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On December 17, 2017, we were scheduled to fly to Zurich on South African Airways, with a British Airways connection at Heathrow Airport. The return ticket had the same routing.

When the Swiss Embassy issued our Schengen visas for the holiday, we were told that we did not require a UK transit visa. And, yet, SAA denied us boarding.

Was the Swiss embassy wrong? If not, why were we denied Boarding?

  • What exactly are you asking for? – helm Jan 3 '18 at 17:20
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    If there's a question in there, it's pretty good at hiding... – user67108 Jan 3 '18 at 17:20
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    You're transiting in the UK, so it's the UK transit visa you (may) require. The Swiss embassy has no say in that and should not be considered a reliable source of info on UK visas. Since you're flying SAA into LHR I'm guessing you're South African - in which case you almost certainly do need a visa to transit in the UK. gov.uk/check-uk-visa – brhans Jan 3 '18 at 18:18
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    Many sentence no verb. What question? – Aganju Jan 3 '18 at 22:32
  • Long-stay visas and residence Permits from Schengen countries exempt you from a UK Transit visa, but a short-stay visa does not. So the embassy was wrong. – Crazydre Jan 5 '18 at 0:54
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Airline was right, You did need a Transit visa for the UK. See the conditions below

In the hindsight it would have been far better to have checked UK transit requirements long before going to the airport. Their website has a tool which is one of the simplest.

Was the Swiss embassy wrong?

A wrong question was put to them. They were not the relevant people to issue advice for UK visa requirements. Their answer wouldn't matter in any argument.

  • The answer to "was the Swiss embassy wrong" is "yes". – ajd Jan 5 '18 at 6:11
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Long-stay visas and residence Permits from Schengen countries (like Switzerland) exempt you from a UK Transit visa, but a short-stay visa does not

So the check-in staff were correct.

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