I request some clarification if this applies as 'incorrectly denied boarding' by Turkish Airlines despite having a valid Schengen visa

The intended travel:

I was supposed to travel from Mumbai-> Istanbul-> Hannover. I had a Swedish Short Term Schengen Tourist Visa (under 90 days), and was planning to visit Germany first, then Sweden. Turkish Airlines denied me boarding at Istanbul to go to Hannover on the grounds that I should land in Sweden first because I had a Swedish Schengen visa. I argued my case with them, but in vain. They not only refused to let me board, but also rudely told me to go buy another ticket.

The actual journey:

Finally, I ended up going on a VERY exhausting journey from Mumbai -> Istanbul -> Stockholm -> Frankfurt -> (By train to) Hannover. When I landed at Stockholm, Swedish immigration was actually outraged at Turkish Airlines about denial to board. In fact, I was questioned by 3 border security officials, because my file clearly stated that I was first expected in Hannover, so they were surprised to see me at Stockholm. When they finally understood what had happened, they were furious at Turkish Airlines, and repeatedly stated that Turkish had no right to deny boarding. Schengen zones allow you to travel with this flexibility.

I was really upset at the treatment I received in Istanbul by Turkish Airlines. I have flown to Europe plenty of times and this is the first time I've encountered something like this. Nowhere is it written on Turkish Airlines websites that they have a policy of NOT boarding folks who are not traveling to the first port of entry in Schengen zones. They're (obviously) refusing any sort of compensation, but I still can't get this out of my head.

Is there anyone who already HAS explored legal options against Turkish Airlines, and what was the outcome? Does the jurisdiction of where you were denied boarding matter, or does this is simply airline-specific?

  • 2
    I can't answer right now, but you will want to explore EU261 and the Turkish equivalent Aug 10, 2023 at 17:27
  • 31
    @littleadv the airline has a contract with the passenger. The contract and various laws specify the circumstances under which a passenger may be denied boarding. Believing that the passenger won't be admitted is not among them (although it is a frequent misconception that it is). A valid reason for denying boarding is the passenger's failure to have adequate documents. If the airline incorrectly determines that a passenger with correct documents has incorrect documents because it has trained its staff poorly then the airline has breached the contract of carriage.
    – phoog
    Aug 10, 2023 at 18:16
  • 2
    Do you have a video recording of the refusal to board or some official confirmation?
    – JonathanReez
    Aug 10, 2023 at 19:20
  • 3
    @TravellingJuggernaut It was a transit location, and Mumbai had zero issues because the passenger HAD the correct visa
    – Crazydre
    Aug 11, 2023 at 11:25
  • 8
    Pretty annoying when the airlines consistently say "it's your responsibility to know the visa and admission rules of the country you're visiting", so you carefully and meticulously research and follow them but then the airline impose their incorrect understanding anyway.
    – Flexo
    Aug 12, 2023 at 17:33

1 Answer 1


Email [email protected] (source) with a copy of your visa and ask - as if you didn't know - whether you would've been allowed to enter Schengen at Hannover, given that Turkish Airlines denied you boarding?

Then claim EUR 400 in compensation AND the extra costs (new ticket, meals) from Turkish airlines, attaching a copy of your visa AND the email from Hannover immigration as proof. If they refuse, check how and where you can take them to court under the Turkish regulation on air passenger rights.

  • 6
    Is the 600 euro based on Regulation (EC) No 261/2004? Because that doesn't apply as the flight isn't from the EU nor by an airline based in the EU. Or am I missing something? Aug 11, 2023 at 6:46
  • 3
    @DavidMulder Turkey has copied the 261/2004 regulation web.shgm.gov.tr/doc4/shy-passenger.pdf
    – Crazydre
    Aug 11, 2023 at 11:26
  • 9
    I think this is the first and only time I have ever seen a "refused international boarding" question on this site where the airline was blatantly wrong. Aug 11, 2023 at 22:58
  • 2
    Can you provide a source for the German email address? I assume you copied it somewhere from the German immigration service website but provided that website would be useful.
    – quarague
    Aug 12, 2023 at 10:38
  • 2
    ^ it’s astonishing and unbelievable how cocky and misinformed some of the users there are - bashing OP when they themselves don’t have any clue about the law. They keep repeating that the Turkish airlines is right in this treatment and that the first port of entry has to be the one issuing the visa. Lol how can so many together be so obtuse? Is that deliberate?
    – ABGR
    Aug 20, 2023 at 20:15

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