Legal Question in Aviation Law in California

Recently I purchased an air ticket to Brittan from a travel agent. When I presented myself at the check in counter, I was told that I need a visa to enter Brittan and wasn’t allowed onto the flight. Being a South African Citizen I was totally taken aback. Unbeknown to me, the visa regulations changed in the early part of last year. Prior to this South Africans didn’t need a visa to visit Brittan.

The travel agent wants to charge me the maximum cancellation fee. However, I believe that it is up to the agent to ensure that a traveler has the necessary travel documents prior to issuing a ticket. Therefore my question is; “who should carry the loss, the agent or I”.

Thanking you,

Kind Regard,

Dennis McCann.

Asked on 1/29/10, 4:01 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Michael Stone Law Offices of Michael B. Stone Toll Free 1-855-USE-MIKE

Your loss. In the contract of carriage, which you can get from the airline's website, it says that passengers are responsible for compliance with travel documentation requirements.

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Answered on 2/03/10, 11:33 am
Bryan C. Becker Your Lawyer for Life.

If you are dealing with an independent travel agent and he/she knew of your citizenship yet failed to advise you, or advised you incorrectly, I believe you would at minimum have cause to refuse to pay the cancellation fee to the travel agent.


Bryan Becker

Becker Attorneys

[email protected]


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Answered on 2/04/10, 10:08 am

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