1. Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
    Dismiss Notice
  2. If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
    Dismiss Notice

Indian Eagle and other issues

Discussion in 'Travel agencies' started by Ashley Ijiuboucha Daimai, Mar 17, 2017.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Ashley Ijiuboucha Daimai

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    4
    I booked flights to India through Indian Eagle travel company for my husband, my daughter, and myself for travel in December 2016 over Christmas. I double checked with the person I purchased the tickets from that the only thing we needed in order to travel were our passports. I was told that was correct. We checked in through United Airlines in San Antonio on 12/17/16, and they didn't check our travel documents. This was supposed to be my first time leaving the country ever, and I have since learned that they were supposed to check all documents before letting us board. The three of us flew to Chicago O'Hare where we had a 12 hour layover. When Turkish Airlines opened their counter at about 5pm, the three of us went up to check in. It was then that I was told my daughter and I would not be able to continue our flight due to not having Visas. My husband has an Indian passport, so he had all necessary travel documents. I immediately called Indian Eagle to ask them to move the travel dates back by 2 days to allow me to get Visas. They refused to move the dates. I then asked for a refund, but they also refused. They claim that since we took the first leg of the trip from San Antonio to Chicago, that they could no longer touch our reservation. I told them that they failed to let me know about needing Visas, and they claimed that no one would have told me that. I questioned them about that again, and they changed their story to say that a follow up email after booking would have told me we needed a Visa. I have all emails from them, and this is not true. I asked Turkish Airlines to help me move the reservation in order to obtain Visas, but they told me they were unable to change the reservation since we didn't buy through them directly. I have AIG travel insurance, but they have denied the claim because it doesn't fall under their requirements to reimburse. They told me I should have purchased the "cancel for any reason" extension. I told them that it wasn't offered to me, and they informed me that many travel companies won't automatically offer it, so you have to ask. I don't know how I was supposed to know that! My husband went ahead and traveled to India while my daughter and I stayed with relatives that thankfully live by Chicago. I then had to spend almost $1,000 to get my daughter and myself back to San Antonio.
     
    #1
  2. Realitoes

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,003
    Likes Received:
    1,219
    Based on you stating you had to check in with Turkish Airlines, is sounds like you were on separate tickets. If so, then United would only believe you were going to ORD and have no reason to check your documentation.

    Normally airlines, travel agencies and booking sites will not accept responsibility for advising on proper documentation. These requirements can vary greatly depending on individual circumstances, therefore, it is an individual's responsibility to check with the various countries embassies on the required documentation they will need to enter or transit. This is what is posted on Indian Eagle's website:

    Foreign Entry Requirements
    You should make sure that you have valid travel documents including passport and visa, in accordance with foreign entry requirements. You should be having the type of visa or visas (business, tourist, transit, and Schengen) required for overseas or international travel. We neither have specific knowledge of foreign entry requirements and travel documents nor any obligation to provide information about the same. It is advisable that you check and review all preventions, warnings and advisories issued by the governments of international destinations before booking your travel.

    Travel Documents

    We request you to check what travel documents are required for your traveling to an international destination, with the relevant embassy. You should approach the relevant embassy or consulate to seek the correct information about passport and visa before booking your travel or making departure. We are not liable if you are denied boarding at the origin airport or entry to the destination airport for your inability to carry or provide correct and valid travel documents including passport and visa that the operating airline or the destination country or the layover country (s) in case of a transit flight requires. You may need a specific visa to transit through certain countries even if you do not get down the aircraft or go out of connecting airports.

    Health
    Wish I had better news for you.
     
    #2
    jsn55 and John Galbraith like this.
  3. Ashley Ijiuboucha Daimai

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    4
    I understand that it is my fault about the Visas. Indian Eagle should have advised me about what this statement that you quoted says instead of telling me I was correct and then telling me the requirements would have been sent via email. It was my first time to ever leave the country, and I thought I had it all set. My biggest issue is that not a single person/company would move the tickets in order for me to get the documentation.
     
    #3
  4. Realitoes

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,003
    Likes Received:
    1,219
    It would depend on the fare rules whether they could change the tickets to another date. The problem with purchasing these cheap tickets from sites like Indian Eagle is that they can be highly restrictive and it is quite possible they may not allow for changes. Can you post the fare rules for the tickets you purchased? That will help to determine what can or could have been done with your tickets.
     
    #4
  5. Ashley Ijiuboucha Daimai

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    4
    I don't know where to find that information.
     
