Family told they can’t catch British Airways flight moments before it takes off

Travel sector ‘on the brink of falling of a cliff’ says expert

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Aditi Kibe, husband Kapil and son Aditya were due to fly with British Airways from London Heathrow to Delhi on Thursday December 9. Aditi’s mother is unwell in India and the family are increasingly worried.

They were able to check in and clear security, only to be told at the departure gate that they couldn’t board the plane.

Staff said this was because of a clause, which stated that all Indian tourist visas issued prior to October 2021 remain suspended due to the pandemic.

Speaking to Coventry Live, Aditi said: “If we had known about the rule, or if there was some prompt on the British Airways website the day before, we could have changed our ticket without losing everything.”

The mum claims they were given just five minutes by British Airways staff to decide whether to cancel, retrieve the bags or for one parent to fly on the flight.

The family say were also put down as a “no show” by the airline, despite showing up, which meant that the flight they missed along with the return flight tickets were automatically cancelled, and they were out of pocket by £4,000.

Aditi, from Coventry, West Midlands, added: “We were there and our bags were checked in and you’re telling me it was a no show?

“There was no help with what options were available to us or that sort.”

The family had booked with British Airways and Southall Travel, a west-London firm which specialises in Asian holidays.

Both companies say they are in the process of contacting the customer to discuss the booking and options available.

But Aditi said: “The rules, they change so frequently because we are in Covid times, we are already in a panicked situation because my mum is not well.

“If this can happen to me what about elderly people, what about people who are not that tech savvy.”

The family had to re-book their tickets, parking, and PCR tests and a new flight to Delhi, which left on December 14.

A British Airways spokesperson said: “It is the customer’s responsibility to ensure that they meet the entry requirements of where they are travelling to. Our teams are contacting the travel agent to discuss their booking and the options available to them.”

Southall Travel said they are working with the airline and passenger to resolve the matter.

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