Let me begin with the question, how does one deal with a rogue immigration agent in a foreign country? By rogue I mean one who is ignorant of the immigration requirements or one who willfully disregards it.
Here's the longer version.
I'm reproducing a friends post from Facebook that I saw earlier today -
This article is to bring to notice my horrific traveling experience with the #airastana airlines which is a nightmare for any traveller and the hostile attitude of the airlines crew. Little did we know while booking the tickets that apart from cheaper rates #airastana provided cheapest and worst customer services as well. Me along with my friend had booked a flight from AMSTERDAM to DELHI on 10th July 2016 through the official website of the airlines. The airlines gave us a connecting flight through one of their local airports. To our horror, on our landing at their airport in Kazakhastan, we were told that there is no transfer section in the airport and we needed a visa to take our next flight to New Delhi, which of we did not have. On calling for the airlines staff for help, they straight away told us that it is passenger's fault. One crew even said to the extent that it is your fault that you chose to travel with #airastana . Our nightmare did not end there, we were told that we will be deported back to Amsterdam and for the flight of 5 hours, we were charged 1044 dollars per person. The flight was next morning and night we had to spend in their customs official's barracks. There was no wifi in airport and no one could speak english at the airport. Despite repeated requests no airline official turned up for help. Of course we missed our flights to India from Kazakatan for which no compensation was made though we had boarding passes for the flight. We managed to reach Amsterdam airport and had to book fresh flights for India at almost twice the price for the same day as our Schengyen Visa was expiring on the same day. Also on doing some google research, we found out that there had been number of cases earlier as well in which passengers had faced the same issue.
Why didn't the airlines make any mention in the booking confirmation that a transit visa will be required for the flight.?
Why does the airline have international flights through an airport which does not have any transfers section?
Based on my perusing this website, I immediately realized that my friend hadn't done their due diligence and booked the cheapest flight without ascertaining the necessary visa requirements(which was indeed the case) and told him how to use Timatic.
But when I keyed in the itinerary into Timatic, it does turn out that he didn't need a transit visa as his flight out was within 24 hours.
Kazakhstan - Transit Visa
Transiting without a visa is possible for: Holders of onward tickets for a max. transit time of 24 hours.
I used United's Portal, but I suspect that the results will be the same regardless. If someone wants to check for themselves, the Destination is India, the Departure is from the Netherlands and there is a connection in Kazakhstan. The traveller holds an ordinary Indian passport and doesn't have a return ticket out of India.
Caravanistan's article on this also has a paragraph in the end which says this about Khazak transit visa on arrival -
However, we learn from our comments section that things are not quite that simple, and that at least in Almaty, a grumpy immigration officer might keep you from seeing the city. You are warned.
So my question is how should one handle situations like these, when they are in the right and the immigration official either doesn't know the rules or chooses to ignore them.