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i purchased a return plane ticket from TAP Portugal to fly from London Heathrow to BSB Brasilia ( Brasil). I planned to stay for 120 days. At check-in I was told that I could only stay in Brasil for a maximum of 90 Days and that I had to change my return flight to be within those 90 days. I would also have to pay the extra fare involved.

I asked why did they allow me to book a flight over the 90 days if they were going to deny me at check-in at Heathrow. I think that's a reasonable question. Also the visa can be extended whilst in Brasil by approaching the Police federal at the airport if staying longer than 90 days and an extension can be granted for up to an additional 90 days. Am I entitled to some compensation? I feel robbed!

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    I am afraid you will find that it is the passenger's responsibility to check passport and visa requirements. I think you are unlikely to get any compensation but I am not a lawyer. – mdewey Mar 15 at 16:49
  • What country issued your passport? – Michael Hampton Mar 15 at 16:50
  • Were you aware that an in-country visa extension is possible when you tried to check-in, and did you raise that with the check-in agent before you went ahead and changed your flight? – Traveller Mar 15 at 17:09
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    I'm actually a little surprised that the airline checked your return date; my impression was that they only ever checked admissibility rather than any risk of overstay. By that logic they couldn't ever sell a one-way ticket to a country except to people who are legally resident there. – Michael Seifert Mar 15 at 17:33
  • @MichaelSeifert If you have a one-way ticket, the airline will generally ask for proof of other travel arrangements to leave the country. – mdd Mar 15 at 18:33
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Am I entitled to some compensation?

Unlikely.

Here is how it works:

  1. When you buy the ticket, you agreed to the terms and conditions which clearly state that it is your responsibility to check and comply with all entry requirements for your destination.
  2. Nothing gets checked at time of purchase: this is often many months in advance of the actual travel date. Your current visa, residency, citizenship states don't matter and your future ones are not known yet.
  3. At time of check-in the airline will indeed check your current document against the requirements of destination. If that doesn't check out you will be denied boarding (and rightfully so). They can get heavily fined if a passengers gets denied entry.
  4. There is an almost infinite number of combinations for countries of residence, departure, arrival; state of passports, visa types, etc. so it's extremely complicated. The airlines tend to use a service called "Timatic"
  5. If Timatic says, you can't go, they will deny boarding. Unfortunately you can't easily check Timatic yourself: you need a paid membership.

The airline followed their stated process and you agreed to this process. The only potential angle would be to proof that Timatic actually returned incorrect information for your specific case. While not impossible, it's unlikely and it would take significant amount of time and money to proof any error on their part.

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    I’m a visa-exempt National. For a stay of 120 days, I got the following result from Timatic: Brazil - Destination Visa Visa required. Additional information: Extension of stay possible for visa exempt visitors. This does seem confusing. – Traveller Mar 15 at 18:47
  • @Traveller Only visa-exempt visitors and nationals of Fiji can extend their stay, according to Timatic. The OP hasn't told us their nationality. – Michael Hampton Mar 16 at 1:42
  • @Michael Hampton I realise that. My point was that Timatic says that I (a visa-exempt national) need a visa. It doesn’t say ‘no visa required for up to 90 days, extension of stay possible’. – Traveller Mar 16 at 6:55
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For the reasons mentioned in the other answers, you are not entitled to compensation. When they sold you the ticket, they could have assumed you held a Brasil residence permit, or a student visa, or any number of other situations that would have allowed you to stay 120 days without a problem.

For people who come to this answer, I am going to suggest a different solution. Do not modify your reservation to return earlier. Buy an expensive, refundable one-way return within the time limit the airline requires. In Brasil, once you have extended your tourist visa, apply for the refund. If, for some reason, your extension is denied, you can still recover some money by cashing that ticket in and advancing your original return date.

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