I am UK visitor on holidays in Canada. I go to the USA numerous times. I always update the ESTA application beforehand.
On January 21, 2012 (yesterday) my partner and I planned a 1-week holiday to Ft. Myers, Florida to arrive by air - WestJet Airlines from Toronto Pearson Airport. When we went to checkin at the WestJet counter, everything was going fine. Then I was told they could not complete the processing of my ticket. We thought they were joking. But the computer system she was using kept asking for a 'visa' even though she tried entering the ESTA number, etc. She phoned her office and tried for help from a few places. She said it is something to do with the backend of the system (not WestJet), which they do not have the privilege of knowing. Seems to be something wrong with my documentation.
We had to cancel the trip then and there. We are very upset. Does anyone know why this would happen? I checked my ESTA application again online and everything is fine. And, yes, my passport is fine and I have no criminal record, etc.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Your name may have gotten confused with a similar name. Whole families have suffered cavity searches before because of that.
Strangely I just heard of something like this happening the other day, although she was pulled aside once she got in the US. Turns out what had happened was her secretary filling out the ESTA had placed a o instead of a zero for her passport number and the system red flagged it. Not saying that's the case here, but maybe and the flight personnel didn't pick it up? Sounds like you have visited quite a few times, so maybe something you haven't mentioned there red flagged it.
You are asking for suggestions. Umm obviously the first thing you need to do is call the US embassy in Canada, if that is where you still are.
[ Edit: Edited on 22-Jan-2012, at 13:51 by Dodger ]
Thank you for your comments and suggestions.
An update... I just got an email from the US Customs and Board Protection (CBP) where I filed a complaint through ESTA right after this happened. Quick response so I am impressed.
All my paperwork is in order and they are saying it is the airlines (WestJet). Now to file a complaint with them. We should be enjoying sunshine in Florida and not snow and rain here. I also lost money through this fiasco and disrupted plans with friends in Florida.
Once again, thanks for your comments and suggestions.