Radio Jambo presenter Gidi Ogidi (Gidi Gidi) was denied entry to a plane heading to France from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on Wednesday night, May 19.
Gidi was forced to involuntarily give up his seat - a situation referred to as bumping - and return back home after the airline locked him out at the boarding gate.
The Gidi & Ghost breakfast show host explained that the incident was occasioned by a last-minute hitch aligned with the new Covid-19 regulations. Gidi was on the way to attend his daughter - Marie-Rose's - birthday in Paris.
"I had met all the travel requirements with a valid visa and Covid-19 negative test certificate. The airline had even checked in my luggage and issued a boarding pass, only to be told at the boarding gate that I need clearance from the French Embassy because my three-year visa was issued way back before the Covid-19 pandemic.Radio Jambo presenters Jacob Ghost Mulee (left) and Gidi Gidi (right)
"I had no option but to turn back to the arrivals section, feeling disappointed and wasted. I picked my luggage which was already removed from the plane and went back home," he lamented.
Gidi added that he had carried a number of gifts for the daughter and souvenirs for her friends too. The radio presenter was further excited at meeting the friends' parents.
He revealed that he hadn't reached out to his daughter to apologise for missing her most important day yet and that he felt uneasy about breaking the news to her.
"What Marie-Rose doesn’t know is that I won’t be seeing her. I was bumped out of the Wednesday night flight to Paris," the musician wrote.
According to Gidi, the French Embassy clarified that they were not allowing travellers with visit visas to tour France.
"I feel the airline should have informed me on these new guidelines before booking or before check-in. However they have since apologised for the hitch and offered to refund the ticket in full without any penalties," Gidi explained.
France currently has in place more relaxed restrictions for several non-EU countries, including the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. In contrast, the citizens of most third-world countries can enter France only for absolutely essential purposes.
“While the Covid-19 pandemic stabilizes on the national territory, the propagation of the virus in certain countries, and in particular of several variants of interest raising fears of a risk of increased transmissibility or vaccine escape, requires a reinforcement of the control measures for arrivals from these countries,” the French government notes announcing the decision,” the French government announced on May 9.The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), NairobiFilearrest
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