Emily Allen was due to travel to Corfu, Greece, with her husband and two children, but was prevented from boarding a British Airways flight at Heathrow Airport because of her passport.
A family missed out on an £8,000 holiday after one of their passports was torn apart in an airport scanner.
Emily Allen addressed Heathrow Terminal 5 in early September ready for a week of travel with her husband and two young children. The family was looking forward to some sun and sand in Corfu, where they had booked an all-inclusive hotel for a week.
When they got to the departure hall, Emily says to pass her passport. British Airways self-service scanners to print family passes. Realizing that she had initially put her travel document upside down, the mother took it out, only to slightly tear one of the pages in the process.
“During this process, the photographs/observations page, which in my 2016 document is not laminated (just paper covered by a thin film), was torn, leaving an inch-long tear at the edge of the passport photo “, said. the Telegraph. “I notified an airline employee, who initially suggested I buy duct tape from an airport store and patch it myself. However, the situation quickly escalated and BA refused to let me board.”
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Emily claimed that BA staff told her that even if they let her fly, she would be denied entry into Greece on the other side. Not only would she be forced to fly back, but the airline would be fined for letting her board.
In a bid to salvage part of the holiday, Emily tried to get an emergency passport, but found she couldn’t because she was in the UK and the fast track option available would take 10 days.
The family made the “painful decision” to stay home. Not only has Emily’s insurer refused to pay for the problems caused by her damaged passport, but the Corfu hotel is demanding that the family pay half the cost of the stay. In total, they are likely to have to pay £5,000 out of her pocket.
No matter how unfair it may seem, and no matter how minor the damage may seem, airlines have the right to prevent you from boarding if your passport is damaged or torn; in fact, there are 5 passport errors that could cause you problems.
While a small tear is unlikely to cause you problems at the airport, larger tears could prevent you from boarding your flight. Officials may deny you passage if your personal data or observation page is illegible, if the laminate is peeling or peeling away from the personal data page, or if your security data cannot be distinguished.
Missing or separated pages could also be a reason why your passport is no longer considered valid. If the damage is not on personal data or observation pages, and any visas, vignettes or immigration stamps are not affected by the damage, security guards are unlikely to ask you about its cause.
A British Airways spokesperson said: “Tens of thousands of people use the self-check-in machines without problems, so this is an extremely rare situation. Airlines are required by law to ensure that all travel documents presented are valid, so torn or damaged passports cannot be accepted. “We understand our customers’ frustration and will contact them directly to discuss this further.”