Qatar airways incorrectly denied boarding - following events

4 replies

areddy02

Member since 27 Sep 2023

Total posts 1

We had a nightmare of an experience with Qatar airways. We were travelling to Europe from Melbourne. Our port of entry was Frankfurt with a small trip around Germany and Austria before heading to the Netherlands, were we would be spending the majority of out time – this was a family reunion planned after almost 4 years of seeing each other. The trip was ending in France, with us flying out from Paris. We had a Japan airlines ticket booked from Melbourne to Frankfurt and Paris to Melbourne.

Based on the details above and all that we read on which embassy to apply the Schengen visa for – ours turned out to be Netherland. This was confirmed by VFS, the staff, their website, The EU official website, Germany official website and Netherlands official website.

A few months before our travel, Japan airlines put us onto Qatar airways since they could not fly over the EU airspace. On the day of the travel, we showed up 2 hours before our check-in time. At the time of check-in, the lady who was getting it done a doubt if we had a valid travel visa. She then reached out to another Qatar staff – this lady who then proceeded to have a WhatsApp texting chat with her counterpart in Germany. At no point was anyone official like from the immigration team consulted. These two people collectively decided we had an invalid visa and said we could not board. When we asked why, she said since our port of entry was Frankfurt, our Schengen visa had to be issued by Germany, not Netherlands. When we asked for proof where it says that, she refused to oblige. And when we tried to show her all these multiple sources to prove we had a valid visa, she refused to listen and told us “Shut up and sit down”. I tried to show her my previous travel documentation where I had a similar circumstance of travel. At which point she looks at it and says, well this was valid. On asking why, she explains “ This one says multi – which means you can entry from multiple countries, your current one says single – which means you can enter from only a single country”.

After that they just refused to hear us out or see anything were trying to show them and stood their ground. We were not put on any replacement flight and there was no compensation on the terms of “you have the incorrect documentation – it’s your mistake”. We had to buy last minute tickets to head to EU to still be able to meet out family.

While returning back, we got an email and message to check-in online. When we tried, it said to do it in person at the counter. Being on a Indian passport and having faced this before, we did not think much of it. On arrival at the counter, we are told out ticket had been cancelled since we were a “no-show” for first leg. We were not told about this by anyone. We tried to make our case that we were there and the case on which we were denied boarding – how could that be a no show. They said it was not their problem and again we were left stranded at the airport in Paris with no alternative. Out of frantic desperation and lack of funds, we had to reachout to family and friends, finally our parents came through and got us tickets to get back home to Aus.

Once back, we tried to go to insurance to get back some compensation, they denied us saying they don’t cover airlines mistakes. And we’ve had a few calls with Qatar customer care who keep directing us to email. And in emails they have stood their ground stating we had incorrect documentation – inspite us giving sufficient proof that it was valid. They have not obliged us even once by showing any proof why our documentation was incorrect.

In the end, we lost a lot of money and there was absolutely no accountability from Qatar Airways and no one who’s willing to take the case up. How do we pursue this? Do they just get away with this?

mspcooper

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 09 May 2013

Total posts 446

I used to have an indian passport. As far as i remember, you need to get schengen based on your port of entry, so the staff were right. (Unless the rules have changed). Plus, when you applied for the visa, did they not ask for ticket details??


Finally, if you do not board one leg, the return leg is automatically cancelled.

I think you may have gotten this with any airline, i don’t think Qatar is to blame here.


tommygun

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

Member since 16 Oct 2017

Total posts 285

Not really a did not board, actually a denied boarding of pax who wanted to board. Why does the latter not preserve the remaining sectors?

raymac

Malaysia Airlines - Enrich

Member since 21 Mar 2014

Total posts 12

I do feel your pain but i have a horrible feeling that you've made an error with your Schengen Visa application. While it does state that you can apply at the country where you will be spending most time ( Netherlands ) it also suggests that you apply for a multiple country visa.

Did you have a single country only visa? If that is the case then Qatar were correct in denying your boarding since you were to arrive in Germany and not Netherlands. I believe that if you had the multiple country visa then there would have been no issues.

With regards to the ticket , it is correct that when the first leg of a ticket is not used then the rest of the ticket is cancelled. This of course should have been explained at the time.

There are so many pitfalls when travelling overseas. I get paranoid at times and am always checking and double checking with tickets, visas etc but in doing that we have had no issues over the past decades.





Last editedby raymac at Sep 29, 2023, 06:21 PM.

John Phelan

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 28 Oct 2011

Total posts 261

Originally Posted by tommygun

Not really a did not board, actually a denied boarding of pax who wanted to board. Why does the latter not preserve the remaining sectors?

Because if the first sector of the ticket is cancelled (as it was by the airline in this instance), so are all remaining sectors of the same ticket, automatically. They should have asked QR to reissue the ticket without the cancelled sector.

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