    #5
  6. JVillegirl541

    Staff Member Advocate

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2014
    Messages:
    3,120
    Likes Received:
    2,974
    You might start with the ticket confirmation that was mailed to you when you purchased these tickets. Did you do this online or over the phone?
     
    #6
    jsn55 likes this.
  7. Kahhss

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2016
    Messages:
    374
    Likes Received:
    952
    Ashley, airlines always make the passenger responsible for having the correct paperwork. There are too many variables, too many countries, for them to advise any given passenger on the travel requirements to a particular place. As witnessed in your case, one of your party didn't require any additional documentation while you and your daughter did. Nor will they generally take any responsibility for any (mis)information provided by their employees. Nor will most airlines waive change fees when a passenger shows up and does not qualify for travel to their destination. Again, they believe it is the customer's responsibility and do not generally bend the rules for this reason.

    This isn't United's fault. This isn't Turkish Air's fault. This isn't AIG's fault. Nor is it their responsibility to set things right. It would be nice if they did, but you can't blame them when they don't. In this case the omission is yours (for not looking this up yourself & not knowing what you were purchasing) and Indian Eagle's (for giving you incorrect information). If there's any claim to be had, it's through Indian Eagle. Unfortunately, using an OTA - and perhaps even more so with a smaller one like Indian Eagle - often results in an uphill battle.

    However...if you choose to proceed here's how I'd to do it:

    If the documentation they sent to you is incorrect, I think this becomes your ace in the hole to get some compensation. Unless you have a recording of your call with them, what transpired on the phone is a he said/she said situation that won't generally work in your favor. But if you have an email that contains incorrect information, you've got some hard proof to work with. That's where I'd start.

    I'd follow the normal customer care route as described elsewhere on this website, keeping my email short and attaching the proof that they misinformed you. If they don't respond (or if you don't like the response), I'd escalate with management one at a time working my way up the ladder. I don't think we have contacts for Indian Eagle but perhaps they can be found online or one of the other advocates can assist you there. At some point you hope to hit someone who understands they misinformed you and provides you compensation to at least cover your costs.

    Furthermore, if the documentation they sent you truly is incorrect you may have a decent case in small claims court. This is where you can really see that Indian Eagle may not be an *ahem* exceptionally professional outfit. You can sue them in small claims via their terms and conditions which is really unusual. http://www.indianeagle.com/legal/terms-and-conditions/
    Per those same terms and conditions: "You should make sure that you have valid travel documents including passport and visa, in accordance with foreign entry requirements. You should be having the type of visa or visas (business, tourist, transit, and Schengen) required for overseas or international travel. We neither have specific knowledge of foreign entry requirements and travel documents nor any obligation to provide information about the same. It is advisable that you check and review all preventions, warnings and advisories issued by the governments of international destinations before booking your travel." However this paragraph does not hold them harmless for their own omissions (whoever wrote their T&Cs needs to go back to law school) so even with this statement this does not absolve them of liability. Thus while they claim "we don't know", that doesn't absolve them of responsibility if they do make an error.

    Good luck!
     
    #7
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
    krisseye likes this.
  8. Neil

    Neil Moderator
    Staff Member Advocate

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Messages:
    9,225
    Likes Received:
    9,697
    Did you tell them you did not have a US Passport? If you didn't, how would they know what you needed? It is always the passengers job to verify the information on what you need to travel with.
     
    #8
    joycexyz likes this.
  9. AMA

    AMA

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2014
    Messages:
    684
    Likes Received:
    869
    She said her husband had an Indian passport and didn;t need a visa. I assume she and the daughter have US passports and thus need visas to enter India.
     
    #9
    Neil and jsn55 like this.
  10. Ashley Ijiuboucha Daimai

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    4
    Thank you all for all your input. I value what each of you has said. Yes, I made sure they knew I had a US passport. You are correct that it is a he said/she said since I have no recording of conversations. I'm attaching a document that I just found. I'm looking through it right now to see if there is any loop I can get through. If not, I realize we will just have to eat the money...yikes, it was a lot! I welcome any input about the document if you see anything that could help me! **I'm following the link at the top to try to get the Texas specific information.
     

    Attached Files:

    • TG.pdf
      File size:
      132.7 KB
      Views:
      9
    #10
  11. JVillegirl541

    Staff Member Advocate

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2014
    Messages:
    3,120
    Likes Received:
    2,974
    Ok that is your Travel Insurance document but how about your email confirmation from your travel agent. Did you book this over the phone or online? Did you get anything by email with your flight confirmation on it?
     
