My wife lost her purse and her passport plus drivers license. We have photo copies of her US passport & US DL plus copy of Spain police report plus she is accompanied by myself husband plus adult son who can vouch for her. All of us same last name. Will we be able to fly Vueling and latter major US airline and get through securty?
Sorry for your troubles. Here's some info I found.
From the US embassy website: https://es.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/passports/lost-stolen-passports/
"If your U.S. passport has been lost or stolen, you are required to apply for a new passport in person, by making an appointment at the Embassy in Madrid or Consulate in Barcelona, or contacting your nearest Consular agency.
If you have urgent travel plans and need to replace your passport immediately, you may walk-in to the Embassy in Madrid or the Consulate General in Barcelona during regular business hours – 8:00 am to 13:00 pm for Madrid, 9:00 am to 13:00 for Barcelona, Monday through Friday, except on U.S. or local holidays. Regulations prohibit us from issuing replacement passports after hours."
You could always contact Vueling in advance, but I fear you should assume they won't let her fly without a passport even domestically. Certainly don't just go to the airport and expect it will be ok. I also don't think any airline will fly her transatlantic.
I believe you need to quickly arrange for an emergency passport or whatever the US equivalent is at your nearest consulate.
No, she needs an emergency passport. Call the US Embassy.
Once you've got the emergency passport organized, come back later and fill us in on the details of the loss/theft (?) of her purse.
As someone posted, you must get a replacement ASAP. You will not be able to board an American airline destined to the US without one, no matter how many people "vouch" for her. I would advise you to be in either Madrid or Barcelona as they open Monday morning for a replacement. Bring the copy and all identifications and the police report. Expect to wait several hours for the process. Sorry to hear of this vacation disruption. Good luck.
If you will be checking into any Spanish hotel or flying anywhere, she won't be able to get onboard. Go to embassy or consulate ASAP, first thing! Everything else can wait.
Thanks, we have 9am flt to Barcelona tomorrow from Granada. I’m going to see if they will let us board that flight.
I don’t see a consulate listed for Granada. Only Madrid and Barcelona where we are going anyway. Worst case I’ll try to rebook our tickets for later tomorrow if there some place they want us to go. We have copy of my wife’s IDs that match the address on my son and my ids. Plus the police report and official seal of police stamped on it.
Unsure how an urgent request with an emergency situation turned into a political statement. I won’t respond to that statement so your thread won’t get pulled.
I am very sorry for your trouble. Do be thinking about alternatives to flying to Barcelona if you find it becomes necessary.
The problem is getting on the plane, not entering the US.
Please do let us know how she lost her purse—-it would be a helpful lesson to many.
craig, your political statement is offensive. You might want to delete it.
Please understand how difficult this situation is for a long time US citizen with pretty darn good supporting evidence of our citizenship as mentioned above. Already sat in police station for 3 plus hours to file the report.
Or, just empathize with our predicament and cut me some slack. This is frustrating.
Even the President needs to travel with a passport to enter the US. It’s the law. You’ll need a photo ID to board the internal flight in Spain.
Of course it is frustrating. I'd be chewing nails.
Of course we empathise.
You still have to get a replacement passport - pronto. Your trip to the airport may just add to the frustration.
The airlines have seen it before. I'm sorry to say that lost or stolen passports are not rare occasions to airport staff.
Just for clarification we are not departing for USA Till 3 days from tomorrow. We are merely flying within Spain tomorrow on Vueling Air
There is nothing to stop your wife (alone or accompanied by you and/or your son) from taking the train to Madrid or Barcelona. Or she could take a bus to Madrid--cheaper than the train and I think not much slower.
Craig, it has nothing to do with proving your wife's citizenship. It is proof of IDENTITY that is required to pass through security and board the plane. To board that domestic flight within Spain tomorrow, your wife must show proof ( photo ID) that she is the person named on the ticket. Maybe it is possible her photocopy of her passport will suffice for this flight. Call Vueling ( if you can) and ask. Or go ahead and proceed to the airport tomorrow and hope for the best.
