Man forced to miss flight after airline bans him from boarding due to easy passport mistake | The Sun

A MAN was forced to miss his flight and cancel his music gig after being told his passport was too torn to travel with.

Soweto Kinch, 44, was travelling with Ryanair from Birmingham to Barcelona to play at a jazz show.

However, after arriving at the airport, he said staff asked for his passport when he was checking his luggage in, and went away to check, only to return and say he wouldn't be able to fly.

The musician, who played in the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, said he lost as much as £6,000 after being forced to cancel the gig, as well as miss his flights.

He told Birmingham Live: "The damage they were referring to was a rip on the picture page but it wasn't going through the picture itself or any of the wording on the page."

He added that he was left "pretty upset" especially as she had flown into the UK just days before with no problems.

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Soweto continued: "My passport scanned fine on the machines so it can't have been that badly damaged, but they wouldn't even let me scan it to show them.

"I travel from Birmingham Airport every other week and I do understand that airports are under a lot of stress at the moment with staff shortages and everything else, but this kind of treatment makes no sense."

Despite pleading with the airport manager to let him travel, he said airport police were then called as he was being "disruptive".

A Ryanair spokesperson said: "This passenger was correctly refused travel from Birmingham to Barcelona (September 6) as his passport was damaged and therefore not valid for travel.”

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A West Midlands police spokesperson also said: "There were no criminal offences and the man left the airport."

Damaged passports can be anything from torn or missing pages, as well as water damage or stains.

Soweto isn't the first person to be stopped from boarding due to a damaged passport.

Last month a woman was banned from her flight due to a small tear in her passport despite for airport staff to say she should have been allowed on.

Mum Tina Spanos was travelling with her daughter Zoe Prather from the US to Greece for a holiday, but due to a small tear on the information page of her passport she said she wasn't able to board.

Back in April, Lindsey Gray, who was relocating from Sydney to New Zealand, was banned from boarding because her passport had a tear in it.

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And Bronte Gossling, who was attempting to travel from Sydney in Australia to Bali for a holiday, was stopped from boarding.

Having spent AUD$4,000 (£2,200) on flights, all-inclusive hotels and Covid tests, she was told at the desk that she wouldn't be getting on her flight – as her passport was too mouldy.

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