The Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (CDRC) in Gujarat has ordered British Airways to pay Rs 2.93 lakh to a 74-year-old man, who was sent back from London along with his wife after his US visa was revoked in December 2021.
CDRC Navsari observed that it is the duty of the airlines to check if a passenger has a valid visa or not while allowing him to travel.
Hasmukh Mehta and his wife had a valid US visitor visa for a period of 10 years from December 27, 2012 to December 25, 2022. Between 2012 and 2018, the couple had travelled to US three times. They were to travel to Atlanta from Mumbai via London on December 2021. Their son Sahil Mehta booked their tickets to the US with British Airways in India.
The couple was given a boarding pass to London for the Mumbai-London flight on December 14, 2021. When Mehta sought the boarding pass for connecting flight to Atlanta, they were told to collect it from London airport as there was some error in the system.
After a 10-hour flight, the couple reached London’s Heathrow airport where Mehta was told that their US visa had been revoked and they needed to go back to India. They boarded Air India’s Delhi flight from London. When they landed in Delhi, due to Covid-related formalities, they missed their flight to Mumbai.
Finally, they took a Delhi-Surat flight. The elderly couple reached their Navsari home after 58 hours from London. Mehta then approached the Navsari CDRC seeking refund of Rs 1.3 lakh ticket fare from Mumbai to Atlanta,Rs 25,000 for Delhi-Surat ticket and Rs 13,500 baggage fees that they had to pay, from British Airways.
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