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DL Denies Boarding To 80 Passengers-ATL-STT?  
User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 18602 times:

I really need your help on this one. I'm reading a story (the kind where a guy was told by a guy...) that says this:

Quote:
So, word has it that about 100 passengers who were to fly on a Delta flight from Atlanta to St. Thomas were denied boarding because the gate attendant demanded that they show passports??? The flight left with just 20 passengers - those who were able to produce passports I guess. I just hope I had a few f...amily members in the crowd so I could get some of the lawsuit money if this is what really went down.

Sounds wuite bogus if you ask me. I don't see how 80 passengers would be denied boarding on a basis that is TOTALLY false and a supervisor didn't know about it. Too many red flags. 80 passengers? At a major hub? Not like it's at some podunk out-station.

Anyway, I replied to the guy so I can get a date in question but my guess would be that it happened some time this week; maybe even today. Any DL guys out there can check actual loads to see when a flight may have left with an unusually low number or if there are incident messages floating around? (guess there won't be any if this is actually not true). My personal stance, I call BS on the whole thing but I would like to get my facts together before blasting on the blog.


What gets measured gets done.
41 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 18564 times:

Ok, here's what I was just told via email.

Quote:
It was Delta Flight 547 from Atlanta, which left ATL at 5:25 pm (ATL time) and arrived 9:43 pm local time.. on 02/21/10



What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlineMadDogJT8D From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 397 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 18537 times:

I agree, something sounds a little fishy - will be curious to hear more. Either way, passports are not required going to St. Thomas from the domestic U.S. as it is a U.S. Territory. Either the story is bogus or one GA really botched it, guess we'll have to wait and see.

User currently offlineBurj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 18384 times:

Quoting MadDogJT8D (Reply 2):
Either the story is bogus or one GA really botched it

With ATL GA agents....anything is possible...

(but I can't imagine that many angry passengers not getting the attention of supervisors if not security...)


User currently offlinebobnwa From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 6470 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 18152 times:

I am willing to bet that the incident never happened as describe din the first quote.

User currently offlineburnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7545 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 17683 times:

I also like how the person put "I had a few family members in the crowd so maybe I can get some lawsuit money". How on earth does he think he would even get a penny.


"Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009
User currently offlinetvnwz From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 2388 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 17630 times:

Had this happen a few years ago out of Miami on AA. The way it was explained, you need a passport, or proof of citizenship, to get OUT of S. Thomas. This was true. St. Thomas is a US Entry point. With all the security, I can believe you would need a passport to go through the gateway.

User currently offlineAcey559 From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 1532 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 17341 times:

TravelNet shows the flight going out pretty empty, but so did the other flights that went to STT that day, so it's kind of a moot point since I don't know what the original load was supposed to be. I hope this isn't true, but it sounds pretty unrealistic.

User currently offlineToobz From Finland, joined Jan 2010, 784 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 16937 times:

Hhmm..I'm not sure that we've got all details. Certainly if a GA gave incorrect info like this, I would assume a colleage standing nearby would correct him/her. I dunno just weird someone can mess up like that. I'm sure someone out of the 80 would have told the GA that passports aren't required. That GA then would look into the fact and make remedies. Bizarre

User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 16569 times:

I too am pretty skeptical. Apparently, it was a GA in STT that got the news from the arriving PAX that evening, I would most certainly assume the ones left back would be rebooked and offered pretty good compensation (if the story is in fact true). I'm pretty sure they didn't just go home...

And the agent in question would be suspended if not fired by now.



What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 16311 times:

Quoting tvnwz (Reply 6):
Had this happen a few years ago out of Miami on AA. The way it was explained, you need a passport, or proof of citizenship, to get OUT of S. Thomas. This was true. St. Thomas is a US Entry point. With all the security, I can believe you would need a passport to go through the gateway.

You are correct about STT/STX being a US entry point. That's how it's always been as long as I can remember it; everyone goes through customs but the standard was a Driver's License and birth certificate if you had it. If you did not have a birth certificate, they would look you up anyway with whatever government ID provide. Now, the State department has made it clear that no US Citizen will be required to carry a passport/ passport card when leaving re-entering the United States.

Quote:
Will travelers from U.S. territories need to present a passport to enter the United States?
No. U.S. territories are considered a part of the United States. U.S. citizens returning directly from a U.S. territory are not considered to have left the country and do not need to present a passport. U.S. territories include the following: Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Swains Island and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Directly from the DHS Q & A section for the 1 June 2009 passport implementation (very last phase for the WHTI.



