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Traveling with 2 passports check-in question

Traveling with 2 passports check-in question

Old Aug 9, 20, 6:16 pm
  #1  
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Traveling with 2 passports check-in question

I know this will probalby be a strange and somewhat complicated question.

I just booked a one way ticket using Aeroplan miles from YVR via YUL to ZRH for my son and I, flying end of September.
Usually when checking in it is often required to show a return ticket when checking in with a Canadian passport flying to Europe, however, I am not booking a return ticket yet to limit any risk of cancellations due to the current situation and we are actually not sure yet how long we might stay in Europe.

Both of us have a Canadian as well as EU passport but on my son's ticket it shows his full name (including middle name) which is only in the Canadian passport since that is the registered name on the Aeroplan account.
So, here is the question, my son will have to check in with his Canadian passport since his EU passport doesn't have the middle name. If we are asked for an onward ticket will it be enough for him to show the EU passport which doesn't require the onward ticket or will we run into a problem if we get a very eager check-in agent?

Worst case scenario I have to either book an onward ticket out of Switzerland, probably to Germany, which I hope fulfills the onward ticket requirement, or call Aeroplan and change his name on the ticket without the middle name.

I know this is quite strange but want to make sure there won't be any problems checking in.

Last edited by yvrcnx; Aug 9, 20 at 10:01 pm
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Old Aug 9, 20, 6:30 pm
  #2  
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You will have no issues.

No return ticket will be asked by AC.
I use my Canadian.and EU passport interchangeably when departing Canada for Europe, often on one way tickets.
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Old Aug 9, 20, 6:40 pm
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
You will have no issues.

No return ticket will be asked by AC.
I use my Canadian.and EU passport interchangeably when departing Canada for Europe, often on one way tickets.
That's great and reassuring, thank you very much for your feedback!
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Old Aug 9, 20, 6:59 pm
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More to the point, the middle name is immaterial unless it is different. If his name is John Henry Smith and he is ticketed as that but his passport shows John Smith, that is fine. It would only be a problem is the passport showed John Philip Smith (even then, not an insurmountable problem).
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Old Aug 9, 20, 7:47 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
More to the point, the middle name is immaterial unless it is different. If his name is John Henry Smith and he is ticketed as that but his passport shows John Smith, that is fine. It would only be a problem is the passport showed John Philip Smith (even then, not an insurmountable problem).
Thank you 'Often1', that is all good then.
It's exactly as you said, his ticket is issued based on his Canadian passport "John Henry Smith" but his EU passport only shows "John Smith".

One of the reasons we took out his rather long middle name on his EU passport which he got much later in his life was for exactly that reason, he got so annoyed with his long middle name every time we booked flights for him.

Thanks again, very helpful information.
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Old Aug 9, 20, 11:05 pm
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Originally Posted by yvrcnx View Post
Usually when checking in it is often required to show a return ticket when checking in with a Canadian passport flying to Europe, however, I am not booking a return ticket yet to limit any risk of cancellations due to the current situation and we are actually not sure yet how long we might stay in Europe.
Is that actually a requirement anymore? Travelling with my son going to a study abroad trip last August, he was on a one way booking and AC didn't even bother to ask for anything. Immigration in CPH wanted his visa documentation (and even then only because we said he was staying for 5 months), but nothing on the Canadian side.
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Old Aug 9, 20, 11:26 pm
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Originally Posted by FlY2XS View Post
Is that actually a requirement anymore? Travelling with my son going to a study abroad trip last August, he was on a one way booking and AC didn't even bother to ask for anything. Immigration in CPH wanted his visa documentation (and even then only because we said he was staying for 5 months), but nothing on the Canadian side.
Most countries do want to see proof that you are leaving if you are not a resident or citizen but I believe that it is not regularly enforced, though we have been asked last year when entering via Amsterdam.
I think it just depends on who you get and I find that Asia enforces this quite a bit more than Europe does.
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Old Aug 10, 20, 9:24 am
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The issue of passport has been discussed quite a bit elsewhere on FT.

