The traveller named Madelaine was due to leave for the popular holiday island on Wednesday but claims the airline refused to check her in or let her travel with them, forcing her to forgo her planned $2000 holiday.
A small rip in her passport was to blame, Madelaine said, which was roughly one centimetre wide. Sharing a photo on Facebook, the frustrated traveller explained "the page has come away from the stitching there at the binding", meaning her passport was considered too damaged to fly.
Bali crackdown on damaged passports
Madelaine called the airline staff "absolute jerks". "They offered me no assistance or help to change anything and left us over $2000 out of pocket," she fumed online.
But people in the comments noted it was likely "Bali's rule" and not one necessarily enforced by the airline. In 2019, Balinese authorities began enforcing a $7000 fine for airlines if they carry passengers with damaged passports, with some even being made to return to Australia.
This very thing happened to Sydney man Matt Vandenberg, who on Tuesday flew Jetstar to Bali. Upon arrival, he was denied entry at Indonesian customs and was made to return to Sydney, he detailed on Twitter.
🚨 deported from Indonesia 🚨
What a wild wild wild day it's been.
So anyway one of my best mates is getting married on Friday in Bali, so obviously all the lads and I have flown over!
I take the 6am flight out, Jetstar - everyone well behaved, staff were great pic.twitter.com/TYtZOyjZMg
— Matt Vandenberg (@M1D3V) June 6, 2023
Traveller frustrated over 'lack of help and understanding'
Madelaine said she "can't deny" the minor tear on the page but said the "lack of help and understanding from staff" was what she found to be the most disappointing.
"Perhaps they need to [inform] travellers more of this issue, as most people I have spoken to had never heard of it," she said. Madelaine added she was already seeking a "full refund" for the flights. Yahoo News contacted Jetstar for comment.
Passport damage can stop Aussies from travelling
According to the Australian Passport Office, serious passport damage can stop you from travelling. But the website states: "Normal wear and tear should not be a problem." Aussie travellers are urged to keep passports "intact and in good condition".
Last year, Aussie radio presenter Fifi Box was told by Melbourne Airport staff that her daughter's passport couldn't be accepted. She was facing giving up her family holiday to Fiji because the passport had water damage, deeming it unacceptable.
And a Sydney woman was denied entry to New Zealand over minor damage on hers.
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