Grandma left 'distressed' after being turned away from flight despite having a visa – and is left £2k out of pocket | The Sun

A BRITISH grandma was left gutted after she was turned away from her flight, despite having a visa.

The 80-year-old said she was left £2k out of pocket as she tried to travel to New Zealand to visit her son and grandchild.

Lois Crumpton was mid-journey on the way to visit her son Tom and meet her grandchild for the first time, when she was told she could not fly enter the country.

A visa issue had denied her access, something she didn't find out about until she had already flown the first leg of her trip, from London to San Francisco.

Ms Crumpton said she had successfully applied for a NZeTA visa waiver document before setting off, and was therefore not expecting any problems.

However, her son, who lives in New Zealand explained that the issue is a result of her getting stranded in the country during the pandemic and overstaying her visa at the time.

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He told Stuff New Zealand: "She went to board her flight to Auckland and was stopped at the gate and told she’s an overstayer and not authorised to return to New Zealand.

“She ended up stuck here for about 18 months and, while she was here, she did all of her visa extensions and things she was required to do.

"Immigration staff reassured me that as long as mum was going through the process, she was not going to get deported and would be okay to stay.”

Lois was eventually able to fly home from New Zealand, but she soon found herself planning another trip back to visit her new grandchild William. That was when she was denied entry.

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In a complaint written to New Zealand officials, Ms Crumpton said she had been left distressed by the ordeal.

She wrote: “I am 80 years old and travelling such a long way is a huge undertaking for me, and to have the experience of being refused to board a plane, when in good faith I had applied and received permission to travel to NZ, has caused significant emotional distress."

New Zealand immigration officers acknowledged that they had made an error and said that they "should have applied discretion and allowed her to board the plane".

Lois' son Tom said that he is still angry about the situation and that no one has offered to pay the £2,000 cost of his mother's travel, despite NZ officials admitting their mistake.

While in this instance, it was the country's officials who were to blame, flight attendants have advised passengers to keep an eye on entry requirements before flying to avoid problems.

One told Sun Online Travel: "Not checking entry requirements before visiting certain countries is a really easy way to waste all the money you spent on your holiday, only to then not be allowed to travel.

"This is most commonly seen on flights to America, where passengers don't realise that they need an ESTA to enter.

"If you forget to apply for your ESTA, you probably won't be able to fly, it's as simple as that.

"I have seen a couple of miracle on-the-day applications go through in time, but for the most part, it's unlikely that your application will be approved quickly enough, if you're doing it at the airport."

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Meanwhile, these hidden holiday costs mean Brits spend much more than they need to when travelling.

And these travel experts revealed the silliest things they've been charged for while on holidays.

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