But you will definitely need an actual passport to board the flight to the US. So you can take care of that when you reach Barcelona. Good luck.
I would definitely ask Vueling but I've never seen anyone be allowed to get on a flight with just a copy of identification. The days of being able to vouch for someone went away with 9/11. I hope you have travel insurance or can change your flight tomorrow but I'd call the consulate or look up the emergency information on the US Embassy in Spain website or your wife might be left behind.
We’re not sure how she lost it? We had been 100% users of the money belt and my son and I still are but she switched to taking a very small klutch like purse with a long strap that she wore crossed over her shoulder. We don’t think it was stolllen. She has slow progressive MS and had stopped to rest while I scouted the next qtr mile of walking. She may have lost it sitting on the entrance to a quiet museum or at an outdoor cafe we changed our minds about? It’s a mystery? No one approached us. We’re wernt in a bad area like a major attraction or transportation hub. So far in Spain we’ve felt far safer than Italy and Paris. We’ve travelled independently to Europe 5 times and never had this happen but this is the first time she didn’t use the money built. I think she left at the cafe table we vetoed.
We only bring small carry on luggage and we’re not souvenir shoppers so likely just bad luck.
Craig, I am so sorry this has happened and can only imagine how frustrating it is for all of you. I think acraven and Lola have given you good advice. You can take the train to Barcelona and get her new passport while you are there so you will be able to fly home. A good lesson: even when you do everything right as far as securing your valuables in a money belt or another way, stuff can and will happen to thwart even the most savvy of travelers. I am hoping the best outcome for all of you. Please do return and post how it all turns out for you.
Hi, all the above advice about seeking U.S. Consular assistance as a priority is absolutely spot on. Do it. Do it now.
It may not be much practical use or a consolation, however, based on personal experience of three similar incidents, my understanding is that you should be able to at least board the Vueling flight without your wife’s passport IF, when booking the flight, you entered her passport details. It’s a domestic flight within a Schengen country.
In 1996, when on vacation with my mother, we were due to fly from Málaga to the U.K. with easyJet. My mother mislaid her passport while in the boarding line — she went to the airline office — and, because they already had her passport details on file they issued her with a boarding pass — for a cost of £25. And, you guessed, she found her passport in her handbag during the flight home, so no problems re-entering the country.
Five years ago my sister, when on vacation in Mallorca put her passport in the hotel’s safe. Come check out day her passport was missing (while her partner’s passport was intact). Again, because she had been required to give the airline her Advance Passenger Information, she was allowed to board the flight home to the U.K. And, because she’s one of those people who like to be at the airport three hours ahead of a flight, she had time to report the incident to both local police and the local consulate both of whom gave her sufficient documentation to claim a boarding pass and negotiate re-entry to the U.K. on arrival. (Our uncle, now retired, was a very senior officer within H.M. Customs & Excise — he wasn’t able to pull any strings at the time. However, subsequently, working with colleagues and the local police in Mallorca, he successfully helped uncover a passport rip-off scam within the hotel.) A ‘good’, ‘clean’ U.K. passport can be sold for up to around 400€ on the black market in Spain.
More recently, just three years ago, a very good friend (who is actually arriving for a visit tomorrow) organized a visit of around 50 art students to Barcelona — as he did every year for 3 years. He insisted all students (aged between 16 and 28) photocopy their passports twice before departure, give him one copy and keep the other copy with them at all times. On arrival in Barcelona he then insisted all students surrender their passports to him so that he could put them in the hostel’s safe.
When they arrived at the airport for the flight back to the U.K. he returned all the students’ passports. And, yes, during the check-in wait-time one of the students had her purse stolen — along with her passport. She was 17 years old.
