No visa, no honeymoon! Who is to blame?

Unfortunately, her husband had no visa to enter Mexico and they missed their honeymoon

When Lauren Weichmann took off on her five-day honeymoon to Mexico, she never imagined that she would be returning home later that same day. But her husband possessed no visa to enter Mexico and was denied entry at the customs window. Now Weichmann wants to know: Who is to blame for her honeymoon fiasco, and how can she get reimbursed?

Unfortunately, she isn’t going to like the answers to those questions.

No visa. No entry

Weichmann and her husband, who is Albanian, booked their honeymoon to Cancún online through Apple Vacations. As they flew to Mexico, they dreamed of the relaxing days ahead — lazing on the beach beside the crystal blue Caribbean, iced drinks in hand.

However, when they disembarked from their plane and reached passport control, they were quickly jolted into a different reality. In a letter to our advocacy team, which Weichmann titled “Trouble in Paradise,” she describes what happened next:

We went through passport control, and we handed over our documents with smiles. I gave my passport, and my husband gave his along with the work authorization card/travel card. The man kept asking my husband where his visa or green card was. We were never made aware that we would need either of those. I tried to hold back my tears.

Weichmann’s husband had no visa to enter Mexico. And he needed one. The Mexican authorities informed him that he would be returning on the same plane on which he had just arrived. He would need to fly home, apply for and receive a visa and then fly back another day.

Frontier’s responsibility

When a passenger is refused entry to a foreign country, it is the responsibility of the airline to take the unwanted visitor back. So Weichmann’s husband was separated from her and returned to Frontier Airlines to wait for his flight home.

Although Weichman was permitted entry to Mexico, she chose to go back home with her new husband. She did not qualify for the free expedited return that her husband was receiving. The Mexican authorities directed her to enter the airport and purchase her return flight. She explained:

Everyone was smiling and laughing either coming back from vacation or going there with their loved ones. My face was the only one stained with tears and puffy. They made me go all the way around to buy my ticket back to America, separate from my husband. I asked the man at the Frontier counter if I was going to make the flight. I only had 20 minutes to get through security and make it through the gate. He said only if I run and laughed at me.

Weichmann made it through security, and she and her husband were soon en route back to where they had started earlier in the day.

So who is responsible for this lost honeymoon?

Weichmann’s paper trail included the contract for her honeymoon package.  At the top of Apple Vacation’s Fair Trade Contract it reads, “When booking online, please read and accept the following terms of our Fair Trade Contract to continue with your purchase of an Apple Vacation.”

This contract is quite lengthy, but I reviewed the entire document and found the information that would answer Weichmann’s question of responsibility.

13. INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL AND DENIAL OF ENTRY: Passengers traveling to any international destination must have a valid passport and, for non-U.S. citizens valid entry documents (See ‘Things to Know Before You Go’) Apple Vacations is not responsible for any passenger who is unable to travel as a result of their failure to have the required travel documents, or is denied entry to any country or re-entry into the U.S.

Additionally, under travel tips, this contract says: “If you are not a U.S. citizen, contact the embassy of the country to which you are traveling to determine required entry documents.”

Apple Vacations makes it clear that it takes no responsibility if you arrive in a foreign land without the documents that you need.

Next, Weichmann suggested that Frontier Airlines might be responsible.

Another dead end

Frontier Airlines has a disclaimer on its website that is even more direct with the traveler:

It’s your responsibility to know what additional documentation is required for entry into any foreign country to which you are flying. So, please do your homework! For travel documentation entry requirements, including visa requirements for other countries, please contact that country’s consulate for information.

Additionally, the contract of carriage warns:

A passenger shall indemnify Frontier from any loss, damage, or expense suffered or incurred by Frontier by reason of the passenger’s failure to possess any required travel documents or other failure to comply with the provisions of this section, including the applicable fare if Frontier is required to transport the passenger home from a country. Frontier is not liable to a passenger for loss or expense due to the passenger’s failure to comply with this provision.

