Situation: My life partner is a South Africa citizen. We were booked to travel to Switzerland from South Africa with Emirates airlines on the 9th October 2020. According to the travel agents, VFS Global and the internet sites that one was directed to there was no reason why my partner could not travel to Switzerland with me.
At check-in in South Africa, my partners documents were found to be in order by at least 3 Emirates staff members and we were checked in for the flight JNB - DXB with connection DXB to ZRH.
The luggage was checked in under my name, boarding passes were issued for both legs of the flight and we were both allowed to board in South Africa with destination via Dubai (connecting) to Zurich.
At no time did anyone query my partners documents even after scanning in and checking the Docs on the IATA system. Visa was checked by 5 staff (2 airport security and 3 Emirates staff members)
In Dubai my partner was not allowed to board the plane for Zurich and we had to return to South Africa.
Is the airline not supposed to check these documents at port of departure? We're still not sure why she could not travel and just find it strange that the ticket was purchased Johannesburg to Zurich and we were checked in like that.
Could someone please advise at what point do the airlines need to take responsibility for their staff.
Had we been denied boarding in South Africa we could have postponed the trip in order to get whatever the issue was sorted.
Surely once they have accepted the documents to be in order, they cannot change their minds mid journey without taking some of the responsibility and at least covering the cost of flights.
Clarity on the matter would be great.