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AA Ruins Honeymoon Over “Damaged” Passport, Says Bride

Newlywed claims American cut her honeymoon short, refusing to letting her board with a damaged passport.

A Philadelphia bride found her honeymoon stopped in its tracks, after she claims American Airlines would not let her board her flight due to a damaged passport. In a review on the airline’s Facebook page, Carly Baker admonished the legacy carrier for refusing her boarding.

“I’m not in Greece, or even outside my home city of Philadelphia right now because a random manager at [US Airways] decided to deem my passport “DAMAGED” and therefore invalid,” Baker wrote on the American Facebook page. “I am sitting in my living room staring at our meticulously- packed bags instead of currently landing in Athens because of some STRINGS.”

Recounting her story to BuzzFeed, Baker’s ordeal began shortly after her marriage to fiancé Chris Fee. The couple planned to go to Europe on their honeymoon to tour Greece and Italy. However, Baker claims when they went to the airport, they were banned from boarding due to a damaged passport.

In pictures, Baker shows that her passport appeared to split along some of the seams, with strings hanging off. A supervisor at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) allegedly told Baker that her passport had too much damage on it and barred her from flying.

Baker then claims that she spoke to another supervisor, but the second opinion could do nothing more than offer sympathy. Baker claims at that point. A note had been put on her file which grounded her, even with the second supervisor’s approval.

While federal law provides restrictions on flyers using “significantly damaged” travel documents, Baker did not think it applied to her situation. Baker claims she successfully traveled outside of the U.S. on her passport just over a year ago.

In a statement to BuzzFeed, American spokeswoman Leslie Scott defended the airline’s decision, claiming that Baker’s passport appeared to have pages peeling off and water damage. “We can’t let people travel with damaged government documents.”

[Photo: Carly Baker, BuzzFeed]

Comments are Closed.
TIGA31328 October 18, 2015

Seems legit to me. Seriously, if your passport is damaged like that you need to get it replaced, it's not worth the risk. At least she wasn't in another country and they refused to let her leave before she had suspicious documentation.

drvannostren October 17, 2015

Couple things here... 1) Why do people hate on the articles? Is it news? Not really, but it's a small story. This is a niche-ish industry that we're following so there isn't stories that often without the involvement of passengers. Plus they create discussion. Also don't rip the writer I didn't see anything in here that he probably didn't get from the original story. He's not editorializing or picking this story because the woman contacted him, he's just reporting on something he's read. So relax. 2) She may not have thought it'd be a problem but why would anyone allow their passport to get damaged then travel? CLEARLY it's been through the wash, ok no big deal it happens to lots of people. I don't think it looks THAT bad either but I probably would've at least gone to the passport office to find out if it'd be ok and get their opinion. I assumed the story was going to say she put it through the wash days before...nope, "Baker claims she successfully traveled outside of the U.S. on her passport just over a year ago". So your passport has looked like that for 12 months and your lazy *** didn't think to go get it replaced? Come on...that's on you lady.

bricksoft October 16, 2015

I have sympathy for the bride about her lost honeymoon. However, i think she is at fault and not the airline. If she had been allowed to travel there could have been other consequences and news headlines NEWLY WED ATTEMPTS TO ENTER GREECE ON INVALID PASSPORT A bride was refused permission to enter Greece and was deported. She blames her airline for allowing her to travel with an invalid passport.

sgordon923 October 16, 2015

Why do you think there is passport covers and cases are sold? If you go to a bar\club and your ID looks damage they don't have let you in? Before flying Internationally people quit overlooking all the necessary requirements. They are lucky they are stuck at home and instead of being sent back home when they at customs at Greece.

oenophilist October 16, 2015

Looking at the pics, it seems that the passport has been through a washing machine. I have an old passport that I accidentally washed, and the cover was almost identical to the ones in the pic. Airlines are overly cautious these days due to the threat of fines. In this case, the airline was correct in denying boarding, but because it was so borderline, they should have done something to make a goodwill gesture to the couple, more than just waiving fees.