Indonesia

Australian passenger denied boarding on Jetstar flight to Bali after torn passport

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A furious Australian traveler has claimed Jetstar ruined her holiday in Bali by preventing her from boarding a flight because of a small tear in her passport.

The woman said her holiday plans were canceled after staff refused to let her board a flight to Bali on Wednesday because of the small tear on the photo page.

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“The page has come off about 1 cm from the stitching at the binding,” she wrote on social media.

The woman called the assistance staff “absolute jerks” and said she “didn’t get any help or help to change anything and put us over $2000 out of pocket”.

Jetstar travelers to Bali have faced similar problems before, with the airline explaining that its cabin crew must enforce the immigration requirements of the countries they fly to – some of which simply won’t allow passengers to carry damaged passports into the country.

There was a small tear on the photo page of the woman’s passport. Credit: Facebook

Indonesian authorities introduced stricter passport rules in 2019, with airlines facing fines for bringing passengers to the island with damaged documents.

Passengers may also be refused entry and sent home due to damage.

That was the case for Australian traveler Matt Vandenberg, who was refused entry by Indonesian customs on Tuesday while traveling from Sydney to Bali to attend a friend’s wedding.

Vandenberg said he was taken to an office where officials told him a 1-centimeter tear in his passport was unacceptable and he would not be allowed into the country.

His passport was confiscated until he was flown home.

He tweeted: “I have no problem with the tear, but it’s not even noticeable until you bend it backwards, and the immigration officers in Sydney had no problem scanning it.”

Vandenberg, who was later allowed to return to Indonesia, acknowledged the traveler’s complaint online and shared how he was rejected for the same reason.

“You’ll be rejected on arrival,” he told her.

Australian football star Sam Kerr was among those previously stung by the rule when she was denied boarding a Jetstar flight to Bali because her passport was “damaged”.

In an update, the traveler acknowledged that there was a tear in the binding, but said her displeasure was due to “a lack of support, help and understanding from the staff we were dealing with”.

“Maybe they need to (inform) travelers more about this issue, as most of the people I talk to have never heard of it,” she wrote.

A Jetstar spokeswoman said staff offered to transfer the customer to another flight, but she declined.

They told 7NEWS.com.au: “We understand this has been a frustrating experience, however, passengers must have a valid passport with no tears or scratches on the pages.”

“We encourage customers to check the government’s Smartraveller website before flying.”

Smartraveller advises holidaymakers to ensure their passports are in good condition before travelling.

“Normal wear and tear of passports should not be a problem,” it said.

“More severe damage may prevent you from traveling. It is important to:

  • No tears or scratches on the passport pages, especially the photo page
  • Everything on the photo page is legible
  • There are no markings on your photo or in the Machine Readable Zone (MRZ) on the photo page
  • no pages were deleted
  • Nothing has been altered or tampered with. “

Anyone concerned about their passport status can contact the Australian Passport Office on 131 232, or their nearest Australian embassy or consulate abroad.

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