Passport typo ruins Sydney woman’s first holiday in 20 years

Front cover of an Australian passport that is sitting on a timber table.

A Sydney woman was denied her first holiday in 20 years after a spelling error on her passport saw her turned away at check-in.

The 56-year-old mother was due to travel to Bali last weekend with her daughter when they were prevented from boarding their Jetstar flight.

“They were looking at my passport, it was a new passport… and the name on the passport was misspelt. It said Weddy instead of Wendy,” she told 9 News.

The woman, who gave her name only as Wendy, arrived at the luggage check-in early as she is in a wheelchair due to osteoporosis and lupus.

“I don’t understand how this could happen… it (her name) was everywhere and they checked it thoroughly at the post office.”

Wendy called the department of foreign affairs (DFAT) and was told she could get an emergency passport in just a few hours, so her daughter, whose passport was in order, boarded the flight and planned to meet her mother in Bali later.

“They (DFAT) called me and the woman was pretty vague about things and said I could get another passport and leave the country Monday night,” she said.

Wendy claims DFAT sent her a text message addressed to someone else during the call.

“Here we were on the phone discussing this error, and then straight away they go and send me something like this,” she said.

“She said I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it. It happened. They can’t even apologise.”

Wendy was told she would have to supply documents at DFAT’s office in person to receive the emergency passport but was unable to get a lift.

“When I called because I hadn’t gone in there, my lift didn’t turn up, a guy I spoke to said this is an error on our part,” she said.

“The passport won’t be an issue, we can do it over the counter.”

In the meantime, the single mum realised her Jetstar ticket had been forfeited as it had not been rescheduled, so she would have to buy a new ticket.

“It’s just been a nightmare. I can’t get my money back on travel insurance… the ticket was cancelled but I wanted to get a refund. It’s not likely I’d be able to go on a holiday again,” Wendy said.

“My daughter is over there… everything was fully paid for, we had a beautiful villa, so it’s a lot of money that I’ve lost.

“It’s the emotional cost, that’s … I can’t describe it.”

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