Thursday, March 04, 2021

Travel firm told to pay Rs 15,000 to Jalandhar resident

Jalandhar: The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on Tuesday directed a Delhi-based Chinese airlines office to pay Rs15,000 for issuing an invalid US visa to a city resident.

Complainant Jagdeep Singh (32) intended to travel to the US on December 2, 2016. Subsequently, he brought a ticket of the airlines from its local office here. It was a round-trip ticket, for which he had to board the flight from Delhi to Taipei (Taiwan) and then from Taipei to San Francisco, CA, and the same was for the return flight. The travel agency issued the ticket to him after conducting all inquiries regarding visa and other requisite formalities. On December 20, the complainant was boarded on a flight from Delhi airport in the China Airlines-CA 182 to Taipei as per the reservation.

When the flight landed in Taipei, Jagdeep was directed to change the flight from C1 182 to CI 4 as per the ticket, after which, he went to board the flight from Taipei to San Francisco. However, to his surprise, he was refused to board the flight at Taipei airport by the staff of Chinese Airlines. He later learnt that he does not have a valid visa for travel. He was dropped at Taipei Airport without stating a bona fide reason. He was compelled to stay at the Taipei Airport on his own expenses for 3 days . The officials even allegedly threatened the complainant to sign some documents on the pretext that they would get him arrested in some false case. Subsequently, he was sent back to Delhi. He said he had already travelled to the US on the same visa in 2015.

Having been deceived, Jagdeep filed a complaint under the Consumer Protection Act on November 9, 2017. In it reply, the officials of the airlines said the complaint was not maintainable and that they had received an information from the Department of Homeland Security of the US that there was a security threat perception and as a precautionary measure, the complainant was de-boarded. Also, he was asked to reappear in the embassy. Moreover, the complainant had ill-intentions to flee from the country and flout immigration rules, they said.

To this, commission president Kuljit Singh and member Jyotsna said knowing the travel history of the complainant, the airlines should have declined the visa.

04/03/21 Tribune

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