What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlineM404 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2226 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 16013 times:
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Thanks for that last qoute. So I guess we might need to find out if the itineraries were for "Direct" return. I would certainly think that since DL has been doing this route for awhile the GAs have a computer maskor otherwise that would simply tell what is required. Because of this I certainly doubt the story as presented. If the rest of the group made it later the matter certainly has already been addressed. Did any of these folks plan on catching a cruise ship in St. Thomas. That could explain everything.


Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Reply 12, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 15552 times:

STT does not offer any originating cruises.

With that being said, you're right, there would be a hard code of some sort in the DL system with instructions for the flight. Very strange and I hope someone with some inside knowledge will fill me in.



What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlineskoker From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 439 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 15087 times:

Delta's system won't let you board a passenger if their outbound flight (eg. the one you are about to board them on) requires a passport and passport data isn't present. It's supposed to catch this at checkin, and their system is no different than that of any other airline...airlines are expected to use Timatic for every int'l pax.

User currently offlineEDICHC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 14549 times:

Quoting skoker (Reply 13):
Delta's system won't let you board a passenger if their outbound flight (eg. the one you are about to board them on) requires a passport and passport data isn't present. It's supposed to catch this at checkin, and their system is no different than that of any other airline...airlines are expected to use Timatic for every int'l pax.

Perhaps it is different in the US but many time I have encountered errors in the passport & visa requirements held in various airline (& travel agency) data bases.

Case in point I regularly travel from NZ to the Philippines on a UK passport (usually on SQ, but occasionally on QF and once on NZ/CX). For UK passport holders the standard entry requirements are that a visa is required for a stay of over 21 days. Under the provisions of Balikbayan regulations however, as I am married to a Philippine citizen, I am entitled to a visa free stay of up to one year if travelling with my wife. This regulation is easily referenced and widely used by many yet major carriers like SQ, QF and CX repeatedly questioned me why I do not have a visa when my planned stay is over the 21 day usual limit. It's not so bad now but for a while I used to take a print-out from the appropriate page of the Philippine Embassy's website whenever I travelled


User currently offlineJohnClipper From Hong Kong, joined Aug 2005, 844 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 13872 times:

DL GA in DAB let me mom board a flight DAB-ATL onward to MUC with an expired passport. My mom grabbed the wrong one when she left for the airport. Only when she was boarding in ATL for the MUC flight, did the ATL GA notice it. They sent her back to DAB and rebooked her on the next day's flight free of charge because they did not catch it at origin.

User currently offlineflymatt2bermud From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 563 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 9373 times:

With all due respect. There is a great deal of confusion with regard to flights between the US and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Department for Homeland Security has several agencies whose authority includes these areas. The Bureau of Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration are two that most US citizens will be involved with (directly or indirectly). Their mission includes facilitating traveler compliance with the current air security measures and border protection initiatives.

On January 3, 2010, the Transportation Security Administration issued a new security directive to all air carriers with international flights to and from the U.S. effective January 4, 2010. The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative requires "all persons including citizens of the United States traveling by plane to and from the Americas, the Caribbean, and Bermuda to have a passport or other accepted form of documentation to enter or depart the United States."

The directive says "enter or depart" and references "the Caribbean."

The rules are difficult to interpret whether or how the legal boundary applies to the US Virgin Islands. Today air carriers and private operator(s) flying to or from STT are responsible to provide all crew, passenger and operator details under the Electronic Advanced Passenger Information System (eAPIS) program. In addition, private flights operated between the US and US Virgin Islands must clear US Customs when operating a direct flight to the US mainland.

In the DELTA ATL-STT scenario, it could be that the CBP officer in charge that day interpreted STT as being in "the Caribbean," Any air carrier or pilot for that matter, would be foolish to override an interpretation of a TSA or CBP officer. If DELTA denied boarding my guess is that there was confusion. Clearly I am not an attorney, but I my bets on successful lawsuits against an air carrier in these cases would be off.

The rules are not clear. I certainly do not blame the officers because they are doing their job. In the meantime, I will graciously oblige their guidance in attempt to be in compliance as if the rules of foreign travel apply to STT.

[Edited 2010-02-23 08:21:50]


"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward" Leonardo Da Vinci
User currently offlinetvnwz From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 2388 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 8952 times:

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 10):
Quote:
Will travelers from U.S. territories need to present a passport to enter the United States?
No. U.S. territories are considered a part of the United States. U.S. citizens returning directly from a U.S. territory are not considered to have left the country and do not need to present a passport. U.S. territories include the following: Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Swains Island and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

That might be the theory, the reality is nobody got on that AA flight without a passport. It was explained thusly...

