THE WOMAN was banned from flying after her passport was slightly damaged.
Lindsay Gray moved from Sydney to New Zealand in March with her partner and one-year-old son Douglas, both of whom were already New Zealand citizens.
After months of waiting for permission to travel, Ms. Gray finally received permission to move.
Only when she arrived at Sydney International Airport did immigration services notice minor damage to several pages of her passport.
As a result, Ms. Gray was unable to board the plane.
Ms. Gray told Yahoo News that at some point in the chaos of moving the country her little toddler probably found her passport and chewed the edges.
“When [New Zealand immigration officials] they saw the stamp of my passport, they were not 100 percent impressed, ”she said.
“They told me it could have been fake and so I wouldn’t be allowed to travel.”
Ms. Gray explained that since New Zealand’s borders were closed at the time, her passport had to be checked by an immigration representative.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the normal wear and tear of passports should be in order only with more serious damage, such as traces, tears and removed pages that interfere with travel.
After the family’s move was constantly postponed due to Covid, Ms. Gray found the experience very frustrating and costly.
She said: “We had a house on the market and all our property had already been shipped to New Zealand and so we were virtually homeless in Australia.”
As a result, the family had to stay at the hotel while they waited for an emergency passport, which cost 533 Australian dollars (302 pounds) and pass new tests at Covid.
Despite all this, the family was able to take off the next day, and Ms. Gray praised Qantas staff and passport office staff for such a sympathetic relationship.
“The best part of this story is that my swollen, upset, crying face is now my passport image for the next ten years,” she joked.
Lindsay was not the first person to be stopped because of a damaged passport – Bronte Gosling, who was trying to travel from Sydney to Bali, Australia for a holiday, was stopped at landing.
Spending 4,000 Australian dollars (£ 2,200) on flights, all-inclusive hotels and Covid tests, she was told at the front desk that she would not board her flight because her passport was too moldy.
New rules for travelers heading to Bali were introduced in 2019, which means much stricter passport regulations.
Indonesian authorities can impose fines of up to $ 5,000 (£ 3,292) on airlines if they bring passengers with damaged passports to the island.
In 2019, there was Australian footballer Sam Kerr not allowed to board her Jetstar flight after the airline felt it was too damaged to fly with it despite minimal wear.
Also that year, there was a man with a nine-year-old passport who was called “slightly damaged.” stopped boarding a Batik Air flight from Perth for Christmas
And the couple lost £ 7,500 after the holiday of their dreams was “ruined” because of their the passport was found to be too damaged for travel.
A version of this story was originally published on news.com.au and was reproduced with permission.