Sometimes you are not allowed on some international flights, even if your passport is still valid and you have already reserved your seat. Here’s why.
AnemStyle / shutterstockIf you are traveling to a foreign country, you may have a big surprise at the airport. A little-known secret to airlines and international travel agencies can cost you thousands of dollars.
When you board the plane for an international flight after going through airport security, you are usually required to present your passport. You need to make sure that it is still valid, that is, it has not passed the expiration date, before you go. But this is not enough in some countries, and you may not be allowed to take the flight you have already paid for.
In places like France, Spain, and Germany, your passport must be valid for at least 90 days after entering the country, even if you don’t plan to stay that long. Some countries have delays of up to 6 months after your arrival.
The reason is in case of an unexpected situation where the traveler has to stay in the country longer than originally planned. They will need a valid passport to leave the country, but they will only be able to renew it at home.
The problem is compounded if the airlines let you board your flight without a “valid” passport in the destination country. In this case, you will be turned away at the gates and have to spend thousands of dollars on a return flight, unless you can ask the airline to cover it. When it comes to plane tickets, did you know that the best day to buy them is no longer Tuesday?
This rule applies even in simple stopover situations. For example, let’s say you’re about to spend a week in Japan, which only requires that your passport be valid only for the duration of your intended travel period, and your passport is valid for the next 70 days. If you have a stopover in Germany, you will not be able to travel to Japan because Germany will send you home. But if you have a direct flight to Japan, you won’t have any problem. Looking for ways to get the most out of your layover? Look no further.
The US State Department recommends that you renew your passport at least 9 months before its printed expiration date to avoid these kinds of issues. They also have a Resource on their website which allows you to check the travel requirements of your destination country.
There are also tools available online that check the validity of your passport in certain countries. Traveldoc is a site that the airlines themselves use to verify their passenger information, and you can use it too! Enter where you are going, what airport you are departing from and your passport expiration information. Traveldoc will let you know if you need to put your documents in order before you take off.
Here are some more tips to make traveling to the airport as easy as possible. Have a good trip!