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Passport pandemonium

Lost, left behind, stolen - share your horror stories about that valuable doument
6 years ago, June 6th 2014 No: 1 Msg: #182358  
B Posts: 11.5K
Chinese man stuck in airport because his 4 year old son doodled in his passport

This particular passport belongs to a Chinese man who got stuck in an airport in South Korea because his passport was claimed unrecognizable by the border officials.

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6 years ago, June 7th 2014 No: 2 Msg: #182381  
I saw this story on the news, a lesson to all parents don't give children pens (or do I mean passports!)

I've only been involved in one problem with passports (other than officials staring for long periods of time at my picture which actually looks nothing like me due to the way in which we have to have the pictures taken) daughter Zoe was due to go to The Gambia with a school project, two weeks prior and the school requested that all the children's passports be handed in to the teacher in charge, sounds easy! Despite hunting high and low and pulling the house to pieces while Zoe checked her room no passport could be found. One trip to Liverpool later and a large cheque and we had the replacement in our hands.

Waving her a tearful goodbye I decided to be a lovely Mom and clean out her bedroom before her return..... yep you know what happened.... the original passport was safely lodging under her bed!! Reply to this

6 years ago, June 12th 2014 No: 3 Msg: #182482  
B Posts: 25
WOW! Luckily my tales are not as stressful as that!
I spent six months travelling on the Trans-Siberian, and most of the countries I passed through required full page visas. I spent every border crossing explicitly pointing and requesting that they stamp in a small corner of an already full page so that they did not stamp on a new page I was saving for a visa!

I tried post-it notes, hair clips, but they were all disapproved of, so I just had to use my best sign language to explain where I needed his stamp to go!

To be fair, once I got home I had a cool looking passport!

Straight to the passport office for a new one, and now I keep the old one as probably my favourite travel souvenir 😊 Reply to this

6 years ago, June 14th 2014 No: 4 Msg: #182510  
B Posts: 287
This just happened in Nairobi. I was at the gate preparing to board the plane, when I was asked where my yellow fever certificate was. It had been in my passport a few minutes prior, but maybe fell out when the immigration officer stamped my exit visa. I could not board unless I could produce this card. Interestingly enough, I had had the foresight to predict this type of problem and taken a photograph on my cell phone of my yellow fever card, just in case. I showed the clerk and his supervisor this photo, both agreed it wasn't good enough. Now I was frantic, I backtracked to the immigration officer who halfheartedly looked in his area for my card. No sign of it. I went back to the gate just in time to watch the door of my plane close. This would cause a chain reaction of rebookings and adjustments to reservations. I was horrified. My only option now was to take a series of buses to the port health office to get another shot (and card) for $20. The port nurse took one look at the photograph on my cell phone and agreed it was good enough. Well thanks, that helps now! Geared with my new card, I still hoped to make the next flight, but if anyone has been at the Jomo Kenyatta airport of late, an extensive fire has caused the airport to be a mishmash of scattered chaos. By the time I collected my luggage and re-checked myself in, and argued with the immigration officer that I hadn't actually technically reentered his country because I never left, I missed the last flight of the day. Total cost of yellow fever certificate card. $883 Reply to this

6 years ago, June 14th 2014 No: 5 Msg: #182515  
oh wow Andrea, that is a full on story lol!
I think the worst I've had was while pregnant I'd bought some flights to Bali from Australia. No passport for yet unborn bub I figured I'd get it after she was born. 1 day before the flight I'm checking I've got everything printed when I realize there is not an infant ticket for bub. I race in to the airline to buy it to realize I don't have a passport. about 200 photos later I had my application at the Aust immigration and paid the $100 extra for the fast version...they had it back to me the next morning!! unheard of service 😊. no problems with the infant taxes and we were off... she is now 3.5 with the same photo lol! Reply to this

