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Your Friend Loses Their Passport And Is Detained, Do You Continue Your Vacation Without Them?

By Stephanie Ogbogu

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A travel horror story between friends has got social media divided about what they would do if their friend was detained in a foreign airport.

Tiana Parker was excited to celebrate her birthday in Bali with a group of friends. Unfortunately, when she misplaced her passport and cell phone on her flight from China to Bali, she was detained at customs.

When the group of friends arrived in Bali, Tiana realized that she left her passport on the plane. Tiana was detained by Immigration who threatened to deport her to China where she could face harsher consequences. Tiana’s friends, including fashion designer Briana Shanee, attempted to plea with airport officials but were eventually asked to leave.

Tiana spent 24 hours detained by Immigration. Thankfully, another friend was able to locate her passport and Tiana was eventually released and allowed to continue on her birthday vacation in Bali.

What would you do in this scenario?

If you lose your passport while traveling internationally:


If you are traveling internationally and realize that your passport has been lost or stolen, contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate immediately. You’ll need to report to the consular’s office specifically. If your passport has been stolen, it’s helpful to file a police report with the local authorities. All U.S. embassies and consulates have after-hours duty officers who can help U.S. citizens in an emergency abroad.

From there, you can take a new passport photo, complete a new passport application and pick up your new passport at the local embassy. You’ll need some type of photo identification (driver’s license) as well as your travel itinerary, evidence of U.S. citizenship and enough funds to cover the passport fee.

Often times, if you have an immediate need for your passport (i.e., you have a flight to catch), you can receive an emergency passport within 24 hours. The emergency passport will only get you back to the United States. From there, you’ll have to turn in your emergency passport and wait for your replacement to arrive.

If you have a few days to spare, you can wait for your replacement passport to be shipped to you from the United States.

Now, if your situation is like Tiana’s and you misplaced your passport on the plane, you may be able to convince the airport to fly it to you. Granted, that could take a while, so be comfortable with waiting. It’s also not something that happens often, but it’s worth a try.

If your friend loses their passport while you’re on vacation:

If you’re traveling internationally with a friend who misplaces their passport, there are several things that may cross your mind. Do you stay with your friend in the cold, dreary, holding room or do you continue on to your destination?

It’s important to make sure that your friend is safe no matter what decision you make. If you have your passport, jot down the numbers and websites from the passport information page. This could possibly assist them in the next steps to getting a new passport made.

If you have your phone, use social media, email or services such as WhatsApp, to get in contact with their family members in the United States and inform them of what happened. Keeping a clear line of communication with their loved ones stateside will be a great deal of help and will keep them reassured during the stressful process.

Lastly, before leaving your friend (if you absolutely have to) make sure you are aware of what the next steps are. Whether it’s determining if your friend will stay in the country or contacting the United States Embassy yourself, don’t leave your friend behind without knowing exactly what happens next.

Traveling abroad can be an amazing experience but it’s frightening when things don’t go as expected. We want you all to come back in one piece so practice safety and unity when taking vacays out of the country.

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Stephanie Ogbogu

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