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Woman forced to fork out £780 at airport because her passport was deemed to be damaged

Woman forced to fork out £780 at airport because her passport was deemed to be damaged

She was told the passport was too damaged to be used

An Aussie woman was forced to fork out £780 at the airport after officials said her ‘dirty’ passport was unacceptable.

Monique Sutherland was flying from Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne to Bali with her 60-year-old mum for a ‘much needed’ break.

However, upon passing through security at the Aussie airport, Monique was warned that she’d need to sign off on a special blue form as her passport was ‘slightly dirty’.

Speaking to 7News, she explained: “I was made to sign an additional blue form which I was told I had to show whenever I showed my passport.

“This was because my passport was slightly dirty as it is seven years old.”

With the blue form in-hand, Monique assumed she’d be fine to fly but her problems began once she landed in Bali and attempted to pass through immigration.

The woman was told her passport was too dirty to fly. (Stock image)
Pexels/Ekatrina Belinskaya

She said: “I was asked if I was alone, and if I were a regular traveller, which I’m not ... then I was taken into a small interrogation room

“Officials continued to come in and out and question me for over an hour.

“I was hysterical and petrified.”

Monique was then told that her passport was too damaged and she would need to stump up AUD$1,500 (£780) to sort out the problem.

Monique, who says her passport had already been stamped when she entered the country, initially refused to pay the fee - but staff then approached her mum who decided to hand over the cash.

After paying the fee, Monique said she and her mum were able to pass through the airport without issue - but says the experience got the holiday off on the wrong foot.

The woman has issued a warning to other travellers.
Michael Gaida/Pixabay

“The entire holiday was spent stressing about this experience and researching whether my passport was acceptable,” she said.

“It was a terrible experience ... very traumatic.”

Monique said that she and her mum didn’t run into any problems on the return leg of their journey.

Earlier this month, a British woman issued a warning to anyone with a damaged passport after she was refused entry for a trip to Manchester to Thailand due to a rip on one of the pages of her passport.

TikToker Amy Grundy has urged people to double check the state of their passports before flying - after she was turned away from the flight and forced to go to Glasgow to get an emergency passport.

"24 hours later, £700 down and crying so much, I got a passport," she said.

Featured Image Credit: Matt Cardy/Getty Images/Pexels/RichHoward

Topics: Australia, Travel, News