Many American citizens were surprised, based on the Twitter replies, that the US Embassy in Rabat, Morocco, was requesting passengers on evacuation flight(s) to sign a document that they would reimburse the government $1,485 (not payable using a credit card).
Consulates are in place to help and advise nationals in a foreign country, usually when they have run into trouble. They are not, however, get out of jail free card, there to provide legal advice or travel services. They can, however, help facilitate return back home in case of emergency.
You can access the US Embassy Morocco’s Twitter feed here.
The prices charged by the governments likely won’t even fully cover the costs of arranging and operating these ad-hoc flights using military transport planes or charter operators.
Germany was charging 1,000 euros while Austria’s fee was 500 for evacuation flights.
Many have incorrect assumption what the main purpose of their country’s consulates and embassies are.
They will provide assistance in case of emergencies to individuals and help to navigate the local bureaucracy but won’t provide legal advice or act as a travel agency or bank.
Most countries charge a nominal fee for these repatriation flights.