SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — A Santa Clara family has their own travel horror story to tell. They were deported from Paris after their passports were lost during their flight.
Last Friday, Daryl Guieb was heading to Paris for a business trip and took along his wife and 3-year-old daughter. The Santa Clara resident boarded a United Airlines flight at San Francisco International Airport, but because there was a change of seating, the family was issued new boarding passes.
“We were on the plane finding our seats, you know, put the boarding passes back in my pouch, and put them back in the bag. And that was the last time I saw the passports,” said Guieb.
The family landed at Charles De Gaulle Airport and left the plane, but once in the concourse, they realized they didn’t have their passports. The pouch may have slipped out. So, Guieb went back to the plane to find it. He was refused entry, but said a United employee spent about ten minutes looking for it before coming out to say that it wasn’t there.
“And I told them, ‘Just let me in the plane and I’ll find it, because I know where we sat down. I know where to look. I know what to look for,'” said Guieb.
But the employee didn’t Guieb on the plane. And because they had no passports, the family was turned over to French immigration officials who, Guieb says, seemed annoyed by the whole thing. He says they were driven to a nearby facility where they were kept in a cold, locked, windowless room overnight.
The next morning, they were put on another United flight back home.
“I feel like they were inconsiderate, indifferent, um, unprofessional. They really didn’t care that we were in a foreign country without our passports,” explained Guieb.
United Airlines said they have not received a complaint from Guieb yet but they said in a written statement, “French law does not allow passengers to return to the aircraft after leaving an international flight. However, we are reaching out to our customer to better understand what happened.”
Guieb said what did not happen was any real effort to immediately find the passports. When they got home, a message was waiting for his family, saying the items had indeed been found, but demanding $20 to ship them to the family’s home.
“They didn’t even try to help us throughout the process. They didn’t care. I feel like they were not empathetic,” said Guieb.
Guieb said his daughter was traumatized by the ordeal and he also said he’s considering consulting an attorney. United Airlines declined a request for an on-camera interview.