Got stung by a rookie mistake [passport < 6 months to expiry]

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Posts
11,831
Yep, the 6 month rule is HARD and FAST.
This is another reason to book directly with the airline - they may have had some compassion (especially if you hold some status).

Not necessarily. I’ve travelled to USA on passport within 6 month expiry. Would I do it again - no

Don’t know about book direct. I wouldn’t rely on it even with status. There is only so much the customer agent can do. The process they have to follow is rigid
 

flyer001

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2011
Posts
21
Got held up at BNE airport as my passport had less than 6 months left on it until I pointed out I was going home to PNG. then they let me board.
so the mistake is not always the traveller.
 

Melburnian1

Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Posts
22,420
I worked for someone who, about five years ago, was also going to Bali and had a passport due to expire in c.five months.
\
Unlike the OP, however, he went to the Melbourne passport office and had the new one in his hand by that afternoon. I'm not sure how he obtained the birth certificate, but instead of his early morning SQ flight he was able to be rebooked on the midnight one.

So it can be possible to obtain an express renewal on the same day.
 
Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Posts
11,831
The most beautiful, eloquent, and divine phrase in our modern times is the Australian generativist phrase "yeah, nah..."
Many countries only need passport validity for their period of travel to USA. However maintaining min 6 months is just good practice as the USA is not the only travel destination
2B578FCB-1A53-49B0-8236-F1267E39E4C3.jpeg
 

Vic

Established Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2017
Posts
1,161
We recently had similar crisis with #3 son.
Our whole family renewed passports in December 2013, so good for 10 years, eh? Except number #3 son was 17 years 11.5 months (ie 2 weeks before 18th birthday) at time of passport renewals so only got 5 years on his passport.
All our passports bar one thus have same expiry date - xx December 2023. As he prepared for his first solo trip with a couple of mates, we went through a checklist amongst which was - "our passports all ok till Dec 2023" - so didn't check. Our TA, God bless her soul, rings us less than three business days (and prior to Queens birthday weekend) to advise that #3 son's passport expires in 5 months and three weeks. Similar mad scramble ensued to get new photos, photos signed and application into the Passport Office - the new passport was issued on the morning he picked it up on his way to the airport for his non-cancellable holiday.

Whew! Very stressful.

You can get a 10 year passport from 16 years and older. Have done this last year. Nothing to do with your son's birthday, you just didn't tick the 10 year option.
 

flybynight

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2011
Posts
34
A few years ago I had booked a holiday through Qantas Travel going to Hong Kong SAR and China. On the morning of my travel got a call from Qantas saying my passport had less than 6 months and for me to go immediately to the passport office with photo's where arrangements had been made for a renewed passport to be issued. Went to the office and had the new passport in less than an hour and made my flights!
It raises the question, do travel agents have a duty of care and therefore a responsibility to check things like passport validity??
 
Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Posts
11,831
It raises the question, do travel agents have a duty of care and therefore a responsibility to check things like passport validity??

No as the passport and any requisite visa is the personal responsibility of the traveller, and the responsibility cannot be delegated.

Most travel agents do tell passengers about 6m rule plus it’s in the fine print that the traveller is responsible.

Though if an airline lets a passenger travel without valid passport/visa the airline is responsible for returning passenger to origin of travel. Doesn’t mean the airline is responsible to the passenger. It is not.
 

agentgerko

Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2013
Posts
105
I think not so lovely lady travel agent. As a TA we always ask each client to check the validity of their passports for exactly this reason. Did she get your passport details, or at least ask you to check that you had six months clear validity in each passport?
 

maxwelljames

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2013
Posts
13
Back in the 1970' s, as Immigration Officer Supervisor at Melbourne Airport, I used to issue passports in those situations if everything was in order. Apparently, it is not the practice these days. It might have been worth asking
 

Kremmen

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2007
Posts
138
However maintaining min 6 months is just good practice as the USA is not the only travel destination]
What you call "good practice", I'd call a waste of time and a waste of money. Just know the rules and obey them. Simple.

A few years ago I had booked a holiday through Qantas Travel going to Hong Kong SAR and China.
You were fine for Hong Kong, just not China. I was booking a trip to the USA via Asia once and wanted to have a stopover. As my passport had less than 6 months left on it, I chose Hong Kong, because it has only a 1-month requirement.
 

Trivalve

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Posts
12
Ok: 1998, we had been living in the UK for the past six months, had a summer hoilday booked in France, driving via the Chunnel. I got the passports out the night before and shock, horror, my 5yo daughter's was 3 months out of date. Desperate call to Australia House, rerouted to Canberra due to the hour and the response was, "You're not going."

cough.

Called UK Borders or whatever they were called, at Dover. Got a pleasant character who said," If you don't try, you won't go. If you do try, you might. So we did the packing, heavy-hearted, thought about where else we might go in the car (Brighton?!) and drove the couple of hours down to Dover in the morning. I had a letter to send and I thought, Oh well, I'll send it after we get rejected.

French immigration is on the British side. I put my daughter's passport on the bottom of the pile of five. I told the kids that this probably wouldn't work, but they must not say a word and if by some chance we got through, the must be like James Bond and keep their cool, saying nothing until the train pulled out. Absolutely no cheering! Charming French immigration agent, looked at my well-used passport on top, smiled and said, "Ah, Australie!" Stamped the lot without checking dates. Wished us a nice holiday, waved us on and the kids did their James Bond thing beautifully. We just all looked at each other wide-eyed as we drove onto the train. After it started to move, the kids went off.

