As well as losing the $2700 dispute, the passenger is required to pay the unnamed airline’s legal fees.

Jake Hardiman Etihad Boeing 777 & Emirates Airbus A380 Frankfurt
Photo: Jake Hardiman | Simple Flying

An unnamed Emirati carrier has dodged Dh10,000 ($2,700) pay-out for allegedly providing low-quality children’s toys that damaged passengers’ passports.

Small dispute

As reported by local media, a passenger brought a lawsuit against the carrier for handing out promotional Disney-themed passport covers during boarding, which damaged his children’s passports.

The low quality of the promotional gifts is alleged to have caused significant damage to the passports upon return home, causing a financial loss for the plaintiff, who was required to replace the damaged items.

In a case brought to Ab Dhabi’s Family and Civil Administrative Claims Court, the passenger sought Dh10,000 from the airline to cover his expenses. The carrier denied any wrongdoing and requested the lawsuit to be dismissed due to a lack of grounds for litigation.

United Arab Emirates Passport

Photo: Alii Sher / Shutterstock

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After a brief trial, the judge ruled in favor of the carrier. The case was thrown out, citing the plaintiff’s fault for not protecting his official documents adequately and allowing a potentially damaging sticky item to be applied to his children’s passports. The passenger has been required to pay the airline’s legal expenses.

Damaged passport problems

Has a damaged passport caused problems on your travels? While “reasonable wear and tear” seems to be the guidelines for most passport issuers, some holidaymakers have found themselves barred from traveling due to the poor condition of their ID.

In 2019, one passenger was kicked off a Qatar Airways flight between London Heathrow (LHW) and Doha (DIA) because of damage to the laminate covering the personal details page, which raised concerns over potential alterations to the identification.

Similarly, another passenger was prevented from taking a TUI service to Aruba (AUA) at London Gatwick (LGW) due to a small tear on the page next to his photo. Despite being aware of the rip, the passenger had checked online before travel believing the damage to be covered under general wear and tear prior to being sent home at the boarding gate.

Qatar Airways Airbus A321

Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

To ensure that you don’t end up a tabloid travel horror story, the UK Home Office advises passengers to replace their passport following any moderate damage.

You must replace your passport if it has more than reasonable wear and tear because you may not be allowed to travel with it,” the government body warns.

Guidelines for damage include ineligible details, laminate shifting enough to allow an image to be replaced, extreme discoloration, missing or torn pages, and scuffs to the end page on new e-passports.

As long as any wear or tear remains minimal, holidaymakers can travel until the passport expires. However, a replacement will set you back the £75.50 ($92) renewal fee in the United Kingdom or up to $165 in the United States. The application for a replacement is similar to that of passport renewal, with countersignatures required to approve your identity. Further details are available on the UK government’s website.

What are your thoughts on the Emirati passport damage dispute ruling? Let us know in the comments.

Sources: Khaleej Times, The Independent, The Sun


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