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Airline responsibility

London, United...
2 posts
Airline responsibility

As a recent young traveller and visitor was refused entry to the UK by immigration officials - who utlimately has the responsibilty for the repatriation booking ?? In this case the airline concerned, Lufthansa, said the routing was determined by immigration and not by the airline. We had complained that the routing was both unnecessarily long and totally unacceptable . The 18 year old, travelling for the first time alone, had just travelled 24 hours, been held in detention for a further 8 hours, had 12 hours "rest" before being forced back on another 24 hours flight but this time with an additional 10 hour wait at one of the stopovers. This seems both inhumane and uncessarily cruel when there were at least 3 other flghts with other airlines available which would have reduced the overall jouney/wait time by 8 hours. The Lufthansa supervisor on duty at the time said it was immigration who had determined the routing and refused to change the last leg of the flight. This leg of the flight was a route that Lufthansa themsleves do not fly but they refused to change it from one of their partners(star alliance) to one of at least 2 other airlines with much better connection times. A representative from immigration implied that the actual routing was down to Lufthansa ? What rights does a passenger have in these cases? I would have expected much better from Lufthansa - it is extremely disappointing and I would definitely not recommend this airline to anyone in future for any routing, their attitude was unhelpful in the extreme and bordered on rude. Can anyone help clarify what is acceptable in this type of case and have any suggestions ?

London UK
Level Contributor
99 posts
2 reviews
1. Re: Airline responsibility

Why was the traveller refused admission to the UK?.. It is every persons responsibility tio ensure they have the correct documents for their journey and destination. The airline gets fined by immigration for bringing someone to the UK who doesn't have documentation and they also must get the person back to their starting point. If immigration have specified a particular routing then the airline has no say in the matter.

Level Contributor
3,084 posts
6 reviews
2. Re: Airline responsibility

Lufthansa will be fined a considerable sum by the UK Boarder Agency.They are also responsible for removing the refusee.I think the routing is at their discresion providing it complies with UKBA requirements.

Buying a ticket on another airline is not part of this brief,and the refusee must accept the routing given.

Llandudno North...
Level Contributor
2,584 posts
18 reviews
3. Re: Airline responsibility

Any fines Lufthansa receive and any other associated cost including the return flight will be passed onto the illegal traveller.

The OP friend is liable for a big bill if Lufthansa decide to pursue him for it.


London UK
Level Contributor
99 posts
2 reviews
4. Re: Airline responsibility

That almost never happens. The airline will bear the brunt of the costs as it would cost them almost as much in court fees pursuing the OP's friend as it would to just pay it themselves. I believe the fine is something on the order of £2000. It was a few years ago anyway.

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
10,857 posts
95 reviews
5. Re: Airline responsibility

I don't understand the point of this post. You are not happy with LH, because a passenger failed to obtain the necessary travel documents, so was sent back home, and you don't like the routing?

London, United...
2 posts
6. Re: Airline responsibility

Thank you all for your feedback and clarification.

London, United...
Level Contributor
25,545 posts
28 reviews
7. Re: Airline responsibility

Yes, Gracie boo, on the flight back where the person was effectively deported back to their home country, it does appear that the op is actually complaining the flight back was not sufficiently comfortable in terms of timing.

I might have to read it again. Lol.

Destination Expert
for Livigno, Lombardy
Level Contributor
39,474 posts
192 reviews
8. Re: Airline responsibility

He was trying to enter illegally or didn't have the correct papers, was sent back, end of story.

Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
Level Contributor
15,056 posts
73 reviews
9. Re: Airline responsibility


Agree with #2... In most all cases, that process is at the direction or discretion of the local Immigration Officials where the denied admission incident occurred.

Repatriation is coordinated between the airline (as they're the ones legally obligated to transport you out and operate the flights) and the local immigration who acts as the law enforcement body)

Commonly the local immigration doesn't care how or where you're deported to, only that wherever you are sent, you are admissible there.

At that point, in most airlines Contract of Carriage they'd deem you to be "non compliant with governmental entry regulations" or the like, and therefore usually retain the sole right to repatriate you as they see fit.

Also, most CoC's do disclaim liability of the action or direct consequences are due to compliance with any governmental action such as law enforcement or the like.

If the German authorities made that decision, then there's not much liability on LH's part as their compliance isn't/wasn't optional.

Travel Safe,

10. Re: Airline responsibility

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