Had a great holiday in the south of France and the best bit was that the Brits stamped her passport coming back in (we weren't so worried but it could have been a bit messy). I sent the letter late (might have been a bill payment).

I have another good one from the Chunnel involving a smuggled Saudi cat (not mine).
 

GSP

Established Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2016
Posts
1,360
What a co-incidence. It was Wednesday last week when my colleague had the almost similar issue.

The family of 4 (plus some friends) rock up to Tulla airport for a 9.45am J* flight to Bali. His 5yo daughter had 9 days less than 6 months to expiry so she couldn't board. So they agreed for his wife and younger child to go onto Bali without him and his 5yo daughter. J* said if he got the passport issue sorted they'd be transferred to the 5.45pm flight or the next day if time run out (wouldn't have expected that from J*).

Anyhow off to the passport office (in town) and having somebody usher in the necessary docs he was told the same in that his wife needed to sign for consent. He lamented he could have done a "sneaky" but spilled the beans by opening up about how he took one for the team and sent his wife onward. So he had to wait for her to land and goto the Aus consulate at Denpassar. Fortunately was all sorted and went on 5.45pm flight the following day without any extra charge.

Now, what makes this all the more extraordinary was on the weekend when they did their packing he realised his passport expired back in May. So he had the Mon/Tue to get sorted which he did and didn't think to check the kids - well actually they did but saw March '19 and thought "that'll be good". It wasn't.
 

Popeye

Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2018
Posts
121
Qantas
LT Gold
Actually the 6 month rule isn’t hard and fast, it is country specific.

This happened to me also a number of years ago with my son. ....he was about 5 at the time and it was in the mid 90's.

What happened was that we only realised the day before we were due to depart that his passport was 3 days shy of the 6 months. I had a friend at DPS airport whom I contacted and they said that they would let them know of the situation

We went to the airport and convinced the airline to check us in on the basis that we had made arrangements locally. I also bought an additional bottle of Johnny Walker Black Label and 2 of those big Tobblerone chocolates.

When we got to the primary line in DPS I got dragged off into a private room to meet with the boss immigration dude of the day.

He sat down and pointing at the passport that was on the desk said "passport no good , not 6 months" . I said to him that I had spoken to my friend and that he told me that I would be meeting with him and that I had brought him a present at which point I plonked the duty free bag with scotch and the chocolates on the desk next to the passport.

With out a word the Passport and inbound immigration card were stamped and handed back to me , and I was pointed to the door.

That's Indonesia for you
 
Last edited:
Sponsored Post

Struggling to use your Frequent Flyer Points?

Award Flight Assist takes the hard work out of finding award availability and redeeming your frequent flyer or credit card points for flights.

Using their expert knowledge and specialised tools, the Award Flight Assist team at Frequent Flyer Solutions will help you book a great trip that maximises the value for your points.

Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Posts
11,831
What you call "good practice", I'd call a waste of time and a waste of money. Just know the rules and obey them. Simple.

Yes but any passport under 6 months validity while it would not prevent international travel, might prevent "last minute" or urgent travel to a specific destination. As with any such travel, the destination and timing may not be discretionary.

So depending on personal/business circumstances, the traveller may or may not have to maintain minimum 6 month validity at all times.
 

Oneworldplus2

Established Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2008
Posts
3,016
Out of curiosity, why do countries have a 6 month passport validity rule, if you are going there for a holiday and hold a return ticket? Is it out of caution if a traveller is in a accident/severe injury/coma/unable to travel ?
 

chaos27

Newbie
Joined
Oct 19, 2014
Posts
3
It is definitely country specific.
I went from SYD to New Caledonia recently, knowing that I only had 5 months on my passport. I looked up the regulations for NC online, which was quite easy. Whilst it said it is ‘advisable’ to have 6 months, the rules (and the French love rules) said that all is needed is a passport valid for the duration of the intended stay.
At passport control the official gave me a wry smile, and told me that my passport was expiring soon but other than that, he let me in. (In any case, I had a valid EU passport up my sleeve)
Interestingly, I thought most airlines and some TAs required passport details for international flights well before travel, which would have highlighted the problem?
Nicely handled though, well done.
 

KLN

Active Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2009
Posts
551
this is bringing back nightmares for me. had J tix booked for Malaysia last year for the F1, and Ms KLN Jnr, was short by 11 days on her passport. yep, the old under 18, and only 5 year passport. she was issued a new one the next day, but unable to save the J points redemption tix, but she and boyfriend managed to get Y tix for the next day. still a nightmare. how to not enjoy a J tix without favourite travel partner.
 

brettd

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2013
Posts
24
Do people generally pre-fill out their passport details when choosing seats etc?

I was fortunate enough that the SQ website flagged my passport had <6 months when filling out details online (exp Dec 18 for travel in August 18). Lucky it did though as I probably would have overlooked it too.
 
Last edited:

jamesimo24

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2016
Posts
31
Qantas
Bronze
Virgin
Red
Funny that, I'm currently in Geneva at the moment for the week having arrived from a week in London yesterday for a physics trip. One of the people on our trip couldn't leave with us as some visa issues arose at Tulla when we were about to check in. He eventually got it sorted and joined us directly in Geneva but man it was scary and pretty disappointing too as he missed a week of the 2 week trip. Stuff happens though and immigration worked as quick as they could to get it sorted but that didn't mean he had to be left behind.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top