The airline, easyJet, at first refused to issue her a boarding-card. My friend, Stephen, involved a National police officer (not Mossos — regional police— or Guardia Civil — national, but, at the airport, only involved in aiding customs officers and anti-terrorist threats) who demanded that the airline issue a boarding-pass. The National police officer told the airline representative that there was no way that the flight would be allowed to take off without the student aboard. There was no way, he said, that a 17 year old would be left in Spain without i.d. The airline, he said, had her passport details on file — and she had two photocopies of her passport — six teachers, including my friend Stephen, and 47 fellow students who all attested to her being who she said she was. With just 10 minutes before scheduled take-off the airline relented and allowed the student, and my friend, aboard.
Travel between Schengen countries requires only minimal proof of identity. The U.K. is NOT a Schengen country. Once you are in a Schengen country, either as a EU citizen or equipped with a visa from a country within the Schengen area, it is my firm understanding that you do not require a passport for domestic flights.
All the best.
Do let us know how this all turns out please. We are genuinely both concerned and curious about what the outcome will be.
I think you were smart to have photocopies with you for when you need to apply for the emergency passport, but I am suspicious that they may not be enough to fly with. Trains and buses can also work if planes are not possible.
Best wishes to you all on this challenge.
When our passports were stolen in Chile, we had to interrupt our trip and return to Santiago. The us. state.gov website gives you names of photographers who take US compliment photos. We went a day before, stayed overnight, in the morning had photos done, took pre filled out forms( from website) and photos to US Embassy at 9 am, new passports , good for 1 year, were ready at 3 pm. We returned to our itinerary in the north. They are good for a year. You reapply but do not have to pay again for new passport that is good for ten years. See if a consulate can get passports for you. Where are you in Spain??
Everyone has given you good advice. Read what you need to bring with you. Here is a link again to the U.S. consulate's website for what to do in Barcelona:
The U.S. consulate people do this every day. Stay patient and just go with the flow. They have a procedure to follow. Vouching makes no difference and getting angry with them about being a U.S. citizen will not help.
Follow the instructions on the website. Be patient and you should walk out with a new passport.
FYI--if an airline allows you to cross a border without a passport or official international travel document (military ID and orders) they get fined.
Hi all, I'm sure some of you wondered what happened. The worst impact was not being allowed to board a totally within Spain Vueling flight between Granada and Barcelona. Once we finally got to Barcelona via a 14 hour overnight bus ride instead of our 90 minute Vueling flight we went straight to the consulate who handled the matter exceedingly well.
Unlike Vueling the consulate staff treated us with compassion, empathy and moved swiftly to resolution. Can't possibly say enough good things about the Barcelona US consulate! Only thing I'd suggest for all the US consulate in hindsight, is to better layout the general process & timeline online to save everyone some stress. As we proceeded from Granada to the Barcelona consulate we had no idea how long it would take to get Nita a new passport. A better website explanation of the temporary passport process would have reduced our worries, a ton. After the treatment we'd gotten from Vueling, we were pretty depressed and fearful of what lay ahead. Thankfully, the consulate was a very pleasant surprise.
Back to Vueling in Granada...
We were unable to board our 90 minute Vueling flt from Granada to Barcelona. Which was very painful for us. For these reasons...
- We were not attempting to board a USA flt. Only flying within Spain. This was not even a USA connecting flt.
- We couldn't have been treated more poorly at the gate and especially on appeal 5 minutes later at the Vueling Granada airport "customer service" office. By poorly, I mean NO one at Vueling showed or expressed the least bit of concern for the impact of denying us boarding??? Vueling should hire robots. Who needs human beings incapable of sorting out issues? They wouldn't even take 10 seconds to discuss the matter. We were ordered out of line and dismissed without hearing or seeing what we had in our favor. The Vueling airport customer service office person was even less interested and we wern't not holding up anyone at the point. And we trying like usual to "pre-board" since my wife is a slow weak walker and MS patient.
Here's what we had going for us, I thought.
1. Both my son & I still had all the documentation you would ever want to see. Only my wife did not. we hall had the same last name and even the same address. Our adult son has a low IQ and lives us.
2. We had all presented passports upon entry to Spain and my wife still had photocopies.
3. Vueling already had our passport data on file when I booked the reservation to boot.
4. Both my wife & are 63yrs old. There's not a chance in hell we fit one criteria of a risky passenger. Especially, my wife.
