Thursday, 4 September 2014

Passport: found

Mama T has returned to Italy with her new passport, only to find her old one.

This past April as we were beginning our journey home from Sicily we drove two hours to a hotel closer to the airport where, upon checking in, my mom realized her passport was missing. After searching through all our luggage and calling relatives back in town to check the house, we were a little SOL.

Unsure of what else to do, we drove to the airport to ask for help. Here's how to get back to Canada without a passport:

HAVE A COPY OF YOUR PASSPORT. And driver's licence. Take photos of all your important documentation when you travel actually. And your itinerary, if possible. At the airport, my mom had to make an affidavit (sworn statement) with the police on location saying who she was, why she was travelling, that she lost her passport, etc. They provide you with a letter saying you are free to leave the airport by plane but they only guarantee your next flight (meaning we'd have to convince everyone one else along the way to let her board the plane).

Back at the hotel, my mom thanks me for being so patient and says, "I am so glad this happened to me and not you, I would have killed you."

In the morning we checked in, my luggage going directly to Ottawa, her's to the next location only. We boarded our flight to Venice and crossed our fingers.

Once in Venice, we grabbed mom's luggage, explained our situation to some officers, and were whisked around the airport, led through customs, rechecked my mom's luggage and directed to our gate. Some parting advice we were given was to leave my mom's luggage in Frankfurt - our next stop. We would have only 40 minutes between flights and the airport is huge. Better to leave the luggage and have it shipped later than to miss the flight.

Unfortunately, our take-off was delayed and we were left with about 20 minutes to sprint the length of the Frankfurt airport and convince them to let my mom on the plane. We were a bit more confident since we would be getting on to an Air Canada flight. We arrived at the security window sweaty and winded. The man was asking a lot of questions - to both of us. I had my passport but was missing my entry stamp to the EU.

"Where did you come in to Europe?" he asked.

"Rome." I told him.

"Why don't you have a stamp then?"

"Uhmm because they are lazy?"

He laughed and told us that the Rome and Paris airports are the laziest and worst for following procedure. Then he wished us luck and let us through.

The last to make it to our boarding gate, it didn't take to much to convince them to let us on the plane and we were finally home free.

I thought for sure I'd be travelling alone from Frankfurt, but having photos of her documents, the travel itinerary, and my being a legitimate travel companion were all pluses.

Moral of the story: my mother is not allowed to get mad at me for a very long while.  

Throwback Thursday to a few photos from our trip:

And for all of them, visit the album on my facebook page.

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