A Simple Yet Costly Passport MistakeAn AFF member has learnt a very expensive and stressful lesson after a family member was denied boarding for an international flight.

Andz was intending to fly to Indonesia last week for a family holiday. But, although his daughter’s passport was still valid, it was due to expire in 5 months and 2 weeks. Many countries, including Indonesia, require that passports have at least 6 months of validity from the date of arrival in the country. As such, the child was unable to fly.

In an attempt to salvage the situation, this member rushed to the passport office and paid for a priority passport application. A new passport was eventually issued the next day, but by this point it was too late. This member was left with little choice but to reschedule the trip for next week.

Many countries require all travellers to have at least six months of passport validity upon arrival. This is to avoid the possibility of a traveller’s passport expiring while they are still in the country. Not all nations have this rule. But if you’re travelling to a country that does, there are no exceptions. Your passport must not expire in the next six months, or you’ll be denied entry to the country. If in doubt, a good place to check is the Australian Government’s Smart Traveller website.

This is a very easy passport mistake to make. But as Andz sadly had to learn the hard way, it can be a costly one.

The most stressful situation of my life, and I have been in many more dangerous ones. The family looking at you at the airport for superman to fly in with a replacement passport and save the day. Daughter looking at you with big open eyes that were saying…” What now DAD!!!!!!”.

Trying to make a bad situation worst by not accepting the situation and not cutting your loses is manic.

This story serves as a timely reminder to check your passport’s expiry date. Also ensure that you have any necessary visas before travelling overseas. Being denied boarding or getting turned around at the border is never fun.

Despite the drama last week, we hope Andz and family enjoy a wonderful (albeit late) holiday in Bali.

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Got stung by a rookie mistake [passport < 6 months to expiry]


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]