An elderly couple from Kent was asked to return to the United Kingdom after border guards in Goa said that the senior citizens’ visa had lapsed by five minutes, the Sun reported.
Ned Beecroft, 77, and his partner Margaret Wilson de-boarded from the aircraft in Goa after a 10-hour flight, only to be told to go back on the same plane by Indian officials. The couple’s £2,000 holiday plans in India were shattered, the report said.
“We’ve wanted to go to India for ages, but we’re certainly not going back now. You just can’t argue with these people. We’re lucky the plane hadn’t left, otherwise they told us we’d have to spend the night in a cell,” Beecroft was quoted as saying by the publication.
He added that the experience left them exhausted. “It left us both really sick. It’s not good for anyone to be on a plane for that long, let alone when you get to our age. Why they had to send us home for the sake of five minutes on a piece of paper is beyond us,” he said.
The couple asked a friend to help them with filling the online visa form since they are both dyslexic. The visa was valid for a period of 60 days, however, since the entry date was technically incorrect, the couple was not allowed in Goa and was sent back to Gatwick — from where they had departed.
The elderly couple had bought an all-inclusive package that was worth approximately £2,000 at a hotel located around a blue water lagoon in Goa. “Why would we want to stay there for? We’re pensioners, we have a nice home here and a pension scheme. We’re not exactly likely to be trying to emigrate illegally,” Beecroft added.
Despite complaining to the Indian embassy, they have not heard from them yet.
“All that money is gone, there’s no way to get it back. We’ve tried writing to the Indian embassy, but they must have just ignored it. The whole thing was a complete nightmare, how can they treat people like this?,” Beecroft said, the report added.