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Denied boarding to Jakarta due to 'damaged' passport

Bandicoot

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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".
That's a bit harsh, especially as the damage was due to frequent international travel.
 

MEL_Traveller

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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.
Yes, but many countries require you to have valid documents even when you are in transit.

However I just checked TIMATIC - and there is no such mention. it says this for an Australian passport holder in transit to a third country:

Transit - Indonesia (ID)
Visa
Visa required.
Visa Exemptions:
Nationals of Australia for a maximum stay of 30 days.
  • This does not apply when nationals of Australia travel with an emergency passport.
Passengers with an APEC Business Travel Card valid for travel to "IDN" for a maximum stay of 60 days. The card is valid for the countries listed on the back of the card.
TWOV (Transit Without Visa):
Passengers transiting through Jakarta (CGK) with a confirmed onward ticket for a flight to a third country within 24 hours. They must stay in the international transit area of the airport and have documents required for the next destination.
- TWOV between terminals must be pre-arranged by carrier.
Passengers with a confirmed onward ticket for a flight to a third country within 8 hours. They must stay in the international transit area of the airport and have documents required for the next destination.
  • This TWOV facility does not apply at Jakarta (CGK).
Warning:
Visas must be used within 90 days after date of issuance.
 

RooFlyer

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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.
Welcome to AFF :) .

The interlining thing is fraught with inconsistencies. For instance, I recently had separate tickets issued by BA (award flight travelling on Qantas) and Qatar Airways, and the check-in agent for Qantas was quite happy to interline my bags to QR to my final destination.

I agree re the time between a dom and international flight - in fact I do at least 4 hours.

Yes, but many countries require you to have valid documents even when you are in transit.
Agree - but what's a 'valid document' ? I acknowledge that the Indonesians can decide for themselves what suits them - but a passport with a little tear away from critical areas WILL be regarded by Australian Authorities as 'valid' - they do with my passport! As do about 20 other countries (Europe, USA, Chile etc) I've entered since the tear appeared.

What's a passport used for? - Identification. Does a little tear away from the critical areas, or some loose binding affect its ability to identify the bearer? No. The chip and photo and printed details still intact. To me, that means its still 'valid' (for identification). Corruption of the photo or printed details or the chip - certainly would invalidate the passport.

the Indonesians are just being bloody minded - which is their right. And another reason why I plan never to go there.
 

Cossie

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That’s something I wasn’t aware of with USA and 6 months remaining .... anyone had a problem with this?
When I was waiting at the check in counter, the next person in the queue was from Belgium and was only in Canberra to renew her passport at the embassy. Ironically she had been refused boarding previously as her passport had less than 6 months. She was also going to Indonesia, but Bali instead of Jakarta.
 

Cossie

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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.
You misunderstand my original post, I had a flight from Canberra to Jakarta via Sydney, sold as 1 ticket. This meant imo, Qantas deemed I had enough time to transit from domestic to international in Sydney. From memory I was due to arrive in Jakarta at 18:40.

My flight from Jakarta to Doha was not meant to leave until 00:30.
More than enough time in Jakarta.

The Sydney transit was reduced to 40 minutes by their delaying my Canberra to Sydney flight.

I had a similar situation a few years ago, but I was going into Bangkok, my Canberra flight was delayed, so I missed my Sydney flight, Qantas put me on a Thai flight.
My transfer time in Bangkok went from 8 hours to 3 hours, which was more than adequate, even though I didn't get an express immigration card.
 
Last edited:

jase05

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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.
As a frequent visitor of Indonesia I couldn’t disagree more about avoiding it at all costs. Can honestly say I’ve never had any real issues either visiting or transiting through. I always check my passport before heading there as I know they are very hot on the passport condition.
 

MEL_Traveller

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Agree - but what's a 'valid document' ? I acknowledge that the Indonesians can decide for themselves what suits them - but a passport with a little tear away from critical areas WILL be regarded by Australian Authorities as 'valid' - they do with my passport! As do about 20 other countries (Europe, USA, Chile etc) I've entered since the tear appeared.

What's a passport used for? - Identification. Does a little tear away from the critical areas, or some loose binding affect its ability to identify the bearer? No. The chip and photo and printed details still intact. To me, that means its still 'valid' (for identification). Corruption of the photo or printed details or the chip - certainly would invalidate the passport.

the Indonesians are just being bloody minded - which is their right. And another reason why I plan never to go there.
A good point. But I think a 'valid' document is one that is determined by the country of entry, not the issuing country.