    #11
    jsn55 likes this.
  12. jsn55

    Staff Member Advocate

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2014
    Messages:
    5,385
    Likes Received:
    5,296
    Ashley, I have no magic wand and my colleagues have covered everything pretty well. I'm just so sorry you had to go through this awful time, especially over the holidays. For the life of me, I cannot understand why every single travel provider on the internet doesn't just post a banner that says "YOU are responsible for all documentation". At least then you'd know that you have to go look and find verification. I'm sorry this happened to you ... but glad that you had family in Chicago to spend Christmas with.
     
    #12
  13. Michelle Friedman

    Michelle Friedman Advocacy & Editorial Director
    Staff Member Advocate

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2015
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    850
    When I was researching a story recently I came across a useful travel tool that is free and available for everyone. This site provides real-time, personalized required travel documentation for the intended destination. And I was told that it is what the airlines reference at check-in.

    http://www.iatatravelcentre.com/passport-visa-health-travel-document-requirements.htm

    If every traveler used this site before they booked their tickets we would see a dramatic decrease in these types of complaints.

    Ps. Every airline and every travel agency that I researched includes disclaimers in their terms that the passenger is ultimately responsible for confirming their needed travel documents.
     
    #13
    jsn55, Patina and JVillegirl541 like this.
  14. Realitoes

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,003
    Likes Received:
    1,219
    I would not rely on the information from that site. First off it is not even the on the official IATA website which is iata.org (not .com). It does appears the site is registered to a company called IATA Netherlands. There is no way to know how up to date this system is maintained and they specifically make no warranty to the accuracy.

    While every effort has been made to ensure the quality and accuracy of information displayed on this web site, IATA MAKES NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, CONCERNING THE SITE AND ITS CONTENTS AND DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, WARRANTIES OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY.
    Due to the financial consequences, It is doubtful that major airlines would use that system, but instead contract with an outside company that will provide for accurate and up to date information.

    The best recommendation should be to check directly with the various countries on their specific requirements (i.e. their embassies).
     
    #14
  15. Michelle Friedman

    Michelle Friedman Advocacy & Editorial Director
    Staff Member Advocate

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2015
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    850
    @Realitoes You are incorrect. That is the official IATA site. If you go to United Airlines (among others) you will be directed to this site to check your documents.



    And yes, you are correct about the embassy of various countries having the final word about needed travel documents. But this tool that I linked is a very useful tool.
     
    #15
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
    jsn55 and Neil like this.
  16. Realitoes

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,003
    Likes Received:
    1,219
    Actually you are incorrect, as United (among others) use Timatic, which is a subscription service. United and others may refer to that site or others, but they also state:

    "entry into destination countries and for transit through a country are provided by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on united.com as a courtesy and must be verified before travel"​

    That is a free site with no guarantee on reliability, or how often it is updated (unless you are endorsing it on the part of Elliott.org) :)
     
    #16
  17. Michelle Friedman

    Michelle Friedman Advocacy & Editorial Director
    Staff Member Advocate

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2015
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    850
    @Realitoes I don't think that you understand that Timatic is that tool. It is called the IATA Timatic Services
     
    #17
    John Galbraith likes this.
  18. Neil

    Neil Moderator
    Staff Member Advocate

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Messages:
    9,225
    Likes Received:
    9,697
    We use the site Michelle references.

    Unfortunately, to our writer, there is no travel insurance company that will cover you for not having proper documents.

    Even with a Cancel for Any Reason policy you would have to cancel before you are turned away at a gate.
     
    #18
  19. Realitoes

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,003
    Likes Received:
    1,219
    It maybe a snapshot from Timatic, there is no guarantee's of how often it is updated. My point is you still need to verify the data. The site provides no warranty or guarantee.
     
    #19
  20. Michelle Friedman

    Michelle Friedman Advocacy & Editorial Director
    Staff Member Advocate

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2015
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    850
    Yes, @Realitoes at no time did I suggest that this site would be the ultimate authority on your needed travel documents. As I mentioned, it is a valuable tool. But I think I made it clear in my recent article what is the ultimate authority on this topic:

    "If you want to make sure that your vacation plans are not disrupted, make sure to consult the Department of State’s website long before packing your suitcase. Here, you will find an abundance of information for your international travel needs. You will also be able to find the contact information for the embassy of the country to which you plan to travel. This embassy will be the ultimate authority on the currently needed travel documents for your destination." I hope this clarifies your concerns. Michelle
     
    #20
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page