So, if Frontier should receive any fine for transporting a passenger to a foreign country who does not possess the required entry documents, it will hold the passenger responsible for that fine.

Yikes!

It seems that, while Frontier did check that Weichmann’s husband had a valid passport, the representative was as unaware as he was of his need for a visa to enter Mexico.

Airline fines

But, can an airline be fined for allowing a passenger to fly internationally without all the proper documents?

The answer is yes.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), globally, airlines are fined an average of $3,500 per passenger in these situations.

IATA does point out; however, that a passenger’s visa status is often hard for an airline to verify.

Frontier’s policy may seem a little harsh, but if we take a quick look at the contract of carriage of some of the other major airlines, Frontier is not alone in their stance on this subject.

For instance, United Airlines contract of carriage  “Rule 19 Travel Documents” reads:

Each passenger desiring transportation across any international boundary is responsible for obtaining and presenting all necessary travel documents.

It goes on to say that a passenger will be liable if United suffers a loss, damage or expense of any kind because of a passenger’s failure to produce valid travel documents.

Both the American Airlines and the United Airlines sites provide passengers with a helpful online tool provided by the IATA. Here, a passenger can input their specific travel information. Instantly, personalized passport, visa, and health requirements will be provided to the traveler for their intended destination.

How to avoid border rejection

A great website to visit before your next international trip is the U.S. Department of State.

Here you will find a plethora of information about any country you are planning to visit; along with entry requirements for a U.S. citizen. If you are not a U.S. citizen and need specific information about your entry requirements, the links to the consular office of each country are given as well. In Weichmann’s case, a visit to this site would have led her to the Mexican consulate. She would have discovered that her husband was in need of a visa to travel on their honeymoon.

We certainly sympathize with Weichmann, but we can’t recoup any of her lost money. Unfortunately, this is an expensive lesson for the newlyweds to learn. Hopefully telling their story can help other unaware travelers, so they don’t end up with “Trouble in Paradise.”

Who do you think is responsible for this lost honeymoon?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Underwritten by

Underwritten by AirHelp

AirHelp is the world’s leading flight delays compensation company, helping passengers apply for compensation following a delayed or canceled flight or when boarding has been denied. It is AirHelp’s mission to fight for passenger rights by holding airlines accountable for flights disruptions that are out of passengers’ control. AirHelp has already helped 5 million people, taking the stress out of applying for compensation and making it as hassle-free as possible for travelers around the world.

Underwritten by Allianz Travel Insurance

The Allianz Travel Insurance company has built its reputation on partnering with agents all around the world to provide comprehensive travel insurance for their clients. Contact Allianz Travel Insurance for a comprehensive list of coverage.

Underwritten by Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, and recognized as the premier provider of insurance for successful individuals and families in the U.S. and selected international markets, offering coverage for high-value automobile, homeowners, recreational marine/aviation, valuables and umbrella liability coverage. As an underwriting company, Chubb assesses, assumes and manages risk with insight and discipline, and combines the precision of craftsmanship with decades of experience to conceive, craft and deliver the best insurance coverage and services to individuals, families and business of all size.

Underwritten by Enterprise

A family-owned, world-class portfolio of brands. A global network that spans across more than 85 countries. Some 97,000 dedicated team members sharing common values. And more than 1.9 million vehicles taking our customers wherever they need to go.

Underwritten by Fareportal

Fareportal’s portfolio of brands, which include  CheapOair and  OneTravel, are dedicated to helping customers enjoy their trip. Whether you want to call, click, or use one of our travel apps, one thing is clear: We make it easy to take it easy.

Underwritten by Insuremyrentalcar.com

An independent provider of low cost CDW/LDW insurance for use with rental cars. Up to $100,000 cover with no deductible. Policies available on a per day, per trip or per year basis. Also works with overseas rentals. Try  Insuremyrentalcar.comnow.

