NEW DELHI: Shikhar Dhawan on Friday slammed Emirates for unprofessional conduct after his wife and kids were stopped at Dubai airport from boarding a connecting flight to Cape Town, a claim denied by the airline.
Dhawan vented his ire on social media after reaching South Africa without his family. His wife and son were stopped at Dubai airport, from where the Indian team took the connecting flight to Cape Town, where the first Test will be played from January 5.
Dhawan said that his family was asked to show birth certificates and some other documents as identification proofs, which they weren’t carrying.
“Absolutely unprofessional from Emirates. I was on my way 2 SA with my family & was told that my wife and kids can’t board the flight from Dubai to SA. I was asked to produce birth certificates & other documents for my kids at the airport which we obviously didn’t have at that moment,” Dhawan wrote on his Twitter handle.
Unabridged birth certificates for minors travelling to South Africa
The law came into effect in June 2015. It requires all minors under the age of 18 years are travelling to South Africa to provide an unabridged birth certificate, showing the particulars of both parents, in addition to their passport when exiting and entering South African ports of entry.
Why do minors need unabridged birth certificates when travelling to South Africa?
It was inacted to curb human trafficking. According to the Department of Home Affairs, 30 000 minors are trafficked through South African borders every year. 50% of these minors are under the age of 14.
It is the responsibility of passengers to ensure their children have the correct documentation or risk being denied boarding. The new law is being enforced by airlines and immigration officials across the board (land, sea and air). Although airlines and travel agents are doing everything to keep passengers informed, ultimately it is passengers’ responsibility to know what is required of them. In all cases an Unabridged Birth Certificate is required for minors departing and arriving in South Africa … they are not allowed to travel without it.
In cases where the Unabridged Birth Certificate is in a language other than English, it must be accompanied by a sworn translation issued by a competent authority in the country concerned.
However, a spokesperson from the airline said they were just following the rules.
“We note that the family was not able to continue their journey together as planned. We regret any inconvenience caused,” the spokesperson said in a statement.