Because, they couldn't be bothered to act like thinking and caring employees my wife. my son and I ened up taking the only means we could find to get to Barcelona. A 14 hour overnight bus. my wife has advance MS and walks with great difficulty. The discomfort and stress and 14 hours on the bus definitely took a toll on her. We couldn't get a word in edge wise to explain that to them. We were summarily dismissed without the least bit concern for our well being. Vueling also refuses to refund our tickets.
I only hope the three Vueling people who treated us so poorly someday get the same treatment when they're in a big painful calamity too. They deserve the ordeal we went through. Whatever happened to customer service much less the expectation of compassion and empathy.
I’m sorry this happened to you, but the airline staff were following the law.
I'm glad everything is straightened out now. It's likely that any airline employee(there or in the U.S. for domestic flights) would lose his/her job if he/she let someone on the plane without a photo ID. You can thank the terrorists for this.
I would love to know if they would have accepted another photo ID, such as a US drivers license, for an in-country flight. Maybe someone on this forum has experience with that? If we knew that was a possibility, we could leave one ID in the hotel room in the future. (Although I confess I usually leave my passport in my hotel room and have never been asked for it-If I need to show an ID for my credit card or to rent an audioguide, they have always accepted my US drivers license(so far).
With regards to the lack of concern for customer service of Vueling, I would expect the same treatment from any airline. The rules of customer service do not apply to them(what other industry is allowed to sell merchandise to you and then take it back to sell to someone else when you have already paid for it?), unless you're one of their elite flyers and then they are amazingly agreeable(although in your situation I think they would have expressed sympathy for your plight but still not done anything to help). When I fly, I assume that I have an invisible "Kick me" sign on my back.
I read a scenario like this on some other site. The problem with trying to use a US ID is that it is impossible for airlines to know if your ID is real let alone what it should look like.
I really appreciate Craig coming back and letting us know how it all turned out. I am so sorry for the difficulties you (and your wife) endured.
I don't think Vueling is at fault. I think that when people tried to tell you that you needed to be looking at buses and trains, they were hoping to get you started in that direction. We weren't there, and we don't understand all the ins and outs of your situation, so no judgement is intended here. You felt sure that somehow you would get on the flight and it must have been very frustrating for you when this didn't happen.
I think we have all learned a little from your hard lesson.
Sorry you and your family had to go through all that Craig. Glad the consulate staff were helpful. And thanks for the insight on how uncaring and lacking in basic humanity the Vueling staff were. Some keyboard lawyers here seem to think the airline was faithfully following the letter of some arcane Spanish law that prevents an airline from letting a person board a domestic (within Spain, not international) flight with only a copy of their lost ID. I'll wager they had more flexibility than they were willing to admit (I know for a fact that U.S. airlines let people in a similar pinch board domestic flights), and that they probably sold your seats for a significant last-minute mark-up to someone on standby. Because rules...
Even if they were "just following orders", simply because they have rules and laws to follow, doesn't mean they need to be asses about it. But that mirrors my impression of that airline from the one time I flew them several years ago. In my experience, when employees exhibit that sort of attitude about the well-being of their customers out in the open, it's a deeper reflection of something that management either tolerates or actively encourages/rewards.
Assuming that's the case, it mostly likely also permeates into other parts of the operation. Not exactly the kind of vibe you want from a company that you're literally trusting with your life, especially if the guy on the tarmac with a wrench is as uncaring about passengers as the gate agents you encountered apparently were. Following rules is an easy cop-out. I choose to do business with companies who don't just follow rules, but also work to solve problems. That's what was lacking here.
And don't forget that in the U.S. if your state-issued ID (driver's license) is not REAL-ID certified you won't be allowed on a domestic flight either after a certain date. (I plan to use my passport.)
As others have said, it's not up to the Vueling employees, it's the law. Non UE citizens HAVE to travel with a passport, it doesn't matter if you're 1 month old or 99 years old, it's the law. UE citizens can travel with the ID card, and cannot travel without it.
