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I was travelling from Kuala Lumpur to London on two Qatar Airways flight stopping at Hamad International Airport for several hours. I discovered that after getting off the first flight I did not have my passport in my bag. I went back to transit security A and told staff, and after being allowed back to the transit area before security it took me 8 hours to get this resolved. Although they said they checked the plane (had it cleaned) they told me several times there was 'nothing in there'. Seven hours after I told them about my missing passport, they gave it to me saying it was 'on the plane and found by the cleaners'.

The process was so slow and I felt like a failure, and almost like I was stateless. I was allowed through security several times to get food and explore the airport and although I could take a flight they booked for me home, I also had to be escorted to the flight as my passport was still officially lost.

It really helped initially that I had a scanned copy of my photo passport and also my driver's licence, which they immediately took copies of and sent through to Qatar Airway's London office.

Unfortunately in my black passport holder that I left on the plane I also had my boarding passes for the two flights. Not having even the boarding pass did not make life any easier for me. I met a Chinese man who had to wait 25 hours after actually losing his passport to get home. I should have been a lot more careful.

Hamad International Airport is a genuinely nice airport and similar situations, which I know are common, would vary drastically from country to country and depending on your nationality. Odd the respect and almost deference from some staff when I said and showed them I was British through my driver's licence and passport scan.

I was just about to speak to UK officials from some border agency before they returned with my passport. This happened at first with no explanation from them but when I asked they said it was in the plane and put into lost and found.

Has anyone else got similar experiences to this?

I am a British citizen and use British English in my posts. Please do not edit to American English.

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    This question will better fit the site if structured something like 'what should I do if I lose my passport on a plane' . You can then post what you learned from the experience as an answer. – user16259 Apr 27 '18 at 18:35
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's not a question; just a "review" of somebody's experience. – David Richerby Apr 30 '18 at 10:52
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I think there are pretty limited things you can do, but here are my suggestions:

  1. Some countries allow you to carry two passports. If you live in such a country, have two, and keep one in a safe place.
  2. Take a photograph of the photo pages of your passport (plus any visas or other important stamps or inserts that you have) so that if you do lose your passport, you can at least show a border officer a photograph of the information.
  3. Carry other forms of identification (such as a photo driver's license, national ID card, citizenship card, etc.).
  4. Be super careful about not losing your passport in the first place. This is the most important suggestion, because of the difficulties you'll have if you lose one.

Of course, in many countries you can get an emergency travel document from your home country, if needed, but you may need to be in the right city, and no doubt there will be significant expense involved. (Details will vary depending on your citizenship.)

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    +1 for being an actual answer – Guido Apr 27 '18 at 20:30
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About 20 years ago, my wife and I saw a scene on the comedy series Absolutely Fabulous, in which Patsy and Edina are leaving the house for an international flight. One woman asks the other if they've got everything they need, and after a cursory glance at the luggage, they leave. Ten seconds later, they both run back into the house, frantically screaming "Tickets! Money! Passport! Tickets! Money! Passport!"

Ever since then, my wife and I have used "Tickets Money Passport" as a mantra when traveling. We make a point of repeating this phrase aloud every single time we leave a room or a vehicle. Checking out of your hotel? Tickets Money Passport. Getting out of a cab? Tickets Money Passport. The plane has landed? Tickets Money Passport.

Sometimes the mantra is accompanied by an actual pat-down to verify these items are on my person, but most of the time, I'm simply forcing myself to take a mental inventory to confirm I know where these items are. By turning this little ritual into a habit, I can ensure that these items are always in my mind. The end result is that, 20 years later, I've yet to lose a passport, wallet, travel document or phone.

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