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The man's passport contains a written message saying that the aircraft captain has denied him entry. His departure stamp has been cancelled

Captain Bars Phuket Tourist from Flying to Europe for Health Reasons

Sunday, November 17, 2013
PHUKET: An aircraft captain refused to allow a passenger to fly home from Phuket to France this week, creating an unusual incident at Phuket International Airport.

The 56-year-old man was in the waiting area at the airport on Thursday and about to join in boarding the late-night flight to Europe when observations from other passengers and boarding staff reached the ears of the flight's captain.

The man had a wound that was not just unsightly but seeping into his jacket. It was also noticeably smelly.

The captain went to investigate and denied the man permission to board the flight on the grounds of health concerns for the other passengers.

His decision brought a flurry of activity. Airport officials and Immigration officers were alerted to the captain's decision.

At first reluctant to obey officials, the man was taken to Thalang Hospital, where nurses cleaned the wound. The man was singing through the procedure.

Tourist Police took the man back to Phuket airport, where he spent some time isolated from other travellers in the Immigration staff section.

The man arrived on Phuket on October 25 and obtained a visa until November 23. However, because the man had been due to fly out, Immigration officials cancelled his visa on Thursday.

A hand-written notation was added to the page in the man's passport. It reads: ''The captain has denied entry to the aircraft because of concerns about health and safety.''

French honorary consul Claude de Crissey has since become involved. Mr de Crissey organised for the man to be taken from the airport to stay in Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket City on Friday and Saturday nights.

A relative has told the envoy that the man's behavior is out of character.The relative could not speculate about how the unusual circumstances came about.

The man is a frequent flyer with the airline that barred him from Thursday's flight and often travels from France to Thailand.

Phuketwan has refrained from naming the man out of concern for possible repercussions that could follow him through the rest of his life.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Theres a big difference between a visa which gives you the right to enter thailand' and a permission to stay 'which gives you the right to be within thailand' .

the man was not given a visa, nor even a visa on entry, he was given a visa exempt entry for 30 days.

Saves everyone confusion when these are correctly applied.

Posted by LivinLOS on November 17, 2013 08:04

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Many people moan about Immigration but I think they did the right thing here. The man did not leave Thailand and therefore is not entitled to a new Visa and by the same token his original Visa is still valid. Personally I agree both for his health and the people in the plane. If the wound was smelly it almost certainly was infected therefore should be treated asap. It's a long flight to Europe.

Posted by Same, same but diffferent on November 17, 2013 11:14

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Health and safety concerns are valid reason for denied boarding but it's highly unusual and contemptuous for immigration to make such remarks in the passport.

His medical condition is obviously temporary and taken care of. The remarks in the passport are permanent.

I have witnessed many passengers being denied boarding but I've never ever seen immigration make notes to the passport.

Every major international airport has medical staff on location to resolve such issues without having to leave the transit area and create immigration issues. The fact that Phuket does not is a major deficiency in the services AOT offers to travelers.

The airline will note down in his booking that he's been denied boarding for medical reasons. When resolved, a doctor issues a "safe-to-fly" certificate and by presenting this the airline will make arrangements to transport him to his destination.

This has nothing to do with the immigration at all and I'm quite sure they have overstepped their authority by writing up such remarks.

I hope the French authorities press for a clarification from Phuket Immigration office.

Posted by ThaiMike on November 17, 2013 12:37

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ThaiMike

If he was in the lounge he had already passed immigration so of course they have to be involved if he goes back in the country, and they should write the reason why to avoid any confusion when he is better and can leave the country. My passport is full of handwritten notes from immigration usually stating what company I am working for, and if I have to extend visa whilst in country there is a note to explain why, common practice in a lot of other countries in the world, looks like good job by all.

There should be a health centre at the airport, all the money AOT make should be part of service

Posted by Michael on November 17, 2013 17:02

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- Michael

There are 2 separate issues here. The reasons for denied boarding have nothing to do with immigration.

Passing immigration again is all they should be concerned with. They are not medical experts and to label a person a health and safety concern is inflammatory.

As to his permission of stay, all they had to do was to cancel his departure stamp since he never actually left Thailand after all.

If you look closer at the passport, you can see this is precisely what they did so why not give him permission to stay until his original Nov 23rd ?

Technically speaking he was in no-mans-land but practically in Thailand and certainly not abroad. Since his departure stamp was cancelled, technically speaking none of this ever happened so why was his permission to stay revoked ?

The way I see this it's just another example how inflexible Thai Immigration is.

They could have made his life a lot easier but just chose not to.

A note in the passport stating this passenger is a health and safety concern is contemptuous. I'd like to see how his next US entry attempt goes with that remark there. Yes, you can bet they will find someone to translate that.

Posted by ThaiMike on November 17, 2013 20:13

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Sadly I have missed a few flights in my time, in Indonesia they just cancelled my exit stamp and in Singapore as I had stayed at the airport overnight stamped me with a new Entry Visa. Having seen the comments here if maybe if legal in Thailand it would have been better to just cancel his exit stamp.

Posted by Same, same but different on November 18, 2013 12:53

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As usual people are making an issue of nothing.

He will be easily allowed to exit Thailand when the health concerns have gone, he'll probably need a MD to sign off on that, and he won't have any problems entering Thailand or any other country in the future.

Posted by stevenl on November 18, 2013 13:32

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- stevenl

Would you like to have a note written by immigration officers in your passport you've been denied boarding because you were deemed a health and safety risk ?

I doubt you'd be so cavalier about it if the shoe was on your foot.

In today's aviation security climate that's a remark I most certainly would not want to carry around in my passport.

Maybe you do.

Posted by ThaiMike on November 18, 2013 17:32

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@ Thaimike No, I would not, so it is a good thing I did not claim that or anything of that nature.
I said, and I'll repeat for you, it is not as big a deal as you and others are making it out to be. Pleasant no, but a big deal, also not.

Posted by stevenl on November 18, 2013 17:45

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Seems a lot of concern about whether or not there should be a comment placed in this guys passport, personally I think the only country that has that right is the issuing country, having said that, if it's an issue, then all he needs to do is apply for a new passport, end of problem. I hope that settles it.

Posted by Laurie Howells on November 18, 2013 19:05

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Yes I dont see what all the fuss is about. I am more interested in the wound - a seeping festering smelly wound? What was the man thinking of in trying to board a longhaul flight?

Posted by geoff on November 18, 2013 21:16

Editor Comment:

You are joining the island's enthusiastic embellishers, geoff. The wound was hidden under a coat. IIt was certainly smelly. n all probability, the man did not understand what he was doing.

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No one has bothered translating my overstay stamps and the writing that goes with them, when I go to the states

Posted by Michael on November 21, 2013 01:27

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@Michael
That's because they (NSA) knows it already ;-)
It's the advantage of Thai language, that only Thai immigration will ever know about it. And they (should) have it in the Computers, anyway! As long he not goes to an Embassy, even consulates aren't staffed with Thais. Mostly.
@ThaiMike
But anyway, the immigration wrote down, what the captain of the aircraft did. Nothing more, no need, to be a medical expert. Only the explanation, why he didn't leave, like he was supposed to.
Officialdom, everything has to be in order.

Posted by Anonymous on November 21, 2013 10:51


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