A simple question of whether a passport is needed-- or not

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Jan 28, 2019
Hello--I know the answer to my question should be obvious, but just to get a definite answer, I'm posing the question to the Forum.
I am a travel agent and sending clients to Alaska this year. Their trip is 5 days entirely in Alaska, no Canadian stops at all.
Their flight from Indiana will require a plane change in each direction and both connecting cities will be within the 48
contiguous states..again, no touch down in Canada. Should be a no-brainer. Leave the USA to visit another USA state.

Because of a post on the Elliott Advocacy daily emails I receive, that described a situation with an American Airlines gate
agent, denying boarding to a passenger bound for Bahamas, with passport in hand, because AA's rules insisted that the
passport have at least 6 months validity beyond the travel date and it didn't. This conflicted with the requirements by the
Bahamas government, that certainly allowed for the passenger to enter the country. So it's the small print I now question.

On with the story. I always tell folks going to Alaska to take a passport with them, even if they do not plan to stop in Canada.
My fear is if the aircraft has mechanical issues and they have to stop in Canada for repairs, transfer to another plane, etc...
how would the issue be handled for those traveling without a passport ? So, I called United, the carrier in this case and just
asked if there was any verbage in their Conditions of Carriage or Conduct, etc, that I may not see as I review the "small print."
Keep in mind, this is so that I am atop any issues such as the one American Airlines pulled on the Bahamas bound traveler.

First the agent, who I surmise was answering from another country, said, "oh, the passenger is fine. She is travelling wholly
within the USA. Good, that's what I wanted to hear--confirmation that there were no hidden little paragraphs, etc. Then, as
she read and read, I think she confused herself because then she insisted, oh yes, the passenger DOES need a passport and
it is because they are flying "over" another country. After this point, it was useless to try to get her to chat with a supervisor
to confirm she was correct. Now I am concerned. Why did I call United ? Finger biting time.

So, what appears to be a simple question, I now pose it to you as I want to be sure this person does not need to have
a passport. I did, as I mentioned, suggest it to the client when I first worked with her on their 5 day trip, with air and hotel,
rail arrangements. She does not want to purchase a passport as she plans no international travel in next 10 years.

If any of you on the Elliott team have knowledge of any language or verbage that I need to show the client that United insists
she has a passport, that will bring me peace. I have sent countless numbers of folks to Alaska, but the trips always involved
being in Canada at some point and so this is the first time I've sent anyone just to Alaska. I want to rest assured that she does
not need a passport and United will not turn her away as they can plainly see her itinerary is totally USA.

Thank you for you comments and support.

Frazzled TA

One client has a passport and one does not. when she asked why did
I need to know, my comment was "because
Jan 22, 2015
I am a seasoned traveler. I always travel with a passport, even if I'm going from Denver to Las Vegas.

What state is your customer in? Do they have a drivers license that is compliant with the new TSA requirements?
Jan 28, 2019
If they are not flying into a Canadian airport or the cruise is not departing or ending in Vancouver they don’t need a passport.
Thank you Neil. That has always been my consensus as well. My concern is to be sure that United doesn't have anything
in the small print stating that they should have a passport in the event of unplanned landing in Canada. The United agent
I spoke with said because they are "flying over Canada" it is required. I have never heard that before...so that's why I
tossed this one out there to the rest of the forum. :) I am sure you and I are correct on the documentation she needs.
Guess I am worrying for naught. :)