Flight to nowhere - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Flight to nowhere

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Imagine this, you get ready to board an airplane, they tell you that all your paperwork is in order, and when you land in another country you are told, you cant enter, go back. So the question, Whose fault is it? Yours or the airlines? It's a question one woman has after her family vacation to Colombia, got ruined. Here is Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

WSVN -- Andrea Gaviria wasn't joking when the swimsuit model told me she has started her own swimwear line because she is getting older. She is 22.

Andrea Gaviria: "I am currently still a model but I am trying to set that aside and build my own little empire because looks don't last forever."

Today Andrea owns OMG Miami Swimwear, with her models showing off bathing suits that everyone can afford.

Andrea Gaviria: "My price range starts at $45 and the most expensive is $100. Very affordable fashion."

Her swimsuits are eye catching. Her airline experience, an eye opener.

Andrea Gaviria: "I was devastated. We didn't know what to do."

Andrea, her fiancee Enrique and their son were flying to Colombia so he could ask her father for permission to marry her. Andrea and their son are Americans, but since Enrique is from Cuba and not yet a U.S. citizen. They made sure he could fly into Colombia.

Andrea Gaviria: "And we have flown to other countries and I doubled checked and found nothing on the web what a Cuban or you know needs to fly to Colombia."

They then headed to the airport

Andrea Gaviria: "We checked in, no problem. He gave him his documentation, we gave them ours, no problem. We went thru customs, we boarded the plane, no problem at all."

They landed in Bogota, a big problem.

Andrea Gaviria: "They are like 'Sir, you can't come in here. You need a special Visa to come in."

An airline representative told Enrique he had to fly back to Fort. Lauderdale without Andrea and their son.

Andrea Gaviria: "Once I told the JetBlue staff I wanted to go back with him they were like 'It's not possible, unless you want to pay another thousand dollars."

Enrique didn't get to tell Andrea's father about their plan to get married. In fact, never got to talk to him.

Andrea Gaviria: "And the only way to see him was through a window and my dad just barely said hi through the glass."

Needless to say, Andrea was upset.

Andrea Gaviria: "I blame JetBlue. Why? They shouldn't have allowed us to check in with his paperwork."

When she returned to Fort. Lauderdale, she called the airline where she was told the mistake, was her fault.

Andrea Gaviria: "'You should do your research.' I said 'I did do my research but you should do your part as well.'"

Well Howard, a special vacation with a request for a hand in marriage was ruined, so is the airline responsible for checking your papers to make sure you have the right documentation to enter a country? Or are you?

Howard Finkelstein: "The airlines have a right to check your paperwork but even if they make a mistake and let you board without the proper documentation, they are not responsible. It's the passengers responsibility."

Since Andrea and their son are Americans, Colombia doesn't require a Visa for them. But since Enrique is from Cuba and not yet an American, he needed that Visa.

We contacted JetBlue. A spokesperson wrote, "While we make every effort to provide our customers with information, it is still the customers responsibility to check the required documentation.

Andrea says the airline did offer her a $100 voucher towards her next JetBlue flight, she said, No thanks.

Andrea Gaviria: "I am really excited how big my company has been growing in the last year and a half."

Enrique and Andrea have set a wedding date for next year. He has also filed the paperwork to become an American citizen. In the meantime, Andrea is moving ahead, making sure OMG Miami Swimwear keeps rolling along.

Andrea Gaviria: "I am expanding. We are going to branch out. Bring in clothes, swimsuits and hopefully within a year, open up a store in a local mall."

Patrick Fraser: "A busy lady. Now if you want to make sure you have the proper paperwork, if the country you are going to requires a Visa, the link on our website at wsvn.com."

Dont depend on the airline, plug in the country on the website and it tells you exactly what you need, so your vacation isn't ruined like Andreas was.

U.S State Department Travel Information

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_4965.html

CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:

E-mail: helpmehoward@wsvn.com (please include your contact phone number when e-mailing)

Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com

Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN

Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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