On November 28th, 2014, in Moscow, the airport Domodedovo, I had my valid ticket to the U.S. going through Moscow-Frankfurt => Frankfurt-Toronto => Toronto-Minneapolis, MN. I hold a F-1 U.S. visa, and am a citizen of Tajikistan. When I came to the check-in counter, handed my passport to the representatives to print me my boarding pass and check my luggage in, they told me I needed a transit visa transiting through Canada, not going through Germany, therefore they did not check me in nor gave me my boarding pass. I checked Canadian embassy whether I needed a transit visa it says YES. below is the snapshot:

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Then I tried calling the Canadian consulate in Moscow but there wasn't anyone assisting visa questions. I tried calling the ticketing agency I purchased the ticket from but they weren't any helpful in rebooking different tickets using the same airline before my departure time. At the end I was forced to buy new tickets to fly to the U.S. My questions or was my ticketing agency supposed totl inform me via email to get a transit visa? Was it a legit reason for the representative at a check-in counter in Moscow not allowing me to use my ticket? Would I have a good reason to claim a report for some kind of refund saying the agency didn't inform me I needed a transit visa? Or is it always up to the travelers to know they need it?

Thanks! I'm just a full-time student and spending extra $650 is just too much for just not knowing about this Canadian transit visa.

  • 9
    possible duplicate of Do airlines have to check the visa status before selling a ticket?
    – neo
    Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 20:00
  • @neo i purchased my ticket on the ticketing agency vs. people on the link you provided purchased through the airline directly. Makes a difference! Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 20:05
  • 1
    Similarly to the US, Canada does not have airside transit in airports. It should be possible to find a flight which goes from the Schengen area directly to the US, avoiding this problem. Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 22:39
  • It should be added to the answer below that it is however the responsibility of the ticketing agency to assist in changing your flight reservation prior to departure (unless you had a non-changable fare, in which case they cannot do anything). According to the question text, they failed here.
    – DCTLib
    Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 9:09
  • I just experienced the same thing. Did you manage to get some form of refund in the end?
    – user46918
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 15:06

1 Answer 1


In general, it is the passenger's responsibility to ensure that they obtain any required visa(s) before commencing travel. The airline will check the passenger's passport to see whether they have the required visa(s), but it is still the passenger's responsibility to get them. (The airline checks because they are responsible for returning you to your point of origin if you arrive somewhere without a required visa.)

The check-in representative did what they were required and refused you boarding. Your ticket agent probably said something like "visas are the responsibility of the passenger". However, the ticket agent should have made this very clear to you because of your requirement for a Canadian transit visa.

  • You're absolutely right about the ticking agency just mentioning about the visa. It says on the web site that all the travelers are responsible about collecting their now required documents before traveling. When I just talked to the representative at the Air Canada, she told me that the agency should send me an email about me getting the visa. I'm just curious if my complaint case will be strong enough to get some percent refund of my "no show" ticket? Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 19:32
  • 1
    @user2486873: Unfortunately, I would guess probably not. You would have the "conditions of carriage" on your ticket. I would be surprised if the airline would give you even a partial refund. Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 19:35
  • 8
    The airline has zero responsibility here. The travel agency should have warned you that you need a visa, but odds are very high that the ticket conditions say that you are responsible for your own visas. So unfortunately there is mostly likely nothing you can do. Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 21:39
  • 1
    The travel agency, assuming you only used it to book the tickets, technically has no responsibility here, either. They should have informed you about the transits, but since a flight ticket is required to get a visa (in most cases), they issue the tickets first. Unfortunately I too agree with the others that you won't be able to get a refund.
    – AKS
    Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 22:57
  • 1
    If there is such a thing as Yelp for Moscow travel agencies, I suggest linking to this post from there. Their performance was unprofessional, but that is not the same thing as their owing you a refund. Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 8:56

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