Palestinian Authority) may find travel much more restricted than they actually do.
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Old Sep 10, 2014, 4:43 pm
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This is interesting, regarding the general subject of KU and Israeli passport holders:

http://www.thelawfareproject.org/KuwaitAirways.pdf

NY Sen. Schumer has apparently also raised the issue on occasion.
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Old Sep 10, 2014, 5:25 pm
  #26  
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So...

I booked through kayak (have a voice recording of them confirming that I have a reservation with them for these dates), than I was redirected to price line and the email ticket was from them.

Yesterday price line promised to get back to me, after I spent 20 minutes on the phone with an agent never happened.

Today at Heathrow I tried approaching air Kuwait desk - closed until tomorrow.

Then I approached air India desk, they said that they have nothing to do with it, as it is code share.

My husband who is in the US, called for Kuwait Airlines, they said that they don't get the passenger list until a day before (my flight back is supposed to be on Saturday) and cannot help.

The he called air India in the US, the said that this has nothing to do with them and Kuwait airlines should handle it.

No response from priceline.

I think that I'm just going to come to the desk of Kuwait Airways on Saturdayat Heathrow and hope for the best.

We already spent about 6 hours trying to figure out who can help, but it's seems to be quite impossible.

Neither Priceline nor Kayak asked me at any point about my nationality and since the flight does not go through Kuwait, I really find hard to make sense out of it. I can assure you that this is going to be a long terms lesson.

As for my status in both countries:
UK does not require a visa from Israeli passport holders.
US - I'm a green card holder, which I notified Kuwait airlines about, that did not seen to make a difference to them.
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Old Sep 10, 2014, 5:40 pm
  #27  
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I flew with Royal Jordanian without an issue before, so did I got with Turkish airlines, haven't tried the other ones
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Old Sep 10, 2014, 5:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Tchiowa
In addition, many people who travel to Israel carry 2 passports so that they don't have an Israeli stamp in one of them. Otherwise many Arab states won't let them in. The US will issue a second passport to its citizens for this.
Israel no longer stamps passports; they now give out entry and exit tickets, printed separately. The tickets have a picture and barcode, the latter of which is scanned to grant entry into customs. (This is similar to the GE kiosks, and new APC kiosks, in the U.S., except that you get the ticket from a human who looks at your passport, instead of from a kiosk.)

Of course, this is irrelevant to the OP, because the OP has an Israeli passport, not a U.S. passport with Israeli stamps. So, this is pretty much a non-sequitur.
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Old Sep 10, 2014, 6:13 pm
  #29  
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I think the lesson here is never to book through priceline, not sure how kayak fits in (I don't use either one for airline bookings) but priceline is not know for customer service and we all know what can go wrong with air travel. A bit different for hotels and car rentals where you are likely to have other options.

As for the passport "issue" I don't see how the airline can claim the passport is invalid for boarding or arrival, as it is considered valid under both US and UK law. The passenger shows up with a passport that is valid at the destination, end of story. It doesn't matter what the law is Kuwait, that's not relevant if the passenger is not going to Kuwait. You don't need a valid passport midflight - nobody checks when you fly over their country. Kuwait Air is legally bound by the law of the countries where it operates the flight.

What a nightmare for OP.
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Old Sep 10, 2014, 6:30 pm
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Scots_Al
Maybe in the USA, but race (which is interpreted to include nationality) is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 in the UK (where the return flight operates from). Discrimination on this basis is therefore illegal.
He never mentioned his race. It's his nationality.

Originally Posted by Dr. HFH
I've been thinking about this some more. I actually don't think that it matters what the airline thinks. KU is undoubtedly a signatory or party to numerous standard international agreements in connection with its operations. I don't think that it gets to make an independent determination regarding what is a legitimate country and what is not.
I don't think you're right, but I'd like to see a definitive law or contract.

Originally Posted by Dr. HFH
I wonder if DOT would allow a carrier to operate in/out of the U.S. if it refused to carry people of a certain race.
As above, what does this have to do with race?

Originally Posted by cepheid
Israel no longer stamps passports; they now give out entry and exit tickets, printed separately. The tickets have a picture and barcode, the latter of which is scanned to grant entry into customs. (This is similar to the GE kiosks, and new APC kiosks, in the U.S., except that you get the ticket from a human who looks at your passport, instead of from a kiosk.).
The stopped stamping passports a long time ago, as you point out. But what many Arab countries do is look for exit stamps from neighboring countries. If you have an exit stamp from Egypt at the Israeli border that's enough to get you barred from entry into Saudi Arabia, for example.
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