Your passport may still be perfectly valid but if you have less than 6 or 3 month's validity many countries won't accept it as a valid document to enter their country.

Same logic will apply for a damaged passport. If Indonesia has decided that any damage will invalidate it as a document for entry, they're the ones that have the right of refusal. In a way the outright refusal saves a whole lot of back and forth with 'in between' or borderline cases. They prolly don't want to be answering multiple enquiries each day as to whether a document is ok or not. This way is simple. Any damage, no matter how minor, is aught out.
 

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blackcat20

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That’s something I wasn’t aware of with USA and 6 months remaining .... anyone had a problem with this?
I am somewhat confused about thie "six months validity" for visits to the USA. Acccording to this https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/assets/documents/2017-Dec/Six-Month Club Update122017.pdf from the U.S. Customs & BP, Australians are exempt from the six month requirement.

Also (Ignore the title the link still works) - Fatal Error
Pretty sure the US does not require six months validity. At least it never has before.
 

jamesimo24

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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:
I'm a student pilot at YMMB in Melbourne, and sometimes at my flight school's christmas parties or similar we have "worst ASIC photo" competitions for our security cards. Basically the way it goes around is in order to get the security clearance card (ASIC) to be allowed onto the apron to fly a plane, you need to look like you shouldn't be allowed to fly said plane in your photo! I'd post a pic of how terrible mine looks but I can't because of security restrictions lol
 

OZDUCK

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Last edited:

Scarlett

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... 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...…
I wonder if anyone can find this info listed officially anywhere as it must be a recent change. Australians did NOT require 6 month validity when I checked with the US Consulate in Sydney.

The 6-month validity thing tends to get thrown about because it is common, not because it is fact. Smarttraveller site says it's common on the US Entry and Exit page but doesn't specifically say it's required, yet it's very specific about everything else...
Nothing about extra 6 months I could see on a quick look at US CBP site either.
Keen to see official proof of this travel agents advice.
I'd also think a $600 outlay would require double checking with a simple 2 minute call to the US Embassy or consulate.
 

Scarlett

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Should've read to the end of the thread... There's the answer.
@clipped_wings how long ago was the advice from the travel agent? If recent, sounds like they should be refunding some of your costs for the erroneous advice.
 

OZDUCK

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Should've read to the end of the thread... There's the answer.
@clipped_wings how long ago was the advice from the travel agent? If recent, sounds like they should be refunding some of your costs for the erroneous advice.
This is the information I could find but I am obviously no expert on US requirements.
 

Berlin

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As a frequent visitor of Indonesia I couldn’t disagree more about avoiding it at all costs.
Each to their own. I was never that keen on that country (and Jakarta is probably the ugliest capital in all of Asia) and neither on their human rights abuses.
 

clipped_wings

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Should've read to the end of the thread... There's the answer.
@clipped_wings how long ago was the advice from the travel agent? If recent, sounds like they should be refunding some of your costs for the erroneous advice.
This all took place on Wednesday. I can certainly raise it with Flight Centre, but I wouldn't expect anything other than "Well, that's the official advice we have ma'am and it's not your obligation to take it" response. I doubt they'd say "my bad, here's a refund for the $600".
 

jase05

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Each to their own. I was never that keen on that country (and Jakarta is probably the ugliest capital in all of Asia) and neither on their human rights abuses.
Jakarta is a tough one, it seems there is no middle ground and you either hate the place or love it. I personally like it but now we have been there plenty of times we tend to stay closer to the airport and only head into the city on every second or third trip. Some beautiful parts of Indonesia aswell and I do find it a very interesting place. As for the human rights abuses in Indonesia it may make me a horrible person but I don’t factor it in when choosing a holiday destination otherwise the list of places I couldn’t go would mean that I pretty much have to stay at home.
 

MEL_Traveller

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This all took place on Wednesday. I can certainly raise it with Flight Centre, but I wouldn't expect anything other than "Well, that's the official advice we have ma'am and it's not your obligation to take it" response. I doubt they'd say "my bad, here's a refund for the $600".
They have a duty to give you the correct advice, they can’t just make stuff up! But I guess your ‘loss’ is. not that great. You’d have to renew. your passport anyway at some stage. You lost a couple months :(

But if it was a family of four taking a once in 10 year holiday, that poor advice from the travel agent could prove a very costly exercise that could be avoided. So perhaps worth raising it with them.
 

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