My family and I were due to leave London Heathrow to visit LA. Our flight was on 25/08/13. We submitted our ESTA applications over a month ago, these were all approved within 30 minutes!However, when we tried to check-in at the airport (after being unable to online) we were told that mine and my eldest son had a sudden ESTA status change and that now it had been denied! With my wife, daughter and youngest son still being in approval, and able to travel.
We were given absolutely no reason for this and the check-in clerk tried to help by contacting the immigration officer, but the officer told him that we were unable to travel now at all unless we got a VISA. Also he refused to speak to me, or justify the sudden authorization change in the ESTA. On top of that, soon after my wife a daugther's ESTAs were also changed to also being denied.
Obviously because of this, we missed our flight (we would have landed about now) as we were not allowed to travel, and our holiday is ruined. Losing out on nearly £7000 since it is non-refundable, and we can't change dates on hotels. United offered to change our flight to Wednesday 28th, so we still get part of our holiday, but it is unlikely we will get a VISA sorted by then, as this takes 5 days to process, and they are closed over bank holiday weekend, only opening on Tuesday 26th (even here, we do not have a appointment, so still do not guarantee being seen).I have submitted the DHS forms online for appealing ESTA decisions, but again I doubt this will be sorted by Wednesday, our last chance of a holiday. I have also asked the question on the ESTA website, however last time I did this a few years back they replied a year later! Still not answering my question!I just wanted to ask if anyone else has been in a similar situation? I couldn't find anything online about ESTA statuses changing, just that a CBP officer can deny us entry after approval. This naturally seemed unlikely to us, as we have no reason to be denied, and was even more of a shock, as my daughter, eldest son and I have previously visited the USA.Also does anyone know how long the DHS take to reply? Or if anything on the VISA with the embassy can be sorted ASAP?!My family and I are absolutely gutted, and see no reason as to why we would be denied entry. Or why they waited till the last minute to change their minds! I can only see this as a form of discrimination, as no reason was provided.I hope anyone can share any similar experiences, or suggestions to help.