Home Travel British tourists are warned about a little-known passport rule that could see them turned away at the airport gate

British tourists are warned about a little-known passport rule that could see them turned away at the airport gate

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British tourists have been warned about a little-known passport rule that could see them turned away at the gate as they are about to board their flight.

British holidaymakers have been warned about a little-known passport rule that could see them turned away at the gate as they board their flight.

The rule concerns a damaged passport, which could prevent you from flying if authorities are concerned about the validity of your passport.

If they have concerns about your condition, they may even hold you at the airport for further questioning, even if you have already landed at your destination.

While minor scratches and bent pages in your passport are generally acceptable, you should be very careful and always make sure to keep your passport in the best possible condition to avoid being unable to travel.

With this in mind, it’s also a good idea to avoid adding any novelty stamps or stickers to your passport, as these could delay your flight.

British tourists have been warned about a little-known passport rule that could see them turned away at the gate as they are about to board their flight.

According to the UK Passport Office website, a passport is considered damaged if “you cannot read any of the details, any of the pages are torn, cut or missing, there are holes, cuts or tears in the cover, the cover is coming off or there are stains on the pages, for example ink or water damage.”

One such example occurred when a British tourist was forced to shell out £1,200 for a replacement flight for her dream holiday to Mexico, after she was blocked from boarding her original TUI plane due to a “slight mark” on her passport.

Laila March, 25, a private tutor from Croydon, south London, thought she was getting a “cheap deal” with TUI for less than £1,000 per person when she booked a week-long holiday to Cancun with her sister Kaemarnie, 21, to celebrate her graduation from university.

However, after arriving at Gatwick Airport on 7 June, Laila was told she could not board the plane because her passport was damaged, despite the fact that she regularly uses it to travel for work and had only just returned from Morocco the previous day.

They arrived at the TUI check-in desk in the North Terminal two hours early, hoping to collect their tickets with plenty of time to relax before their flight.

Laila said the check-in attendant scanned their passports and was about to hand them their boarding passes when she noticed a small smudge on the top right of their photo page.

“She asked me, ‘What happened to your passport? What is this mark on it?'” Laila said.

‘Apparently there was a small mark on the photo page, but it wasn’t over any of the details and everything was still readable.

‘She called someone who took my passport and disappeared for half an hour, even though I explained that I had flown into this airport yesterday and had travelled many times in the last year.’

After waiting for 45 minutes, Laila was informed that she could not board the plane.

Laila, who is studying to be a French and Spanish teacher, was told she could not stay.

Laila, who is studying to be a French and Spanish teacher, was told she could not stay.

The passport defect is almost impossible to detect with the naked eye, but TUI has not detected it. One of the security marks (circled) in the top right-hand quarter of the page has a mark running through the centre of it.

The passport defect is almost impossible to detect with the naked eye, but TUI has not detected it. One of the security marks (circled) in the top right-hand quarter of the page has a mark running through the centre of it.

“They said Mexico has very strict passport control, so they might not let me into the country,” Laila said.

“According to them, my passport was damaged, so they couldn’t allow me to fly with TUI because if I arrive in Mexico and they send me back, they would be charged.”

Laila said she was given three options: apply for an emergency passport and travel a few days later, change the name on her reservation so someone else could travel in her place, or see if another airline would accept her passport.

With no time to waste, Laila headed to the South Terminal to plead her case.

In a desperate attempt to continue travelling, Laila decided to try her luck with British Airways, who “had no problem” with her passport and happily let her fly.

Not wanting her sister to travel alone, Laila bought a last-minute ticket for £1,200 and had no trouble getting through customs after arriving in Mexico just a few hours later than expected.

But having to fork out an extra £1,200 has put a dent in Laila’s savings which she planned to use in September when she begins her postgraduate studies in education at Cambridge University.

She complained in the hope of getting her money back for the expensive ticket and, after initially being told that TUI had closed her case, the company agreed to refund her money.

According to the UK Passport Office website, a passport is considered damaged if

According to the UK Passport Office website, a passport is considered damaged if “you cannot read any of its details, any of the pages are torn, cut or missing, there are holes, cuts or tears in the cover, the cover is coming off or there are stains on the pages, for example ink or water damage” (stock image)

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