Nobody needs to tell me that visas are my responsibility. As someone who has been to more than 140 countries, it's unimaginable that I do not know that.
Yes, surely, visas are the responsibility of the passenger. And I have abided by my responsibility; I have contacted the competent Embassies and Consulates as dictated to me in the Terms and Conditions. I got direct official information from both the honorary consul of Djibouti here in Italy and the French Embassy which issues the visa. They both told me I didn't need to get a visa in advance, that I could get it at the airport in Djibouti.
If they refuse to give me the service I paid for on that ground, they should prove I have been irresponsible.
What have I done? Did I try to fly without a visa to a country which normally required a visa? Or did I try to fly with a visa that had expired? Or did I go to the airport without bothering to check the visa practice at all? Or did I apply for the visa and was denied a visa because I did not meet the requirements? I refuse to accept any accusation of irresponsibility on my part.
Sure, I accepted the terms and conditions, which state that “In case of cancellation, the amount to be refunded depends on the cancellation policy of the supplier (airline).” I put that in bold letters to emphasize that I DID NOT cancel my ticket; I was denied boarding the plane due to a change in visa regulations.
In the document you have sent it says:
"entry formalities are subject to change without any notice."
In fact, that was the case here. But does it say anywhere that “In such a case, the customer is to pay the price, the provider/airline can pocket the money without providing the service they have promised to give”? Is there such a provision in the terms and conditions I have accepted?
According to the last information I got, someone got into Djibouti with a VOA-Visa on Arrival on November 30th. My flight was December 1st. And Djibouti has gone back to VOA on December 4th. So it was only three (3) days where the VOA was rebuked. Plus, given the fact that Djibouti has had VOA for more than 25 years, it's obvious this is a very extraordinary situation.
This goes beyond responsibility, it means fining us for things not within our control and not our fault. And this is against the universally accepted fundamental principle of justice, let alone awful customer care. What's more, as IATA's provision, “The industry recognizes that unforeseen circumstances do occur and has made arrangements to accommodate passengers in such cases.”
I don't even want a chargeback necessarily, I'd be more than happy to be re-issued the same Rome-Djibouti return ticket on the dates of my choice.
Thank you for your understanding.