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  1. Hi I wonder if anyone out there can be of assistance. Just over 2 weeks ago it was my daughters christening. A very good friend of ours is a priest and he agreed to perform the ceremony. He actually lives in Texas and has visited UK on numerous occasions so we were thrilled when he said that he would pass through UK (perform baptism) on his way back to the US after visiting Nigeria. The christening was actually scheduled to take place on the day that he was arriving (1.30pm). As the flight touched down at around 7am we thought that would allow plenty of time. He secured the necessary transit visa and when he touched down at Heathrow he called to let us know that he had landed. An hour later (around 8.30) he called to inform us that the booking agent in Nigeria had made an error with the return flight. Return flight had been booked for 09:45 the same day. He tried changing it but the problem was that he needed to pay a surcharge but the American credit card he possessed was not able to process the fee. I said that I would pay but the airport officials said that I could not do this over the phone- only in person. Around 9.30 am I rushed over to Heathrow and made my way over to the excess fee desk. I explain the situation to the desk attendant and provide the Fr’s details and flight reference no. The attendant informed me that a new return ticket would have to be issued with a return flight either that afternoon at 2pm ($200) or the next day (£881). We opted for the next day as the christening was happening 1.30pm that very afternoon and there was no way that he would have made the 2pm flight. Before he authorised me to purchase the ticket he was confirmed that purchasing the ticket would allow him through. I purchased the ticket and waited for him to come through. I waited and waited. Around 10.30 I called him and he informed me that Immigration was not allowing him through. When asked why the immigration officer told him that a visa does not automatically allow anyone into the UK and that she has the authority to reject any visa and that she is using that authority now. He was told that he would be leaving on the next flight out to the US and that he could either leave peacefully or she would instruct her colleagues to bundle him onto the flight. I was shocked and could not believe it. No explanation was provided. In fact I spoke with Fr when he arrived back in the US and he told me that there were other junior immigration officers present that were sympathetic and when the senior officer left the room they apologised profusely and informed him that this particular immigration officer was anti cleric. Fr was put on the 2pm flight and I rushed back to the church and arrived an hour late for the service. Luckily our resident priest had been kept in the loop and had agreed to perform the service (solo). However before leaving the airport I had instructed BA to cancel the ticket and demanded a full refund. They tried to refund the money back onto my card but said that as the flight was paid in dollars it was causing problems (not sure why exactly). In fact no less than 3 members of staff (each more senior than the next) had attempted to give me a refund but ‘the system’ was not allowing it. They were only able to refund £87 for some reason. The rest they couldn’t do. I was provided with a customer service number which I tried later that evening only to be given a reference number for the issue. I have since received a response from BA- see below. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I think I probably have a strong case for the mere fact that Fr did have all the necessary papers and secondly I had cancelled the flight and BA had already attempted to give me a full refund. However before I respond I would like to know if there is anything else I can say. Thank you.
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