Radio presenter Fifi Box has revealed how a little-known passport rule almost turned her dream holiday into a nightmare.

The 45-year-old mother of two children told on Monday how Melbourne Airport staff initially turned her away at the check-in desk when she presented her three-year-old daughter Daisy’s passport because it was wet.

A bit of water damage to their passport almost cost them their holiday, but in the end the staff allowed them to board their flight to Fiji.

They were only allowed to fly because Fiji immigration officials are not very strict when it comes to destroying passports.

But Fifi warned that other countries, including Indonesia, do not let tourists in if there is even the slightest damage to their travel documents.

Radio presenter Fifi Box has revealed how a little-known passport rule almost turned her dream holiday into a nightmare. (She is pictured with her three-year-old daughter Daisy)

“The lady at the beginning of the line asked, ‘Can I show you your passports?’ before grabbing one and walking away,” Fifi said of her Fox FM Breakfast.

After the airline employee spoke to her colleagues, she returned and told Fifi that one of her children’s passport was “water damaged” and might not be accepted by Fijian border officials.

Fifi said she almost cried as she thought about how to handle the situation.

The mother-of-two, 45, revealed on Monday how staff at Melbourne Airport initially turned her away at the check-in desk when she presented her daughter's passport because it was wet

The mother-of-two, 45, revealed on Monday how staff at Melbourne Airport initially turned her away at the check-in desk when she presented her daughter’s passport because it was wet

“It was 5 in the morning and I started crying,” she said, before joking that she briefly considered leaving Daisy and flying off without her.

“I looked at her [the staff member] and I said, ‘I just can’t handle it,'” added Fifi.

She said the person behind the counter was sympathetic and went to the back office to try to find a solution.

They were only allowed to fly because Fiji immigration officials are not very strict when it comes to destroying passports.  But she was warned that other countries, including Indonesia, do not let tourists in if there is even the slightest damage to their travel documents

They were only allowed to fly because Fiji immigration officials are not very strict when it comes to destroying passports. But she was warned that other countries, including Indonesia, do not let tourists in if there is even the slightest damage to their travel documents

Advice from the Australian Passport Office

Travelers are advised to ensure their passports are “intact and in good condition” as normal wear and tear is mostly not a problem.

“Contact with water or other liquids can cause serious damage,” the Australian Passport Office advises.

“You must not tear or remove pages from your passport.

“It is critical that all details and photographs on the personal details pages are legible and clear, and that there is no evidence of alteration or tampering with any aspect of the booklet.”

While this advice works for almost any other country, Indonesia’s new policy appears to be more stringent.

Travelers can contact the Australian Passport Information Service on 131 232 or visit a passport office or consulate to check their documents.

The employee returned a few minutes later and agreed to let Fifi and her children board the flight, even though there was a risk they would be turned back on arrival.

“She came back and said, ‘Look, if it was Bali, no way. Indonesia won’t let you in with that passport, but Fiji will,” Fifi said.

Having learned her lesson the hard way, she urged listeners to make sure damaged passports – especially children’s passports – are replaced.

A listener later called to say she saw Fifi “melting” at the airport.

According to the Australian Passport Office, passports will be considered invalid if they have any serious damage.

Contact with water or other liquids will put you in the zone for serious damage, as will tears, smeared ink, and missing pages.

The department says general wear and tear shouldn’t be a problem, and generally all traveler information should be visible on the document.

The situation is more complicated if the passport is damaged abroad.

In this case, all passport applications must be submitted in person, so you will need to travel to the nearest Australian embassy.

Fifi isn’t the first Australian celebrity to run into passport trouble.

Melbourne model Tegan Martin was also denied a flight to Bali after she produced a damaged passport back in 2019.

Indonesia is known to be particularly strict with damaged passports, and there have been dozens of reports from this popular holiday destination.

A major crackdown in recent years in the Southeast Asian country has also seen airlines fined US$5,000 ($7,131) for each passenger denied entry under the strict rule.

Melbourne model Tegan Martin (pictured) was also denied a flight to Bali after she produced a damaged passport back in 2019

Melbourne model Tegan Martin (pictured) was also denied a flight to Bali after she produced a damaged passport back in 2019

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