Dozens of Indian nationals attempting to board flights to the UK with a stopover in the Czech Republic, France, Germany or Spain have been prevented from doing so in recent days.
Air carriers registered in the European Union like Lufthansa, Air France and KLM, which operate flights from India to the United Kingdom, with a stopover in one of these four EU countries, do not allow more Indians who do not hold a Schengen transit visa or another type of a valid Schengen visa, to board these flights, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.
According to the Times of India, among those affected is also Mihikaa Bhaskar, a 25-year-old student pursuing her master’s degree at a London college.
Mihikaa had returned to her home in Kasturinagar, Bengaluru on March 16, visiting her parents for the Easter holiday. However, in her attempt to return to the UK to continue her studies, Mihikaa was prevented from boarding Lufthansa flight LH 755, which she had pre-booked at Kempegowda International Airport.
“They said they couldn’t allow me to board because being an Indian passport holder I needed a transit visa for my two and a half hour transit period in Frankfurt before I boarded. fly to London. I tried to tell them that I had a valid UK residence permit and didn’t have to face the transit visa hurdle when traveling from London to Bangalore via Frankfurt, but they were just not ready to listen.Mihikaa says of her experience.
Due to the obstacle, she was then forced to book a flight to London via Bahrain.
Mihikaa is just one of many Indian nationals, many of whom are students, who have faced this problem in recent days.
This requirement follows the UK’s departure from the EU on December 31, 2020, making it a third country in the European bloc. The reason why the requirement started to be applied exactly now has not been explained by the airlines.
According to SchengenVisaInfo.com, a transit Schengen visa allows travelers to stop and wait in the international transit area of an airport within the Schengen area for their flight to their destination country.
Although the 26 countries that are part of the Schengen area align their visa policies, when it comes to the Schengen transit visa, member countries have different rules for who needs it. For example, Indian nationals need a transit visa to transit through Germany and Spain, but not through Austria, Denmark or Belgium.
>> Indians cannot travel with EU Airlines to Great Britain without a Schengen transit visa