On October 16, Daniel and Tia Farthing flew from London to Bali to celebrate their honeymoon. They never arrived since they were turned away at the airport because Daniel’s passport had been chewed by their dog, Milo. The Farthings, who had spent $7,000 on the trip, were unceremoniously shipped back to Heathrow.
Before leaving the UK, Border Force agents told the couple that they shouldn’t worry about the damaged passport, yet officials in Indonesia thought otherwise. Bali security personnel told the Farthings that they would have to take the next flight out of the country. To add insult to injury, the flight back included a stopover in Singapore, where Daniel was held for seven hours by police while Tia in a state of panic spent nearly $400 attempting to contact family back home.
Once back in London, a Heathrow employee repeated that the damage to the passport was not important. “Is that what all the fuss was about?” he nonchalantly said. Tia’s sister has started a GoFundMe campaign to help the couple, who not only lost the money spent on the honeymoon but also had to pay for their fare back to England.
“So what we want to do is show Tia and Dan how much we all love and care for them and how much we all want to help. So we have started this page to ask our friends and family to help us raise some funds to try and give them some hope that they can and will get the honeymoon that they have always dreamt of and deserve!” Tia’s sister wrote on the page. So far, the campaign has raised almost $1500 for the couple.
Meanwhile, Milo, a four-year-old Labrador collie mix, has been trying to make amends. “He knows he’s done wrong because he’s been constantly coming to us for cuddles,” Tia says. The couple had used the passport without problems when they traveled to Barcelona in May. Their trip to Bali was meant to celebrate their honeymoon as well as their one year anniversary. They had booked an elephant safari, a villa and pool.
According to the Australian Passport Office, passport holders must keep their document intact and in good condition. Although normal wear and tear are acceptable, serious damage may result in the passport being rejected. The office says that contact with liquids can cause serious damage, and it is crucial that all details are clear and legible. There should be no pages missing or evidence of tampering. When in doubt, the office recommends taking your passport to a diplomatic mission or consulate for evaluation.