I'm a US citizen. I have three friends from Honduras and Nicaragua. The four of us have decided to take a vacation in Egypt. I have offered to pay their expenses.
Almost all flights from Honduras to Egypt pass through the US, so my friends need to apply for a C-1 transit visa. From what I've read on travel.state.gov and elsewhere, I have to buy the plane tickets before they can apply for the visa. Discount tickets are non-refundable. So if I spend $1,500 a person on plane tickets and my friends are denied transit visas, I'm out $4,500.
The only reason I can think for my friends being denied a visa is for financial reasons. Two of them only make about $5,000 a year and one is currently unemployed. BTW, $5,000 a year is middle class in Honduras. People who make such little money are often turned down for tourists visas. Might they be turned down for transit visas as well?
I see no reason someone should be denied transit due to poor finances. Once they've bought their ticket, the only cost they have to cover is lunch at an airport. I'm asking here to see if anyone has experienced this and can offer any advice.