6 years ago, June 21st 2014 No: 6 Msg: #182753  
I lost my passport...or more accurately it was stolen.
I started the story in my blog THE LONG & WINDING ROAD...100 Blogs...100,000 memories as follows:
At last...Zambia...first place in Eastern Africa that my credit card has worked. Our Kenyan leader as pleased as I am.
Better get it into my travel safe...safari truck opened by the cook just for me. The Kenyan cook gets on board...I'm just sitting there...3,600,000 kwacha in my left hand...a bundle an inch thick. Our eyes meet...time stops. He turns, gets off and closes the door.
We're surely gonna have the best party tonight...gotta find Denise & Anna-Lou...gotta let them know!
Hours later.
My travel safe is missing from my pack on the safari truck...my passport...all my money.
It's our daughter's 21st birthday today...everyone knows I'm cashed up to give her the party of her life.
We have just arrived at Victoria Falls in Zambia...and my travel safe has gone.
I didn't get it back. Denise & I had to leave the safari in Zambia and miss out on Zimbabwe & Botswana leaving our daughter on the safari. Advised not to make trouble or our daughter would be in danger. Getting from Zambia to South Africa to get a replacement passport was quite an adventure which I may share some day. Reply to this

6 years ago, June 23rd 2014 No: 7 Msg: #182784  
B Posts: 222
Life was perfect as I skinny-dipped in turquoise, travertine pools below the Mayan ruins of Palenque, Mexico, with a couple of Tasmanians I'd met. Unfortunately, some enterprising locals rifled our belongings, taking our money and passports though kindly leaving our clothes.

Fortunately, we were flying high on mushrooms, so we weren't really bothered by the loss and blithely hitchhiked back to town, continuing our journey around the Yucatan Peninsula the next day.

Over the following year, I crossed into Belize, Guatemala, Mexico and then back to the US using only a recently expired university student card, $5-10 in border bribes and a not very onerous US interview. Sadly, those days of slipping through borders are over.
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6 years ago, June 30th 2014 No: 8 Msg: #182988  
B Posts: 897
Hmm..holding my breath on this one..my passport looks very well, road weary at the moment. It had several pages with Indonesian visas that the imigrasi had scrawled CANCELLED on (grrr!) which wasnt a good look to begin with. January this year I was having dinner on the roof of a floating brothel in sabang in the Philippines when a sudden downpour left my handbag soaking wet......with my passport now not just shabby but soaking wet and sporting a quite funky tie dye effect after carefully peeling the pages apart and running up to the ladyboy hairdressers to borrow a hair dryer. Somehow I managed to get it dry with most of the cool stamps still visible (ironically the Indonesian and Malaysian stamps are all blurred into one) and was sweating on exactly the scenario described by Jo.
Leaving Philippines I presented my passport trying to look nonchalant when I was asked what happened to it.......so I told the truth.

Got wet eating dinner on roof of floating brothel.

Luckily they let me out, Singapore let me in and the E Chip is still working.

I have to transit through Indonesia again in a few weeks ..........fingers crossed 😊

Tara - LOL! Reply to this

6 years ago, July 2nd 2014 No: 9 Msg: #183059  
B Posts: 222
Cindy--are you sure you don't want to get another (expensive) passport? I was almost not let out of the USSR because my passport, like me, looked as if it had been around. Though I guess if fussy Singapore let you in, you shouldn't have trouble with Indonesia--though, maybe leave out the brothel part. Good luck! Reply to this

5 years ago, July 13th 2014 No: 10 Msg: #183366  
MJ here

In 1990, I was in Rarotonga, Cook Islands and I had gone on a bike ride around the island with a friend. If I am remembering the main road was about 20 miles in circumference. It was a beautiful ride. As we got near the main town it started pouring rain. Buckets of rain fell from the sky. We pulled over near the city center to wait for the rain to stop or at least slow down.

While waiting I walked over to the post office to mail a dozen post cards that I had in a fanny pack. I was not used to using a fanny pack. The minute I dropped the cards in the mail box I realized that my passport was in the fanny pack with the post cards and I had just dropped my passport in the mail box.

My heart stopped. I totally freaked out at what I had done.

Once I calmed down we found a police officer and told him what I had done. Still frightened and not knowing how this would turn out he thought for a moment and said well let's call ___so and so__ I can't remember his name because it has been so many years. The gentleman the police officer was calling was the postmaster for the island. And...of course it was a Sunday.

I was stunned, shocked and amazed when the post master said he would be right over. Ten minutes later he was fishing my passport out of the mail box, handed it to me with a smile and we were on our way.

Still to this day I think about how complicated that could have been if it had happened in the United States.
I am so grateful it was no big deal.
I was grateful the postmaster was home and wandered over with the key. Reply to this

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