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Tourists almost missed their flight to the UAE due to an hour and a half check of their passports

Tourists continue to report various problems with passports and their replacement due to errors in the machine-readable code. A representative of a travel agency from Samara told the editorial office about one of the latest situations. Its tourists were supposed to go to Sharjah (UAE) from the local airport on the night of February 25-26. But a few days before departure, they discovered that their old-style international passports had errors in the machine-readable code (the number 1 was written incorrectly).

The documents had to be quickly replaced – the expiration date in them remained the same (as in old passports), while the date of issue was the actual one. The old passports, according to the travel agent, were issued in 2023 and were valid until 2028 (5 years). Now, due to the new date of issue (February 2024), their validity period has been reduced.

“We had doubts about this, but at the passport office they said that these passports had been valid for a year already, and they could not set another period for such a replacement. They said that everything should be fine and there would be no problems,” said the travel agent.

But problems still arose – the strange validity period of the documents confused the passport control officers at Samara Kurumoch airport. According to the travel agent, they checked the passports for more than an hour and a half and even called her to clarify the information. Border guards admitted that they had never encountered such documents before. Only after the tourists showed their details at State Services and photographs of old passports were they finally allowed through. Passengers barely made it to their flight – boarding had already begun, with about 20 minutes left before departure.

Lawyer Igor Kositsyn noted: border guards should be aware that when a foreign passport is replaced due to an error or typo, the expiration date does not change (it is set to the same as the old one), but the date of issue changes to the actual one. This is a standard procedure, and, according to the lawyer, the human factor played a role in this situation.

There is a possibility that border guards have never actually seen such documents before. Before errors in the machine-readable code became known, tourists were unlikely to change their passports ahead of schedule unless they had typos. The editors of TourDom.ru sent a request to the border department of the FSB of the Russian Federation for the Saratov and Samara regions.

Earlier, TourDom.ru wrote that the border service recommended contacting the Ministry of Internal Affairs in case of doubt about the validity of the international passport. Some tourists manage to quickly replace their documents, while others, on the contrary, decide to experiment. The lawyer confirmed that travel agents are not obliged to check tourists’ international passports in such cases – this is the personal responsibility of the document holders.

Source: Tourdom

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