In brief, I found it was an issue with a return tx. I could not check-in online for my return to Canada flight and it took the airport agent about an hour to sort it out. The ETA requirement was the root of the issue. With an EU passport I needed an ETA. AC file can’t take both passports. AC file can’t put one passport for outbound and a different one for return when one does API.

AC advised I could call them to change the passport on file prior to my return, should this occur again. I think I did that once. Frankly, just easier to use FT advice.

Advice on FT has worked perfectly. CDN passport on AC file and use EU passport at passport control/immigration for EU arrival. Only time I had an issue was departing CDG when I had both passports in my hand at security. Agent grabbed them. I guess she thought I picked up someone else’s. Since it all checked out, no problem.
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Old Aug 10, 20, 11:08 am
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Originally Posted by yvrcnx View Post
Most countries do want to see proof that you are leaving if you are not a resident or citizen but I believe that it is not regularly enforced, though we have been asked last year when entering via Amsterdam.
I think it just depends on who you get and I find that Asia enforces this quite a bit more than Europe does.
Most countries ask me how long I'm staying. None have ever asked for proof.

The only airline that's ever given me an issue was UA when I was flying to Europe on a one-way, but even there, the agent just asked "how long are you staying?" and overrode the system. No proof required.
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Old Aug 10, 20, 11:27 am
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I present the passport of the country I'm travelling to to the check in agent (in my case Australia) if needed. Upon leaving Australia, I have to present both passports at check in to confirm no visa requirement to Canada but my Australian at emigration so they can check me out. It's not a big deal. I travel on my Canadian anywhere else though, since it matches my accent (though not my birthplace)!
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Old Aug 10, 20, 11:36 am
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Originally Posted by atsak View Post
I present the passport of the country I'm travelling to to the check in agent (in my case Australia) if needed. Upon leaving Australia, I have to present both passports at check in to confirm no visa requirement to Canada but my Australian at emigration so they can check me out. It's not a big deal. I travel on my Canadian anywhere else though, since it matches my accent (though not my birthplace)!
Actually, no. Like Bartolo says, use your Canadian passport when chicking in with AC, both ways. Just use an EU passport when going through passport control in and out of the EU.

Even if going to a country the requires Canadians to have a visa, I leave my Canadian passport in the file, but when the agent checks for entry eligibility at destination, I show the second passport. Which actually is not entered in the file, I believe.
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Old Aug 10, 20, 12:22 pm
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Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
Actually, no. Like Bartolo says, use your Canadian passport when chicking in with AC, both ways. Just use an EU passport when going through passport control in and out of the EU.

Even if going to a country the requires Canadians to have a visa, I leave my Canadian passport in the file, but when the agent checks for entry eligibility at destination, I show the second passport. Which actually is not entered in the file, I believe.
Just reporting what I have done, multiple times have checked in only with my Australian being presented, except when transiting the US of course. Only my Canadian is on file - very good chance check in agent reviews and sees Canadian on there anyway.
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Old Aug 10, 20, 1:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
Actually, no. Like Bartolo says, use your Canadian passport when chicking in with AC, both ways. Just use an EU passport when going through passport control in and out of the EU.

Even if going to a country the requires Canadians to have a visa, I leave my Canadian passport in the file, but when the agent checks for entry eligibility at destination, I show the second passport. Which actually is not entered in the file, I believe.
That seems to be the best way to do it in the situation I am in.
I could have made it easier by simply just entering my son's name listed in his EU passport and just show that at check-in which would have been a non-issue but becuase the Aeroplan account is connected with his Canadian passport that name got entered and I only thought about this after tickets had been issued.

My main concern was that even if we show the EU passport if it is an over eager check-in agent, he or she could say that she can't accept the 2nd passport as proof of entry because my sons middle name is missing there.
I know it's just a technicality but I've had my share of over eager agents making things much more complicated than they actually were because they strictly go by what they are reading in their system provided by the airline.

I am comfortable with this scenario as you and others had mentioend to show the Canadian passport at check in to match with the ticket and if asked for return ticket, we'll show the EU passport which allows us to stay in the EU indefinitely.
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Old Aug 10, 20, 7:55 pm
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Will probably need to start showing both passports to AC once the EU ETA goes live in 2022.
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