Travel

Passport must be in perfect condition to enter Mexico, warns Westjet

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  • Dec 27th, 2011 9:02 pm
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Nov 22, 2010
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Passport must be in perfect condition to enter Mexico, warns Westjet

Passport must be perfect for Mexico, WestJet warns
Updated: Fri Dec. 23 2011 13:47:51

The Canadian Press

TORONTO — WestJet is advising Canadians planning a holiday in Mexico to make sure their passports are in "perfect" condition.

The Calgary-based airline says Mexican customs and immigration officials could deny entry to anyone arriving with a damaged passport. Rips, tears, missing corners or water damage to the cover or inside pages are all no-noes.

Mexico "definitely takes the most stringent approach" concerning passport damage of any country the airline flies to, including the United States and Caribbean destinations, said Robert Palmer, WestJet's manager of public relations.

He said "a handful" of the airline's customers have been turned away so far this winter season -- either prevented in Canada from boarding a flight to Mexico or denied entry on arrival -- because of the state of their passports.

One B.C. man with a water-damaged passport was stopped from boarding a Mexico-bound flight by a WestJet ticket agent at Kelowna International Airport earlier this month. He had stored it in a shaving kit where it got wet.

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12 replies
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Apr 24, 2006
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No surprise here... I used to see passports that were in horrid condition, when you'd ask the person about it they'd say "Well you can still see it's my picture".

If only it were this simple.
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This seems puzzling to me. Are these custom officials expecting bribes? Because I would imagine most people are not trying to enter Mexico illegally, if anything just the opposite.
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cwb27 wrote: No surprise here... I used to see passports that were in horrid condition, when you'd ask the person about it they'd say "Well you can still see it's my picture".
You are right, my passport was pretty battered up after 5 years of intense travel but, i have never been stopped from getting on a flight or had any issues with customes officers in Canada or other Countries.

If only it were this simple.
Jaytee wrote: This seems puzzling to me. Are these custom officials expecting bribes? Because I would imagine most people are not trying to enter Mexico illegally, if anything just the opposite.
The people are not even making it to Mexico to have an opportunity to bribe them. It is the gate agents at the departing airports that prevent boarding the flights.
I guess my question would be is why is it Westjet that has turned travelers away at the gate? The news story's I've read or seen on TV made no mention of any other carrier having this issue or not allowing travelers through?
Maybe Westjet has P'd off Mexican customs and gives their customers a hard time?
Really, Mexico? This is a Country that losing tourism faster than anyplace in the world an it is telling Westjet to prevent people with a water stain on their passport from getting on the plane?
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I don't understand how people's passports get that damaged. Don't you take care of something that is essentially your life when you travel outside of your country?
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Kris81 wrote: I don't understand how people's passports get that damaged. Don't you take care of something that is essentially your life when you travel outside of your country?
I read in another article just today that the damage to one passport was just a water stain on the cover and a bent/misshapen cover on the other.
Passports do get a lot of wear and tear and some damage occurs even in the hands of passport control officers. Mine was "abused" in Frankfurt by a passport control officer socializing with his next cubicle counterpart, put a rip on a page. Am I going to be excluded from Mexico? (no chance of me ever setitng foot on Mexican soil anyway but hypothetical)
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
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Kris81 wrote: I don't understand how people's passports get that damaged. Don't you take care of something that is essentially your life when you travel outside of your country?

+1.
Spending the extra bit of cash on a passport case is no big deal. I have 2. 1 That I Keep with my passport and tickets when in transit and another I use when I'm in line with customs. It very rarely is exposed with nothing.
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Kris81 wrote: I don't understand how people's passports get that damaged. Don't you take care of something that is essentially your life when you travel outside of your country?

I had one passport damaged when a well meaning family member whose house I was staying at decided to do some impromptu laundry... That my passport could be in one of my pockets hadn't crossed her mind.

Made it back to Canada alright, mangled passport and all. By the way, don't ever get your passport wet. Seriously. :lol:
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Pete_Coach wrote: I guess my question would be is why is it Westjet that has turned travelers away at the gate? The news story's I've read or seen on TV made no mention of any other carrier having this issue or not allowing travelers through?
Maybe Westjet has P'd off Mexican customs and gives their customers a hard time?

"If Mexico denies someone entry, the airline bringing the person in is responsible for getting him out immediately, said Palmer. That could mean having to pay to put him on another airline's flight"

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Mexico is still angry at Canada for requiring visas from Mexicans. So they probably fined Westjet once. However, anal gate agents in Kelowna, that is Westjet's fault.

I went swimming with my passport in Venezuela (I figured that it was safer than leaving it on the beach). It was in a couple of Ziploc sandwich bags. Turns out that isn't exactly water/fool proof. But there were so many downpours, I could have easily gotten it wet in the rain. I was asked about it twice, once at an interior police check in Venezuela (ironically, in a rain forest), and the other time landing in the USA. The main point of concern was that the entry stamp was illegible. I just shrugged both times, without consequence.
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Good thing I just renewed my passport this spring.

I have a friend who uses his passport as his ID since he doesn't have a DL, and his passport is a disaster.
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RandomCDN wrote: "If Mexico denies someone entry, the airline bringing the person in is responsible for getting him out immediately, said Palmer. That could mean having to pay to put him on another airline's flight"

http://edmonton.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local ... montonHome
This is the case for every Country. It is the airlines (the) responsibility to ensure the passenger has all the appropriate paperwork to enter the Country of destination. Mexico isn't "special" or singular in this regard.
Mexico is just being vindictive and trying to make some sort of point.
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Kris81 wrote: I don't understand how people's passports get that damaged. Don't you take care of something that is essentially your life when you travel outside of your country?

I usually take good care of my stuff but my passport is in pretty crap condition. When you travel a lot, all that putting your passport in your pocket, pulling it out, putting it back in, pulling it out, holding on to it with sweaty hands, gripping it with 4 other things in your hands, etc, etc does eventually take its toll on it.

I think the worst thing for my passport was the damage caused by having it sitting in my sweat-soaked jeans more than a few times.

I've since gotten a passport case but I understand why it happens.

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