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Sue for not being allowed to board a plane?

Atlanta, GA |

Traveling with my Girlfriend/Fiancee to China. She is a Chinese national. When we attempted to board the plane, she was told that she didn't have a valid visa for Canada, where we had to change planes. However, she qualified for the "travel without visa" program and had a the of paperwork to prove this. The visa in her passport was expired, but was valid. With the extra documents she had. When we attempted to show the attendant this, he refused to look at it. Then he said "if you bought a ticket from me, I'd let you board" when I asked him why that was different he turned and walked away and refused to talk. We went to another airline and their lawyer verified she WAS allowed to board. We missed a day of vacation and paid extra for another flight. Can we recoup our costs?

Attorney Answers 1


  1. It is extremely unlikely that you have any sort of actionable claim against the airline, although there does appear to have been some sort of mixup regarding the ticket. That being said, I would recommend you write a letter to the airline explaining in detail what happened, and requesting the airline either cover the out-of-pocket losses or at least comp a future flight. From what you describe, the damages don't sound very high, probably less than $1000, and a lawsuit for such a small sum (relatively speaking) is almost always the wrong way to go. Good luck!