4 Kenyans Sue Air France for Deporting Them During Holiday Trip

  • Four Kenyans have sued two European air carriers, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Air France, wanting the airlines to be compelled to compensate them for their deportation while on a holiday trip in 2018.

    Paul Kinuthia Kagwe, Grace Ngina Kinuthia, Priscilla Nduku Wangui and Erastus Ndegwa Wangui were arrested and deported by French immigration officials at the Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris, France.

    In a case filed at the Kenyan high court, the four narrated their ordeal on how they were accosted by the French police on October 15, 2018.

    They had booked four return tickets in September 2018 intending to take a holiday trip to Canada and later obtained the necessary Canadian visas.

    They left Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on October 6, 2018, at about midnight, and arrived in France the following morning.

    After a six-hour wait for their connecting flight, they finally left for Canada without a hitch.

    On their way back on October 15, they were arrested as they lacked the Schengen (European Union area) Visa.

    "Remarkably, no airline officials mentioned anything about the requirement of a Schengen Visa while we were on transit in France travelling onward to Toronto, Canada.

    This fact remains unexplained when we considered the tribulations that befell us on the return journey," the four have argued in court papers.

    Their passports were confiscated and they were detained in a holding cell at the airport for over eight hours without food, water or toilet facilities.

    They were later deported from France on October 17, 2018, following the intervention of family friends, Kenyan Immigration and Kenya Airways officials.

    The four now blame KLM and Air France for not having informed them of the Schengen visa requirement for any transit layovers in France.

    The two airlines, however, want the suit against them dismissed, saying it ought to have been lodged in France where the alleged mistreatment of the aggrieved passengers occurred.