My friend who is an Indian citizen is unable to check in online in the KLM airlines website. She gets an error similar to somthing like this:

Unfortunately, it is not possible to check in because we have not yet received confirmation that your ESTA application was approved. Residents of countries under the Visa Waiver Programme need to have ESTA travel authorization for travel to or via the United States

Why would she require an ESTA to travel? She has a valid B1/B2 visa and this is her second trip to the United States.

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    It is likely an error in the system, or perhaps in the wording of the error message. If the system doesn't support visa-bearing travelers, she'll just have to check in in person. (As an Indian citizen, she's not even eligible for ESTA, much less required to have one.) – phoog Dec 15 '16 at 7:30
  • Ok. But there is no need to panic right? – DarthVader Dec 15 '16 at 7:31
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    @Müller No, she can check in at the airport as usual. If the staff are such noobs that they require an ESTA or even a printed-out confirmation of it (even though Indians cannot even get an ESTA), she has to ask to speak to the supervisor – Crazydre Dec 15 '16 at 7:33
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    @Müller I know the feeling. She might be able to check in at a kiosk though, and they usually open earlier than the manual check-in – Crazydre Dec 15 '16 at 7:42
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    No worries there. I was unable to check in online for eight years and dozens of trips to the USA. Always checked in at the airport, although usually it took a supervisor, the situation just broke the normal flows. They couldn't figure this situation out: B1/B2 visa despite ESTA eligible and then later a NEXUS card on top of this mess. – chx Dec 15 '16 at 7:58

Simply put, the ones who designed the check-in system are noobs, which is not limited to KLM's Website.

I had something similar happen to me when trying to check in on a Delta flight JFK-ZRH. It asked me when I would return to Sweden, and when I marked that I wouldn't, I got a message saying I have to check in at the airport.

So, unfortunately your friend will only be able to check in at the airport. She should definitely send a complaint message to KLM though - I sent one to Delta and they acknowledged the issue.

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