Essentially I was denied boarding to a TUI flight from Birmingham UK to the USA 2 weeks ago because of US Visa issues, despite me meeting all the criteria on the US Embassy (and hundreds of other websites) saying my visa and approach was valid. I am British but cannot use an ESTA Visa Waiver as I got driving ban on record from 2001. English/GBR, Tourist Visa B, Airline said there was a flag on the system, they didn't expand on that.
The US Tourist Visa is still in date (exp 2025) but it's in an expired passport (undamaged/same country of issue/same name etc), it was accompanied by the new passport. Every bit of prep I did said this would be fine but TUI systems flagged something and denied me boarding. The team leader repeatedly said the visa has to be in the new passport. I said to check the US Embassy rules, but they didn’t care, they wanted to close check in. I also believe they faked a call to the USA and shifted the blame there to be able to close check in – essentially they claim that US Border Control said they wouldn’t let me in, which I do not think is the truth as why would their official policy say otherwise?
The net effect was no holiday and £4000 out of pocket.
I have a USA trip booked for September (BA flight) and am trying to understand whether this will be a problem with BA also. I tried their helpline and the lady just didn’t really get the situation and just kept contradicting herself. I have sent them a web form question but I guess it will be the same response.
I cant turn up to the airport and have a 2nd holiday cancelled on the spot due to this lack of clarity and reassurance. I have an EU trip booked in August so cannot suffer any delays with US embassy interviews/passport processing delays either so feel really stuck.
Can you help? What is the official line on this? My wife is in tears over this as there is no useful route for any support from the airlines – web forms cannot get the point over and the phone operatives seem to be droids capable of only processing the most basic of questions.
Was TUI in the wrong? Will BA deny me boarding too?