Posted March 30, 2019 10:51:00In October, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a travel ban that banned all travel to the city for a month, with the same ban extended for six months in June.
The new restrictions also prohibit all visitors from all states, including those with visa or passport bans.
Travel blogger John Smith said he has been banned from a flight to New York from Canada, citing a ban on entry to the US for citizens of Iran, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia.
Smith, who works at the travel blog Travel.com, told Business Insider that he’s been barred from flights to Canada for six consecutive months.
Smith said a couple of years ago he tried to get into a flight from a country with a visa ban and was told it was too risky to do so.
“So I booked a ticket on a non-immigrant visa,” Smith said.
“I thought maybe the city wouldn’t mind that, but no, they just didn’t want to let me in.”
Travelers, Smith added, are often put off by the new restrictions.
“They want to get off of it and not go through it,” Smith explained.
Smith said he got a call from a Canadian company that was offering a free flight to a city in Canada.
The flight was booked months in advance, but he wasn’t able to book until recently because of the ban.
The airline, he said, offered a discounted rate.
“I had to get up early to do the legwork of finding my flight, so I booked the flight through them,” Smith recalled.
“It was really tough.”
“It was pretty annoying.
The Canadian airport security has to be very strict about this stuff,” Smith added.
The airline, however, said it doesn’t discriminate against travelers based on their nationality.
“If you’re an American or a Canadian citizen, you can’t get in, you have to have a valid visa,” spokesperson Jennifer Strain told Business Insights.
“We’re not a travel agency,” Strain added.
“We don’t provide services for people based on the nationality of their visa or the country of their citizenship.”
A spokesperson for the city of Toronto told Business News Canada that the city’s airport security department does not conduct security checks on passengers.
“The security staff does not have any role in determining the security of passengers or the travel arrangements they may make,” the spokesperson said.
Smith also said that he was told by the airline that the policy was still in effect.
“That’s pretty disappointing, because I would have expected it to be changed after I called the airline and asked them to do something about it,” he said.
“It’s frustrating to be told they’re not doing anything, and not able to do anything about it.”
Travel blogger says the city has an excuseNot all travel bans are bad, but they’re all problematic, Smith said, adding that he hopes the Canadian government will fix the problem.
“There’s no doubt that if the city were to do a full ban, the airline would take action against anyone coming from a ban country,” Smith continued.
“But the Canadian airports are so busy that you’d have to be a bit crazy to get a flight through.”
In addition to restricting flights from all countries, Smith’s company, Travel.
Com, has also been banned by a Canadian travel agency, TravelCanada, from a few flights to several other destinations, including Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver.
Smith told BusinessInsights that the ban on his flight from Montreal to Vancouver was due to the ban the company received from Canada.
Travel.com said the ban was because the company had not been approved for a passport or visa.
“They told me they don’t have any reason to ban anyone from a passport country,” he told Business Insight.
“So they didn’t have reason to do it.”
Smith said that his trip to Montreal was supposed to take place on Tuesday, but it was cancelled when he was unable to get through customs.
He said he was also put on hold from a trip to Toronto by the same airline.
Smith told Businessinsights that his Canadian travel ban had not stopped him from traveling to other countries.
“Even though I’ve been told they won’t let me, I’m still coming to Canada,” he explained.
“As long as the ban is still in place, it’s still okay to come.”