It was an advisory from Westjet Airlines that caught my attention. It came out of the blue and when I looked into it I was surprised to find out that some Canadians were being denied boarding because of the condition of their passport.
Apparently, Mexican customs and immigration officers have become very stringent in their examination of the passports of those wanting to enter the country, and have denied a handful of Canadians entry because of rips, tears, missing corners or water damage to the cover or inside pages.
As it is the responsibility of the airline to get these passengers back to the originating country immediately, airlines are now doing closer passport examinations upon check-in and denying boarding to those they feel will be later denied entry to Mexico.
Although WestJet officials clearly state Mexico has adopted a tougher approach this year, the Mexican Embassy in Ottawa insists there has been no change in their passport policy relating to what customs and immigration staff are instructed to do relating to the condition of passports.
They underscore that passports in generally good condition, as can be expected under normal use, are no problem.
For travellers, the warning from WestJet presents a dilemma. No one wants to be put in a position of having to renew passports any earlier than their expiry date. Forewarned is forearmed, so as a precaution, check your passports now and make your own assessment about its condition, or go to the airport ahead of time to check with the airline personnel you will be travelling with to Mexico.
At a time when Mexico suffers from too much media attention because of crime coverage in various parts of the country, this is not likely the best time for officials to get over sensitive about a few water marks or crumpled pages.
But for the traveller it is best to be save than sorry and take whatever action you can in advance to avoid disappointment.
I can't think of much worse than one family member being denied boarding because of one passport that may not meet the stringent conditions Mexico appears to be expecting this year.
If you have travel questions contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I will answer you question and you will see it appear here on tripatlas as well.
Previous questions can also be found in the Question and Answer section of www.journeystravelgear.com where you will also find a wide variety of quality travel products.
Share and discuss this story with your friends
Ron PradinukOver the past few years I have had a weekly travel column in the travel section of the Winnipeg Free Press every Saturday, and have hosted a weekly travel show on radio station CJOB in the same central Canadian city. My blog, which I try to do most days is http://www.thattravelguy.ca/. I have also writen, and continue to write, destination stories for a number of newpapers and on line emagazines. You can read samples of my destination stories on http://journeystravelgear.com/DestinationStories.cfm My own background includes travel to almost 60 countries so far. As I talk to fellow travellers, as much as I have traveled I realize my list of places I must still visit is very long compared to others. So many places...only so much time in a life to see it all. For almost 30 years I have operated a travel agency focusing mostly on leisure travel. I served on the national board of the Association of Canadian Travel Agents for years and was the National President for two years. In 2000 we opened a travel superstore called Journeys Travel & Leisure SuperCentre. It carries just about every travel product imaginable. It is also a swim wear and luggage centre and carries a wide range of travel clothing in brands like Tilley Endurables, Ex-Officio, and Royal Robbins just to name a few. In my blog I write about destinations, airline and tour operator policies, good and bad travel products you have used, and anything that has the connotation of travel. You can read my column every Saturday online at http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/ then clicking on to the feature sections link and then on to the travel section. They usually hold past columns and freelance stories You can listen live to the radio show online at http://www.cjob.com/ Sundays at noon Central Time, then clicking on listen live.
Located: Winnipeg Canada
Likes: Europe, Asia, South America, South Africa, Cruising, Golf Vacations, Fishing Vacations, Generational Family Vacations