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BA banned Ukrainian families from entering the UK despite having correct documents

The family of three had traveled 800 miles to Warsaw Airport in Poland, from where they were due to fly to London as part of the UK government’s Homes for Ukraine programme

BA refused to say how many other Ukrainian passengers had been wrongfully turned away.
BA refused to say how many other Ukrainian passengers had been wrongfully turned away

British Airways has apologized after barring a Ukrainian family from boarding a plane despite all passengers having the correct documents.

The family of three, which included an eight-year-old girl, had fled their home in Kharkiv, which had suffered some of the most violent attacks, after waiting more than two weeks for UK visas to be issued.

They traveled 800 miles to Warsaw Airport in Poland, where they were scheduled to board the airline to London as part of the UK government’s Homes for Ukraine program.

Vira Rybalchenko, 68, lost her passport during the evacuation but was reassured by the British embassy that she would be allowed to travel because she had a paper copy of the document, as well as a newly issued British visa and Ukrainian ID card.

But minutes before they were due to board, Rybalchenko was mistakenly told by BA staff that she could not leave without her original passport.

BA admitted it was a mistake and apologized to family after being contacted by the Guardian newspaper.

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It said: “We sincerely apologize for the genuine error made by our team in trying to follow Home Office guidance and we have taken steps to ensure this does not happen again.

“We are contacting the family to apologize and will refund their tickets in full.”

Rybalchenko’s daughter Hanna Zakhovaieva said: “It was a terrible experience and my mother was absolutely shocked. I couldn’t leave my mother in Poland because she doesn’t understand the language and doesn’t know anyone or has anywhere to stay. “

Zakhovaieva, 37, said her eight-year-old daughter Sofia was “very traumatized” by the war.

The family had arrived at the airport at 6am for the 8.25am flight to London Heathrow. Zakhovaieva, an accountant, said they were left behind by BA staff “without any explanation or apology.”

They finally boarded LOT Polish Airlines for London at 8 p.m. after a temporary travel document was drawn up by an employee of Hungarian airline Wizz Air.

Zakhovaieva said she saw another family being turned away by BA staff.

The visa center at the airport “was shocked that BA didn’t allow us to board,” she said.

“They said this is a massive problem that many families will face.”

British Airways refused to say how many other Ukrainian passengers had been wrongfully turned away.

Zakhovaieva, her daughter and mother now live with their host family in Surrey.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/ba-banned-ukrainian-family-entering-26721746 BA banned Ukrainian families from entering the UK despite having correct documents

Fry Electronics Team

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