Austrian Airlines / Denied boarding
A Summary of the Dispute and Complaint filed with Austrian Airlines:
• I purchased a return ticket or “red tag ticket” as they call it through the Austrian Airlines website on February 09, 2015
• I was asked the following info: name and surname, D.O.B, what passport I possessed and a passport number, length of stay in Serbia etc.
• At Pearson, on February 15, 2015 I was denied boarding the plane because I needed a visitor visa to Serbia
• I showed them a document issued by the Government of Serbia that I am their citizen and my valid Canadian passport; I go there every year and the same time (5 months); I have entry/exit stamps in my passport with no visa placed anywhere on 24 pages.
• They made me re-book my return ticket and charged me $300 re-booking fee and re-routed my return flight now via Frankfurt for July 10, 2015; that was the only option available as they said. Now, I will call them to change my flight and return date back to September 10, 2015 as it was originally before; they will not ask me about a visa now, but they will charge me again $300. So, it was a big scandal and all about money.
• I filed a complaint with their would-be customer service on April 22, 2015
• They declined respectfully my complaint proudly looking forward to welcoming me aboard soon. What a hypocrisy and audacity!!!
• Then, not having been satisfied with their explanation for refusing my complaint, I had asked Ms. Gabriele Maurrasse to send me the extract of their policy or guidelines by which she had arrived at the conclusion that they were right; she did not provide me what I had asked her to do.
• I asked her then to provide me with the contact information of their Supervisory Board wanting to bring this issue to their attention as well; she simply ignored my letter; what kind of a person is that? What kind of customer service and Air Company is that? This is unbelievable!
• I filed a complaint with the Canadian Transportation Agency; they are working on it now.
In the meantime, I have contacted Serbia's Border Police through e-mail - Department for Border Crossing and Foreign Nationals. They have told me that even Canadian citizens may enter Serbia without a visitor visa for which they may apply easily within Serbia if they wish to stay over 90 days. Canadian citizens may also enter Serbia with an ID card, but they need to have a passport if they wish to stay over 90 days and apply for a visa.
Austrian Airlines company is acting as a Serbia's Border Police in Toronto. They sell you a ticket not telling you about their rules; once you get to check in, they know you have no option at that moment but to re-book your return date and pay the fee.
When you clearly show them a piece of ID proving that you're a Serbian citizen, they just don't accept it; they say you need to have a Serbian passport; when you complain to their so-called customer service, their representative Gabrielle Maurrasse keeps repeating like a parrot; "Our visa policy clearly states that..." At your request to send you the extract of that very policy which may be applicable to my case, she just ignores you. I asked her to provide me with a contact info of the Supervisory Board of Austrian Airlines AG, but I got no answer from her.
I have all documentation and evidence with me; let me know if you are interesed in finding out more about this case.