A tip about your passport

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Editor;

As we are all getting that little bit older and dare I say forgetful? – This is an excellent tip i.e., always to insert your email ID in your passport on the address page.

This is an incident that occurred at the airport recently.

A passenger with an American passport changed money, and in the process, forgot his passport and boarding pass on my counter. As it was placed on the side, where my monitor blocks the view; it remained there for over 20 minutes. The next customer brought it to my attention. I went outside to search for him but to no avail.

The passport was well worn, with numerous visas, including Japan. He had travelled from Narita to LAX. The page in the U.S. passport where one can write home address and third party contact was blank. All it had was his e-mail address.

I went on line and e-mailed him a brief message, including my phone number. He turned up about a half hour later, profoundly grateful. He was blissfully unaware that his passport was missing!

He was checking his email in the cab when he saw the mail I had sent. He turned the cab around and came back to the airport to collect it. He works in Japan and his work permit was attached to the Japanese visa in the passport. He was in the US only for a week.

In retrospect, it is evident that even if he had written his address in the passport, it would not have helped. Even a phone number is not much help, as a finder may not be willing to call long distance, if ‘found’ in another country. An email, any one would send, from any place; and you can access your e-mail from anywhere in the world when you are traveling.

Therefore, please write your email address in your passport; it can really ‘save your bacon’ some day.

Best Regards,

William (Wullie) Mercer