Flight Code: VS
Web site Address: http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/
Overall Rating:
0.70 / 5 based on 1 Reviews

United Kingdom

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Subject: Refused to board the flight even though had just 1.5hrs of stopover time at London (LHR) and travelling from JFK to india to get H4 visa stamped
Name: Virgin Atlantic Aircraft: VS26
Class: Economy Route: New York City (JFK) - London (LHR) - Delhi (DEL)
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Recommend: Timeframe: Within last week
Review: I am H1-B visa holder, working in US for the last 10+ years. My Green Card processing is currently underway, and since I am currently in waiting (in-process), I am being allowed multiple 3 year visa extensions. The latest visa extension allows me to stay in US till July 2019. Six months back, I had made a trip to my home country (India), and got the latest visa extension (I-797A), stamped on my passport. Today my family (wife & son), reached airport to take Virgin Atlantic Flight (VS26), that we had booked several months back, which has a 1hr 40mins stop at London (LHR) {JFK to LHR, brief stop, and then LHR to Delhi}. They are on dependent visa (H4 Visa), and were carrying latest I-797A, along with my I-797A and H1B Visa stamp, and they had taken appointment at US consulate in Delhi, India to appear for visa stamping interview too. Even though she had all the necessary documents, my wife was asked to show latest US visa that’s there on the passport, and despite showing her that she has I-797A too, it was deemed that she is carrying expired visa, and was denied travel to London, and on that flight. She was told that the only acceptable visas are US/UK/Canadian, and even though she is just passing through, has no intention of even coming out of the airport, and her final destination is Delhi, India, for which she has her valid Indian passport (home country), she was told that she cannot even have a stop-over in London. The only solution is to take non-stop flight. This has resulted us to miss our Virgin’s flight with no refund back (no-show basically), book a non-stop flight of today itself, at an exorbitantly price, as we have finger-printing/visa interview all lined up, and not to discount all the harassment, inconvenience we had to go through. Certain observations: - Nowhere since booking our flight in April, we were made aware that this kind of visa restriction is in place at London, UK, neither by airline, nor by our travel agent (Expedia). Don’t we have right to be told this in advance when we could have taken some remedial measure, and not at the 11th hour, when we are handing over our checked baggage (we already had our boarding passes with us), and suffer harassment, indignation, and major financial loss. - It doesn’t make sense, as the document that the airline should be checking (if they have to check) needs to be of the final destination, which in our case was Delhi, India, and for which she had all the documents. Why she needs to have UK/US visa just for her to have a stop in London? Isn’t this persecution against certain nationalities? Does it mean, that currently, no one can go via London, if they are not carrying US/UK/Canadian visa??} - Shouldn’t someone informed us in advance? Who’s that supposed to be? I went through as much as possible, all the fine print of do’s and don’ts issued by travel agency, airline, my company’s immigration attorney, but this issue was never mentioned by anyone. Someone needs to be taking ownership of this, to prevent future such cases of harassment. - I do want to first understand why this happened, who’s responsible, and what’s the recourse we have? I ended up spending ~$3.3K ($2,385 for 2 person’s non-stop flight+$899 of no-show) in this entire episode.

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