A young holidaymaker canceled his flight from Sydney Airport to Bali due to minor water damage to his passport.
Personal health coach Emma Doherty flew out of Sydney Airport on June 21 excited about her 10-day solo trip to Bali.
But the traveler was denied boarding and police officers instructed her that the water damage to her passport made it look “ugly”.
Moments after she was kicked off the flight, Ms Doherty spoke about the incident in a video posted on social media.
“So I’ve just been turned away from my flight to Bali and I’m stuck in the middle of Sydney airport right now,” Doherty said.
“No idea what to do or where to go and I was literally told if they let me into Bali the military and airport security would have put me in a cell.
Personal fitness trainer Emma Doherty (pictured) was on her way to Sydney Airport excited about her 10-day solo trip to Bali when she was denied boarding due to minor water damage in her passport.
“Basically, there was a little water damage on the bottom of my passport.”
Ms Doherty stated that the injury was in no way canceled during her review.
“I didn’t even notice,” said Mrs. Doherty. “I travel all the time and I’ve never been told that before.
“Apparently the airport in Bali is very strict and people have been known to put you on camera if they don’t like your passport.”
The devastated traveler said she sat at the airport and cried for a quarter of an hour after the ordeal at customs.
She is now warning others traveling to Bali to ‘triple check’ their passports.
“Obviously I’m very upset, like I’ve literally been robbed. I’ve been sitting here crying for the last 15 minutes,” Doherty said.
“I tell myself everything happens for a reason and I shouldn’t have gotten on that flight today.
“If you’re going to Bali, make sure you triple check your passport to see if there’s any damage, stains, water or anything, because they won’t let you in, and if it does, you’ll end up in cell Bali.
Doherty claimed her passport had minimal water damage, but Bali officials would detain her if she entered the tropical island with her passport.
A keen traveler who moved from the UK to Australia has warned others to “triple check” their passports before heading to Bali.
Social media users admitted that they had a similar experience when traveling from Australia to Bali.
“My partner’s passport page was slightly torn and they wouldn’t let him board the flight to Bali either,” one person commented.
“I’ve had the identical factor. Landed in Bali, had to wait on camera until I could get my flight,” added the other particular person.
This occurred to me several years ago! Exactly identical to water trauma!!! I needed a sample new passport within 24 hours,” another person wrote.
Another, who lives in Bali, confirmed that holidaymakers with broken passports are detained after they land on the tropical island.
“When you come to Bali… you have to make sure your passport is literally in good shape. It’s true – you are being held,” they wrote.
The Australian Passport Office website states that the normal act of putting on and tearing off a passenger’s passport should not prevent them from traveling.
Severe injuries, as well as missing pages, pale ink, markings and tears or cuts in the pages – especially with reference to the photo website – may cause border guards to stop a person from traveling.
“Contact with water or other liquids can cause serious damage,” says the Passport Office.
“You must not tear or remove any pages from your passport. It is very important that all details and photographs on the personal information pages are legible and clear and that there is no evidence of alteration or tampering with any aspect of the booklet.
Bali introduced strict passport guidelines in 2019, allowing authorities to detain holidaymakers and huge airways, allowing passengers to travel with broken passports (stock image, ordinary boat with rows of girls towards Ulun Danu Bratan temple in Bali).
Bali has some of the strictest passport regulations regarding travel documents with tears or water damage.
Legal guidelines were introduced in 2019, allowing Indonesian authorities to detain vacationers and huge airways worth more than $4,700 for allowing a passenger to travel with a broken passport.
It comes after a Western Australian lawyer was detained in Bali earlier this year over a small tear in his passport.
A minor flaw in the passport of a prominent West Australian lawyer led to his arrest shortly after arriving on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali.
John Hammond flew into Denpasar Airport on February 5 and was on his way through immigration when he was “kicked out” by police who believed his passport had been displayed.
“I was chased into Denpasar airport when I was told my passport might be fake,” Hammond told radio station 6PR.
“It had a small tear the size of a thumbnail and I think that was the reason I was held at the back of the airport.
“I had to read a statement that I admit that my passport was of poor quality and/or fake.”
Mr Hammond was finally fired after being asked to give a press release, claiming there was no way he would return to Bali with a broken passport.
Passport injuries and legislation
Aussie holidaymakers should check their passport (pictured) is in good condition
Normal folding and tearing of the passport should not be a problem. More serious injuries can prevent you from traveling.
If you are unsure of the status of your passport, please call the Australian Passport Office on 131 232 or contact your nearest Australian embassy or consulate abroad.
It is necessary to:
- there are no tears or cuts on the passport pages, especially the photo web page
- all parts of the photo web page are legible and clear
- there are no marks in the photograph or in the machine-readable area of the photograph web page
- no pages have been deleted
- there are no changes or manipulations
They need to see your passport to evaluate it.