Author Topic: Travel/Passport PSA  (Read 892 times)

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Outdoor Girl

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Travel/Passport PSA
« on: January 31, 2014, 01:41:56 PM »
One of my coworkers was heading to Guatemala for some mission work.  He flew from Toronto, with a layover in Atlanta.  When he went to get on the plane in Atlanta, he pulled his boarding pass out of his passport and the first page of his passport came with it!  They wouldn't let him get on the plane because they weren't sure he'd be able to get back out of Guatemala.

He tried the Canadian Embassy but since it was a Saturday, he couldn't do anything until Monday AND it would take a couple of weeks to get a new passport.  He was able to get a flight to Buffalo - as long as he wasn't crossing a border, he didn't need his passport.  But missed the last bus to Toronto so had to rent a car.  All told, including the fees for getting a new passport and expediting it, it cost him about $1300.

So word to the wise:  if you put your boarding pass in your passport, be careful when you pull out the boarding pass.  Or better yet, put it at the back of the passport.  Apparently, they wouldn't have cared if it was just one of the stamping pages that got torn out.  But because it was the page with his picture and all the info, no dice.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

magicdomino

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Re: Travel/Passport PSA
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2014, 03:44:29 PM »
Interesting.  Passports, or at least American passports, are usually pretty sturdy.  However, it is true that many countries will not accept a passport that is in poor condition, for instance, one that made a trip through the washing machine, even if the passport is still legible.

Also, some countries require that the passport be good for 3 months or 6 months beyond the date you are leaving that country.  Many a traveler has had to get an expedited passport because the passport expires in September and the trip is in June.

Dindrane

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Re: Travel/Passport PSA
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2014, 04:01:46 PM »
That really stinks for your coworker! I can't really imagine the average US passport doing that, if only because the pages with your info on them seem to be coated in something that seems like it would make them hard to tear.

But in general, it's probably a good idea to just avoid sticking things in your passport. It helps, I think, that the only place you have to show both ID and your boarding pass is at security checkpoints (at least in the US). Once I'm through security, I put my ID completely away so I don't lose it, and only keep the boarding passes themselves in an easy to reach spot. But it is one of the reasons why I have been on the lookout for some sort of travel wallet that is sized to contain both a passport and boarding passes and money, so that they can all be kept secure and easily accessible and separate from each other.

Also, some countries require that the passport be good for 3 months or 6 months beyond the date you are leaving that country.  Many a traveler has had to get an expedited passport because the passport expires in September and the trip is in June.

I think that's nearly all countries, including (I believe) the US. I mentally plan on renewing my passport about 9 months before it expires, so that I have time to get a new one before I hit the less-than-six-months date and can't use it for travel anymore.


Outdoor Girl

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Re: Travel/Passport PSA
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2014, 04:46:33 PM »
Our passports aren't supposed to do that, either.  When he went to the passport office, he jokingly asked if it had been made in China.  The person behind the counter wasn't amused.  He also got the lecture about damaging the passport because you can be fined for that.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

Tea Drinker

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Re: Travel/Passport PSA
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2014, 05:36:23 PM »
That really stinks for your coworker! I can't really imagine the average US passport doing that, if only because the pages with your info on them seem to be coated in something that seems like it would make them hard to tear.

But in general, it's probably a good idea to just avoid sticking things in your passport. It helps, I think, that the only place you have to show both ID and your boarding pass is at security checkpoints (at least in the US). Once I'm through security, I put my ID completely away so I don't lose it, and only keep the boarding passes themselves in an easy to reach spot. But it is one of the reasons why I have been on the lookout for some sort of travel wallet that is sized to contain both a passport and boarding passes and money, so that they can all be kept secure and easily accessible and separate from each other.

Also, some countries require that the passport be good for 3 months or 6 months beyond the date you are leaving that country.  Many a traveler has had to get an expedited passport because the passport expires in September and the trip is in June.

I think that's nearly all countries, including (I believe) the US. I mentally plan on renewing my passport about 9 months before it expires, so that I have time to get a new one before I hit the less-than-six-months date and can't use it for travel anymore.

For international flights they generally ask for ID again when I'm boarding the plane. I think this is because, if you get on the wrong domestic flight, the airline may not lose any money (since you paid for a ticket to somewhere). If you fly across a border and don't have a passport, the destination country can require the airline to take you back to the U.S. at their expense.
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Dindrane

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Re: Travel/Passport PSA
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2014, 09:27:04 PM »
I think I only sometimes get asked for my passport at the gate when I'm flying internationally. It's been a year or so since the last time I did, and I can't remember if I had to show my passport again or not. Some airports have a security checkpoint right outside the gate, though, and those would typically require your ID to be your passport if you're flying internationally.