Send out my Passport?

Old Jan 17, 19, 9:28 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Programs: none
Posts: 2
Send out my Passport?

Should I send a photo copy of my US passport to a travel agent for a European Trip?
firewall121 is offline  
Old Jan 17, 19, 9:29 am
  #2  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 42,948
Why would you do this?
Often1 is online now  
Old Jan 17, 19, 9:33 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Programs: none
Posts: 2
Requested by the trravel agent. This is the first time I have received such a request.
firewall121 is offline  
Old Jan 17, 19, 9:50 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: NYC
Programs: UA
Posts: 327
They may want a copy so to book your name on ticket exactly as written on passport. That is one reason — and I have heard of TA asking for that so to minimize mistakes.
arttravel is online now  
Old Jan 17, 19, 9:58 am
  #5  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 42,948
Thanks for the details.

Why not call the TA and ask why it wants the information. If it is in order to assure that the ticket is properly booked, this is reasonable, although I might redact the passport number and other detail not required to book.
Often1 is online now  
Old Jan 18, 19, 10:26 am
  #6  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: MCI
Programs: AA Gold 1MM, AS MVP, UA Silver, WN A-List, Marriott LT Titanium, HH Diamond
Posts: 46,786
Since a travel agent is involved for a Europe trip, I'm going to guess there's some unusual / unique aspect to this booking? I'd want to know the purpose of the him/her wanting the information.

The times I've needed third parties (travel agents) to get involved with a trip have involved them having a specific relationship with an event, excursion operator, or other in-country specialty services. It's possible some of those people need passport information to provide services to foreigners.

It's also possible the TA just wants it to make 100% sure that your ticketing info and predeparture information is loaded correctly. I can see them wanting this for group travel (another reason people sometimes use TAs), although I haven't personally done one of these trips.
pinniped is offline  
Old Jan 18, 19, 4:58 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Massachusetts, USA; AA Plat (2.90MM), DL GM and Flying Colonel (1.04MM); Bonvoy Gold
Posts: 22,013
If you ask them what information they need, and their need for that information seems reasonable, you can make a photocopy, cover the other stuff with a marker, and then photocopy the result so nobody will be able to remove the marker and see what you hid.
Efrem is offline  
Old Jan 19, 19, 12:55 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: SEA
Programs: AS 75K, TK ELPL (*G), BA Gold (OWE), Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Explorist, Marriott Gold
Posts: 7,360
As a former travel agent, I frequently made this request. It's useful for ensuring that the name and birthdate match exactly with the information. Some airlines (Belavia comes to mind) won't allow the ticket to be issued until passport details are inputted into the APIS fields.
TWA884 likes this.
PVDtoDEL is offline  
Old Jan 19, 19, 12:58 pm
  #9  
Ambassador: Emirates
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Economy, mostly :(
Programs: Skywards Gold
Posts: 7,665
People can't be trusted to provide accurate information, better to get the passport and be sure that the name, all middle names, DOB etc are exactly correct, especially perhaps with a European TA (not specified if TA is European) having perhaps had issues in the past with American pax providing dates in the incorrect format (MM/DD/YYYY instead of DD/MM/YYYY)
skywardhunter is offline  
Old Jan 20, 19, 6:34 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: WAS/SFO/LON
Programs: UA GS, BA Silver, Marriott Titanium, Accor Gold, Hertz PC
Posts: 1,070
I've frequently had this request; it's usually because the agent needs it for APIS info, or to make sure ticket details are correct. Sometimes, it's also to arrange things like visas on arrival (if they are coordinating) or other value-added services.

Assuming the agent is reputable, I wouldn't worry too much. Given that many hotels, banks, SIM card sellers, etc. all keep copies of passport details as well, your data is likely floating around many places already—why lose sleep over one more?
Scifience is offline  
Old Jan 20, 19, 6:39 pm
  #11  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 83,799
What's the destination and are any special activities involved such as visits to places not normally open to the public or even factory tours?

For instance, for Russian visas, passport details are needed to arrange for a letter of invitation from a Russian citizen (usually done by a hotel employee or local travel agent). Some factory tours prohibit persons of certain nationalities. You might need passport or national ID details to obtain certain special tickets.

Do you trust this travel agent?
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Jan 21, 19, 7:31 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: FRA
Posts: 176
I wonder why this is such a novel idea...
cafeconleche is offline  
Old Jan 21, 19, 7:36 am
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Berlin, Germany; Toronto, Canada; and SW Florida, USA
Programs: UA 1K, BA Gold, Hyatt Globalist, and assorted others
Posts: 22,910
Originally Posted by Scifience View Post
I've frequently had this request; it's usually because the agent needs it for APIS info, or to make sure ticket details are correct. Sometimes, it's also to arrange things like visas on arrival (if they are coordinating) or other value-added services.

Assuming the agent is reputable, I wouldn't worry too much. Given that many hotels, banks, SIM card sellers, etc. all keep copies of passport details as well, your data is likely floating around many places already—why lose sleep over one more?
Precisely!
LondonElite is offline  
Old Jan 21, 19, 7:50 am
  #14  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 42,948
There are many reasons, but all are speculation. OP needs to ask what data the TA needs and why. Then provide only that data.

"Back in the day" is no longer a good reason. What does the TA do with the informtation or hard copy once it is dealt with. Is a print out kept, if so for how long and how is it disposed of.

A TA which is known to collect paper copies of passport and then perhaps CC data is a goldmine for simply having its garbage unwittingly lifted.
Often1 is online now  
Old Jan 21, 19, 8:43 am
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Berlin, Germany; Toronto, Canada; and SW Florida, USA
Programs: UA 1K, BA Gold, Hyatt Globalist, and assorted others
Posts: 22,910
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
There are many reasons, but all are speculation. OP needs to ask what data the TA needs and why. Then provide only that data.

"Back in the day" is no longer a good reason. What does the TA do with the informtation or hard copy once it is dealt with. Is a print out kept, if so for how long and how is it disposed of.

A TA which is known to collect paper copies of passport and then perhaps CC data is a goldmine for simply having its garbage unwittingly lifted.
Many countries require hotels to hold/copy passports. As was said above, if you've travelled any amount, your passport details are already all over the place.
LondonElite is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread