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I read on this answer by Anish Sheela:

Sign indemnity form saying that you accept personal responsibility to pay the fine imposed to the airline, in case you are denied.

How can I know how much an airline would be fined if the immigration officers of the destination country deny me entry?

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    Just to note that only if the airline is reasonably sure that I will be allowed entry, I will get that form. For example, if I ask for the form without a visa, which means that its sure that I will get denied, I won't be allowed to board and I won't be given a form. – Anish Sheela May 4 at 3:27
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    My case was specific on which passport was damaged slightly. – Anish Sheela May 4 at 3:27
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You'd have to look up the relevant laws in the country concerned, which could require some research and quite possibly translation. For example, in the case of the US, I believe it's up to $4,300—now $5,340—but there are a bunch of programs in place that can result in the fines being waived for airlines under some circumstances. This document lists a broad average of $3,500/passenger, but notes they can go as high as €10,000. The airline can often try to have the fine waived or lowered if they showed that they took reasonable efforts to verify the required documents.

Note that the fine is generally imposed if the airline has failed to adequately verify your travel documents, rather than if you are just denied entry in general for reasons entirely outside of the airline's knowledge or control. The airline may be responsible for your return transportation in any case, costs they may seek to recover from you and/or any outstanding funds from your air ticket (e.g. if you purchased a round trip ticket).

But an indemnity form is somewhat beside the point for a few reasons:

  • You probably already agreed to indemnify the airline for immigration fines as a result of your travel. That's a common provision in airline contracts of carriage.
  • Such forms are quite uncommon and not usually an option. While they do exist, at least in the case of one airline (Qatar), the purpose of travel document requirements is to prevent unauthorized travelers from boarding a plane in the first place, not to collect fines. If everyone could just sign a form to be allowed to board without the proper documents, visa regimes would be rendered fairly useless. Countries do not want someone who, say, plans to apply for asylum, to be able to fly to their country without a visa simply because they've signed a form. It's possible some airlines would let you sign such a form under some unusual circumstances where your documents are present but questionable, but the most likely scenario is to be denied boarding if they don't accept your travel documents.
  • The airline has no real idea of your ability to pay the fine and limited means to collect it. If a fine is more than a theoretical possibility, they may rather deny boarding than ask you to promise to pay a sum you might not even have.

It's possible that there could be other costs as well: a return ticket, detention fees, a fine that you owe the country directly, etc...

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    The asylum issue is the key here - people pay huge sums of money to be smuggled to a country to claim asylum, like tens of thousands of dollars. If they could instead buy a ticket, sign an indemnity waiver (or cover the indemnity up front) then we would be back to square one and all that would happen is that new regulations would be put in place preventing this. – Moo May 1 at 23:55
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    The second paragraph is often overlooked. Not only is it unreasonable to fine an airline if someone is denied entry because of something the airline couldn't have known about, but imposing such fines would cause airlines to start interrogating passengers about their finances, their criminal history, even their stated purpose of travel. – phoog May 2 at 5:14
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    @schlenk the UN rules forbid a nation from turning away an asylum seeker who presents at a border or within the borders of the nation, but it doesnt prevent nations from making it difficult for the asylum seeker to present - that is what they are doing here. They are requiring airlines to ensure they only carry passengers who are eligible for entry, or eligible to present for entry. That doesnt breach UN rules. – Moo May 3 at 5:12
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    It doesn't breach the UN rules. It just picks a convenient (for the target state) reading of the convention that forces people to take somewhat guided swimming tours through the mediteranean for huge sums of money instead of picking a simple commercial low cost airline seat to present their cases. See this UNHCR press release unhcr.org/protection/operations/43662e942/… (Visas and Carrier Sanctions section). – schlenk May 3 at 11:38
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    UNHCR: "Forcing carriers to verify visas and other travel documentation helps to shift the burden of determining the need for protection to those whose motivation is to avoid monetary penalties on their corporate employer, rather than to provide protection to individuals. In so doing, it contributes to placing this very important responsibility in the hands of those (a) unauthorized to make asylum determinations on behalf of States (b) thoroughly untrained in the nuances and procedures of refugee and asylum principles, and (c) motivated by economic rather than humanitarian considerations." – TamaMcGlinn Jul 2 at 11:40
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Keep in mind that the airline is only obliged to check that your papers are in order. The airline is off the hook (except for the obligation of flying you back) if you are refused for other unforeseeable problems, such as botching the entry interview. For instance if you arrive, you claim you are there to holiday, your bags are inspected, and business clothing and 25 copies of your CV are found.

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