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BA T5 visa conundrum

Old 15th Aug 2023, 10:13
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BA T5 visa conundrum

Had a boarding pass rejected last week just before security at T5 with the message to go and see a member of staff. Apparently I needed a Visa to return to my travel origin which was Germany even though i have approved permanent residency there, I'm a British passport holder BTW.
BA staff couldn't really explain to me why just that something had changed recently and an additional check was being made. They then changed a setting I believe and boarding was as expected. I didn't see any request to provide additional information other than passport info when booking the flight or when checking in via my BA APP.
To my knowledge I don't think I need a visa but someone somewhere obviously thinks otherwise.
Would be most grateful for any feedback or info
Thanks in advance
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Old 15th Aug 2023, 11:56
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I don’t think you’ve done anything wrong, there’s a similar issue now for France ex-T5 and APIS/the app doesn’t cover it...

Any French resident travelling on a Brit passport who has a round trip originating in France has to show their CDS (residency permit) to the appropriate BA staff member before trying to get through conformance on their way to their flight home.

I think it’s a fairly recent change, I got clobbered by it for the first time early this summer and it’s a PITA…..

No doubt an attempt by BA ensure compliance with the Schengen 90/180 rule, but I do wonder if any other airline is doing similar.

Last edited by wiggy; 15th Aug 2023 at 12:25.
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Old 15th Aug 2023, 12:49
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Originally Posted by wiggy
I donít think youíve done anything wrong, thereís a similar issue now for France ex-T5 and APIS/the app doesnít cover it...

Any French resident travelling on a Brit passport who has a round trip originating in France has to show their CDS (residency permit) to the appropriate BA staff member before trying to get through conformance on their way to their flight home.

I think itís a fairly recent change, I got clobbered by it for the first time early this summer and itís a PITAÖ..

No doubt an attempt by BA ensure compliance with the Schengen 90/180 rule, but I do wonder if any other airline is doing similar.
Thanks for the feedback . We did travel from Italy to Edinburgh earlier last month with Ryanair with no issue whatsoever. If this in indeed BA ensuring compliance then i would hope that they can make the situation more visible to their passengers who my be impacted by this. Maybe they would argue its my responsibility to ensure I have the correct documentation etc.
Oh well every day a school day....
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Old 15th Aug 2023, 12:58
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Old 15th Aug 2023, 13:06
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Yep, it seems to have been a well kept secret, not well advertised, and the manual system with the desk set up right by conformance smacks a bit of a quick lash up...

Maybe it will change again when/if the e-system comes in.
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Old 15th Aug 2023, 13:17
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I am British and live in Framce. I came through T5 yesterday and no one asked to see my French carte de sejour. Perhaps there are inconsistencies while whatever the new policy is beds in.
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Old 15th Aug 2023, 13:59
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Originally Posted by Bergerie1
I am British and live in Framce. I came through T5 yesterday and no one asked to see my French carte de sejour. Perhaps there are inconsistencies while whatever the new policy is beds in.
One of the family slipped the net and got straight through a few weeks back so there definitely appear to be inconsistencies.

OTOH when I got snagged it was a clear case of the computer saying ďnoĒ at the conformance gates.

FWIW Iíd cleared on-line check in with no flags but presumably the boarding pass hadnít been given the airside indicator - that was done once the BA staff member adjacent to those gates had seen my CdS.

We have another family member on a Brit passport in the UK ATM, due to come home via T5 in a few days, so it will be interesting to see how they get on.

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Old 15th Aug 2023, 15:07
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Update:

Just contacted BA via their Customer service chat , couldn't really find anything definitive as to what happened so they suggested we open a ETAM ticket ? which we did. Essentially their customer services said they was not able to see what their colleague at Heathrow did to clear the boarding pass problem. They said if it was something significant then normally a new boarding pass would have been issued .This was not the case just a question of re-scanning the original App Boarding pass which was accepted after the action by the BA desk. They did agree that a Visa was not needed for this journey. So lets see what feedback we get to the ETAM. Just hoping one way or another we can avoid a repetition of this.
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Old 15th Aug 2023, 16:50
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Something wrong here. Given that you're entitled to visit the EU for 180 days *without* a visa on a UK passport, you shouldn't need to provide a proof of residency.
Happens all over the world, though. Air NZ check-in in AKL wanted to see proof of residency for DE (have dual UK/NZ citizenship) on an AKL-LAX-FRA routing, showed it, he said "I can't read it, it's in German - what does it say?" "It says that I have residency" " Oh, OK then..."
You can't make this sh1t up....
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Old 15th Aug 2023, 17:57
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I don't think there's some ghost in the machine causing this , and it's not uncommon for one department in BA to not be fully in the loop with another department's policy. TBH it sounds to me as if somebody at BA has decided (possibly on advice from "legal") to very strictly monitor compliance with Schengen.

As this was explained to me on the day (and FWIW I know it is how it has been explained to others, including serving BA staff who are regular flying commuters through T5 to a French destination):



" You are travelling into the Schengen zone on a UK passport (so non-EU, non-Schengen,) so potentially subject to the 90/180 rule

Because you have bought a return ticket from within the EU and are now on the final leg back into Schengen "we" (i.e. somebody at BA) really needs to make sure you have open'ish ended permission to stay....

Please show us your Schengen Visa or residency permit."



The Customer Service rep is right in saying no Visa needed, but that's only half the story.

FWIW it's straightforward enough and very quick for ground staff to magically convert a paper non-complaint boarding pass to a compliant one, there's often absolutely no need to print another copy.

Be interesting to see if this process continues.

Last edited by wiggy; 15th Aug 2023 at 18:12.
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Old 15th Aug 2023, 18:10
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Originally Posted by RevMan2
Something wrong here. Given that you're entitled to visit the EU for 180 days *without* a visa on a UK passport, you shouldn't need to provide a proof of residency.
....
Well, 90/180, and if you have a return ticket UK>Schengen>UK then the airline can (theoretically) monitor compliance with that.

If it's a one way ticket UK> Schengen only then they haven't got that ability and it seems somebody may have has decided to look harder at documentation if that's the case.

There are obvious holes in the cunning plan and I agree it's pants so please don't shoot the messenger, I'm just passing on what I and others have been told at T5
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Old 15th Aug 2023, 18:40
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And don't expect things to get better once ETIAS and EES are 'up and running' ....
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Old 16th Aug 2023, 17:50
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Another update

Have been in touch with the British consulate over this and basically they said an issue like this has never been reported to them before and that I should pursue the matter with BA, which I am already doing . Also to contact the local relevant German authority to check the access data connected to the Passport/Residents permit. I'm going to wait for a response from BA before going to the local authorities as I don't think this is a matter from them at present. Watch this space !
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Old 16th Aug 2023, 19:48
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Am about to go London to Venice with Ryanair, then Train to Milan and Milan to London with Easy...so far all boarding passes printed , so will see what happens .. Have looked at the ETIAS, and as I understand it this ' starts 'in 2023, but not yet
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Old 16th Aug 2023, 22:00
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ETIAS / EES is very unlikely to be effective before the end of the Paris Olympics and Paralympics in summer 2024. The French Govt does not want any problems, eg athletes unable to enter France because computer says no, while the world is watching.
Late October 2024 / early November 2024 seems to be the most likely start date for EES / ETIAS

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Old 17th Aug 2023, 14:31
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Originally Posted by davidjohnson6
ETIAS / EES is very unlikely to be effective before the end of the Paris Olympics and Paralympics in summer 2024. The French Govt does not want any problems, eg athletes unable to enter France because computer says no, while the world is watching.
Late October 2024 / early November 2024 seems to be the most likely start date for EES / ETIAS
Agreed..

As far as T5 ATM..I think the view of most of the regulars I know who have been caught up in this are are concerned it's BA being perhaps a bit over zealous/overly keen in policing documentation but what they are looking for is iaw with Schengen area rules (in a nutshell for Brits - comply with 90/180 or have a long stay Visa or a residency permit) and a carrier has responsibilities in that area.

Will and when will other carriers start doing similar...I guess the smart ones will hang on as long as possible, maybe they'll wait for the e-systems.

Anyhow the family member travelling back home on a British passport into a Schengen country through T5 this weekend has been briefed as to what to possibly expect and to have their residency permit handy....
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Old 17th Aug 2023, 15:59
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Originally Posted by wiggy
Agreed..

As far as T5 ATM..I think the view of most of the regulars I know who have been caught up in this are are concerned it's BA being perhaps a bit over zealous/overly keen in policing documentation but what they are looking for is iaw with Schengen area rules (in a nutshell for Brits - comply with 90/180 or have a long stay Visa or a residency permit) and a carrier has responsibilities in that area.

Will and when will other carriers start doing similar...I guess the smart ones will hang on as long as possible, maybe they'll wait for the e-systems.

Anyhow the family member travelling back home on a British passport into a Schengen country through T5 this weekend has been briefed as to what to possibly expect and to have their residency permit handy....
Thanks again for the update but it it does seem to be an intermittent check IMHO but admit I could be wrong here . It would be appreciated that now this check is being implemented passengers are notified via a pop up notification on the Web booking or via the app. The airline is aware of the travelers passport nationality and destination.
I know its the passengers responsibility to make sure they have the correct documentation but in our case the counter staff were totally bemused at the situation.

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Old 17th Aug 2023, 17:42
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Yep agree with that, it's really not on that you only find out that an extra/new check is needed by the conformance gate saying "no"..

For interests sake I'll report back on how the traveller in our family manages when they transit T5
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Old 18th Aug 2023, 08:09
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I'm British, living in Australia since 1968, with an accent to match.

On a recent 14 day trip to Saigon (Vietnam), Bamboo's Melbourne staff didn't want to let me board because I didn't have a visa - Australians require visas to enter Vietnam, Brits may enter for up to 15 days without a visa.

And, you guessed it, 14 days later their staff in Saigon didn't want to let me board to return to Melbourne, because the Australian government, in its brilliance, no longer provides any physical visa or passport stamp for permanent resident holders, so I had no physical evidence of a right to enter Australia.

Fortunately I had spotted both these potential problems beforehand and carried printouts from the Vietnamese government website and of the email confirming my resident's visa, along with reams of other printouts about CPAP machines, batteries, etc, which I didn't need to produce. It shouldn't be necessary to spot and per-emptively patch the holes in the system before you fall into them, but it's well worth trying to spot them ahead of time.
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Old 22nd Aug 2023, 19:13
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For info previously mentions family member did indeed have Titre checked at T5 over the weekend….
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