Family of four misses trip to LA after failing to comply with ESTA requirements

Father’s honest slip cost the family more than $6000, and made authorities nervous

After failing to show their ESTA travel permits, a family of four was denied entry to their American Airways flight to Los Angeles Airport. The mother is now warning holidaymakers and travelers to check ESTA requirements before they travel.

Jeremy Maddox claims that he and his family were confused when border officials asked for their ESTA authorizations. Paul G., an airline representative from AA, confirmed that crew members and border officials became “nervous” after the family failed to submit their ESTA permits.

U.S. Immigration
February 9, 2023

Jeremy was travelling with his wife Lillian, Jesse (16 years old), and Megan (14 years). According to Lillian and Jeremy, the family lost approximately $6000 and had a chance to take a roundtrip from beautiful LA and coastal California.

“Everything was ready. We checked in our bags and made accommodations for more than two weeks. We even rented a car to LA,” Mr. Maddox stated to reporters. “But once we got to the gate, the passport controls turned out be a nightmare.”

Ms. Maddox adds that she had never heard of ESTA. “We live in quite a rural area near Bretford. Many of our friends have been to the USA. ESTA has remained elusive in conversation.

However, the airline crew, airport authorities and even the captain were more suspicious. Montgomery A., the captain, refused to comment, but Douglas Rogers, an attendant at the airline, was more sympathetic to the family’s situation. For over a decade, the ESTA requirement has been a requirement to travel to the USA. Although we do occasionally get dumbfounded travelers, people know that the requirements for entry to the plane must be met.

The Maddoxes were not able to use the airport’s ESTA terminal directly to apply from the airport, so they couldn’t reschedule. Megan Maddox is the youngest member of the family and shakes her head in frustration. She claims that her parents ignored her plea to double-check US entry requirements. “I had seen something about ESTA – probably on my Instagram. We would have applied for our flight if they had listened.

Jeremy Maddox looks still shaken as he describes how the experience quickly turned into a comedy. “I asked for information after I realized that something was wrong. It seemed that we could apply by proxy. I was about calling my brother in London to quickly apply for us, so our ESTAs were ready when we landed at LAX.

But, it turned out that this was false. It would be impossible to get an ESTA prior to flying so we wouldn’t have the ability to travel. We were escorted back to the departure gate by dozens of passengers, while our family was staring at them. It was incredible.

Ms. Maddox, while declining to comment on the matter further, said that she felt ashamed and in “total distress” as airport officials led her out of the airport. Officials informed them that their bags would soon be delivered at home.

ESTA is mandatory for visa-exempt citizens traveling to the United States. This includes British, Canadians, Australians, Brazilians, Germans, and many others. To ensure that the system can prescreen applicants’ information, authorities ask that travelers apply for ESTA at the latest 72 hours before they depart.

The ESTA is tied each passport and has a validity period of 2 years, or until the passport expires if it was earlier. Regardless of their age, every traveler who is from a Visa Waiver Program (VWP country) needs an ESTA. A person who has received an ESTA may use the same authorization to authorize multiple trips. Travel authorization system regulations state that travelers from countries exempted by visas can only use ESTA to travel for up to 90 days.

Paul G., spokesperson for American Airlines, stated that “Once we established that the Maddox family didn’t possess ESTA authorizations we correctly denied them entry to the aircraft.

“ESTA regulations require that all British citizens present an ESTA travel permit prior to boarding a plane. It is a simple and quick process that thousands of people use every day.

The airline directives are clear and firm. Travelers visiting the USA for business or pleasure will not be permitted to board an airplane without an ESTA. However, I want to express my sympathy to the Maddox family. As the old saying goes “To err is only human.”

According to Mr. Maddox, they reached out to the media to warn other travelers about the mistake. “We had spent more than $6000 on flights, accommodation for a week, car rental, car rentals, and reservations. Although we may be able get some back, one small mistake cost us the trip of a lifetime.”

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