What is Denied Boarding?
Denied Boarding—What is it and how you can prevent it?
Denied boarding issues can ruin a trip. It is estimated that 2% of passengers who arrive at airports around the world do not have the proper documentation to leave or continue on their journey.
There are five major issues which can be avoided by simply taking the time to check your documentation.
Missing travel documents
First, check your driver’s licenses, passport or other government issued I.D. Make sure you have it before you leave your home and that it is still valid.
Second, make a photo copy of the document and keep it in your suitcase or carry-on bag so that if your I.D. is lost, you will have all the information needed to replace it.
Documents seem to disappear just before a trip. Passengers report that they have had the document within days of their departure, but have lost it. Many think that the document has been thrown away because it was placed somewhere other the place it is normally kept.
TIP: When preparing for your trip, have a designated place to use for all your travel documents in the days or weeks before you travel so you will not lose needed travel documents.
Invalid children's passports
A leading cause of denied boarding problems stem from children’s passports.
Adult passports are valid for (10) ten years; children’s passports are valid for (5) five years. Families with underage children who apply for their passports at the same time, often assume that the child’s passport has the same validity.
TIP: Check those children’s passports well in advance of your trip!
Remaining validity is also an issue. Every country has the remaining validity rule. The remaining validity can be 30, 60, 90 days or more. The majority of countries require 6 months remaining validity.
Airlines cannot allow a passenger who does not meet the validity rule to board the aircraft. They are subject to fines per passenger allowed onboard if they do not meet this requirement.
If you manage to be boarded in error, the accepting country can return you to the country you last visited, at your own expense.
TIP: International Visa Service recommends that you renew your passport at the beginning of the tenth year to insure that you are never denied boarding.
Mutilated passports can cause the holder a problem at any airport, at any time. One airline representative may allow a passenger to travel on a mutilated passport, and the next will not. Mutilated passports can be anything from a “just dirty” passport to one that accidentally got in the wash.
Dogs and other domesticated animals have been known to chew up part of the passport, which instantly causes it to be unusable. With older passports, loose pictures can cause the passport to be declared mutilated.
TIP: Keep you passport in a safe place, away from pets or children. Many travelers use a durable passport cover to help protect the passport.
Many countries require visas. Although tourist and business travelers may not need a visa for certain countries, other reasons for visiting the county could require a visa. It is very important when you are inquiring about a visa to be clear as to the purpose of your trip.
For example: If you are visiting Spain as a U.S. Citizen for business or as a tourist, a visa is not required; however, if you are going as a student for a stay of over 90 days, then a visa is required. You must check visa requirements based on the exact information in order to get the correct requirements.
TIP: Check our Visa Requirements page to see what business and tourist requirements exist for the country you are traveling to several weeks ahead of your trip so you will have time to acquire the proper visa.
Checklist for preventing Denied Boarding
When you are planning your trip the following routine is recommended.
First: Locate your document.
Second: Check the issue date and the expiration date. Make sure that there is enough remaining validity to insure you will be allowed to travel.
Third: Check the visa requirements.
Fourth: If traveling with children, make sure to check the expiration date on the passport.
Fifth: Always purchase travel insurance with trip cancelation and interruption insurance for any reason.
In today’s travel environment, you are responsible for all problems in connection with your travel documents.
International Visa Service is ready to assist you with any questions concerning your documents.
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