I was blocked from my flight because of a tiny passport detail
A WOMAN has been banned from her flight after her passport was slightly damaged.
Lindsey Gray moved to New Zealand from Sydney in March with her partner and their one-year-old son Douglas, both of whom were already New Zealand citizens.
After waiting months for a travel permit, Ms Gray had finally received permission to move.
It wasn’t until she reached Sydney International Airport that immigration officials discovered minor damage to a few pages of her passport.
As a result, Ms Gray was unable to board the plane.
Ms Gray told Yahoo News that at some point in the chaos of getting changed, her tiny toddler must have found her passport and chewed the edges.
“When [New Zealand immigration officials] When they saw the nibbling on my passport, they were 100 percent unimpressed,” she said.
“They told me it might have been tampered with and I would not be allowed to travel.”
Ms Gray explained that as New Zealand’s borders were closed at the time, her passport had to be checked by an immigration officer.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, normal wear and tear on passports should be fine, with only more serious damage such as marks, tears and removed pages preventing travel.
With the family’s move constantly being delayed due to Covid, Ms Gray found the experience very upsetting and expensive.
She said: “We had our house on the market and all our possessions had already been shipped to New Zealand and as a result we were practically homeless in Australia.”
As a result, the family had to stay in a hotel while awaiting an emergency pass, which cost AUD$533 (£302), and receive new Covid tests.
Despite all this, the family was able to fly out the next day, with Ms Gray commending staff at Qantas and the passport service for their compassion.
“The best thing about this story is that my bloated, distraught weeping face is now my passport photo for the next ten years,” she joked.
Lindsey isn’t the first person to be stopped for a damaged passport – Bronte Gossling, who was trying to travel to Bali from Sydney in Australia for a holiday, was discouraged from boarding.
After spending AUD4,000 (£2,200) on flights, all-inclusive hotels and Covid testing, she was told at the counter she would not take her flight – as her passport was too moldy.
New rules for travelers to Bali were introduced in 2019, which means much stricter rules on passport requirements.
Indonesian authorities can fine airlines up to US$5,000 (£3,292) if they bring passengers with damaged passports to the island.
In 2019, Australian soccer player Sam Kerr was there prevented from boarding their Jetstar flight after the airline felt it was too damaged to fly, despite minimal wear.
Also that year, a man with a nine-year-old passport was described as “slightly damaged”. prevented from boarding a Batik Air flight from Perth on Christmas Day
And a couple lost £7,500 after their dream holiday was “ruined” because it was them Passport was deemed too damaged to travel.
A version of this story was originally published on news.com.au and has been reproduced with permission.
https://www.thesun.ie/travel/8718836/flight-banned-warning-passport-damage/ I was blocked from my flight because of a tiny passport detail