We are flying to Mexico from Boston on 4/10 and we have just noticed that our 10 year old daughter's US passport is expired. She does have a valid French passport to travel on. I dont expect any issues going in to Mexico, but have concerns for the way back. I have applied for an ESTA indicating her dual citizenship and it got approved, so technically she has the paperwork to board the plane.

But I'm concerned that once the airline sees the rest of the family with either green cards (for me, me husband and our other daughter) or US passport for our son, they might ask why she is traveling on ESTA and deny her boarding if they realize she has an expired US passport.... I'm less concerned about immigration once in the US as we can prove her citizenship by showing the expired passport and they cannot deny her entry... Is there a big chance that american airlines might deny boarding??

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    You correctly identify the issue — no one knows if American will allow her to board the flight back to the US. There's a significant probability that they'll refuse. Read Hilmar's answer here. Given the chaos that'd ensue if she were refused, you should renew her US passport now using an expedited process. Mar 30, 2021 at 19:06
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    you could also consider... not flying to Mexico for a week in the middle of a deadly pandemic.
    – mlc
    Mar 30, 2021 at 23:21
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    while @mic 's comment is off-topic, I agree. Is it strictly necessary to travel to a foreign country (or from your point of view, your home country most likely) in time of pandemic? The numbers are going up, because people are relaxing. And their is no vaccine for under-16s yet Mar 31, 2021 at 0:30
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    @mlc Right, so assuming they've paid, they should just throw it all away? Cute, I'd LOVE to be so rich as to have that luxury
    – Crazydre
    Apr 2, 2021 at 1:01
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    Not in restrictions, but people should be aware of the risks and Mexico is not safe. The lack of restrictions does not help there.
    – Willeke
    Apr 2, 2021 at 17:12

1 Answer 1


For the return trip, unless you can get her US passport renwed in time, you cannot enter the US by air. Take a domestic flight to a Mexican border city (e.g. Tijuana) and cross the land border with her expired passport

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