I had the worst experience of my life today during my (attempted and failed) holiday trip. Please advise me on what I can do next.
I am a citizen of a non-EU country (Kazakhstan). I live in London.
I booked a flight from London to Seoul with transit points in Milan and Rome (London - Milan - Rome - Seoul).
Upon landing in Linate Airport in Milan, I was stopped and detained because - as it turned out - there is no transit corridor at the airport, and the only way to get to a connecting flight is to leave the international zone and go through the security again.
Before purchasing the ticket, I checked whether I require a transit visa in Italy to get to a connecting flight, and by law I don't. I also checked the Linate airport official website, and I found no indication that there is no transit zone. Upon checking-in at the Heathrow airport, the airline staff also appear to not have been aware of this (otherwise, they wouldn't have let me on the plane). And obviously there was no mention, nor warning of this issue when I was booking the flight via netflights.com. This combination of flights was automatically suggested to me by the agency booking system.
I was detained and locked in a room for almost 8 hours and had to be escorted by security just to go to the bathroom. The airport staff were extremely rude, barely spoke any English and treated me as an illegal migrant. I had to be escorted by the police when they put me on the plane back to London and they wouldn't give me my passport until I landed in London.
As it appears to me, there was (practically) no way for me to find out that I would require a Schengen visitor visa (when I didn't even need the transit visa) just to change flights in Milan, and the agency failed to make a reasonable attempt to warn me about it.
Netflights.com refuse to compensate me in any way explaining that they already exchanged my ticket for my return flight to London (which I didn't ask for), and that it was my responsibility to "check and fulfill visa, passport and immigration requirements" which is fair but to me it appears that my situation is more nuanced than that.
Is there any chance to get my money back or make the agency arrange a new flight to Seoul at a later date at their expense? Or is it the airline's responsibility since they haven't turned me away at the check-in?