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I was booked on a flight for Chicago from Bangalore (India), I have a B1 visa. During check-in at the airport counter (for air India) they guy (who generates the boarding pass) said he gets an error message that says 'DO NOT BOARD - CONTACT US TSA/CBP' can anyone please tell why this is...

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    Did the checkin staff ring the US authorities as indicated? What did they say? – Gagravarr Sep 22 '15 at 9:45
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    No they didn't they simply said its not an error from them so they cannot do anything about it – Saud Khan Sep 22 '15 at 10:42
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    Most airlines require you to electronically submit passport number, date of birth, citizenship and other information. This is then shared with (inter alia) the TSA if you are visiting the US. – abligh Sep 23 '15 at 6:34
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    I didn't do that... Does this happen during checkin? I did give my passport, they checked the validity and the visa – Saud Khan Sep 23 '15 at 6:37
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    No. You must normally do it 48 hrs before checkin. – abligh Sep 23 '15 at 7:02
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The CBP/TSA have recommendations from both their own and external parties about certain individuals for whatever reasons - innocuous, cautionary or other, indicating that their recommendation is that said individual not be allowed to board a flight.

For example, the CDC (Center for Disease Control):

CDC provides “Do Not Board” recommendations to CBP and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regarding individuals who may be infected with a highly contagious disease, present a threat to public health, and should be prevented from traveling to the United States via commercial aircraft. TSA is performing vetting of all airline passengers coming to, departing from or flying within the U.S. to identify matches to the “Do Not Board” list and flag matched individuals’ records in the Secure Flight system to prevent the issuance of a boarding pass.

So at this point, you do what the note tells you - you (hopefully with the ground staff) contact the TSA/CBP, determine the reason, and see if there's anything you can do to get around it. For example, the original "No Fly List" generated a lot of false positives, especially if you say, had the same name as a suspicious person. If you were erroneously put on the list, you can appeal it, but it can be a lengthy process.

  • But they've issued a visa (B1/B2) but thanx @mark – Saud Khan Sep 22 '15 at 10:54
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    @SaudKhan a visa does NOT mean you WILL be granted entry. It just gives you permission to turn up and request it (details). Also having a visa doesn't always mean you can board a flight - eg, you could turn up with a visa and ... drugs or a bomb (being ridiculous but hopefully explains the point) – Mark Mayo Sep 22 '15 at 10:57
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    There are USA citizens on the No Fly list, so the visa is irrelevant. More likely, the OP has a common name similar to a name someone muttered under torture at Guantanamo. (The False Positive rate appears to be appalling.) – Andrew Lazarus Sep 22 '15 at 21:47
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    @SaudKhan The no-fly list is a list of people who are not allowed to board airplanes. This is not the same as being denied entry into the country. People on the no-fly list are also unable to fly domestically within the United States. – phoog Sep 22 '15 at 23:20
  • I know what the TSA is, but what is a "CBP"? Shouldn't we clear that up or am I the only one ignorant of it? ... Ah OK I found it's "Customs and Border Protection". – hippietrail Sep 22 '16 at 7:55
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I am pretty sure the message 'DO NOT BOARD - CONTACT US TSA/CBP' means 'DO NOT BOARD - CONTACT US TSA/CBP.'

It might be an immigration issue, and they were not willing to let you enter into the US anymore, despite your B1 visa. Has your life situation changed lately?

Or it can be a safety issue, and they thought that for whatever reason you are a risk for air transportation. That is, your name is in the no fly list.

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    It's worth mentioning that the No Fly List is not the same as the Do Not Board list. The two lists serve entirely different purposes. – Thebluefish Sep 23 '15 at 1:13
  • @Thebluefish: yes, it can be that authorities suspect him to be sick (more like evola than the flu) and put him on the do not board list. Don't know how common this is though. – Quora Feans Sep 27 '15 at 23:14
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To get a US visa, one must establish a non-immigrant intent which is a strenuous task itself.. A visa does allows a person to enter the United States and THEN ask permission to an immigration officer to be admitted into the US territory(As you've said). The problem here is that this individual is not even allowed to travel. It also seems like that he is refused boarding because he's on a no fly list. It's most likely a false positive case, otherwise, the embassy would not have issued the visa. If I was you, then I would contact the consulate to clear off this matter.

Also, try to contact the CBP or email them at this address to see if they reply.

  • Thank you Raj, I already called the embassy in Chennai and asked me to send an email with all the details, I did that, and am waiting for their reply. I will call again tomorrow. And I'll also try sending an email to the address you have given. – Saud Khan Sep 22 '15 at 14:27
  • @SaudKhan keep us updated on what happens, curious! (i have a b1 myself hence the curiosity) – Sindhu S Sep 26 '15 at 14:16
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    After a while I got a reply from the embassy asking me to post my concern on www.dhs.gov apparently, there is a TRIP ( Traveler Redress Inquiry Program) section dhs.gov/dhs-trip that has a form - trip.dhs.gov . I have filled the form and sent the relevant documents, I got a reply from dhs that they have received the enquiry and the documents.... And I'll have to wait... – Saud Khan Nov 3 '15 at 14:45
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    Sorry for updating so late , it's been a while since I got a letter from DHS saying that I'm free to travel now but cannot disclose the reason as to why this happened. – Saud Khan Jan 23 '16 at 15:09
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    @SaudKhan In other words, they had you mistaken for a terrorist. If the problem persists apply for a redress number: trip.dhs.gov – Loren Pechtel Sep 22 '16 at 2:37

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