We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Passport residual validity: country vs airline requirements

Florence, Italy
5 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Passport residual validity: country vs airline requirements

Hi everyone!

I'm Italian, I currently find myself in Bangkok and I want to fly from Singapore to Japan end March beginning of April.

My passport is due to expire on the 5th of September, so, by the 5th of March I'm within the 6 months passport residual validity issue.

Both the Italian Embassy in Tokyo and the Japanese Embassy in Bangkok replied to my query stating that a valid passport is sufficient for me to enter Japan and that no residual validity is required on the same.

Knowing this I had taken arrangements with the Italian Embassy in Tokyo for my passport renewal once I got to Japan. Not all Italian embassies seem to be aware of the procedure of passport renewal outside the place of residence (for example Kuala Lumpur)... The Italian Embassy in Bangkok knows what to do but the procedure requires about 20-30 days and I have to leave Thailand.

I thought I was sorted by doing the renewal in Japan until I saw that many airline companies have the 6 months passport residual validity as a rule for boarding. So, while I'm allowed to enter the country, I'm not allowed to board an aircraft flying into it.

From the airlines (I called Air Asia, Fly Scoot, Fly Peach) I'm told I cannot fly with that passport; from the Embassies I'm told it's their problem and they should allow me because they (the countries they represent) do not have this requirement. Jetstar, instead, told me that they don't care: it's my responsibility to check the entry requirements and if I was told what I was told by the Embassy then I have to trust them. The problem with Jetstar is that the best fares (which are a bit high anyway for my trip) have a stop in one of the countries that do have a 6 months requirement, like Philippines, Taiwan, ... So I should check (I guess with the Embassy of the Philippines) that I can fly through or obtain a Visa from the Embassy just to fly through?

I understand if the airline doesn't let me board a flight to a country that has a 6 months passport residual validity requirement because if I don't get admitted by the Immigration officers than they may be held responsible for flying me back or get a fine. But I don't understand why they wouldn't let me fly to a country where I am allowed to enter. Either it's for simplicity, but then I guess it wouldn't take much time for them to make a phone call to the Embassy in the eventuality of uncertainty at checkin.

Somehow it also seems connected to the rules of the country where the airline is based in. So, if Malaysia has the 6 months requirement for its visitors then Air Asia, which is based in Malaysia, doesn't fly on international flights passengers who hold a passport within the 6 months of validity from expiry date.

Is there any expert out there who knows what the laws are and why? Are they allowed to have such a policy? I guess they are free to decide their own rules, but I'd like to understand whether this rule is fair or if we should try to make some pressure for it to be changed and match more with the actual requirements of each country. I mean, I can stick to a rule if I understand its purpose or I understand the reason, but if not, then I think the rule should be changed.

Any explanation that would turn me happy to comply to this rule?

Thanks!

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
10,130 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Passport residual validity: country vs airline requirements

Airlines can set the policy whatever way they wish...you either agree to it when you buy a ticket or find a different airline. Similarly countries set their own procedures as to passport validity and time required and it may be dependent also on the passport you are flying under.

Why the laws are what they are? Doesn't really matter.

tokyo
Destination Expert
for Tokyo
Level Contributor
4,569 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Passport residual validity: country vs airline requirements

So long story short: You have a passport that will expire, but you will be entering and leaving Japan before it expires. Japan allows this, but some airlines won't let you fly.

If you are in-transit, you shouldn't need to worry about the 6month validity because you are only in transit though one of those countries not entering.

If you go with JET STAR who say they don't care and connect through say the Philippines, I really don't see any issues, just show your ongoing connecting documents to Japan.

Edited: 20 February 2014, 11:54
Toronto
Destination Expert
for Tokyo
Level Contributor
23,325 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Passport residual validity: country vs airline requirements

please refer to following websites for visa and travel document requirements: IATA travel centre, star alliance visa requirement, KLM visa requirement

IATA Airlines are supposed to use the same database (Timatic) which is behind the above websites. If they don't and you are denied boarding, you have a very good case for compensation Low cost airlines(such as those you mentioned) are typically non-members. iata.org/about/… They make up their own rules. So the bottom line is you get what you pay for.

Florence, Italy
5 posts
1 review
Save Reply
4. Re: Passport residual validity: country vs airline requirements

Thanks for your suggestions and info.

I did check with the IATA travel centre before calling the various call centres.

But what surprised me today is that I saw a nice fare with Malaysia Airlines, that is a member of the IATA, and called their call centre before making the booking. The girl put me on hold for some time, so she must have checked with someone or something and then she told me that international passengers must have their passport valid for at least 6 months on the date of travel and that I cannot fly after the 4th of March.

Tokyo and California
Destination Expert
for Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Shinjuku, Japan
Level Contributor
24,391 posts
68 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Passport residual validity: country vs airline requirements

If you cannot renew your passport in Bangkok, your priority is to board a flight without issues and get to Japan, isn't it? So forget about finding a low cost flight. I trust you can fly with SQ with a passport that has shorter than 6 months validity.

tokyo
Destination Expert
for Tokyo
Level Contributor
4,569 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Passport residual validity: country vs airline requirements

You get what you pay for. Want a cheap airline, then deal with cheap policies. Fly SQ *Singapore Airlines and you won't have a problem. Singapore is a great airline anyway!

7. Re: Passport residual validity: country vs airline requirements

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 23 February 2015, 06:17