I recently tried to fly from Manila (MNL) to Taipei (TPE) but at the airport ticket counter AirAsia refused to sell me a flight ticket on the grounds that my French passport was wet and that subsequently the Taiwanese immigration officers might deny me entry. The passport was in near pristine condition though (just had a few drops of water, it didn't go into the laundry or the sea), and I had no issue with other airlines just a few minutes before and after to fly to other places (namely, Ho Chi Minh City SGN and Bangkok BKK) with the same passport and same condition.

Anyway, this got me thinking: how can I know ahead of time whether the Taiwanese immigration and whichever airline I use to fly there will accept the condition in which my passport is?

Ahead of time = before going to the airport and before buying the flight ticket.

  • 1
    If it only had a few drops and wasn't water-damaged, why didn't you stick it under the hand-dryer/hair-dryer for a few minutes?
    – smci
    Mar 18, 2020 at 14:05
  • 1
    @smci no time for it, the counter was closing :/ Mar 18, 2020 at 14:21
  • 1
    Rolled back, the edit did not belong in this question. (Not even in a comment in my view.)
    – Willeke
    Apr 1, 2020 at 10:31

1 Answer 1


It really depends. Airline checkin agents are overcautious as in remote case of you being denied, Airline have to pay the fine. From talking to a checkin agent, if the fault is the agent's, the fine will be coming from their paycheck (may vary with airlines).

You have three options.

  1. Get a new passport or one time travel document from your embassy (expensive).
  2. Sign indemnity form saying that you accept personal responsibility to pay the fine imposed to the airline, in case you are denied. This option is not usually extended and will apply only on special circumstances.
  3. Approach a different counter or airline.

I have done the 2nd one once, as my bio page was intact and I was able to convince that since I am a resident of Singapore, I can use the automated gates and only bio page is needed. Had to sign a waiver absolving them of any responsibility and agreeing to cover financially, in case they were fined.

  • Thanks this is very good to know regarding the waiver Mar 18, 2020 at 8:36
  • 5
    @FranckDernoncourt It's called an indemnity form
    – Crazydre
    Mar 18, 2020 at 11:04
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    The airline isn't obliged to offer you option 2, are they? If they think there is absolutely no way you'll be admitted, or they don't trust you to pay up if you're denied, I can see why they'd be reluctant to offer. Apr 1, 2020 at 19:15
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    @NateEldredge Yes. I have to talk a lot to convince them to get that. For example, no visa at all - They are likely deny. Smudge in passport - Yes, they will give that option. Its better to know that there exist this option. Apr 3, 2020 at 2:36
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    @AnishSheela: your case is special, you were returning to your own home country, right? Not a third-country itinerary. I've never heard of this being done, ever. People are now citing your answer as if all airlines will routinely do this if you just ask long enough, which of course is misleading.
    – smci
    May 2, 2020 at 6:44

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