I understand it was a stressful situation, but just imagine the US letting a foreigner catch a plane without a passport, it makes me laugh just thinking about it. If course if you haven't been a foreigner in the US you can't understand just how ridiculous it is to expect that, and its the same for other countries.
Vueling's website clearly states what ID is needed for domestic flights
I'm surprised you still took the chance to board that flight. Flying without the required ID was never going to happen,
ramblin on, thanks for answering my question about the possible use of a US Drivers License to board a flight within a European country. Clearly that's not an option.
I pulled up the Vueling site and here is what they have to say:
Domestic flights (national)
Passport* + visa for destination country if required. Both must be valid.
Valid residency card issued by a Schengen state.
Driving licence issued in Spain.
Schengen Destinations Countries
Passport* + valid visa for destination country if required.
Passport* + Valid residency card issued by a Schengen state.
EU / Non-Schengen Countries
Passport* + visa for destination country if required. Valid.
Non-EU / Non-Schengen
Passport* + visa for destination country if required. Valid.
Vueling is following the rules, even your state issued DL or your Passport Card will not work. The only thing that will work for you is a Passport + visa for destination country if required. Both must be valid. Vueling followed the rules. I imagine that applies to all airlines in the Schengen area.
Well, I would not have been happy to be quoted the law and dismissed if I had been in your situation either. But that is the way the world works. Could the airline employees have been more sympathetic? Maybe. Not knowing Spanish people well, I don't know what type of emotion they would express to someone in this situation. Maybe they see so many people in this situation every day they have simply lost the ability to care. Also, I don't know the penalty the law in Europe can make the airline or its employees face if they would let someone on a plane without the required ID.
While it is possible in the US to board a plane if you don't have your proper picture ID, to get on the plane is not a fun or pleasant process. It involves a very long interview, a near strip search (much worse than the groping of the standard TSA enhanced search), and dumping out all of your luggage and having each and every individual item poked prodded squeezed and scanned for explosive residue. It takes a while and you leave feeling like you have been violated in the worst possible way. I would rather have simply been told I could not fly by a stone faced uncaring airline employee.
Maybe your experiences in this situation can help someone else facing the same situation to realize that they will absolutely not be able to get on a plane in a foreign country and convince them to find an alternate means of transportation until they can get their ID replaced and not waste the time on a useless trip to the airport.
Thanks guys, I've vented and I'm done. I need to move on rather than argue. Nita lost her passport or it was stolen. Likely stolen. We'll never know for sure. The laws the law. Hope you guys never experience what we did. Hope you never have the stress of taking care of a person who has a disability under these circumstances. Last year I climbed a guided 14K CO mountain but, I rode taxi almost everywhere, for the first time, in Europe this year just to ease the burden on my wife and keep the trip as stress free / energy saving as possible. Its hard enough on my wife, who if healthy, would have done that CO mountain with me this past summer. She has learned to except a much smaller world and to live with rude people not respecting handicapped folks in airports and busy streets. This trip was to celebrate our 40th wedding anni. I'll likely never get Nita to Europe again. Thankfully, we had a lot of great times in Spain but, that airport fiasco and the resulting 14 hour red eye bus ride from Granada to Barcelona will kill any future Euro trips together for good.
In common with everyone else here, I have no way on knowing if the Vueling staff were unpleasant, or whether they simply applied the regulations and you, for some reason, felt they should have made an exception in your case.
What I do know, is that after asking for advice, many told you there would be a problem - including advising you to contact the airline and not to just go to the airport assuming it would work out somehow. If you'd taken that advice, you would have saved yourself a wasted journey to/from the airport and might have had time to make alternative arrangements better than the overnight bus, which I am sure must have been grim.
I'm sorry this put a negative on your holiday. Hopefully, in time, you'll remember the positives more.
Craig and Nita, I hope that in time this awful memory will be less painful and the good memories will take over. I certainly understand why you would not want to put yourself at the mercy of an airline again.
