Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Passport Perils

What is it with the women in my family and their passports? I'm not sure how to tell this tale, should it be based chronologically or on the personalities involved? I think I'll go with personality.

First personality is blackdaughtero. On her way to South America a few weeks back, bdo left Israel via London. She gets to the airport and it appears her Israeli passport has expired. She forgot to check (although we had spoken about this months before). They want 1500NIS ($350+) to issue a passport at the airport, which she (or rather I) refuses to pay so they somehow let her leave on her US passport. No problemo she says, I will use my US passport in my travels and all will be good. Bdo spends time and money in London with the Boyf and Shir her travel partner and a week later jets off to Buenos Aries. As she arrives at passport control in Argentina they a demand $160 "reciprocity" fee. It seems all US, Canadian and Australian citizens need to pay this in advance in order to enter Argentina (it seems these countries charge Argentinians to enter, hence the "reciprocity"). Israelis do not have this issue, they are happy to have anyone come to Israel and be ripped off by the general public rather than the govenment. Of course, bdo is outraged, tears flow (I assume), so somehow they let her in on her expired Israeli passport. Turns out that her hostel is next door the Israeli Consulate in Buenos Aries and she gets a new passport in a jiffy at a cost of something like 100NIS. Only bdo.

Second story is blackwifeo's. Last time she left Israel (Dec) seems to everyone's surprise her passport had expired (In November 2015). They let her out on her US passport (sound familiar?) and told her she should renew it in London. After the sad news about Auntie Masha on Sunday, bwo decides she must go back to Israel post-haste. When I drop her at Heathrow Sunday night she is convinced they will let her back into Israel even though her Israeli passport has expired, as she always has the US one for backup. I get a frantic call an hour before her flight is about to take off saying she cannot find her US passport (actually it was more like a text "I LOST my passport. May not let me on the flight"). She used it to get past security but between there and the gate her passport had disappeared. She did no shopping (strange in itself). She runs up and down the airport, back to security, unpacks her bags, searches her pockets (women have no pockets - this is the problem) but no luck. So now all she has is her expired Israeli passport in a country where following the rules is next to godliness. But bwo soldiers on,  she tells her sob story to the ground crew at the boarding gate, and believe it or not they now cheat the system and enter her Israeli passport info to get on the plane, but they have to force it to expire in the future, in fact the following day, or else the system will not let her past the pre-flight passport check. She boards the plane and on arrival in Israel they seem understanding of her plight and let her in. She has an appointment at the US embassy tomorrow and will then go to the Ministry of Interior to get her Israeli passport renewed.

I mean really. What? Are we new at this travelling game?

1 comment:

Joanne Ostrin said...

Piece of cake. I know have one brand spanking new IL passport. Also a temporary USA one that will need to be swapped to a proper one by June. Plennnnnnty of time.