Denied boarding, lost ticket and hoping for advice

Travel Forums General Talk Denied boarding, lost ticket and hoping for advice

1. Posted by David D (First Time Poster 1 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

I am seeking advice about what to do about a ticket that I can't get refunded or rebooked, wonder if anyone has had similar problems. I bought a ticket from CheapOair from Taiwan to Japan Haneda with 16 hr layover then transfer to Narita and then on to the US, when I got to the gate they told me I could not stay at Narita overnight as I planned and that since I was transiting in Japan I could not board without showing that I had booked a quartine approved hotel and transportation. They didn't have a list of such hotels, In the time that I was trying to get cheapo to book one for me the gate closed and I missed the flight. There was no way I could have known about this problem before I got into the airport, CheapOair had sent a generic email telling customers that they responsible for knowing Covid regulations in the countries that they travel in, on the Japan Airlines website it lists the entry restrictions as:
Travelers who are not entering Japan and transferring directly to a third country by transit, are not required to submit any documents and undergo PCR tests.
However, the following cases require entry into Japan. Please be informed that foreign nationals arriving from prohibited countries will not be allowed to enter Japan.

- Transferring between Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) and Narita International Airport
- Travelers with a connecting flight out of Narita International Airport the following day
I am not entering from a prohibited country and have a negative PRC test so I thought I was OK. It says nothing about a quarantine hotel or Narita being closed overnight. Both airports also do not mention it.
Cheapoair says Japan airlines marked me as a no show and I can't rebook or get a refund and that I should contact Japan airlines, Japan Airlines says that I was marked as a no-show at the gate and can't rebook me, they tell me to contact Cheapoair for a refund.
I can't possibly see how I could have known about this requirement and been in compliance with the rule. It's completely unfair. I feel like CheapOair is more responsible because they are a travel agency and the reason people use them is so that they won't have problems like this, they should have informed me of the rule and they still today are selling flights that connect from Haneda to Narita right now that their customers will buy but cannot use. Japan airlines also should have this information on their website and also should not have listed me as a no-show. I'm extremely unhappy with both of them and very angry that they both pass off the responsibility to each other.

2. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 3037 posts) 4w 1 Star this if you like it!

I understand your frustration but:

1. A 'direct' transfer means transiting airside in one airport without entering the country. You were not transferring directly.

In order to transfer from one airport to the other you would formally enter Japan. Therefore you would be subject to all Japan's entry requirements, including those which are Covid related.

>I can't possibly see how I could have known about this requirement and been in compliance with the rule

You could have checked the Japanese Embassy website, phoned the Embassy, phoned Japan Airlines....

2. Regardless of airline or country of departure it is always the passenger's own responsibility to ensure that he/she has the correct documentation required for entry to the country of arrival. Airlines and travel agencies may advise but the ultimate responsibility lies with the passenger.

This standard procedure is made very clear indeed in Cheapoair's terms and conditions:

>Please note that it is your sole responsibility to ensure that you meet the passport, visa, and/or health requirements of the countries you wish to visit and those that you transit (even if it is for a simple flight change).

JAL have a similar section in their t&c.

3. Normal entry requirements can and do vary according to citizenship. Additional Covid-related entry requirements also can and do vary according to citizenship, country of departure, purpose of travel etc. Both normal and Covid-related entry requirements can and do change very quickly.

Airlines can be fined for carrying passengers who are not eligible for entry to the country of arrival.

It is completely unrealistic to expect airlines and travel agencies to take responsibility for ensuring each and every passenger is aware of each and every entry requirement to each and every country.

4. It may seem to you that Cheapoair is irresponsible in selling flights requiring a transfer of airport in Japan but it is always the potential purchaser's responsibility to ensure that he/she is eligible to take such a flight.

5. You could try appealing to both Cheapoair and Japan Airlines for a refund of some or all of the fare but, to be honest, your case is very weak. If you booked using a credit card you could also try that refund route.

I wish you the best of luck but, frankly, I think you'll have to chalk this down to experience.

[ Edit: Edited on 5 Jul 2021, 07:08 GMT by leics2 ]