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Denied boarding to Jakarta due to 'damaged' passport

stm1sydney

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No, the moral of the story is to avoid Indonesia at all cost. I think that all Qantas has done here is their duty to not allow a passenger with a slightly damaged passport board on a flight into a country that is notoriously bad with this. Lesson here- get new passports before traveling to slightly dodgy countries like Indonesia.
Agree that one should avoid Indonesia. I went to Bali once and that will do me. However, Qantas lied to the pax about the interlining (which would have resolved the issue).

As an aside, and very weirdly, last night I had a dream about my passport being damaged (the cover being ripped off). That was before I read this thread this morning.
 

RooFlyer

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I'm by no means a Qantas apologist, but this headline is just a beat-up.

It should read, "Clueless and careless passenger saved by Qantas from a wasted trip to Indonesia and turnaround there, because they tried to travel on an invalid passport".
'Clueless and careless passenger' - really?

'Invalid passport' - really?

Please post a clear photo of all the damaged parts so we can judge for ourselves.
Please post your credentials so we can judge what makes you an expert in these things. ;)
 

Happy Dude

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I'm by no means a Qantas apologist, but this headline is just a beat-up.

It should read, "Clueless and careless passenger saved by Qantas from a wasted trip to Indonesia and turnaround there, because they tried to travel on an invalid passport".
Really? Bit harsh. The OP's recent travels suggest that it was not an invalid passport.

Edit: Rooflyer beat me to it.....
 

Berlin

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It's not just Indonesia - USA especially, China, Singapore and a couple of EU countries always take a very close look.
Well, it's also that the Aussie passports are rather flimsy compared to, let's say, EU passports: I had always assumed that Aussies simply don't take care of their passports and go to the beach with it and so on but after getting my very own one a few years back, I've learnt the hard way that it's simply not as sturdy as an European one is.
 

BorisWood

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After looking at the 2 photos, I can see Qantas' point. The damage looks like water damage and some discoloration. The areas lifting up are on the photo and information page and could be interpreted (by an officious immigration person) as an attempt to alter information. The same attitude happens in a lot of Asian countries when you try to pay or exchange US$ which have any sign of usage. We have had perfectly good notes rejected in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. When you get their notes in return, they are almost unreadable they are so bad!
 

Tyler_Durden

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Even on the plastic sleeve the passport comes in , Notice : keep this passport safe at all times and use this wallet to help protect your passport. Lost/stolen/ damaged passports cause inconvenience and replacements require extra fees.
 

Berlin

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Even on the plastic sleeve the passport comes in , Notice : keep this passport safe at all times and use this wallet to help protect your passport. Lost/stolen/ damaged passports cause inconvenience and replacements require extra fees.
That's why I keep the flimsy Aussie passport in this sleeve at all times. My Aussie better half used to do all sorts of stuff with his passport (get it wet, bend it up in his pocket and so on...) and it looked accordingly. He learnt his expensive lesson since then and guess where the passport now is at all times- in the plastic sleeve :p
 

theblank

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I was then told that I would be refused entry to Indonesia because of this damage and that the Indonesians had become very finicky, especially in Bali.
Indonesia has always been 'finicky' over matters like this on anything official, since forever. If its not pristine, its suspect. You can observe this in the way Indonesians take care of their own personal documents.

Most people that visit Indonesia would already know that any currency to be exchanged wont be accepted even with slight imperfections like a dog ear, or pen mark.

Of course its always the subjective eyes of the official that gets to inspect it, and each person varies. Qantas has obviously taken a conservative approach to this passport, as its costly to them if the person is refused entry.

IMO, regarding all these matters, its all about them covering their bums, its not customs looking for bribes, or anything else.
 

JohnK

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Sorry to hear you had to go through this ordeal. You may have had a better shot with longer connection?

