Tourists barred from entering Bali and Malaysia due to passport damage


A man lost $14,000 and his and his wife’s dream holiday was “ruined” because his passport was deemed too damaged for travel.

Richard and Ann Lane, from Lincolnshire in the UK, were also forced to miss three weeks of their three-month holiday as the passport tear meant they were barred from entering Bali and Malaysia.

RELATED: Sam Kerr thrown off flight over damaged passport

They had planned to travel around Asia and Australia, visiting many of their children and grandchildren, The Sun reported.

The pair, who are retired, took off from home in December 2018 and managed to visit Dubai, India, Malaysia and Australia without any problems.

When they tried to fly to Bali on January 21, 2019, they were stopped at the airport, the couple explained to the BBC program Rip Off Britain.

“We went to immigration (at Brisbane Airport) and my passport failed to scan,” Mr Lane, 76, said.

“I was taken back to the desk of the airline and there I was held, and held, and held.

“Meanwhile, my wife had gone through immigration so I was on my own. I was left in limbo.”

Mr Lane was told that a small hole in the document wasn’t letting it scan despite him having used it to travel already.

He was then told he wouldn’t be allowed to travel to Bali.

“Eventually, someone told us that our trip to Bali could not happen because if the airline allowed us to fly, they would be fined heavily for trying to bring someone into the country with inappropriate documentation,” he said.

“My passport had only been used once before the trip, and it was not damaged when we left Heathrow Airport.”

The couple then booked new flights through Singapore to visit Malaysia, where one of their daughters lives, to get an emergency travel document – only to face more problems.

“Again, it didn’t scan at Singapore,” Mr Lane explained.

“They said, ‘You’re not going anywhere, you’ve not got a valid passport’.

“I felt victimised, I felt angry, I felt frustrated. I felt that in fact my holiday was being ruined.”

He was eventually given a special document that would allow him to get to the embassy in Singapore, but they were forced to miss their trip to Malaysia along with a visit to see their three grandchildren.

They had to stay in an expensive hotel in Singapore while they waited for the document, as the country was celebrating Chinese New Year, meaning a lack of accommodation was available.

The couple lost £7500 ($14,170) on extra flights and hotels.

To make matters worse, their extensive insurance plan refused to cover the additional costs.

Their insurance provider explained they were covered for “reasonable costs” when trying to acquire a new passport if it was “lost, stolen or destroyed” but not damaged.

The insurer gave them £50 ($94) as a gesture of goodwill.

The Lanes went to an insurance ombudsman but lost their case, although they were offered an additional £100 ($189) for the cost of the emergency travel document. They declined the offer.

“The offer was an insult. We felt very let down. What was the point, what did we take the insurance out for?” Mr Lane said.

“The exciting bits of the trip which we anticipated were meeting the children and grandchildren who we missed so much.

“We were so disappointed. You can’t predict getting a hole in your passport, so we were just staggered.”

Mr Lane hopes his story is a warning to others.

A spokesperson from Mr Lane’s insurer told the BBC: “We are sorry for the distress that Mr Lane experienced while he was travelling.

“In keeping with the decision of the Financial Ombudsman we maintain our decision to decline the claim as Mr Lane’s passport was not lost, stolen or destroyed.

“We recognise that our decision could have been better explained regarding why the claim was not covered by Mr Lane’s policy.”

In November, Matildas captain Sam Kerr was rejected from a Jetstar flight to Bali because her passport was damaged. The airline said it had to enforce the immigration requirements of countries it flew to, including those who were strict about damaged passports.

Also last year, a former Miss Universe Australia was left stranded in Bali due to a watermark on her passport.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission


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