For me, this thread is heartbreaking. I am so sorry for your wife's diagnosis , and I admire what you are doing for her and your son. I think everyone here wishes they had been in Granada to get you going in the right direction. I am so sorry your wife had to endure that bus ride. What’s done is done, but I would have sent you on the first train to Madrid for the temporary passport and then on the next day to Barcelona. This was a big obstacle to try to solve and it was all on you to think clearly. I’m so sorry and hope she regains and maintains her strength.
I also wish the airline employees had at least made a few calls to help you find a seat on a train or show some sort of empathy. Legally, they couldn’t allow you on the plane but they could have shown kindness.
Thank you Bets! I sincerely appreciate your tactful comments.
My husband and I discussed this at dinner. He felt as sorry for your dilemma as I did. Then he said something that made sense: the airline employees probably didn’t want to risk loosing their jobs. Spain has barely recovered from the economic crisis and 50% unemployment ten years ago. That was their trauma and an angle none of us has looked at.
I wish you all well.
Truly unfortunate that the passport 'went AWOL'
Does anyone really expect to show up at LAX for a flight to SFO and get on the plane by showing copy their French driver license and copy of their passport?
As OP points out, none of us were there, so how 'rude' the airline staff was in quoting the law is beyond the realm of anyone here making an informed judgement.
Will we be able to fly Vueling
The suggestion was made to 'call' ( 2nd reply), but OP chose to just show up at the airport. ( so it seems)
The 6th reply stated flying would not be possible, yet OP went to the airport.
Its a sad way to end a vacation, but railing against those who do not immediately condemn the airline staff for following the law, seems off base. I suspect given OP's situation anyone saying 'no', would not be well received.
The old adage, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink", comes to mind here.
Information (in this case, that you can't board a flight without a passport) may be unpleasant or inconvenient, but that doesn't make it any less true, and you ignore it at your peril--though it is human nature to resist facts you don't want to believe.
Folks here were not unsympathetic, and they gave practical, real-world, advice, but it was not taken. By the time reality could no longer be ignored, all the trains were apparently sold out. The situation probably didn't have to be as bad as it turned out.
Thanks again to everyone who was interested in the outcome. Having a wife 10yrs into slow progressive MS added a unique twist some folks seem to see as irrelevant apparently like Vueling did.
I fully admit, I was unprepared for how big a deal loosing my wife's passport would be. Under the duress of moment when it finally hit home in Granada I simply did the best I could to work through the problem. At that point, not knowing the timeline for getting a new passport, I did the best I could to get us to Barcelona a day later but soon as possible with only 2 nights then left before departure for home. Fortunately, we were heading to one of the only 2 places we could solve the problem, Barcelona. The only other place, Madrid, was long ago in the rear view mirror.
A final piece of advice about travel IDs. I didn't reprimand my wife, after the fact because what would be the point? She lost her passport and felt terrible so why beat that into the ground?? Reminding someone of the mistakes they made is heartless and pointless.
But in hindsight for everyone reading our story.... please make sure everyone in your party uses a money belt that fits inside their pants like my son and I did. The only reason this happened is because my wife refused to wear hers for the first time in 4 Euro trips. Before we left I tried explaining to Nita that just because it had never happened to us the risk goes way up when you wear your valuables externally where they can be grabbed by crafty thieves. The other big mistake we made was not separating our passports from the other IDs and not simply leaving them in the apartment. In hindsight, she was needlessly carrying hers along when it was stolen. On the other hand, there are head scratching times times though when you do need them like we did at the Alhambra and sadly we were denied entree there too because Nita was randomly selected for a passport check. Joe & I could have been admitted but what was the point if she had to sit and stew for an hour by herself?
I normally don't read threads that are not particular to my interests. I saw yours because it was referenced elsewhere. Curiosity was my leader, lol.
Your challenges were many; especially about the lost passport (however it became lost.) Bottom line: PP was gone. No one needs to highlight, pick apart how you wrote it, or what words you used and all that.