As mentioned in chit chat I had similar issues with "damaged" passport and Customs started hounding me each time I departed to the point I got new passport to avoid confrontation when there were still 3 years to go on old passport. By the way I had never had any issues in any Asian destination with that passport including Jakarta a few times.

Also had issue at SYD F check-in a number of years ago and they were trying to deny me boarding when I finally convinced them to let me go.

In my opinion it is not up to check-in agent to try and predict any issues entering foreign countries especially when they see multiple recent entries already. Check-in agents are not qualified to make that call.
 

Cossie

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PS Why has a photo of the "damaged" passport not been uploaded so we can all see what's being talked about here?
I considered posting it, may do later, when I'm home, I didn't consider staying an extra day in Indonesia as it's not one of my favourite places, although as I said, I haven't been there for a long time.
If I had any idea about the issue here, then I would have bypassed the place.
I also posted this as a heads up to anyone on here considering going there and I have learnt my lesson, I now have another used passport to add to my collection. :)

"Clueless"? Probably, though I think that comment is a bit harsh, though the boss may agree! anyway, life goes on and it's not the end of the world!
 
Last edited:

moa999

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Definitely an unfortunate chain of events. And I suspect not helped by that outstation having had issues recently, but as per above there has been a long history of passport issues in Indonesia

I'm not sure whether having baggage interlined would have necessarily helped (and i suspect since the Qantas/oneworld changes that the computer says no, means no).

While your bags may pass through, your passport is still checked at transit security and I suspect they may still return people if they are damage. Being Indonesia wouldn't surprise me if some kind of bonus is paid to the detecting officer as well given the size of the fine.

While i can understand you being peeved with Qantas, they could also have saved you a night in Indonesian immigration detention, and potential loss of fare on the Qatar segment if you weren't able to contact them.
 

clipped_wings

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Ironically, I forgot to mention: I was in the travel agent yesterday, securing our 10 day Disneyland Park Hopper tickets. The rep remarked how well organised I was. Then, she casually asked if I had more than 6 months validity on my passport, as the USA was very picky about these things now...….

[insert low, sad trombone here]. A long silence, followed by a longer groan from me.

Off Mr Clipped and I went. Straight home to check. Result? Out of validity by THREE DAYS - D'OH!

Filled in the renewal forms and off we went again - straight to the Post Office. $600 and two photos later - we are back on track for a new 10 year passport.

Isn't it amazing how all the make-up and smooth hair products known to mankind, will simply NOT let me look like Cameron Diaz? I now have a mug shot that would make Chopper Read look good. And he's been dead a few years.
 
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Ironically, I forgot to mention: I was in the travel agent yesterday, securing our 10 day Disneyland Park Hopper tickets. The rep remarked how well organised I was. Then, she casually asked if I had more than 6 months validity on my passport, as the USA was very picky about these things now...….

[insert low, sad trombone here]. A long silence, followed by a longer groan from me.

Off Mr Clipped and I went. Straight home to check. Result? Out of validity by THREE DAYS - D'OH!

Filled in the renewal forms and off we went again - straight to the Post Office. $600 and two photos later - we are back on track for a new 10 year passport.

Isn't it amazing how all the make-up and smooth hair products known to mankind, will simply NOT let me look like Cameron Diaz? I now have a mug shot that would make Chopper Read look good. And he's been dead a few years.
That’s something I wasn’t aware of with USA and 6 months remaining .... anyone had a problem with this?
 

Hvr

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I was in the travel agent yesterday
.....
Then, she casually asked if I had more than 6 months validity on my passport, as the USA was very picky about these things now...….
And that is the value of a good TA. Well done to her for asking the basic questions now rather than letting you fall over at the gate.

Re the passport photos, I too look like an escaped convict, and so does my photo. I guess it's realistic. :eek:
 

Isochronous

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Through-check is an important benefit and the refusal of airlines like QF and BA to offer it is a strong disincentive to choose those carriers. All the more reason why I stick to CX, SQ, JL, UL who are willing to do it. I think MH, NH, JL also do it too.
 

muppet

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I think we’re all forgetting the OP.

