Returning To Aus Via Usa.. From The Uk.

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EllieJP | 01:08 Sat 19th Jun 2021 | Travel
5 Answers
My aunt is trying to get back to Australia after returning to attend her mums funeral..
she’s been struggling to get a flight, but thought she’d struck lucky with virgin Atlantic who happily booked her tickets to LAX.. then on to SYD..
one negative covid test later, she’s at the airport to then be told that she needs a green card to fly.. they’re not letting anyone into the USA who isn’t entering for work or a returning citizen.
Now, my aunt rang and spoke to someone to get the flight sorted in the first place.. Would it not be their job to know that this wouldn’t be allowed? Virgin are claiming it’s not their job to tell you what you need to/enter.. But s

And second of all.. Will she be entitled to a refund? Or credit at the very least!
Any advice welcome..
Thanks :-)


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The Virgin Atlantic website clearly states "Unless you're a US Citizen, Permanent Resident, or their close family members (spouses, siblings, parents, guardians) you won't be permitted entry into the USA from the UK. This includes customers in transit."

Virgin Atlantic staff would (quite reasonably in my opinion) assume that anyone seeking to book a flight to, or via, the USA would meet the above requirements in terms of their status. I can't see that your aunt has any valid legal claim for any type of compensation. All that she might possibly hope for is a goodwill gesture from the airline (but that, in my opinion, is probably unlikely). Sorry!
Addressing the wider problem here (i.e. assuming that your aunt is still needs to get home), the Australian Embassy in London is currently showing on their website that Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates Airline are continuing to fly into Australia:
(NB: The website stresses that intending passengers should check the rules applying in any transit countries).
Singapore Airlines is currently showing that passengers from the UK may transit through Singapore Airport:

See also here
and here

Singapore Airlines have departures to Sydney (via Singapore) at 0925 next Wednesday, Thursday & Friday. (1h 45m at Singapore, 22h 30m total time). They also have an 1125 departure daily, with 2h 5m at Singapore. (Total time 22h 50m). There are other options too but with longer connection times.
She'll need to quarantine for fourteen days when she gets back home.

"Unless arriving on a quarantine-free flight from New Zealand, all travellers arriving in Australia, including Australian citizens, must quarantine for 14 days at a designated facility, such as a hotel in the city of arrival.​ See Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for travellers.

You may be required to pay for the costs of your quarantine. To find out more about quarantine requirements, contact the relevant state or territory government health department."

yes, even when in transit through LA you have to pass through passport control, sit in a room, then pass back in again. It always struck me as crazy security since it actually lets people into the USA rather than keeping them in a transit lounge. Looks like for Covid, unlike after 9.11, they've closed this loophole.

If there's any record of your aunt specifically asking someone at the airline or a travel agent if there were any requirements, and being given wrong information, she could claim she was misled and entitled to compensation. But if she just misled herself by not checking, she'll be out of luck.

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