We know that a Passport is our lifeline and our way back home. We're in a foreign country - tired, upset, facing all kinds of challenges - self inflicted or not. Given your experience and career background, even the smartest and the best of us, can be tested over and over.
Being out of our comfort zone at home, a lot of things can be a little blurry. I'm sure your wife felt really bad about losing a purse with all pertinent and valuable documents. And, those feelings could've heightened her stress level - we know what stress can do to a body; even more so to one that is already compromised.
Since you guys are still fairly young - I can appreciate your frustrations at hand with the increasing physical challenges put upon your wife. (You mentioned this may be your last Europe trip.) And, you mentioned challenges about your son - that can't be easy.
You admit that better decisions, choices and critical thinking would have helped your situation more. Easier said than done sometimes. When in a dire strait, adrenaline amps up.
People at the airline or here and there are saying this and that, but it all starts to become like a run on sentence. We 'hear' and we 'see,' but we sort of block it. We tend to focus on the negative. We want someone to 'hear us.' People might try to help, but it seems more critical than anything else. There are ones who sugar coat help, there are ones who go the way of a strong directive, and then, there are those who can find a mutual compromise without insult, accusations or throwing your mistakes back at you.
Hopefully the unpleasant experience will fade away, be filed as a good learning lesson, and the only thing in your mind's forefront are the lovely memories you had with your family.
As a former police officer I have had to enforce the law every working day of my life. Were there occasions when doing so felt unfair, unjustified and unkind? Absolutely! Did I ever have an option not to enforce the law? Not really, I can recall an occasion I made a young lad dispose of his small piece of cannabis down a drain and sent him on his way knowing that an arrest and likely caution could potentially have a big impact on his future plus taking into account his demeanour, profuse apology and not being known to the police I felt it a proportionate thing to do despite knowing that I could risk my own job in doing so.
I've lost count of the number of times I've had drivers request to let them off "this one time" for not wearing a seatbelt. How do I know that they might have been stopped seven times previously by the police and been let off due to the "one time" claim. It was also a reall bugbear of mine when they had children in the car who were, quite rightly, secured and belted but the driver, usually dad, didn't feel it was appropriate for him. I'd much rather those children (and I'm sure they'd be in full agreement with me) weren't involved in a crash in which their father died as a result of not wearing his seatbelt.
Laws are implemented for a reason, some of us will disagree with some of them but that's life. The situation you found yourself in was very unfortunate and undoubtedly unpleasant however you cannot expect airline staff to bend the rules and risk their careers (and every knock on effect that would have) simply because you expect them to or believe you have reasonable grounds to expect them to do so (you didn't have reasonable grounds).
It's a shame that you appear to have ruled out travelling to Europe over this issue (please correct me If I've misinterpreted this assumption). I've been travelling to the US for over a decade and I've never experienced the rudeness, laziness and bad attitude of many of the TSA staff in every airport I've flown from anywhere else in the world. Does this mean that I rule out travelling the the US again? Of course not, I just know what to expect from TSA staff and try not to get too hung up about it.
Time Out!!! The OP came on the forum and asked for help at a very trying time. Imagine if it was you that had just lost these important documents. People gave him ideas and he made the decision that he felt was best for his family given their health constraints. One can only do their best. Sometimes we make right decisions and sometimes we don't.
Then the OP did the almost unheard of, he came back to let people know what happened. I so appreciate him doing this. Now, he is upset with the airline and vented a little. I get that. Try to picture yourself standing there in the airport, knowing that the alternative to flying is going to be physically very hard on your wife. You would try everything in your power to make it happen as well. Could have, Should have, are all moot at that moment.
Now, it is a time to let this rest. He has already learned everything there is to be learned about this situation. We have learned a bit as well due to his kindness in sharing on this forum. There is no reason to keep going on this subject.
Hi all, this was clearly a difficult situation all around. I've trimmed a number of things from this thread to help focus on the takeaways that can possibly help others travel. I'll address the guideline violations privately as always. The remaining posts aren't all flawless per our Community Guidelines, but I hope we can all let it rest here. I'm locking the thread. Thank you for your understanding.