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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 11, 2014, 9:14 am
  #46  
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Originally Posted by WIRunner
Talk about cut and paste, didn't read the problem response.
Agree that reviewing TSA regulations is unlikely to sort out a problem with Kuwait's official views on passport validity.
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Old Sep 11, 2014, 9:20 am
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Scots_Al
I'm not sure how much more clearly I can say this. I am talking specifically about the legal situation in the UK (from where OP's return flight departs). The UK Equality Act says that you cannot discriminate on the basis of race. Section 9(1) of that Act reads "race includes - (a) colour; (b) nationality; (c) ethnic or national origins".

So yes, for the purposes of determining whether the airline's actions are legal under the terms of the Equality Act 2010 in the UK, the two terms have the same practical effect.
I don't want to simply argue with you but I'm trying to make one point and I hope it will be accepted. They didn't not discriminate against the OP. Not on race, nation, or anything else. They have the same requirement for international carriage as virtually every airline: Passenger must be in possession of a valid passport. Since Kuwait doesn't recognize Israel their passports aren't considered valid. Fair? Not in my mind, no. Legal? Yes.
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Old Sep 11, 2014, 9:54 am
  #48  
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Airlines that meet any governmental ID requirements for passengers can apparently have additional ID requirements that are supplemental to the governmental ID requirements (if any are even applicable). I don't like it, but apparently it has been allowed over many years. I think it was even for intra-UK (or UK-IRL CTA) flights where I recall having seen an issue whereby the government required no ID for passengers but the airline required ID and had its own idea about what is valid ID and not to meet the airline ID requirements for travel.

So what we have here is an airline with an ID requirement/restriction supplemental to government ID requirements for travel. That may be allowed, but I oppose such things.

What do the relevant contracts/conditions of carriage say on this matter of what constitutes valid ID for travel?

Whatever the COC states, the airline is still discriminating based on citizenship/nationality because a passport accepted by the governments for travel between these two countries is being refused merely because the passport is issued by Israel. That is prima facie evidence of discrimination based on citizenship/nationality. Whether the discrimination is legal or not, it's still discrimination and I find this discrimination to be morally repugnant when the sending and receiving countries have agreed the person is cleared for travel.

Last edited by GUWonder; Sep 11, 2014 at 10:01 am
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Old Sep 11, 2014, 12:26 pm
  #49  
 
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Priceline's response is absolutely shameful. This is a serious problem, and they are responsible for assisting the customer in fixing it. Why? Because Priceline made no warnings about ensuring that a customer may not meet the citizenship standards of the airline whose tickets they are brokering, independent of the requirements for exit and entry.
Unfortunately, airlines flying to the US have the right to legally discriminate against passengers on the basis of citizenship. However, if Priceline wants to profit from selling tickets to customers on operating airlines that practice such discrimination, it has a duty to provide a warning to its customers. Failing that, it has a duty to remedy the situation.
I wish the OP best of luck.
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Old Sep 11, 2014, 12:30 pm
  #50  
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Originally Posted by waxearwings
Priceline's response is absolutely shameful. This is a serious problem, and they are responsible for assisting the customer in fixing it. Why? Because Priceline made no warnings about ensuring that a customer may not meet the citizenship standards of the airline whose tickets they are brokering, independent of the requirements for exit and entry.
Unfortunately, airlines flying to the US have the right to legally discriminate against passengers on the basis of citizenship. However, if Priceline wants to profit from selling tickets to customers on operating airlines that practice such discrimination, it has a duty to provide a warning to its customers.
But who knows how Priceline indemnifies itself against stuff like this in the Terms and Conditions text everyone clicks on to signify they've read it, but actually haven't? There's probably language buried in there that shifts the onus to the customer in cases such as these.
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Old Sep 11, 2014, 12:37 pm
  #51  
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Originally Posted by waxearwings
Priceline's response is absolutely shameful. This is a serious problem, and they are responsible for assisting the customer in fixing it. Why? Because Priceline made no warnings about ensuring that a customer may not meet the citizenship standards of the airline whose tickets they are brokering, independent of the requirements for exit and entry.
Unfortunately, airlines flying to the US have the right to legally discriminate against passengers on the basis of citizenship. However, if Priceline wants to profit from selling tickets to customers on operating airlines that practice such discrimination, it has a duty to provide a warning to its customers. Failing that, it has a duty to remedy the situation.
I wish the OP best of luck.
It's neither the travel agent's obligation nor the airline's obligation to make sure that the passenger/customer has travel docs simultaneously acceptable to both the government and the airline. While it may be nice if they do that, it's a courtesy if it happens. Airlines and OTAs have standing language (in their contracts/terms) which says something about document validity being the customer's/passenger's responsibility.

