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Belgian citizen refused: "Italian citizens only"

Lugano
posts: 25
Belgian citizen refused: "Italian citizens only"

I've booked a flight through edreams.com, and just printed the boarding pass today since I'm flying on Saturday morning. Throughout the booking process it was never made clear that only Italian citizens could take this flight. In fact, I had to enter my nationality and passport number: both Belgian. No error messages or remarks. On the electronic ticket now, it does however say "Solo cittadini italiani". I don't understand Italian, but I understood this could be a problem. So I got in touch with the Trawelfy (edreams goes to Trawelfly for this flight) customer service.

After a very difficult conversation with their Booking Officer, of which I have a full record, I was told they could not offer me a solution, nor could they offer me a refund.

I've gone through the complete booking process again on edreams.com documenting my every step. Nowhere throughout this process was I shown that I had to be an Italian citizen. Only after the payment was made and I received my electronic ticket was this communicated.

Has this (or something similar) happened to anyone else before? I'm guessing I will have to take legal action to get this resolved, and that I can forget about my vacation and the costs I spend on the hotel. Apart from having sold me something which shouldn't have been sold to me, isn't this also discrimination? Saying only Italian citizens can use these services? All three parties involved (edreams, Trawelfly & Mistral Air) operate within the EU. I Can't believe this is legal.

Liverpool, UK
posts: 9,792
reviews: 14
1. Re: Belgian citizen refused: "Italian citizens only"

I've read enough threads to know I'd never go anywhere near edreams but the "italians" only is a new one to me.

Where were you flying from/to?

UK
posts: 41,013
reviews: 85
2. Re: Belgian citizen refused: "Italian citizens only"

I thought I'd seen everything as far as eDreams goes but this is far beyond expectations.

Surely there must be a mistake here, I don't see how that can be legal. I would go to the airport and see what happens.

Lugano
posts: 25
3. Re: Belgian citizen refused: "Italian citizens only"

@ TomC97

Unfortunately I've never read those threads. In fact I've used edreams a couple of times before, always with no problems.

I'm an expat living in Switzerland, close to the border with Italy, so I was hoping to fly from Milan

FYI: Edreams even asked me about my nationality and my ID number. I provided those, which should've rung a bell if they had any clue about this restriction. My guess is they really didn't know.

Edited: 3:49 pm, November 15, 2012
Lugano
posts: 25
4. Re: Belgian citizen refused: "Italian citizens only"

@joeintheuk

I've got an email from Trawelfly saying they will not allow me to board. Would you drive 2 hours at 3 in the morning to find out?

I'm destroyed from work and really needed this break. At this point I'm waiting for edreams to get back to me, and in the morning I might try to contact a lawyer to see what he says. If none of that works, I guess I'll book a far more expensive flight, enjoy my vacation (and not also lose the hotel costs) and deal with this S*#!t to the fullest extent when I get back.

UK
posts: 41,013
reviews: 85
5. Re: Belgian citizen refused: "Italian citizens only"

This is absolutely bizarre. IANAL but I don't see how you can have a flight out of the EU ( or in fact any service) which is only applicable to one nationality.

Even if such a thing is possible, eDreams are clearly at fault for selling it you.

Given the long and despicable history of screw ups, awful customer service and downright deception posted in here regards eDreams, i wish you luck, but won't be holding my breath for a result.

Did you pay by credit card?

Lugano
posts: 25
6. Re: Belgian citizen refused: "Italian citizens only"

@joeintheuk,

I did pay by credit card. I received two different statements. A small fee going to edreams, and a larger amount going to Trawelfly.

Thanks for giving me high hopes. I'm 29, so this flight for two people was a fairly high amount for me.

Seattle, Washington
posts: 7,101
reviews: 85
7. Re: Belgian citizen refused: "Italian citizens only"

Very strange. A google search pulled up that Mistral Air is a charter airline, which operates flights for Poste Italiane, and is chartered by the Vatican for pilgrimage flights. Odd that edreams would be selling these tickets.

Edited: 4:14 pm, November 15, 2012
NomadicForever
posts: 3,346
reviews: 14
8. Re: Belgian citizen refused: "Italian citizens only"

Your problem may be your place of residence and not your nationality.

The computer system identifies your location Svizzera. The cheap fare you bought may not be available for residents (cittadini) from Switzerland to stop you guys buying cheap fares from across the border. You are expected to pay a fare with departure from ZRH.

Leicester, United...
posts: 1,275
reviews: 1
9. Re: Belgian citizen refused: "Italian citizens only"

Where are you flying TO?

This is not bizarre at all. Italian airlines fly public service obligation routes, for example to and from Sardinia. You must be Italian to qualify for some of the fares on these flights. Perfectly legal.

It looks like edreams has sold you a fare that only Italians are eligible to buy. Entirely their fault of course, and you should get redress, but that is the most likely explanation.

Lugano
posts: 25
10. Re: Belgian citizen refused: "Italian citizens only"

I was supposed to fly to Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt.