Who pays for the return air ticket when a country refuses entry (by air)?

  • If I am on a tourist visa, and refused entry into the intended touring country, then who pays for the return ticket?

    I would assume I will have to. But if I have no money of any kind, then what happens?

    But who pays if you outstay a visa? Say you are in the country with a one year visa, exceed the visa's limit and get deported? Surely the airline is no longer responsable and you can say you have no money. I can't see a country coming after you for the price of a plane ticket. Free ticket! Although waiting in a detention centre for a month probably isn't fun.

    @happybuddha: It's not enough to just hint at essential context by adding it in the tags, you must put it in the title. Otherwise it reads like *"Can I try to come over from Tijuana by bus and score a free plane ticket home?"* to which the answer is "of course not".

    Anyway given the answer (for air travel) is *"the airline is almost always liable, but they will very aggressively try to recover the cost from the passenger, and they usually cover their risk by putting that in the code-of-carriage"*, the real question is "How aggressively do they try to recover?" Like what if you claim to be indigent? Will they merely just blacklist you (and maybe their codeshare or alliance partners?), or sue you back to the Stone Age?

    @user26096: I can't comment on 'Deportation Airways free class' (don't try this at home folks), but for the specific case of layoff in the US while on a H1B visa, your former employer is obligated to offer you a one-way ticket home (to prevent overstay). IIRC if the employer fails to do that, they get in trouble with the State Dept.

    An involuntary deportation is a totally different event and procedure to a refused entry. It is best not to confuse them.

  • It depends both on local legislation (in the country you are denied entry) and the terms and conditions of the carrier bringing you there.

    If you are travelling by air, the air line will of course check that you have all necessary travel documents before they let you board the flight at all, but if I understand your question correctly, you are asking what will happen if you are denied entry at the border even if your travel documents and visas are ok? Even if the air line has done everything in their power to check your eligibility to enter the destination country, they are in most cases still required by national law (in the destination country) to either bring you back to the origin country or if you are not eligible to reenter the origin country, to bring you anywhere else.

    If you are travelling on a return ticket, most airlines are fair enough to let you use your return ticket for the unexpected return flight. Aside from that, most air lines regulate this in their terms of carriage and hold the passenger liable for any further costs.

    Just as an example, here are Lufthansa's terms regarding denied entry. But as I said, you will find similar regulations in other air lines' terms of carriage as well:

    Refusal of Entry 13.3. If you are denied entry into any country, you will be responsible to pay any fine or charge assessed against us by the Government concerned and for the cost of transporting you from that country. We may apply to the payment of such fare any funds paid to us for unused carriage, or any funds of the passenger in the possession of us. The fare collected for carriage to the point of refusal of entry or deportation will not be refunded by us.

    If you don't have any money to pay these charges up front, the air line is still liable to transport you, but you must expect the air line to use any possible legal means to get the money back from you later.

    I would be amazed if a contract saying somebody else has to pay your fine were enforceable; laws are to punish wrongdoers, not their customers. But different jurisdictions treat such things differently, and the relevant law may be that of the destination, the departure point, the airline's registration, the country where you bought the ticket...

    hey Tim - a trivial example is, you get a speeding ticket or parking ticket in a Budget or Hertz rental car - they simply charge your credit card the fine. Note too that the "requirement to be flown back" is not really "a fine", I'd say.

    @TimLymington Such cases have been fought in German courts, and most of them ruled in favour of the airline. The rationale is that it according to the T&Cs is the passenger's responsibility to make sure that he is admissible to the destination country and that this passage is legally valid. Since the airline is fined because the passenger violates the T&Cs, it is also reasonable for the airline to claim those costs back from the passenger.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM