One of my close relative & her husband had booked flight from Boston to Mumbai. Along with them, their 5 year old son & 11 months old toddler son were also accompanying. Since the kids were small, my relative was highly dependent on her husband accompanying her.
My relative & her husband are Indian nationals with US visa. Her husband's US VISA was extended in US & was carrying papers to that extent. He was visiting India to get his passport suitably stamped from US Embassy in India, as per procedure.
However, when all of them approached British Airways flight counter at Boston airport 3 hours before flight time, British Airways refused entry & denied boarding pass to the husband of my relative. They said unless the person had visa stamped on passport, they would not allow the person to board. He said, he was indian national & had valid Indian passport & was going to India only for stamping purpose. Still British Airways official refused & he said he had rules to follow.
It was very strange situation & my relative was entirely dependent on her husband to attend to the 2 kids for the 24 hr long journey with 1 stopover of few hours at London.
They protested stating that British Airways had not informed them earlier & if they had they would have booked some other airline. They had all the plans confirmed, leaves confirmed at office & as such could not go anywhere, except to India. However the airline official refused to budge.
My relative was at tears against this sudden, unforeseen & strange situation. Finally looking at their genuine predicament, the official said to my relative that he can book him through another airline going through middle east, where no such rule was there. So they requested him to book both through like that. He again refused stating that he would book only her husband & she would have to travel on British Airways only.
Finally they agreed & her husband boarded Quatar Airways flight & she boarded British airways. She had a harrowing time to care the 2 kids simultaneously. Even visiting washroom anywhere was a problem.
Finally they arrived at Mumbai landing 2 hours apart & completed their nightmarish journey.
Thought such strange experience ought to be brought to the notice of the world of travelers, such that they take utmost precautions. There are millions of US VISA holders, wanting to travel to their native countries for various purposes. They should make doubly sure if they can board British Airways or any such other airline flights. Airlines from their side should make this information public well before people book for flights.