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Two week's back I was travelling back from India to USA,my flight was via Rome and Paris, so as par rule I was required a transit visa. And I did apply for the transit visa in Kolkata's Italian Consulate. I had done all the paper works for my visa application and also buy insurace, but at my interviw, I was told through VFS that since I have an USA F1 visa (Indian Passport) and I am not coming outside of the airport, I don't need a visa. In fact they have sent me an official email to support their words. enter image description here

However when i reached the airport, the airlines (alitalia airlines) didn't allow me to get on the flight. Although I showed them my official email, but they didn't accept it. And thus I was forced to buy a new ticket.

So now is there any way I can take any legal action against either the airlines or the consulate to get my money back. If so, what could be my procedure. Since I am a student, that money matters a lot. And I did everything from my part but I was given wrong informations.

marked as duplicate by user 56513, Traveller, bytebuster, Giorgio, Ali Awan Feb 16 at 5:51

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  • Does someone know if he can take legal action against the consulate in India? It seems pretty clear they are to blame in this situation. – gstorto Feb 15 at 21:00
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    @gstorto Good luck with that. That lawsuit will die immediately it’s born. – user 56513 Feb 15 at 21:04
  • VFS is absolutely useless and gives out bad advice all the time. You should've pushed them to accept the application. – JonathanReez Feb 15 at 22:09
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    I did push VSF but then they asked me to email consulate...and consulate replied me ( which is visible) – Anubhav Mukherjee Feb 16 at 3:11
  • On a side note, I would cover your name in the pic – user Feb 16 at 23:35
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You can't take any legal action against the airline because you were correctly denied boarding.

Your itinerary crossed though two airports in the Schengen area, so you would have needed a regular Type C short-stay Schengen visa to go through immigration in Rome, and exit immigration in Paris. Even a transit visa would not be enough.

If your itinerary had been only through one airport in the Schengen area, you would not have needed to pass through immigration and you would not have needed a visa.

You might be able to make a complaint to the consulate, as it is clear that they gave you incorrect information. They should have known that you would need a visa for the itinerary you described in your email.

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    Michael is right. To get to your flight from Rome to Paris, you need to leave the international area of the airport, and so you need a full Schengen visa. A transit one is not enough. – gstorto Feb 15 at 20:56
  • I did send email to consulate twice. But they didn't care to reply. Can you please provide any email ID at what I can send email? – Anubhav Mukherjee Feb 16 at 3:17
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The first thing I will suggest is to reach out to customer service and explain very politely the situation, they can give you a refund of your money for one ticket. Play up the student angle.

https://www.alitalia.com/en_us/special-pages/my-experience.html

Additionally you can contact them on Twitter with a very concise post. They’re sensitive to Twitter because it’s public.

https://mobile.twitter.com/alitalia/status/765847690391482368?lang=en

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    Alitalia was right to deny boarding, because this trip does require a visa. It certainly doesn't hurt to ask for a refund, but I wouldn't put nearly such great odds on getting one. The airline is unfortunately not responsible for the fact that the consulate gave out incrrect information. – Zach Lipton Feb 15 at 20:27
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    While I agree that Alitalia was in the right to deny boarding, I don't really understand the downvotes here. Alitalia certainly isn't under legal obligation to provide a refund, but it still never hurts to ask. The worst they can say is no. While I don't have a lot of personal experience with this specifically on Alitalia, there are lots of times when airlines will waive fees that result from mistakes or events outside the passenger's control as a goodwill gesture, even if they're not legally obligated to do so. – reirab Feb 15 at 23:14
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    @reirab I haven't voted, but I think trying to get Alitalia to share any blame or burden in this case is completely wrong. If they had boarded the passenger, they would have been fined by the destination when the passenger was rejected and sent back to India. In this case it's the passengers responsibility to secure the right visas for the destination, including transit, and it's not airlines responsibility that the passenger was given the wrong information by a third party. The airline did nothing wrong here, why should they be publicly shamed for it? – Moo Feb 15 at 23:33
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    @Moo Fair point. I don't think contacting them via Twitter is necessarily unreasonable (it's a common way to contact airlines for customer support these days and often seems to get more helpful responses with less waiting than phone support lines,) but I agree that it shouldn't be framed in such a way as to try to blame Alitalia or shame them into anything. – reirab Feb 15 at 23:41
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    It's worth noting that Alitalia is currently bankrupt, so the likelihood of getting anything out of the airline is basically zero. – Moo Feb 15 at 23:47

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