10

Few days back I did a Europe tour from India. As stated by many (I haven't confirmed official documents), I can apply for a visa from the country which is either my first port of entry in this case Paris or the longest stay which in this case was Italy.

Now following is what happened with me.

  • My flight was New Delhi to Paris via Istanbul with Turkish Airlines
  • I Traveled from New Delhi to Istanbul (no problem here).
  • When I was boarding to flight Istanbul to Paris, zhe airlines officials (the ones who checks the boarding pass before boarding the flight) told me that I could not board the flight because my visa was issued by Italy and I need to go to Italy First. They were denying the longest stay option of the visa.
  • Moreover NONE of the staff of Istanbul airport were able to understand English so I had to go to a lot of problems before I managed to get tickets to Venice.
  • I somehow managed to fly to Venice from Istanbul after almost 24 hours of struggle at Istanbul airport (without food and water).

So, my question is do the airlines staff have a right to deny flight boarding in this case?

11

The airline was incorrect to deny boarding. In fact, there is no "longest stay" option. The rules do not give you a choice. Rather, the rule specifies that you must get your visa from the country of longest stay if there is a country of longest stay. The "or country of first entry" part of the rule comes into play only if there is no obvious country of longest stay.

Since your itinerary actually required you under Schengen rules to have a visa from Italy, the airline was certainly incorrect to deny boarding.

You might want to post another question to ask what rights you have as a passenger on an EU-bound flight.

Here is the document that you would have found had you tried to apply for a visa from France:

http://www.ambafrance-in.org/-General-Presentaion-on-Schengen,1956-

On page two, you will find the answer to the question "WHICH MEMBER STATE IS COMPETENT FOR EXAMINING AND DECIDING ON MY VISA APPLICATION?" I quote:

The Member State competent for examining and deciding on an application for a uniform visa shall be:

(a) the Member State whose territory constitutes the sole destination of the visit(s).

(b) if the visit includes more than one destination, the Member State whose territory constitutes the main destination of the visit(s) in terms of the length or purpose of stay.

(c) if no main destination can be determined, the Member State whose external border the applicant intends to cross first in order to enter the territory of the Member States.

Note that option (c) applies only "if no main destination can be determined."

  • can you reference official documents to support that? as I've planned to sue Turkish airlines for that. – Suraj Bhawal May 20 '15 at 18:14
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    @SurajBhawal That's by Article 5 of EC Regulation 810/2009 (Visa Code) – neo May 20 '15 at 18:22
  • @SurajBhawal in addition to neo's legal reference, I have edited my answer to quote from a document that is available on the website of the French consulate in India, which you might have consulted if you had considered applying for a visa from France. – phoog May 20 '15 at 18:27

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