Qantas was able to use the “damaged passport” excuse to cover up for delays that meant the OP would miss the connection.

That’s also the problem with these nonsense, open-ended, up to officer discretion rules - they get abused by airlines and immigration for irrelevant purposes.

Would love to see the damage to get an idea whether it was likely legit or Qantas getting out of a mess it made for itself.
 

MEL_Traveller

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I'm not sure whether having baggage interlined would have necessarily helped (and i suspect since the Qantas/oneworld changes that the computer says no, means no).
Having thought about this over the last couple of days I was about to post the same thing. I'm not sure the interline (through check) of bags would have solved the problem.

The issue is that the passenger is still in transit in Indonesia, and if anything were to happen - delayed or cancelled flight - they may seek entry. And they wouldn'tr have valid documents to do so.

This is quite common - many pax transiting the UK will be subject to passport requirments suitable for entry even through they are staying airside. If you lose your passport you can technically fly back to Australia without any documents at all - but if you transit another country you may lose that benefit.
 

RooFlyer

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Having thought about this over the last couple of days I was about to post the same thing. I'm not sure the interline (through check) of bags would have solved the problem.

The issue is that the passenger is still in transit in Indonesia, and if anything were to happen - delayed or cancelled flight - they may seek entry. And they wouldn'tr have valid documents to do so.
I don't think it was the interlining per-se, but the fact that the bags weren't inter-lined meant that the pax HAD TO go through Indonesian immigration and so the Indonesian scrutiny of passports became relevant for the check-in agent (or so they acted).

Yes, anything can happen in transit, but if the pax was forced to seek entry, 1) since they were already there, no fault of their own, the Indon authorities MAY grant some lee-way; 2) they could argue that they didn't want to enter and 3) the worst that could happen is that they would be put on a flight - no worse outcome.
 

LeeNClarkw

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If the damage is really 2mm at top and bottom hinge of the passport then this is hardly visible. i's absurd.

Having said that it sounds as though the level of corruption has gone up in Indonesia - by government and possibly individuals looking for any flimsy excuse to make people visiting their country pay more at a time when they are vulnerable.

However Qantas was fully aware that they could have helped out their passenger by simply checking through the baggage to Europe and the passenger explained and requested this. Any sensible airline whose flights were on time would have agreed to do this.

However Qantas's flight was late and so they could see work for them getting you an alternative to Jakarta. This all looked bad to them.

Second fail: did the passenger mention Canberra had a direct flight to Jakarta that Qantas could have rerouted them on after Qantas's connecting flight was going to be late? If so there is on reason other than it being full, that should have stopped Qantas rerouting the passenger directly to Jakarta. Is that a second fail by Qantas?

FWIW my luggage has always been checked through by Qatar if I am flying OneWorkd on more than one ticket for my route. that's one reason I fly British Airways less. And one of the several reasons I really wouldn't fly Qantas if there's an alternative airline.

So the airline were miserable and horrible as there was an easy solution available even after they spotted the passport and even if that did make them vulnerable to corruption in Indonesia - they could have avoided the passenger having to go through Immigration at all in Indonesia just by checking luggage through which is not banned, it's perfectly possible even if not standard currently - so that's a fail.

however as noather poster pointed out, passenger did not help themselves by doing split ticketing on a route with only one connecting flight per day. Really? In that case you'd go the day before, at least.

Moral of the story is don't fly Qantas they will look after themselves and not make any small concession that costs them not much at all, to help a passenger.
You missed the point that the connecting is to a different airline. It is not just Qantas but many airlines even if in the same loyalty program are doing this. It is common practise. This policy came in a few years ago.
Anyone who books an international flight without the 2.5 hrs safety duration and with the airports in different location has only himself to blame. A domesticated flight and an international flight on 2 different booking is considered as 2 different trip. Don't blame the airline. Blame yourself.
 

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