Quoting flymatt2bermud (Reply 16):
"all persons including citizens of the United States traveling by plane to and from the Americas, the Caribbean, and Bermuda to have a passport or other accepted form of documentation to enter or depart the United States."

This was before directives. It appears the rules may change from time to time. I suggest you just fly smart--always have your passport with you. I do. Even for a trip to OMA. Who knows, maybe a supermodel will want to jet me off to Paris with her. Gotta be prepared!  


User currently offlineA340Crew From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 277 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 8676 times:

If the pax were non us citizens then they need to have their passport and/or green card with them. The rule of no passport only a gov. issued id only applies to us citizens. Anyone who is not a us citizen needs a passport or greencard to prove their right to enter the us.

User currently offlinethrufru From Marshall Islands, joined Feb 2009, 224 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 8651 times:

I operated a flight from STT to MIA a few weeks ago. Our handler made us clear customs in MIA. Turns out that it was unnecessary. It was a ferry flight, so no pax onboard and as a passport is part of our req'd equip, no issues. Customs was a bit surprised, but said that it happens all the time. We all objected to the handler initially, but better safe than sorry.

I love that people are looking for blame and/or compensation. Whatever happened to civility and forgiveness?

Quoting tvnwz (Reply 17):
I suggest you just fly smart--always have your passport with you. I do. Even for a trip to OMA. Who knows, maybe a supermodel will want to jet me off to Paris with her. Gotta be prepared!  

And I totally agree!


User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3805 posts, RR: 29
Reply 20, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 8545 times:

Since we have established that a passport is required when departing STT to the U.S., which is why airlines require passports when departing the U.S. ...while 80 pax being denied boarding for lack of passports seems as if it might be exaggerated number... I can easily see something like this happening given the airlines' and pax' preferences for making the travel process as impersonal as possible, from booking online to checking in online...where the typical pax typically ignores advisories such as 'must present valid passport prior to boarding' ...so denied boarding on account of being unable to present a valid passport is nothing more, nothing less, than the type of thing the airlines and their pax have 'bargained for' with their obsessions for making everything in the travel experience impersonal and do-it-yourself.

User currently offlineLVHGEL From Puerto Rico, joined Apr 2007, 213 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 8004 times:

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 20):

US Virgin Island of Saint Thomas is a "Free Port" and as such when leaving STT you will have to clear customs, now regarding immigration, as far as US citizen, or legal resident of the USA, USVI are a US territory, quoting from the

http://tourism.virginislandsdailynews.com/passportstthomas.html

"US citizens traveling to St. Thomas, St. John or St. Croix from the mainland USA require only government issued picture identification to gain entry, though carrying a valid passport is a fail-proof way of avoiding any hassle. For tourists coming from any other country, St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix require a passport. US residents re-entering from BVI must have a valid US Passport."

also from the USVI Gov site

http://www.usvi.net/us-ins/html/2travel_back_....html

"Traveling Back to Puerto Rico and the Continental United States

Due to the location of the territory, the United States Virgin Islands has a pre-clearance inspection process for all flights from the territory to destinations in Puerto Rico or the Continental United States. This process requires all passengers to present proof of citizenship to immigration to the satisfaction of the inspecting officer.

Proof of citizenship is accomplished by presenting one of the following:

* A passport issued under competent authority
* An Alien Registration Card (green card).
(United States of America permanent residents only.)
* A certified copy of a birth certificate with government issued photo identification. (Canadian and United States citizens only.)
* Certificate of Naturalization, issued by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service.

If you are neither a citizen of the United States nor a Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States you must present one of the following with your passport.



Citizens of countries participating in the Visa Waiver Pilot Program (VWPP)

Green I-94W, Record of Departure, indicating date and status of entry into the United States.

OR

Valid, non-immigrant visa with the white I-94, Record of Departure, indicating date and status of entry into the United States."

In the case of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean, to travel to and from the US you only need a government issued photo ID (My last flight was this past weekend and like always I used my driver license).

I think those 80 passenger have a case for a full refund of their tickets, unless they where going to board a cruise ship or go to the BVI (British VI), or any other non US island in the region.


User currently offline787KQ From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 549 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 7974 times:

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 20):
Since we have established that a passport is required when departing STT to the U.S., which is why airlines require passports when departing the U.S. ...

No passport is required. Many travelling from the VI decline to use a passport, including me. It is not a problem and is clearly posted at the airports that none is needed. I just use a driver's license.


