Trump travel ban impacts Austin family trying to get home from Germany


AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin family found out about the president’s travel ban while on a flight to Germany and it caused a lot of confusion when they landed.

Although the travel ban doesn’t apply to U.S. citizens coming back from Europe, Melissa and Steve Takamatsu, along with their two daughters, ran into a major problem.

The family had been planning the spring break vacation for months.

It included a direct flight on Lufthansa Airlines from Austin to Frankfurt, then on to Croatia, but they never made it to their final stop.

“We thought as American citizens that we’re not restricted to this 30-day ban,” said Melissa Takamatsu. “We thought we could do two days in Germany and then fly home but they said ‘No, after tomorrow we are not flying at all,” she said.

The family says Lufthansa Airline told them flying back to Austin was going to be a big problem — if they could find a flight to the U.S at all.

“Lufthansa is not going to be flying all those planes if no Europeans are going to America right?” said Steve Takamatsu.

Hours later the family finally found a way to eventually get back home: a flight from Frankfurt to New Jersey to New York to Austin.

“We weren’t really going to take the risk that there would be no other flights to get on,” said Melissa.

A spokesperson from Lufthansa tells KXAN it is “currently assessing the impact of the recent US Department of Homeland Security’s proclamation’s guidelines on our operations to the United States. In this context the safety and well-being of our customers and crews remains/is our highest priority.”

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