Six Iranians stuck at Schiphol since Trump's entry ban

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No image availableNL Times

Six Iranians have been stuck in a lounge behind passport control at Schiphol airport since Saturday. They were traveling with KLM from Teheran to the United States when president Donald Trump closed the American borders to people from Iran and six other Muslim countries. When they tried to get on their next flight at Schiphol, they were told they could go no further. They can also not leave the airport because they don't have a visa for the Schengen area, NOS reports.

According to the broadcaster, KLM is planning to fly them back to Iran today, at the airline's cost. A seventh Iranian already returned to his home country. The remaining six are two elderly couples, who were on their way to visit children in the United States, and two young scientists on their way to do research at an American university.

Dutch lawyers Wil Eikelboom and Marq Wijngaarden contacted the Iranians on Monday, offering to file a lawsuit against KLM in the Netherlands to try and force the airline to take them to an American airport where the ban does not apply. The local authorities in Boston and Washington DC are ignoring Trump's ban for the time being. But all six decided to rather return from Iran and fight against the entry ban with American lawyers.

"There was little prospect for them in the Netherlands. The stay in the departure lounge is not comfortable and they can not enter the Netherlands because they don't have a visa for the Schengen area", Eikelboom said to the broadcaster. "Incidentally, they're not blaming KLM much. They were stopped at the gate by an American officer."

On Monday KLM announced that it would compensate its passengers who bought tickets to the United States, but could not fly there because of the ban. The airline will give affected passengers a voucher for the same amount as the flight to the United States they could not take. "KLM find it annoying that some of its passengers have been faced with this sudden change. Although not being able to fly to the U.S. is outside the control of KLM", the airline said on Monday. 

Earlier on Monday a spokesperson for the Dutch airline said that it does not make sense to fly people that fall under the ban to the United States, as they would have to be brought right back again. The airline could also face large fines for not following the rules.