Welcome to a regular feature on the Renés Points blog. This blog series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this featured topic.
This week a former Miss Universe was left stranded in Bali due to her passport suffering water damage. So much so that she was not allowed to travel with it (it did not look THAT bad to me). The story grabbed my attention as I often travel with my passport in my back pocket – but should I do this? Take a look at what the US rules on passports (in part) says:
Phew. At least according to the US rules, a “bent” passport from my back pocket is AOK. But do take note that they also could dis-allow travel if it has been water damaged.
But just what is or is not a damaged passport? Are there hard and fast rules? Notice what the UK government site says:
“Definition of a damaged passport
A damaged passport is one which isn’t in a condition to be accepted as proof of identity. Damage may include the following:
- details are indecipherable
- the laminate has lifted enough to allow the possibility of photo substitution
- discolouration to the bio-data page
- chemical or ink spillage on any page
- missing or detached pages
- the chip or antenna shows through the end paper on the back cover for the new style e-passports
- the chip has been identified as damaged after investigation“
Between the US and UK verbiage I think we get a solid idea. Clearly governments want to make sure the document has not been tampered with or altered. Now you may not have intentionally done any of the above but that changes little.
When my boarding pass says something like “Intl-Verify Passport”, is the airline checking the condition of my passport. Not likely. They are verifying you are who you say you are. Now a good rep may bring to your attention a passport that could be considered “damaged” and I think most would appreciate the heads up.
I will tell you this – writing the post has me thinking I need to be a little bit less causal about my passport. I do have a place in my backpack it always “lives” when I travel but now I think it is going to go inside a water proof sleeve first then I will put it where it lives! – René