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Old Jun 18, 17, 10:15 pm   #1
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Travel Document details you have entered are not valid for this flight

We're in St Lucia, having successfully flown out here with BA, but checking in for our return we get a message saying our travel document detail are not valid.

Whilst I'm not in any way concerned, why do BA do this? We're on a return ticket, both are BA members (me gold, mrs silver) so they have all our document details, and clearly allowed us onto their plane on the way out here. Why do they suddenly decide that despite a week ago the info we'd supplied them for the outbound flight was sufficient, they won't issue me a boarding pass and provide a notice that may cause some serious concern (if I wasn't a seasoned flyer, I'd probably be upset/worried by this message).

Are BA really that incompetent?
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Old Jun 19, 17, 12:35 am   #2
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie1105 View Post
We're in St Lucia, having successfully flown out here with BA, but checking in for our return we get a message saying our travel document detail are not valid.

Whilst I'm not in any way concerned, why do BA do this? We're on a return ticket, both are BA members (me gold, mrs silver) so they have all our document details, and clearly allowed us onto their plane on the way out here. Why do they suddenly decide that despite a week ago the info we'd supplied them for the outbound flight was sufficient, they won't issue me a boarding pass and provide a notice that may cause some serious concern (if I wasn't a seasoned flyer, I'd probably be upset/worried by this message).

Are BA really that incompetent?
Yes.Enjoy your holiday.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 1:03 am   #3
  
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Are you both UK citizens? All I can think of is the logic is different on flights inbound to the UK or similar.

It also seems like the document details held on your BAEC account don't get automatically added to travel agent bookings I've found. So if you booked through a travel agent that may be a partial explanation too...
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Old Jun 19, 17, 1:24 am   #4
  
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I had the same message yesterday, returning DUS-LHR on an EU passport I had had no problems on the outbound flight. I could check in but not collect boarding pass online. I was checking a bag so I got a boarding pass at the counter without any problems.

I assumed it was BA's poor IT systems at work again.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 2:11 am   #5
  
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DUS - special case

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Originally Posted by flatlander View Post
I had the same message yesterday, returning DUS-LHR on an EU passport I had had no problems on the outbound flight. I could check in but not collect boarding pass online. I was checking a bag so I got a boarding pass at the counter without any problems.
Germany appears to be a special case. It consistently flags the 'invalid documentation' message on flights to and from Germany, for me.

A staff member once stated that this is because German border control requires that a passport with a signature field be signed. Therefore a document check is required by the airline to enforce this rule. I don't know how accurate this statement is. For most UK passport holders this is not an issue in any case, as the modern passport has no self-signable section.

I am UK resident and travel on a UK passport. I have only ever seen this message with Germany, where it is consistently shown for me.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 2:32 am   #6
  
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UK passports issued from this year do now have a manual signature box on the page next to the photo page. The digital signature field on the photo page has been removed.

HMPO

ABTA
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Old Jun 19, 17, 2:42 am   #7
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomathy View Post
Germany appears to be a special case. It consistently flags the 'invalid documentation' message on flights to and from Germany, for me.

A staff member once stated that this is because German border control requires that a passport with a signature field be signed. Therefore a document check is required by the airline to enforce this rule. I don't know how accurate this statement is. For most UK passport holders this is not an issue in any case, as the modern passport has no self-signable section.

I am UK resident and travel on a UK passport. I have only ever seen this message with Germany, where it is consistently shown for me.
That's bizarre, must be getting on for a dozen trips to Germany this past year (various airports) and I've never seen that. I wonder if there's a particular subset of passports (issue dates or something) which are affected...
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Old Jun 19, 17, 2:47 am   #8
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Have had exactly the same message from BIO and PRG, but nowhere in Germany.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 2:55 am   #9
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Germany apart (which affects only some passports and [currently] only the latest UK passport design) there also appears to be a random bit of code hitting people here. We had a spate of them a few months back, and then they largely went away. It just stopped getting a boarding pass at home, but at the airport they didn't know what the fuss was about, and no extra time was needed to resolve it. I did wonder whether it was to do with passports due to expire within 6 months, but I don't think we got a landing on it. When this check came up a lot there were like 3 reports a week, and then it just stopped, suggesting that the error had been plugged. Either way, for the OP, and assuming checked luggage, then just go to the airport as normal (or a little early if your cabin is sold out).
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Old Jun 19, 17, 2:55 am   #10
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
UK passports issued from this year do now have a manual signature box on the page next to the photo page
Interesting, thank you. I think a pen signature a very untidy thing to have on such an important document.

But I suppose there will be a new passport design along again shortly, so who knows what may happen…
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Old Jun 19, 17, 2:57 am   #11
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It happens to me regularly, on EU passport. I'd say once every 5/10 flights.
I tried to figure out a connection, whether the emergency seat, checking a luggage or the airport from/to but so far I wasn't able to understand the reason. Happened in different countries, UK, CH, IT and the USA as well.
Asked once at the checkin desk at LHR and they didn't know why
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Old Jun 19, 17, 3:00 am   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomathy View Post
Interesting, thank you. I think a pen signature a very untidy thing to have on such an important document.

But I suppose there will be a new passport design along again shortly, so who knows what may happen…
The design that came in earlier this year is supposed to hold for 5 years (though I can see why you think there may be another one sooner), as a security measure UK passports are reformatted at that interval. The pen signature can of course be compared to the signature sent in on the passport application form.....
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Old Jun 19, 17, 3:25 am   #13
  
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
The pen signature can of course be compared to the signature sent in on the passport application form.....
But the ABTA link posted by UKtravelbear says:

Quote:
The move to a handwritten signature is an essential development for improving HM Passport Office’s online application service, by removing the need for customers to send signed paper forms
which suggest that at some point there'll be no signed paper form to compare against. (I suppose a digitally capture signature could be used on an electronically submitted form, but then that would invalidate the reason for needing a manual signature on the new passport.)
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Old Jun 19, 17, 3:30 am   #14
  
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Originally Posted by FlyingMole View Post
which suggest that at some point there'll be no signed paper form to compare against. (I suppose a digitally capture signature could be used on an electronically submitted form, but then that would invalidate the reason for needing a manual signature on the new passport.)
Signatures are a curiously old fashioned form of identity validation generally but particularly on a passport which contains biometric data. Makes a lot of sense to remove if it streamlines the application process in my book.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 3:31 am   #15
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which suggest that at some point there'll be no signed paper form to compare against.
I think that on applying for a first passport there will still be a signature captured as part of the process for validating the passport holder. For renewals, then yes, the idea is to move to a fully online process, including the photos.
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