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April 28, 2012

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Wrong visas stall 16 tourists bound for Europe at airport

SIXTEEN tourists who planned to travel to Europe were stranded in a Shanghai airport since Thursday because they got the wrong visa from their travel agencies.

Late yesterday, they finally came to an agreement, although details were not disclosed and it was not known if the group joined the others or would take a later trip.

The tourists' itinerary was from April 26 to May 7 for travel to Italy, Switzerland and France, but the visas from the French consulate were for June 21 to July 20.

Managers from, one of the leading travel website in China, and China International Travel Service arrived at the Pudong International Airport to discuss solutions with the tourists on Thursday night.

"I couldn't believe this. I thought such a scenario of being stopped from checking in at the airport only existed in novels or TV shows," said one of the tourists, surnamed Zhou, who had planned a honeymoon trip with her husband.

"But if it wasn't the flight attendant that found the mistake on our passports, we would've been stranded in Italy now, which would be even worse," Zhou said.

By the time the visa problem was found, 11 of them had received their boarding passes and had their baggage checked, Zhou said.

There were 34 tourists in the travel group and 18 got the right visas with two tour guides, while the mistaken visas were issued to the other 16. The 18 tourists departed as scheduled with the tour guides, leaving the other 16 at the airport in desperation.

Among the 16, 12 signed up with while the other four were clients of China International.

The two companies had subcontracted the trip to Fenghuang Travel Service and Fenghuang later subcontracted it to Shanghai Yangzi International Travel Service.

The visas were issued on April 5 and the passports, which contained the visas, had been kept by the travel agencies.

But none of the employees of the travel agencies had checked them before departure, Zhou believed.

"None of them checked the date of visa, otherwise the problem could've been fixed," Zhou told Shanghai Daily.


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