suing turkish airlines

Old Aug 21st, 2012, 03:22 PM
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suing turkish airlines

19.12.2007 I travelled with my family a wife and 2 little daughters to Doha – Qatar thru Turkish airlines from Prague. We all had newly issued Czech ( European ) passports.
Begin at buying the tickets, we asked at the Turkish airlines agent in Prague that we need not have a visa ready we can get that at the Doha airport as all EU citizens.
We verified this from many 2 more sources, one in Qatar airport thru family members there.
Fine on the day we travelled, we checked in in at the Prague airport – noproblem.
Transit in Istanbul after 5 hours Transit we checked in again and boarded the plane, without any problem.
At Doha airport midnight – arrival.
A UK citizen ahead of us got her visa bought at the airport in front of our eyes.
We tried to do the same but were informed that this was not the case for our Czech passports, so we were refused Visas and a Turkish airlines officer was called to arrange for our return back to prague.
He was informed that the airline will be fined ( later we got information from people we know at the airport that they were fined 50000QRS on the spot for carrying people to a destination without proper visas. – according to international aviation laws.
At Doha airport – no sleeping arrangements at all, the local Turkish agent disappeared, we managed to get his 3 phone no.s and started calling, no response, that was repeated the next day ( Eid holidays 4 days of no work- the main reason for our trip to Qatar to meet family and friends for Eid).
We had no information when at all will the flight back be, it might take days or weeks.
We had to arrang for a flight to Dubai –maybe we can get in since it’s a holiday destination, or at least there is a hotel at the airport so the kids can get some sleep.
At Dubai again refused entry, but the hotel at the airport was at least of some help.
Spent 4 days in Dubai and on the last day offices in Qatar opened and my dad arranged for visas in a couple of hours and we travelled back to Qatar and allowed in.
Back in Prague I decided to sue Turkish Airlines. Have been doing that for the past 5 yrs.
Went thru the preliminary court case dismissed, since the ownus was on us to arrange for visas.
Went to a higher court on the basis that L9 of civil aviation laws puts the ownus on the airline not to board passengers without proper visas to destination. – hence the 50000QRS fine to the airline on the spot.
The Higher court acknowledged that this was correct and returned the case to the first court.
Again another judge at the first degree court after another year decided not to take into account the higher courts decision and to dismiss the case. Even though we asked the judge to ask the Qatari airport to verify the fine against Turkish – she refused to do so as she found it irrelevant.
We told her the whole case stands on this and she finds it irrelevant – we decide to go to the higher court again.
I will make a precedent with this it seems. If anyone knows of a similar case please let me know, I need all the help I can get against a huge corporate company.
- Turkish airlines failed to check our visas on 2 accounts ( prague and Istanbul), if they did we would not have to go thru all of this.
- Not disputing the fact that the ownus of arranging for visas was on us, but they treated us like cargo, they let us go on and if it works and we get it in fine , if not then no worries, we the passengers carry all responsibility , and no liability on the airlines - a small gamble hurts no one – WRONG
- Their agent in Qatar completely ignored us and our demands to know exactly when we would be travelling back, not did he help in arranging accommodation , nor did he answer the phone calls we were making to him on his personal and business no.s which we managed to get from the airport workers.
- This mistake from their staff cost me 100000CZk = 5000USD for the 4 days I spent at the airport including food, phone calls, hotel etc..plus a lot of psychological issues with my kids refusing to travel to Qatar – the country where we had the largest family members of grandfather / mother cousins etc
Asmar is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2012, 06:47 PM
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Hi Asmar

Not a happy story at all! I would consider it my responsibility to make sure I had the necessary visas, not an airline. I would be checking with a good travel agent then looking that up on the country's website, certainly not relying on family members.

I was not aware that any airline checked visas as I would have thought it was customs on entering a country that did that job.

A lesson for us all to make sure we have the correct travel documents!

Kind regards

Kaye
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Old Aug 21st, 2012, 07:20 PM
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Sorry you had such a bad experience, but it is entirely YOUR responsibility to have the correct travel documents.
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Old Aug 21st, 2012, 09:56 PM
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I do not understand why you feel you are entitled to compensation by the airlines. In fact, the airline suffered damages because you were not following the rules of obtaining the paperwork you needed to legally travel. I certainly would not spend any more time (and money) on this issue. Consider it a lesson learned the hard way and in the future check with the proper government officials (not travel agents or airline employees) to learn what visa or other requirements are needed for travel.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2012, 11:25 AM
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>>

I agree with you in general, but the airline did not suffer damages because the OP didn't follow the rules -- the airline paid a fine because the AIRLINE allowed the passengers on the flight without the proper paperwork. The poster doesn't have a claim against the airline because the POSTER didn't follow the rules.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2012, 12:22 PM
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I think you are right, sf7307, and I should have thought the issue through more clearly. The airline made a mistake and paid its price. The travelers made a mistake and paid their price.

Different governments have different arrangements between countries and those requirements can change. It is always best to double check with the official government sources of your country and the country you wish to visit.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2012, 09:14 AM
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Exactly!
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Old Aug 23rd, 2012, 10:51 AM
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A quick look-see on the Qatar Embassy site, where they list those countries' citizens that can obtain Visa on arrival... doesn't list Czech. Those countries not listed have to apply thru an Embassy for such Visa.

The Embassy has to be your first resource and if something shown is not clear, then you make a phone call or two till you get the proper reply and request that the person who provided it, send the information in writing, so there are no misunderstandings.

It's always the responsibility of the traveler to obtain the information needed for travel to any destination whether Visa (costs, documentation, photos, other), health (inoculations, medication - what can/can't be brought in), currency, food, religion, dress/attire, etc. etc.

Sorry for your mishap which, of course, wasn't pleasant for all concerned (the kids certainly), but.............. give it up! Lesson learned.
sandi is offline  
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