This Travel Blogger's Horror Story Is a Reminder Never to Fly Abroad With a Damaged Passport
An influencer was detained in Bangkok for 24 hours after traveling with a passport with two pages ripped out from it.
Scottish blogger/model Lacey Montgomery landed in Bangkok last week for a conference where she was supposed to spend time with other influencers. However, when she was passing through border control, she was detained because her passport had pages ripped out from it. According to the Scottish Sun, a “liquid spill” from years prior had ruined the pages. However, she had traveled to other international destinations with the ripped pages without any incidents.
In posts that have since been deleted from Instagram, Montgomery detailed the conditions in which she was locked up. She was denied entry to Thailand and returned to the UK on a British Airways flight 24 hours later.
“Lacey was treated like a prisoner in a locked room with cockroaches, she was humbled by the 1000’s of messages mostly from strangers and has been non stop replying to keep her going,” a "source" told The Daily Mail while she was in Thailand.
Montgomery’s instance is far from the only one. In June, a former Miss Universe contestant was detained in Bali for attempting to travel with a water-damaged passport.
Definitions of “damaged” vary from country to country and are open to interpretation. If you’re traveling abroad, it’s best not to risk it. Some officers will let you pass through borders without issue if you’re in possession of a damaged passport, while others may consider it reason to detain you.
Official rules from the U.S. State Department state that a passport loses its validity once it has been damaged.
“If your passport has been significantly damaged, especially the book cover or the page displaying your personal data and photo, you will need to apply for a new passport,” the State Department says. “Damage that might require you to replace your passport includes water damage, a significant tear, unofficial markings on the data page, missing visa pages (torn out), a hole punch, or other injuries.”
The issue revolves around security. Border control agents want to ensure that passports have not been tampered with or copied — and damage is sometimes a sign of this.