Tourism

Teen deported over “slightly” damaged passport

Check your passports, folks, because it looks like Australia’s fave holiday destination is cracking down on damaged travel documents.

A 16-year-old was denied entry into Indonesia and had her dream holiday ruined after immigration rejected her “slightly” damaged passport.

Melbourne teen Lexi Karakostas was travelling to Bali, where she planned to meet up with a friend’s family, when she was stopped and questioned by immigration at Denpasar airport.

“The woman there said “look at the passport” to a man next to her and he took me to the immigration office,” Karakostas told the Daily Mail.

“He said they were going to let me in but mark my passport so I couldn’t come back again with it,” she said.

“But then the first lady from the desk nudged him and they talked in Indonesian. Then he had me follow him inside the office.”

© Associated Newspapers Limited
© Associated Newspapers Limited

Immigration then told her she would not be allowed to enter the country with her current passport and would have to fly home to Melbourne instead. She told Daily Mail she was hysterical.

“It was scary, I was by myself in a country I’d never been in and didn’t have my family or friend there. It was traumatising,” she said.

Susan Karakostas, the teens mum told News.com.au she wasn’t aware the passport was damaged.

“We had been in Europe and it seemed fine. But we respect their laws and regulations, and we are in no way upset with the government, but we want to warn others to be careful of damaged documents (when travelling),” she said.

“I wouldn’t have sent her if I’d known the passport was damaged.”

Karakostas said she believes the damage may be from the E-Ticket machines.

“But this is their law and we respect that. This is just a warning to others of what can happen,” she said.

Karakostas ordeal is the latest in a spate of incidences where travellers are being turned away from Indonesia because of damaged passports.

News.com.au reports a man was stopped from boarding a Batik Air flight last month for “slight” damage to his nine-year-old passport.

“Denpasar is enforcing a policy whereby if a passenger has the slightest imperfection with their passport, they will fine the airline $5000 and send the passenger home,” he was told by Batik Air staff.

According to staff, the man was the 20th passenger they had stopped from flying to Bali with a damaged passport in the last month.

And who could forget the British couple Daniel and Tia Farthing who were turned away from entering Bali because their dog chewed Daniel’s passport?

Hopefully travellers head Karakostas warning and double check their passport before leaving the country.

Or keep it wrapped in bubble wrap until immigration asks for a peak.


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