An ink stain on their passport forces a young family to cancel their €3,000 holiday.

In Manchester there was a shocking moment for the Estlick family: an ink stain on father Myk’s passport led to the airline refusing him boarding. According to a report in the Mirror, Myk, his wife Charlotte and their six-year-old daughter Nyla were on their way to vacation in Turkey.

Despite previous unchallenged trips with the same document, the strict controls at the airport did not allow any discussion. Charlotte desperately tried to remove the stain at the counter, further damaging the passport in the process. The result: the trip, which cost 2,500 pounds, the equivalent of 3,000 euros, fell through.

“The way the staff treated us at the airport was disappointing,” Charlotte told the Mirror. There was no way to get an emergency passport within a few days, which would have meant Myk would have missed most of the trip. “My little girl was standing there crying at the airport because she couldn’t go on holiday,” the mother continued.

Government regulations state that a passport can be considered damaged if details are illegible or there are ink stains on the pages.

After returning home, Charlotte visited an airline travel office in Bury, where she said a member of staff found no problems with Myk’s passport. Charlotte formally complained to the airline and her case is now being investigated by a senior officer who has 28 days to respond.

A similar story happened in Sydney, where Virgin Airlines’ Elyse Elmer was thwarted at passport control because a small tear in her passport could jeopardize entry into Indonesia. Unlike the Estlick family’s case, the airline was accommodating and allowed Elmer to rebook her trip. This began a race against time for them to obtain an emergency passport in less than 24 hours.

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