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I bought an EasyJet holiday for my Ukrainian girlfriend (Ukrainian passport with British Residence Permit) and myself from 5-11 January, 2024 to Agadir, Morocco. She was allowed to board the flight EasyJet flight at Gatwick airport, without a Moroccan visa. She was refused entry to Morocco and returned to the UK on the same return flight. I had to make my own separate arrangements over the next 48 hours to return to the UK. EasyJet denies any responsibility for allowing her to board the flight at check in, or at the departure gate at Gatwick airport. They say that it was her responsibility to get a Moroccan visa. They refuse to pay any compensation. Her travel insurance does not cover her for this eventuality. We would have accepted refusal at Gatwick. It would have halved our costs to return to the UK. Who is responsible? Do we have any to way to claim compensation?

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    Who is responsible? You/your girlfriend. Did you check if your girlfriend needed a visa for Morocco before you bought the holiday / boarded the flight?
    – Traveller
    Mar 12 at 10:46
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    Even if they were to reject her boarding they would not compensate her for that flight she was unable to take.
    – alamar
    Mar 12 at 12:36
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    @gerrit I don't believe that she did. She would not be able to register for it anyway in normal fashion. It is usually a responsibility of an airline to haul back all inadmissible travellers. Then they can in turn sue for damages.
    – alamar
    Mar 13 at 10:02
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    @gerrit in this case I believe OP's issue is that OP (not their girlfriend) had to pay for a new ticket to return shortly.
    – jcaron
    Mar 13 at 11:03
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    @jcaron OP could have continued and explore Morocco on their own. It's their personal choice to prefer to return to the girlfriend sooner.
    – gerrit
    Mar 13 at 12:46

3 Answers 3

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It's always the duty of the passenger to ensure they have the correct documentation to enter their destination. The visa check is to protect them, not you. They may have been fined by Morocco for bringing an ineligible passenger, but that's not something that concerns you. I do not believe you have any recourse. From easyJet's terms and conditions:

11.10 You are solely responsible for checking and complying with all Applicable Laws and document requirements (including entry and exit visas or permits, health, medical and other documents) of any countries you are flying to, from or through. You are also responsible for checking government foreign travel advice which may affect your trip.

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    Actually, if they have been fined by Morocco, many airlines have provisions in their T&Cs to recoup those fines from the passenger. It does not seem to be the case of Easyjet though (surprisingly?).
    – jcaron
    Mar 12 at 12:39
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    @jcaron I understand that there was some restriction on passing on fines to customers, because it undermines the point of the fine. Not sure on the jurisdiction though.
    – MJeffryes
    Mar 13 at 7:26
  • That does make sense, but I believe I've seen such terms in T&Cs of other airlines recently. Not aware of any case where they actually tried to reclaim them from the passenger, though.
    – jcaron
    Mar 13 at 11:01
  • @MJeffryes It is likely depending on the jurisdiction, but e.g. German courts have ruled in favour of Lufthansa when they reclaim such fines from the passenger. The reasoning is that the T&Cs require from the passenger to ensure that he is allowed to enter the destination country and since Lufthansa is fined because the passenger is violating an in itself valid and binding contract term, Lufthansa is entitled to claim recovery of damages from the passenger. Mar 13 at 12:16
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo sure, but the issue is for the country imposing the fine: if the fine ends up on the passenger there is no disincentive for the airline to keep delivering ineligible passengers to the country. Anyway, I'm struggling to find any more information about this at the moment.
    – MJeffryes
    Mar 13 at 16:09
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Who is responsible?

It is always the responsibility of the traveller to ensure that they have the required documents to enter another country.

Transport firms can often be fined, depending on the circumstances, if a traveller is refused entry.

Transport firms are also responsible for ensuring that the traveller can be returned (at least) to the point of origin.

The transport firms can require that the traveller refunds all entailed costs.

Her travel insurance does not cover her for this eventuality.

Travel insurance is an insurance product for covering unforeseen losses incurred while travelling, either internationally or domestically.

Since Ukraine is not listed in the List of countries whose citizens are exempted from entry visa into Morocco | Consular services a visa should have been obtained before booking the flight.

This would, therefore, not be considered a unforeseen loss by the insurance company.

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They refuse to pay any compensation

Compensation would only be owed if the passenger had the correct documentation but ended up being denied boarding due to that documentation

As MJeffryes states, you very likely do not have a recourse

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