Underwritten by InsureMyTrip

It’s simple. InsureMyTrip finds you the right travel insurance plan, every time. InsureMyTrip is the authority on travel insurance. Rated A+ for travel insurance by the Better Business Bureau. All travelers that purchase a policy through  InsureMyTrip have access to Anytime Advocates® for claims assistance.

Underwritten by Mediacom Communications

The nation’s fifth-largest cable operator, serving the smaller cities and towns in the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States. We are a high-performance broadband, entertainment, and communications company that brings the power of modern technology and quality customer experience to life inside the connected home by combining ultra-fast gigabit speeds with personalized local and over-the-top entertainment choices that fit your lifestyle. Details at  Mediacomcable.com.

Underwritten by SCOTTeVEST

An innovative apparel brand for people who want easy access to everything they need. For those who live for every second, SCOTTeVEST lets you maximize your life. Ditch the carry-on bag and pick up a  SCOTTeVEST.

Underwritten by Virtuoso

The leading global network for luxury and experiential travel. This invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency locations with 17,500 advisors in over 45 countries, and holds preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s finest travel companies. Virtuoso advisors collaborate with their clients to create personalized itineraries featuring exclusive perks, while also providing advice, access, advocacy, and accountability. For more information, visit  Virtuoso.com.

Underwritten by VisitorsCoverage

As a company that is constantly striving to simplify travel insurance, VisitorsCoverage, is on a mission to help travelers make the better decisions about purchasing travel insurance, quickly. VisitorsCoverage has helped millions of travelers globally to buy the suitable travel insurance and explore the world with confidence. Get insurance for your next trip at  VisitorsCoverage. Lowest Price Guaranteed.

Underwritten by MedjetAssist

Medjet is the premier global air-medical transport, travel security and crisis response membership program for travelers. With a MedjetAssist membership, if you become hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, we will get you from that unfamiliar hospital all the way home to the hospital you trust. All you ever pay is your membership fee. MedjetHorizon members add 24/7 personal security and crisis response benefits. Elliott.org readers enjoy discounted rates. Travel safer with  MedjetAssist.

Underwritten by Southwest Airlines

The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.

Underwritten by Sungard Availability Services

Leveraging more than 35 years of experience, Sungard AS designs, builds and runs critical IT services that help businesses manage complex IT, adapt quickly and build resiliency and availability. A leading provider of critical production and recovery services, Sungard AS partners with customers across the globe, delivering resilient IT systems, infrastructure and recovery services tailored to achieving desired business outcomes.

Underwritten by TravelInsurance.com

TravelInsurance.com makes it fast and easy to compare and buy travel insurance online from top rated providers. Our unbiased comparison engine allows travelers to read reviews, compare pricing and benefits and buy the right policy with a price guarantee, every time. Compare and buy travel insurance now at  TravelInsurance.com.

Underwritten by Squaremouth

Squaremouth helps travelers easily and instantly compare travel insurance policies from all major providers. Only companies that meet the strict requirements of Squaremouth’s Zero Complaint Guarantee are available on the website. Compare policies on  Squaremouth.com to save over 70 percent on your next purchase.

Underwritten by Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group is transforming travel through its progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Travel Leaders Group assists millions of travelers through its leisure, business and network travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands including All Aboard Travel, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, Corporate Travel Services, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International, SinglesCruise.com, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel Group, and its merger with ALTOUR. With more than 7,000 agency locations and 52,000 travel advisors, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest retail travel agency companies.

Underwritten by Travelers United

If you’ve been mistreated by the airlines, Travelers United is your voice in Washington. Join the #1 travel advocacy organization working with Congress to improve and protect travelers. Plus, get $400 of annual benefits you can use for travel for only $29/year. Add your voice to ours. Make travel better.  Join today.

%d bloggers like this:
This free newsletter will save you from scams.