User currently offlineflymatt2bermud From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 563 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 7953 times:

Quoting thrufru (Reply 19):
I operated a flight from STT to MIA a few weeks ago. Our handler made us clear customs in MIA. Turns out that it was unnecessary.

As referenced above and according to CBP office in STT, operating a flight directly from STT to any destination in the US is not a right and preclearance of the US CBP in STT is required, it is not guaranteed nor automatic. Our company operates private flights on this route on a regular basis. I wish there was uniformity in the interpretation, but as we in the industry well know such is not. One day you could do it no problem or hassle whatsoever, next day, you get diverted and by the time you finally arrive home you can expect to have had visitors and it is entirely legal within the the scope of their authority to do so. As the pilot in command of an international flight you must comply with your responsibilities, exercise due caution and take nothing for granted for the sake of your crew, passengers, aircraft and company.

Quoting tvnwz (Reply 17):
Even for a trip to OMA. Who knows, maybe a supermodel will want to jet me off to Paris with her.

Supermodel cases are typically exempt. (sorry that was during the Clinton administration) Big grin

[Edited 2010-02-23 10:00:07]


"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward" Leonardo Da Vinci
User currently offlinePhatty3374 From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 136 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 7795 times:

Hold on, are we saying that it is required to have a passport to travel to the USVI? This is not true. In the past three months, I have flown JFK-STT-JFK four times and all that was required was a state issued ID (my driver's license). Flying to STT is no different than flying to SJU in terms of required documentation, as it is not an international flight by any means. Regarding the directive, it is evident how someone could make the mistake of lumping STT with the 'Caribbean.' But STT is not, for these specific legal purposes, part of the 'Caribbean,' as it is a US Territory. Aruba, St. Kitts, Bahamas, Barbados, St. Lucia, etc would fall under the DHS's classification of the Caribbean.

Personal accounts never solidify an argument, but having been through this exact situation many times I feel it's applicable. What I'm thinking of is an incident that I had with the gate agent in St. Thomas when she asked me for my passport, which obviously worried me considering I did not have my passport. When I told her that I didn't have my passport, she said that it wasn't a problem and that it was just easier to use to verify the passenger's identity than a driver's license.

Regards


25 787KQ : Repeat... NO PASSPORT IS REQUIRED. Many travelling from the VI decline to use a passport, including me. It is not a problem and is clearly posted at t
26 richierich : I cannot speak to the validity of this article or whether or not this event really happened (I somehow doubt it), but I can say that if I were going t
27 Cubsrule : Sure, but being prepared requires anticipating what might go wrong. If I've read government and airline websites that say no passport is required, wh
28 richierich : Fair point... I'm just saying that I would not be going to STT without my passport regardless of whether it was needed at check-in or not. Apparently
29 Woof : No they didn't. They wrote "I just hope I had a few....". Your omission of those first 3 words totally changed the meaning of the statement and put y
30 FlyASAGuy2005 : Good point! Didn't even notice that! Guess i'll never find out unless someone rogers up to do a little digging on what happened.
31 Cubsrule : Nor would I - but we need to remember that you and I are not the typical airline passenger.[Edited 2010-02-23 16:39:15]
32 mayor : I found nothing about this in the Atlanta Journal Constitution.......a place where it would surely turn up, if true.
33 COEWR2587 : I flew EWR-STT-EWR, this summer. NO passport required at all for Americans.
34 ikramerica : It is not established. Assuming you have one. Many people don't have a passport. One main reason for US citizens to travel to the USVI is because it
35 EBGflyer : Not entirely sure, but I think there is a passport requirement if you are NOT an American citizen or Permanent Resident. I once traveled to STX (St Cr
36 JohnClipper : Yes, foreigners require a passport for entry. Treated just like entering the mainland U.S.A.
37 Delta763 : Sure, for those of us who have passports, it might make sense to be better safe than sorry. Many people do not have passports, though. They shouldn't
38 Airportugal310 : not for nothing, but i have heard from people alot that STT can be weight restricted from time to time, but 80 pax doesnt make that a likely scenario
39 richierich : I believe this is correct - Puerto Rico falls into the same boat. US citizens *should* be OK but non-citizens and permanent residents would need to b
40 dlflynhayn : Me and my wife flew to STT from ATL on May of 09,we didn't have any problem's as i couldn't get my passport in time for our trip,but was a little worr
41 787KQ : ??? The difference is the customs zone, which doesn't affect citizenship.
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