The customer went from Kayak link to Priceline to book this ticket? Then the customer knew which flights they were selecting in advance of purchasing the ticket.

As long as the airline rebooks me away from the Kuwait flight and onto a BA/VS/AA/DL/UA flight that doesn't delay my trip by more than 1-3 hours, I would probably be a big fan of having an Israeli passport and being booked initially on Kuwait flights for US-UK-US travel. It's a useful mileage earning strategy and maybe even useful for other compensation.

Last edited by GUWonder; Sep 11, 2014 at 12:44 pm
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Old Sep 11, 2014, 1:01 pm
  #52  
 
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Originally Posted by BearX220
But who knows how Priceline indemnifies itself against stuff like this in the Terms and Conditions text everyone clicks on to signify they've read it, but actually haven't? There's probably language buried in there that shifts the onus to the customer in cases such as these.
Their T&C says that "tickets" are subject to the COC of the "applicable" airline. Putting aside the fact that a customer has to know which airline is applicable in this code share situation, Kuwait does not, as far as I can tell, publish the Israel rule in their COC. Priceline also mentions some specific rights that airlines have, such as schedule changes, but nothing about legal discrimination on the basis of citizenship.

It's certainly possible that Priceline.com T&C wording is of sufficiently weasel-like quality a court would judge them not legally responsible. Fine. But from an ethical perspective, they have a duty to the customer. If you are a broker of services, and one of the providers has a service that you know will never work for some subset of customers, you need to warn your customers about that possibility. To make a bad metaphor, if you want to profit from being a matchmaker, and you know one of your matches is a serial killer with a penchant for left-handed jugglers, you don't get to just walk away when you set up the juggler with the serial killer on a date and mayhem ensues (even if it was by accident).
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Old Sep 11, 2014, 1:05 pm
  #53  
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Originally Posted by waxearwings
If you are a broker of services, and one of the providers has a service that you know will never work for some subset of customers, you need to warn your customers about that possibility.
Tell that to all the sellers of tickets for US-serving airlines which don't warn all the customers that they may be on a US government and/or airline passenger blacklist.
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Old Sep 11, 2014, 1:09 pm
  #54  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder
It's neither the travel agent's obligation nor the airline's obligation to make sure that the passenger/customer has travel docs simultaneously acceptable to both the government and the airline. While it may be nice if they do that, it's a courtesy if it happens. Airlines and OTAs have standing language (in their contracts/terms) which says something about document validity being the customer's/passenger's responsibility.
That's ultimately how I see it.

Originally Posted by waxearwings
It's certainly possible that Priceline.com T&C wording is of sufficiently weasel-like quality a court would judge them not legally responsible. Fine. But from an ethical perspective, they have a duty to the customer.
You're obviously not a corporate lawyer.

Originally Posted by waxearwings
To make a bad metaphor, if you want to profit from being a matchmaker, and you know one of your matches is a serial killer with a penchant for left-handed jugglers, you don't get to just walk away when you set up the juggler with the serial killer on a date and mayhem ensues (even if it was by accident).
You do get to walk away if both parties tick a box, pre-date, agreeing they are responsible for their own relationships.

Match.com, Tinder, etc. have no idea what their clients' criminal histories, weird fetishes, nasty bathroom habits, etc. are and are certainly not responsible for pairings that give offense to one party or the other. If -- to circle back to the OP's situation -- Match.com connects a Jewish client with a client who is quietly but virulently anti-semitic, and the date goes south, nobody gets to sue Match.com.
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Old Sep 11, 2014, 1:12 pm
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Originally Posted by waxearwings
Their T&C says that "tickets" are subject to the COC of the "applicable" airline. Putting aside the fact that a customer has to know which airline is applicable in this code share situation, Kuwait does not, as far as I can tell, publish the Israel rule in their COC. Priceline also mentions some specific rights that airlines have, such as schedule changes, but nothing about legal discrimination on the basis of citizenship.

