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?