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AA (specific) passport policy / policies (master thread)

AA (specific) passport policy / policies (master thread)

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Old Oct 18, 18, 10:39 am   -   Wikipost
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American Airlines (specific) Passport Policies

For general passport discussion that is not specifically pertinent to AA policies, please visit the Practical Travel Safety and Security Issues forum (link).

For country visa and entry requirements, AA employees consult IATA's TIMATIC system for the decision to allow you to fly. You can consult TIMATIC as well:

Link (IATA Travel Centre)

Link (United Airlines)
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Old Dec 6, 15, 11:06 am
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AA policy on passport swiping [AA TA says can't scan, can't enter manually]

Like many of you I use my passport a lot. So after say the 5th year or so it doesn't always swipe when checking in and well before the expiration it never swipes and the check in agents need to enter it manually. This has happened a lot. Never an issue.

A few days at SFO the check in agent could not swipe my passport. I expected her to enter it in manually as others have but she said she could not. Fortunately I am a triple citizen so had another passport which she used.

She warned me next time if I only have the US passport I would be denied boarding.

So what's the official AA policy if your passport does not swipe?

Last edited by JDiver; Jan 2, 16 at 5:39 pm Reason: Restore original post title
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Old Dec 6, 15, 11:08 am
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Originally Posted by inpd View Post
Like many of you I use my passport a lot. So after say the 5th year or so it doesn't always swipe when checking in and well before the expiration it never swipes and the check in agents need to enter it manually. This has happened a lot. Never an issue.

A few days at SFO the check in agent could not swipe my passport. I expected her to enter it in manually as others have but she said she could not. Fortunately I am a triple citizen so had another passport which she used.

She warned me next time if I only have the US passport I would be denied boarding.

So what's the official AA policy if your passport does not swipe?
I'm guessing she was inept; as a US passport holder, iirc you are required to depart and enter the USA on your USA passport.
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Old Dec 6, 15, 11:45 am
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
I'm guessing she was inept; as a US passport holder, iirc you are required to depart and enter the USA on your USA passport.
You do recall correctly. From the State Department:

"Most U.S. nationals, including dual nationals, must use a U.S. passport to enter and leave the United States."

http://travel.state.gov/content/trav...tionality.html


And the check-in agent is required to enter the passport information manually, regardless of how lazy she is.
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Old Dec 6, 15, 11:46 am
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Like you, I use my passport on a very regular basis. My current passport was issued in 2014 and out of the starting gate it often could not be read by swiping it at the counter or check in kiosks and I have given up even trying to use the readers on the Global Entry machines and instead immediately click on the "Problem reading document" option and just enter it manually. No check in agent has ever mentioned anything and when it won't swipe they just enter it manually without fuss. If even the Global Entry kiosks have an option to manually enter your data it makes no sense that an airline agent couldn't do the same unless they are amazingly lazy.
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Old Dec 6, 15, 11:51 am
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From the thread title, I thought that the OP would be about some AA passenger or staff member stealing another person's passport.
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Old Dec 6, 15, 11:53 am
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As usual agents making up rules when they don't know them. If their reader is not able to access the data then there has to be a means to enter the data via the keyboard. They may not know how to do that.

If they deny boarding for lack of a trained GA, would that qualify as IDB? Either way, probably best to plan a little extra time at the airport for them to work out the kinks. Or maybe start the application to replace the passport.
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Old Dec 6, 15, 12:10 pm
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Just smile and ask for a supervisor.
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Old Dec 6, 15, 1:31 pm
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Originally Posted by inpd View Post
She warned me next time if I only have the US passport I would be denied boarding.
Seriously, what's wrong with these people.
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Old Dec 6, 15, 1:36 pm
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Originally Posted by sinoflyer View Post
Seriously, what's wrong with these people.
Well, we just discussed issues with SFO ticket agents over here, this sounds like more of the same:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...-mitigate.html
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Old Dec 6, 15, 2:01 pm
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Originally Posted by djcrooks View Post
Like you, I use my passport on a very regular basis. My current passport was issued in 2014 and out of the starting gate it often could not be read by swiping it at the counter or check in kiosks and I have given up even trying to use the readers on the Global Entry machines and instead immediately click on the "Problem reading document" option and just enter it manually. No check in agent has ever mentioned anything and when it won't swipe they just enter it manually without fuss. If even the Global Entry kiosks have an option to manually enter your data it makes no sense that an airline agent couldn't do the same unless they are amazingly lazy.
My old passport would only scan about 25% of the time. Apparently (this is based solely on what a customs agent told me) my photo page w/ the chip was bent slightly so the chip was likely damaged, and the back-up scan of the text at the bottom wouldn't work because the text was printed misaligned clear to the left. There were several times where I cut it close on departures and it almost caused me to miss a int'l flight.

Last time I was back in the States for a week+, I booked a long layover in Denver and stopped at the passport office there (about 15 minutes from the airport). After seeing the printing misalignment, they issued a new passport (w/ same expiration date as the prior but new #) for free and it showed up at the address where I was staying in about 3 days. It has been well worth the hassle.
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Old Dec 6, 15, 2:16 pm
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Originally Posted by phlwookie View Post
Well, we just discussed issues with SFO ticket agents over here, this sounds like more of the same:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...-mitigate.html
Funny, same OP on both threads.
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Old Dec 6, 15, 3:14 pm
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Originally Posted by phlwookie View Post
Well, we just discussed issues with SFO ticket agents over here, this sounds like more of the same:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...-mitigate.html
Not really. That was just poor customer service. This is something more serious and I wanted to know AA's policy.
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Old Dec 6, 15, 3:16 pm
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Originally Posted by arollins View Post
Funny, same OP on both threads.
True, but I think this issue transcends SFO customer service. This is more a question about AA policy if your passport does not scan. My understanding from other experiences is that your passport does *NOT* have scan automatically but she was telling me otherwise.
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Old Dec 6, 15, 3:17 pm
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Originally Posted by upinsmoke View Post
You do recall correctly. From the State Department:

"Most U.S. nationals, including dual nationals, must use a U.S. passport to enter and leave the United States."

http://travel.state.gov/content/trav...tionality.html


And the check-in agent is required to enter the passport information manually, regardless of how lazy she is.
Interesting didn't know that. Since I was traveling to a country I have citizenship of, she used that passport as an "exception". Also warned me that she's not sure what will happen when I try to reenter the country. Not sure what she meant by this, perhaps there is a new requirement due to a raising of the terrorist alert level?
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Old Dec 6, 15, 3:17 pm
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Originally Posted by inpd View Post
Not really. That was just poor customer service. This is something more serious and I wanted to know AA's policy.
Did you spend the 30 seconds or so it takes to look up their policy?

Originally Posted by aa.com
A passport is required for all international travel. If you're traveling anywhere overseas, you need a passport to board an international flight and to enter the country. Passport cards will not be accepted as form of I.D. for international air travel.

Passports must be:
  • Valid for at least 6 months after the date you enter a foreign country.
  • Kept in good condition, free of any damage beyond normal wear and tear, and material alterations. You may be denied boarding if you travel with a passport that appears damaged or altered.
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