It's certainly possible that Priceline.com T&C wording is of sufficiently weasel-like quality a court would judge them not legally responsible. Fine. But from an ethical perspective, they have a duty to the customer. If you are a broker of services, and one of the providers has a service that you know will never work for some subset of customers, you need to warn your customers about that possibility. To make a bad metaphor, if you want to profit from being a matchmaker, and you know one of your matches is a serial killer with a penchant for left-handed jugglers, you don't get to just walk away when you set up the juggler with the serial killer on a date and mayhem ensues (even if it was by accident).
From a business perspective I would think they'd want to at least make some information available to preclude these situations - even if they have no legal liability per se. I suppose they have enough sales volume they don't care about the occasional passenger getting into a scenario like the OP, who I would imagine doesn't think terribly much of Priceline particularly from their poor email response.
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Old Sep 11, 2014, 1:17 pm
  #56  
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Don't know what did it, my 3rd attempt to move priceline or some journalist help, Priceline rebooked me back on AA at their expense, unless Kuwait airlines will rebook me tomorrow on their own (after Priceline spending 30m waiting on the line for Kuwait airlines to pick up, call disconnection and then a message saying that the office is already closed). Yay!
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Old Sep 11, 2014, 1:24 pm
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Kayak is a terrible company. The dont even list flights to HAV (Havana) - i have started to stop using them because of such behavior. [Text outside of the scope of TravelBuzz forum edited by Moderator.]

Last edited by Ocn Vw 1K; Sep 12, 2014 at 9:52 pm Reason: Per FT Rules.
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Old Sep 11, 2014, 1:34 pm
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Originally Posted by GUWonder
It's neither the travel agent's obligation nor the airline's obligation to make sure that the passenger/customer has travel docs simultaneously acceptable to both the government and the airline. While it may be nice if they do that, it's a courtesy if it happens. Airlines and OTAs have standing language (in their contracts/terms) which says something about document validity being the customer's/passenger's responsibility.
The distinction here is that Kuwait does not actually publish this rule in a manner reasonably accessible to a priceline customer (try to find it on kuwait's site. You can register an Israeli address, though...)
Therefore, Priceline knows something the customer (who has verified they meet both the airline and government obligations) doesn't and can't reasonably know. And I don't see their T&C giving fair warning about this, so I think they have a special obligation in this case.

That's why I see this as different from your standard 'we-accept-the-risk-goodbye-matchmaker' arrangement. And different from the no-fly lists, because that deals with governmental permission. But I guess their corporate lawyers don't have the same sense of ethical obligation as I do...
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Old Sep 11, 2014, 1:35 pm
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Originally Posted by Dinka
Don't know what did it, my 3rd attempt to move priceline or some journalist help, Priceline rebooked me back on AA at their expense, unless Kuwait airlines will rebook me tomorrow on their own (after Priceline spending 30m waiting on the line for Kuwait airlines to pick up, call disconnection and then a message saying that the office is already closed). Yay!

Awesome. Glad they did the right thing.
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Old Sep 11, 2014, 2:33 pm
  #60  
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AA/BA miles are better than what Kuwaiti airline provides. Glad it worked out. Hopefully the changes stick and the ticket was appropriately reissued.

Originally Posted by waxearwings
The distinction here is that Kuwait does not actually publish this rule in a manner reasonably accessible to a priceline customer (try to find it on kuwait's site. You can register an Israeli address, though...)
Therefore, Priceline knows something the customer (who has verified they meet both the airline and government obligations) doesn't and can't reasonably know. And I don't see their T&C giving fair warning about this, so I think they have a special obligation in this case.

That's why I see this as different from your standard 'we-accept-the-risk-goodbye-matchmaker' arrangement. And different from the no-fly lists, because that deals with governmental permission. But I guess their corporate lawyers don't have the same sense of ethical obligation as I do...
All airlines and OTAs use small print that is buried somewhere. I may not like it, but it's routine for common carriers and online travel agents to not put in big print all the possible stumbling blocks that may hit a given customer.

Speaking of the ethics in this context doesn't move me that much in an environment where we have over a million people on US aviation blacklists and all airlines refuse to even fly back to the US those US citizens on US aviation blacklists even when these persons have been screened for WEIs and have valid US passports. If people complained also about the blacklists and the ID checking garbage in their own backyard, then I would be more moved by the ethics of this situation.

As I said, I am opposed to the Kuwaiti airline doing this for the same reason I am opposed to things the US and US airlines do to otherwise free people on regularly booked airline tickets.

Last edited by GUWonder; Sep 11, 2014 at 2:49 pm
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