June 30, 2015
Basic Human Rights Decision by Supreme Court


This last Friday the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a right that is protected by the Constitution, effectively legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the nation. Sixteen states, including Georgia, still have bans on same-sex marriage, either through laws or constitutional amendments. But these laws are now null and void effective immediately and states like Georgia must recognize same-sex marriage and also offer the right to marry to same-sex couples. 

Karen's Almost Nightmare Trip

This month we want to share a travel story from our Managing Attorney, Karen Weinstock.

On Memorial Day I traveled with my husband and daughter to Israel for 10 days for business meetings as well as to see my extended family. I checked expiration dates on all passports long before our travel dates, and they were valid to travel. I was able to check-in myself and my husband online but could not check in my 4.5-year old daughter Eden, and did not know why. My family traveled to the airport and after checking our luggage on the flight, waited in line for Eden to be checked-in, and waited and waited...


The Delta representative at the domestic terminal at Atlanta-Hartsfield airport said that even though my husband and I were checked in, they could not allow our daughter to board because her passport was going to expire in less than six months, even though we were only going for 10 days and returning well in advance. I actually checked this ahead of the travel and it was not a requirement with the government of Israel because Eden is an Israeli citizen who is coming with both of her parents, who are dual citizens of Israel and the U.S. However, the Delta representatives would not budge and would not listen and said no supervisor is available, even though not boarding Eden under these condition was a Delta requirement, not the destination country's. We decided to try another way, as there was no way that little Eden was going to stay behind and there was no other flight available. Also getting our luggage off the flight was going to be a huge problem and hold off the entire plane. So we ran to the international terminal.


At the international terminal we skipped Delta and went to the Air France counter, since our flight was with Air France. The representative behaved completely differently - he was courteous and tried to help us. He got a supervisor on the phone and printed Eden's boarding pass. We ran all the way to the gate and were the last people to board. A minute later we would have missed the flight.


When we arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris for our layover, we went to the counter to get the second boarding pass for Eden for the Paris-Tel Aviv flight. We were expecting to have to have another argument but surprisingly the airline representative just printed the boarding pass with a smile and we all arrived to Israel on time. We will be flying with Air France again next time. 

Always Check All Requirements Before You Travel!


If this can happen to the pros it can happen to you! Before travelling internationally, make sure you check the requirements in advance, not just of the admitting country but of the airline as well. Of course no country in the world would deny Eden entrance while admitting her parents, even the U.S. officers have discretion to admit people with expired passports or without visas, but fighting arbitrary rules of airlines at the airport will not get you very far. Something as small as a date in a passport could ruin a business meeting, vacation or a wedding.