A friendly reminder, folks – just because your passport hasn’t expired yet, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can use it for travel.
That sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s true: just ask the Patton family of Ottawa, Canada. Although all four family members had valid passports (in the sense that they had not expired yet), Costa Rica refused to admit them when they arrived in the airport. Instead, they put them right back on the plane and sent them home. The reason? Costa Rica requires all visitors to have at least three months left on their passports, and three of the four family members had passports that expired before then.
The mishap was frustrating, emotionally grueling and expensive, costing them about $6,000. Unless the spotlight of publicity causes the airline and/or the travel agency that the family used to book the tickets to relent, they aren’t getting any of that money back, either. Both United Airlines and travel agency Travel by Jen are pointing the finger at each other as well as the family for not catching the mistake in time. (more…)